Real domestic violence is a terrible problem. In my experience, it is not as big a problem as the media and prosecutors make it out to be. If you hit your partner, get professional help now. If you are in a relationship where your partner strikes you, get out of the house now. Safe-houses are easily found through the police or on the internet. It is more important to leave now than it is to get someone arrested. If you are wrongly accused of domestic violence, get a lawyer and stay away from that relationship forever. The Boulder County Sheriff will help you get your property out of a shared residence. This is called a civil assist and it is free.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence (DV) means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic Violence (DV) includes crimes against person or property or an animal when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
Domestic Violence (DV) charges require an arrest. Prior to release, the accused must appear before a judge to be advised of a mandatory protection order. A Domestic Violence (DV) conviction requires 36 weeks of domestic violence classes.
Start defending yourself now.
Do not talk to the police about your case. Their goal is to convict you. You may have a number of defenses like self defense, defense of others, defense of property, provocation. As a Colorado domestic violence lawyer, I have successfully defended cases of domestic violence throughout the state including Colorado Springs, Boulder, Brighton, Greeley, Loveland, Ft. Collins, Denver, Golden, Jefferson, Broomfield, Longmont, Eagle, Georgetown, Steamboat Springs, Durango, Gilpin, Adams. I have won jury trials where my client was falsely accused of domestic violence. I have convinced prosecutors to dismiss using thorough investigation. If you have been accused of domestic violence, call me to discuss your options.
Beware of the Deferred Sentence Offer
All people charged with Domestic Violence (DV) of any kind should consider contesting the charges. Especially on the first alleged incident of Domestic Violence (DV). Often in Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield, Weld (Greeley), Larimer (Fort Collins and Loveland), people charged with Domestic Violence (DV) get a first time offender program deferred sentence offer. This is presented by the prosecutor as a way to get the case dismissed if you complete Domestic Violence (DV) classes. The problem is that the alleged victim will often make another claim soon after the deal is struck. The new charge is a violation of the deferred sentence agreement. And, since you already pled guilty to the original charge, a violation means that the case will not be dismissed and you will be convicted and sentenced for Domestic Violence (DV). The old Domestic Violence (DV) may be used as similar transaction evidence in the new Domestic Violence (DV) case trial. These convictions will follow you forever and can never be sealed from public view.
Great Cases to Take to Trial
Domestic Violence (DV) cases are great to take to trial. Unlike a DUI or traffic case, the only witnesses are typically you and the accuser. A police officer was not watching during the alleged event. Many accusers are guilty of some provocation or outright assault. Juries know that people lie when relationships are falling apart. An experienced Domestic Violence (DV) attorney can get to not guilty with proper investigation and preparation.
A Good Relationship Does not Lead to Jail
The biggest mistake many people make in Domestic Violence (DV) cases is trying to repair the relationship. Remember, there is a restraining order in place and you cannot communicate in any way with the accuser or any witness without a Judge changing the restraining order. Violation of a restraining order is a crime and a violation of bond conditions (also a crime). The best way to ruin a great Domestic Violence (DV) case is to communicate with the accuser or a witness. Two charges are harder to win than one. Your bond will be revoked and a very high bond will be imposed. Violation of bond conditions is easy to prove and carries a mandatory minimum 6 months in jail (no probation).
In my experience, accusers often feel bad about calling the police. In part because they lied, but also because they did not get what they want - your immediate attention. They want you back in their lives immediately and do not care what the judge said. By the way, the accuser is not restrained from communicating with you. Many violations of restraining orders start with a telephone call or text message from the accused. In the beginning, things are good and the accuser does not call the police. But, as soon as the accuser does not get everything s/he wants, the police get called and you go to jail.
If your relationship leads to jail, then maybe that relationship is not the right one for you.
(Great sex is no excuse. Most personality disorders involve over-sexualized behavior. Unfortunately, people with personality disorders will call the police and lie to gain control or to punish. If the sex is great, but you are in jail, the chances are s/he has a personality disorder that you cannot fix. If this could be the case, run from that relationship as fast as you can.)
Felony Domestic Violence
Repeated calling or following a person can lead to a felony charge of Domestic Violence (DV). Also, more severe injuries and weapons involved in assault or threats will be charged as felonies. Recently, prosecutors have been charging any case where the neck is touched as a felony. Please review my page Domestic Violence Choking for more information. Felony domestic violence cases are very serious and require an experienced Domestic Violence (DV) attorney for success.
Domestic Violence Consequences
A Domestic Violence (DV) conviction will prevent you from owning or possessing a firearm. For non-citizens, it can lead to deportation. For military and police, it can end your career. Jail, fines and classes are near term consequences, but remember these charges stay on your record forever and may affect your career.
Domestic Violence Victim Representation
Domestic Violence (DV) victims often want to drop the charges later. In Boulder, Longmont, Broomfield, Weld, Greeley, Larimer, Fort Collins, Loveland, Adams, Brighton, Jefferson, Golden, and other Colorado counties, the prosecution will not dismiss the charges upon request. The prosecution will try to talk the victim out of dismissing the Domestic Violence (DV) charge. The prosecutor will then look at the Domestic Violence (DV) victim as recanting victim that told the truth to the police, but now is suffering from victim guilt due to the cycle of violence.
This can be true. Also, the Domestic Violence (DV) victim may realize that s/he caused the events by actions or inflammatory words that they left out when talking to police. The Domestic Violence (DV) victim may fear telling the truth would lead to charges against him or her. Maybe the Domestic Violence (DV) victim exaggerated the original facts. In these cases, the Domestic Violence (DV) victim can be charged with harassment, assault or false reporting.
I have represented Domestic Violence (DV) victims in these cases with success. I have had cases in Boulder and Longmont dismissed through these efforts.