Grand Junction Domestic Violence Attorneys
If You Were Accused of Domestic Violence, Act Quickly
Domestic violence has never been treated more seriously than it is today. If Colorado police suspect an act of violence took place, they will make an arrest and sort out the details later. While this can help some vulnerable victims, misunderstandings can lead to undeserved charges in other cases.
If you have been accused of any form of domestic violence, including child abuse, seek legal help right away. It may be possible to avoid charges being filed at all, or to reduce the charges before you have to go to court. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, we are dedicated to defending clients from false accusations and overzealous prosecution, and we have a proven track record of success. Call us today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free and confidential evaluation.
What’s the Definition of Domestic Violence?
According to Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18-6-801, domestic violence is defined as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” This is a broad definition, and can include violence against property or an animal belonging to the victim, when the violence is used as an act of intimidation or revenge. An intimate relationship includes spouses, former spouses, anyone who is or was dating each other, and parents of the same child.
Colorado legislation has a lot to say about domestic violence, describing it as cyclical in nature, and therefore the courts allow past evidence of abuse to be admitted as evidence in new cases to show a pattern of behavior. This means an arrest for domestic violence can be extremely detrimental, and leave a stain on your permanent record for years to come.
Colorado Is a Mandatory Arrest State
Colorado is one of a few states that have a mandatory arrest law. When law enforcement is called to a location for a suspected incident involving domestic violence, the attending officer must make an arrest if there is probable cause to believe a crime has taken place. This places a tremendous burden on police officers to make quick calls without understanding the full situation.
While this law is meant to protect true victims from being subject to additional abuse, it leads to false accusations, mistaken arrests, and unavoidable consequences. Once an arrest has been made, a prosecutor must bring charges unless he or she can demonstrate there is not enough evidence to gain a conviction. Many people on the Western Slope, who might otherwise never have been arrested, are now facing lifelong penalties.
What Are the Penalties for Domestic Violence?
In Colorado, domestic violence is not a standalone crime. Instead, it is a sentence enhancer; meaning it can lead to harsher penalties for other crimes, such as physical assault. A conviction will also carry a requirement to complete a 36-class treatment program. Repeat offenders face stiffer penalties, including having misdemeanors bumped up to felonies.
Domestic violence charges can also be associated with mandatory protection orders, meaning the accused will be forbidden from coming into contact with the alleged victim. If you share children, a protection order may limit your freedom to see them as well, or prevent contact altogether.
The most effective way to fight domestic violence charges is to hire a legal team with the experience and resources to advocate strongly on your behalf. Our Grand Junction criminal defense attorneys at Peters & Nolan, LLC, have dedicated their careers to protecting people on the Western Slope. We’ll get started right away mounting the best defense possible for you. Call one of our friendly representatives at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free consultation.
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.