In Colorado, the laws pertaining to domestic violence prohibit physical acts of violence against individuals and property under certain circumstances. For a violent act to qualify as a domestic violence crime, the alleged aggressor and the alleged victim must share, or have shared, an intimate relationship, as defined by statute.
The law also encompasses any other crime or municipal ordinance violation committed against a third party or against property for the purpose of control, coercion, intimidation, punishment, or revenge aimed at a person with whom the alleged aggressor has or had an intimate relationship.
For those who are convicted of an act of domestic violence, Colorado has established a range of punishments and treatment options. Domestic violence is not sanctioned as a separate offense from the underlying violent act. If the defendant is convicted of a single offense- and the court determines that the crime involved domestic violence- the court will sentence the defendant for the misdemeanor offense, but will also stipulate that the defendant must undergo a domestic violence treatment program and receive an evaluation of that treatment.
Additionally, these misdemeanors are punishable by a fine not in excess of $500 and incarceration of no longer than 6 to 18 months. If the crime involved the violation of a restraining order, more severe penalties could be enforced.
If the court decides that an assessment will aid in determining an appropriate sentence, it may also order that a convicted individual be evaluated before sentencing.
A defendant who has three prior convictions for crimes which include domestic violence that would otherwise be considered misdemeanors, may face increased penalties with a fourth conviction.
The prosecutor could petition the court to have the defendant declared a habitual domestic violence offender. If this petition is granted by the court, the defendant will be guilty of a Class 5 felony. This crime carries a sentence of one to two years in prison and a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.
An accusation of domestic violence does not equal a conviction, and every person charged with a crime is due a trial by a jury of their peers. However, if a charge of misdemeanor domestic violence becomes a felony charge, there can be serious and far-reaching repercussions for any individual. Your job, home, child custody or visitation rights, your entire way of life could all be at stake. Persons charged with such crimes are strongly advised to contact an attorney who is experienced in the defense of these crimes.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested and accused of a crime in Boulder, you need an experienced and aggressive Boulder criminal defense attorney in your corner from the very start. We can build a solid defense against these serious crimes. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Becomes a Felony