When a Dispute Gets Ugly: Facing a Domestic Violence Accusation
Family relationships can be complicated, even at the best of times. Unfortunately, a family dispute that escalates can bring severe consequences. The police may arrive at your home if called by a member of your household, a neighbor, or another person who heard a loud argument. Once law enforcement arrives at your door, one of the parties could be facing a domestic violence charge.
Domestic violence is not a charge on its own but enhances a sentence imposed for another charge, such as misdemeanor or felony assault, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, trespassing, or false imprisonment. If you had a relationship that meets the definition of “intimate partner” under Colorado law, almost any action taken during a heated family dispute could be classified as an act of domestic violence.
The police are required to make an arrest when they have probable cause to believe an act of domestic violence has occurred. Angry people are not always honest people – and a false accusation or an exaggerated description of the situation could lead to your arrest. Once you are in custody, you will face some rough days ahead.
What Is an Act of Domestic Violence in Colorado?
Domestic violence is an act of violence, such as a physical assault, inflicted on a person with whom one has some type of intimate relationship. The relationship could be a wife or husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, or the other parent of a shared child, whether current or ex. These acts are considered “domestic violence” when they are inflicted to achieve a specific goal, including:
- To control the other party
- To punish the other party
- To intimidate the other party
- To coerce the other party
- As an act of revenge
Even if the person who accused you admits they exaggerated or lied, it won’t help you avoid the criminal charge. Only the district attorney can make that call. He or she may believe you threatened or coerced the victim.
What Counts as a Domestic Violence Offense?
An act of domestic violence could be an action against a person, property, or an animal. For example, if you threw a cup in anger, which bounced and hit the ankle of your partner, you could be charged with domestic violence. If you destroyed a table during an argument, it could be construed as an act of domestic violence. During a family dispute, almost anything could be called an act of domestic violence, including texting or calling repeatedly or using obscene language. Once the legal wheels are turning, you face great danger to your reputation, your professional life, and your future opportunities.
What Happens Next?
After you are arrested, you will be taken into custody, where you will remain until you post bail, which could be one, two, or three days. You may be questioned further about what occurred. You must exercise your right to remain silent and contact a domestic violence defense lawyer. Say nothing and wait until your lawyer arrives – your efforts to explain could backfire, with your statements used against you.
You may be subject to a restraining order and may not be allowed to enter your home, see your children, or gather your possessions. If you are facing a domestic violence charge, call Peters & Nolan, LLC, at (970) 243-4357. Our criminal defense team is qualified and has extensive trial experience. We offer a free initial consultation to those facing criminal charges in Grand Junction and the whole Western Slope.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.