Why is it charged as a crime of domestic violence?
In Colorado, domestic violence is an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the defendant is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence isn’t itself a crime. Rather, domestic violence is a sentence enhancer that requires a judge to add extra consequences to a defendant’s sentence than they would receive if they were convicted of a non-domestic violence crime.
If Colorado cops find ANY probable cause that makes them believe that you’ve committed a crime of domestic violence, then you’ll be arrested immediately and have a protection order placed against you that prohibits you from having ANY sort of contact with the alleged victim, including any contact you initiate through a third-party, such as a family member or friend.
What is an “intimate relationship”?
Under Colorado law, an intimate relationship is a relationship between individuals that were romantically involved at one point or another. Examples of some intimate relationships include:
- Current or former spouses
- Current or former unmarried couples
- Parents of the same child regardless of whether the parents have been married or have lived together at any time
How do I get the protection order dismissed?
Only a judge can modify or dismiss a protection order. The “protected party” cannot modify or dismiss the protection order on their own. If the “protected party” reaches out to you anyway, then you can still get in trouble for violating the protection order if a judge has not modified the order to allow contact.
Only the defendant or the prosecutor can ask the judge to modify the order. Although the protected party can write letters to the judge, the court will only hear a motion to modify the protection order if it is filed by the defendant or the prosecutor. If you are looking to have a protection order modified or dismissed, then contact our firm today.
What’s the big deal about “domestic violence” charges?
In addition to the standard criminal penalties – jail time, probation, domestic violence education and treatment– a domestic violence conviction can also affect your job prospects, where you live, and your ability to own, possess, or use firearms.
Many employers are unable to maintain your employment if you are convicted of a crime of domestic violence. Some employers have a blanket rule that they will not hire anyone with a domestic violence conviction within the last 5 years – or even within their lifetime. Apartment owners and other landlords can refuse to rent an apartment to someone with a domestic violence related conviction.
Being convicted of a crime of domestic violence will almost always result in a lifetime prohibition on owning, possessing, or using firearms or ammunition. Which would prevent an avid hunter from enjoying their beloved pastime.
In the event of a custody battle, a domestic violence related conviction can also significantly affect the amount of parenting time you get and whether you are given a say in major decision making for your children. The consequences of a crime of domestic violence conviction can be long-lasting and life altering, which is why you should consult an experienced attorney when facing these charges.
The alleged victim does not want to press charges, won’t the case just go away?
In the movies, cases get dismissed if the victim chooses not to press charges, but in the real world, the district attorney is unlikely to dismiss the charges just because the alleged victim wants it. In fact, in most domestic violence cases the alleged victim wants the case dismissed, so the DA is accustomed to working with the uncooperative.
Often times in cases where the alleged victim wants the case to go away, they report feeling like the police tricked them into giving a statement. In situations like that, we would have the alleged victim meet with our investigator so they could tell what happened and to correct any errors in the police report. Sometimes we’re able to highlight enough mistakes in the case that the prosecution dismisses all charges. Other times the prosecution will offer our client a deferred sentence.
As with any case we take on, if we don’t get the pre-trial outcome our client wants then we are ready and able to take the case to a jury trial.
Do you ever see “alleged victims” making up allegations to gain an unfair advantage in child custody or divorce proceedings?
Unfortunately, we sometimes see alleged victims make false allegations hoping that the pending criminal case will give them an advantage in a pending child custody or divorce proceeding. We have experience fighting these allegations. In instances where the accuser’s motives are questionable, we put the accuser under the microscope and gather evidence that demonstrates their lack of credibility. We then present our findings to the district attorney and advocate for the charges against our client being dismissed.
What are the most common offenses charged as crimes of domestic violence?
Although many offenses can be charged as a crime of domestic violence, these are the offenses most frequently charged as crimes of domestic violence:
- Obstruction of Telephone Service
- Criminal Mischief
- Assault in the 3rd Degree
- Assault in the 2nd Degree
- Violation of a Protection Order
What is a deferred sentence?
An experienced attorney can negotiate a deferred sentence for a client that agrees to plead guilty in court. This gives their client a set period on probation before the judge delivers their final verdict. If the probation period is successfully completed then the pending criminal charges against the client will be dismissed, and in Colorado that means there will be no conviction on their record. Without a conviction the client will be able to own, possess, and use firearms and ammunition again and can answer “no” when asked if they were convicted of the crime.
Can I get my probation terminated early if I complete all the requirements?
Deferred sentences and straight convictions with probation sentences usually range from 12 to 36 months depending on the severity of the underlying charge and criminal history of the accused. In certain instances, if the defendant completes all the classes and treatment dictated as a part of their probation, then the probation officer can ask the court to terminate the defendant’s probation early. Although there is no guarantee that the court will terminate probation early, many judges frequently agree to early termination when asked by the probation department.
Why Choose Martin Conti Law?
In short, because Martin Conti Law is the complete opposite of other law firms. Where our competitors seem to only value their clients’ money, we pride ourselves on valuing our clients as individuals. In order to get an idea of what makes each client tick, we often meet clients in their own homes. Our concierge-level service makes navigating the legal system effortless and efficient, from our initial phone consultation to our Clio client portal.
Not to mention that between Matt’s empathetic and tenacious nature, even after all of the years he spent fighting to protect his client’s civil rights, and Shawn’s charismatic “closer” attitude—there’s nothing that the attorneys of Martin Conti Law can’t get done for you.