In Colorado, “domestic violence” means any act or threatened act of violence upon someone with whom the accused has presently or in the past an intimate relationship. Domestic violence also includes any crime committed against a partner or family member as a means of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge. This includes charges of damage to property, not just physical violence. If you have been arrested or are currently under investigation for domestic violence, here are the facts that you need to know before heading into your initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney in Denver.
Victims Cannot Drop Charges
Colorado has mandatory arrest laws whenever an officer of the law has probable cause to believe someone committed an act of domestic violence. Once the arrest is made and charges are brought against an individual, the District Attorney prosecuting the case can decide whether the case goes forward or not. This means the victim cannot drop charges, so still consult with a criminal defense lawyer if you are charged with domestic violence due to a misunderstanding.
Misdemeanors can be Elevated to Felony Charges
In Colorado, a person’s third conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor classifies the individual as a habitual offender and the misdemeanor may be bumped to a Class 5 felony, which carries a prison sentence between one and three years. If you have already been convicted of domestic violence in the past, hire an experienced defense attorney who can help you avoid a long prison sentence.
In-Home Detention is Not Available
In-home detention, sometimes called electric home monitoring, is normally available as a sentence to custody or as a condition of probation for misdemeanors in Colorado. However, someone convicted of a domestic violence crime is not eligible for home detention in the home of the victim. Considering the steep penalties of a conviction, it’s important that you hire a criminal defense attorney to defend your domestic violence charge.