Russell Hebets March 18, 2015

Domestic Violence Laws in Colorado

Domestic violence is one of the least understood criminal matters in the state of Colorado and it’s really one of the most serious. Any time the police are called for a crime involving domestic violence or an allegation of domestic violence, chances are someone’s going to be taken away in handcuffs, in the back of a squad car and that’s whether or not the other person wants them to be taken away in the back of a squad car. They’re going to have to spend at least one night in jail. If it’s a weekend, they’re going to have to spend two nights in jail.

They’re going to have to see a judge and the judge is going to issue a mandatory protection order. That protection order is going to keep that person from seeing or contacting their significant other in any way. Now, that includes text, phone, email, in-person and it also keeps them away from the house. So, if you live with someone or you have kids with someone, you’re not going to be able to go back there and see your significant other, see your home, or see your kids. And you’re going to have to bond out of custody in most cases. Absence of physical violence in your case doesn’t matter.

Why such serious penalties? The criminal justice system takes these measures in an effort to de-escalate the situation, no matter how trivial it was. Police departments, for example, have mandatory arrest policies, meaning if there is probable cause to arrest one of the individuals involved in a domestic violence situation, that person will go to jail, and will not be able to bond out right away. The protection order gets issued also in an effort to provide a cooling off period between the parties. It can be modified later.

If children were present during the altercation, it is very possible that the offender will be restricted, at least temporarily, from seeing the children until the protection order is modified. Domestic violence classes are ordered in any plea bargain to assist the offender in making better choices in the future. These classes cover anger management, substance abuse, and conflict resolution. However, a domestic violence conviction can hurt a person’s ability to get a job, housing, or stay in school. It also impacts your ability to own or possess a firearm; if you have a permanent domestic violence conviction, you will be unable to possess a firearm for the rest of your life under the Brady Handgun bill.

If you find yourself in this situation, you have to take it extremely seriously, because as you can see, everyone else does too. Give us a call, we can help.