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How To Defend Against DV Charges In Colorado

The following article will cover:

  • The penalties associated with domestic violence “charges” in Colorado.
  • What you need to know about Orders of Protection (Restraining Orders) in Colorado.
  • The different types of defense strategies available to those facing domestic violence charges.

I Was Arrested In Colorado On Domestic Violence Related Charges, What Is The Potential Penalty If I'm Convicted?

In Colorado, "domestic violence" is not actually a criminal charge in and of itself. Rather, it's a label that can be attached to various offenses to indicate the context within which they occurred. This is particularly important because of the way that a domestic violence conviction can impact your ability to own a gun.

Domestic violence charges can allow the court to demand that all of your firearms be relinquished and assert that you are not allowed to be in possession of any firearms both during and after the time that the case is pending.

If you are convicted of a domestic violence offense, you will be prohibited from purchasing, owning, or possessing a firearm at any point in the future, making it impossible for you to participate in military service. In fact, even a minor charge of criminal mischief in a domestic setting – for example, breaking a picture frame or punching a wall – will cause these collateral consequences.

As with any criminal offense, domestic violence cases vary widely in the potential penalties that can be imposed. If you are convicted, you could face no jail time and a fine, all the way up to a mandatory prison sentence. It all depends on how serious the domestic violence charges are that you're facing.

In any case, it’s important to note that even the most minor domestic violence convictions carry collateral consequences that can change your life if they're not avoided.

Is An Order Of Protection Or Restraining Order Automatically Put In Place When Someone Is Charged With A Domestic Violence Related Offense In Colorado?

Any time a domestic violence case is charged in Colorado, a mandatory protection order will be issued.

Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • The conditions of these orders can vary depending on the circumstances and the position of the alleged victim.
  • These orders will be in place for the entirety of the case. This does not mean that the orders will expire when a conviction is entered or someone is found guilty. Instead, the protection orders will be in place up until the sentence has been fully completed.
  • These protection orders should be taken seriously. A violation of them can result in more criminal charges being filed.
  • Protection orders cannot necessarily be modified or removed simply because an alleged victim is asking the court of the prosecution to do so.
  • If a protection order is modified to allow for contact between the alleged victim and the criminal defendant, it will remain in place. As such, it's important to remember that you can still be held accountable for its requirements until the case is completed and any sentence has been served.

If An Alleged Victim Changes Their Story After Domestic Violence Related Charges Are Filed In Colorado, Does That Mean That The Charges Against You Will Be Dropped?

A victim changing their story or testimony doesn't guarantee that the charges against you will be dropped. In fact, it's very common for victims to recant or alter their statements. Still, criminal proceedings tend to continue on regardless of this. However, this scenario makes the case much easier to fight and win at trial.

Our firm has had a great amount of success handling domestic violence cases, particularly for this reason – because alleged victims often change their story or decide that they don’t want criminal charges to go forward. Of course, the prosecutor can still choose to pursue these charges, but losing the testimony of a key witness greatly improves the defense’s chances of finding success.

In most cases, this allows the defense to negotiate the case very well or prepare it to be dismissed at trial by preparing a compelling counter-narrative to the prosecution.

What Strategies Can Be Used To Defend Clients On A Domestic Violence Charge In Colorado?

Our firm uses a combination of aggressive and compassionate investigation techniques that allow us to obtain priceless interview testimony from alleged victims and witnesses alike. The goal is to cross-examine any relevant party in such a way that we are able to build a fully developed case, ready to go to trial.

In our experience, victims are less interested in pursuing or appearing at trial when they realize that statements they’ve made that have been inflated or dishonest are going to be brought to the forefront of the case by the defense counsel. In these situations, our thorough investigation of the facts and allegations allows us to highlight the difficulties that prosecutors will face later down the line.

Unfortunately, there are many instances where the alleged victim in a domestic violence case has a motive to lie. For example, we’ve often seen people accuse their partners of domestic violence after they have found out about infidelity within the relationship. By developing a person’s motives and inconsistencies within their story, the defense strategy often becomes much stronger.

Can You Defend Against Domestic Violence Charges In Colorado By Claiming Self-Defense?

In the state of Colorado, you are able to defend yourself against someone if you believe that they are going to cause you physical harm. In these situations, the degree of force should be in line with what would be necessary to defend oneself in that situation.

What’s more, you have the right to stand your ground in Colorado. In other words, you have the right to defend yourself without first trying to get away. As a result, self defense can be a reasonable defense to any type of domestic violence charge.

If another person is trying to claim that they were a victim of a physical attack and we can show that you were actually defending yourself from them, you would have a valid defense to the criminal charges. Of course, this approach is not successful in every case and the best way to leverage your situation without further incriminating yourself is to work with an attorney who can communicate with prosecutors on your behalf. For more information on Domestic Violence Charges In Colorado State, an initial consultation is your next best step.

The Zorrilla Law Firm - Denver, CO

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(303) 951-8004

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