Domestic violence cases are among the most serious ones brought to court. In Colorado, domestic violence accusations are common and often made in the heat of the moment. And when a claim of domestic abuse is made, the case falls in the hands of the authorities, and the person alleging domestic violence cannot retract the statement during the legal proceedings.
Domestic violence is a hard fact to prove or disprove. And although the police are required to make an arrest only if there is probable cause, they are faced with the challenge of determining whether or not violence has occurred. Because of this, the authorities often make arrests on the spot.
What’s more, is that these types of cases are often fast-tracked in court. Legal proceedings are quick and brutal, making it possible that the parties become misrepresented and blindsided on their own cases.
That’s how sensitive domestic violence cases are in the State of Colorado, which poses serious implications for both the offender and the victim. If the parties are unaware of the complexities of domestic violence laws in Colorado, they can find themselves in a complicated and confusing mess. There lies the importance of having a competent and aggressive legal representation with a trusted Denver criminal defense attorney.
Aggressive Representation for Colorado Offenders and Victims
In most domestic cases in Colorado, both the victim and offenders feel misrepresented or silenced. Because of the fast-tracked approach to these charges, the parties often feel helpless, especially if they are unaware of their rights as parties to a domestic violence case.
From a victim’s point of view, they often end up being misrepresented or suffer the lack of guidance and support from the authorities and district attorneys. This is especially true if they decide not to press charges against the offender. Victims are left without advice on the right strategies, what they can or cannot do, and what rights they can enforce to protect themselves and their interests. The result is that the voices of domestic violence victims are not heard at all.
On the other hand, alleged offenders are put on a tough spot, especially if they are unaware of domestic violence cases’ laws and penalties. They might not be aware of the gravity of the charges against them and that they can be facing serious life-long consequences.
The fast-tracked nature of domestic violence cases leaves both victims and alleged offenders in the dark if they are not aware of their situation’s laws and nature. But this shouldn’t be the case. Everyone has the right to know and fully understand the case, the procedure, the related laws, and have access to aggressive representation who can employ sound strategies to achieve the best possible outcome.
Our lawyers here at Burnham law are backed by the experience and expertise to help you navigate your domestic violence case. We can help your voice be heard and ensure that you get the best legal representation that you deserve while protecting your rights and interests.
Colorado Domestic Violence Laws
The Colorado Statute that defines domestic violence is CRS 18-6-00.3. According to this law, domestic violence is an act or threatened act of violence committed against a person that the offender has an intimate relationship with. The acts that can be considered as domestic violence include coercion, control, intimidation, punishment, or revenge.
When a domestic violence claim is made to the police, they can arrest the offender on the spot as long as they find probable cause or any evidence that the violence has indeed happened. When an offender is arrested, they will spend time in jail until a judge sets a bail amount.
The victim cannot retract an allegation of domestic violence. And even if he or she does not want to press charges, the offender will not be released. The only way for the charges of domestic violence to be dropped is if the prosecuting agency declares under oath that the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Further, the State of Colorado does not consider domestic violence as a crime in itself with its own punishments and penalties. Instead, it is a sentence enhancer. This means that if an offender is found guilty of domestic violence, the penalties will be added to existing criminal charges.
Types of Domestic Violence Cases
Domestic violence does not only entail physical abuse. It can also come in the form of emotional or mental abuse. To say that there is domestic violence, it is enough that any of these types of abuse are present:
- Controlling behavior such as monitoring phone calls, signs of possessiveness, invasion of privacy, etc.
- Economic abuse. This happens when the offender manipulates economic resources, controls the income, restricts the victim’s access to finances, etc.
- Emotional abuse and intimidation that exploits the victim’s insecurities, character, and vulnerabilWhen
- Isolation. This is when the offender controls the victim’s actions, emotions, and beliefs, the offender prevents them from doing what they want to do, seeing who they want to see, etc.
- Physical abuse, which is any aggressive physical behavior, whether direct or indirect.
- Sexual abuse or unconsented sexual activity. This can also be a verbal type of abuse, such as when the offender uses force or guilt to coerce the other to have sexual intercourse, attacking the victim’s sexuality, etc.
- Verbal abuse, including blame, coercion, and threats.
Facts About Domestic Violence in Colorado
Domestic violence cases and facts are alarming. Here are a few statistics published by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- 32.7% of women and 28.6% of men in Colorado are victims of sexual violence
- Over 16,700 people have reported domestic violence allegations to authorities
- 325,000 people in Colorado have been stalked, which can be a form of domestic violence
- In 2014, 25 people in Colorado were murdered by their intimate partners, while 1,018 people were abducted.
- In the whole United States, domestic violence hotlines receive over 20,800 calls a day reporting abuse in the household.
Common Signs of Domestic Violence
Victims of domestic violence often don’t have the courage to speak about it. Many choose to stay silent and consider the situation as a disagreement or “rough patch” in the marriage. But domestic violence is neither of those. It is a serious pattern of violence and abuse that should not be condoned.
Learn these common signs of domestic violence so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones:
- Bullying, threatening, or controlling partners
- Controlling financial access or use
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Cutting the victim off from loved ones
Signs someone is abused
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Personality changes
- No access to money
- Being afraid of angering or disappointing their partner
- Avoiding social gatherings and giving petty excuses for it
- Consistently wearing long-sleeved clothing or other apparel to hide bruises
Avoid the Serious Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction with a Knowledgeable Denver Defense Attorney
A seemingly minor domestic violence charge allegation can escalate to a more serious charge that has drastic consequences. A domestic violence conviction is a serious one that has life-long implications, such as:
- Being labeled as a habitual offender if you are charged three or more times
- Difficulty getting probation
- Impossibility of obtaining house arrest
- Mandatory treatment programs
- Stripping of gun rights
The consequences would depend on the charges against an offender. For example, physical abuse would, of course, have more dire penalties than economic abuse. But if the type of abuse you are charged with is not that serious compared to other types, it still doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear.
Getting a compassionate punishment for your domestic violence conviction is an almost impossible feat if you are not aware of your rights and have no access to the best strategies that can help your case.
That is why you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who knows exactly what to do, what steps to take, and can work towards a better outcome.
Why Choose Burnham Law
Burnham law is a family law firm, specializing in cases that involve relationships between family members or intimate partners. Our firm has worked on many domestic violence cases, giving us the experience and knowledge needed to help you through your case. We know the best strategies that need to be employed to let your voice be heard and to ensure the best possible outcome.
Domestic violence is a serious issue that puts an emotional, physical, and psychological strain on you. You don’t need the added burden of complex legal proceedings to weigh you down. Focus on moving on and fighting for your rights, while your Denver domestic violence lawyers at Burnham law navigate the legal process for you.
In a highly sensitive, fast-tracked, and complex case like domestic violence, you need to act quickly, know your rights, and employ the best strategies for your case. We at Burnham Law will guide you through every step, ensuring that you get aggressive and effective representation all throughout. With our domestic violence lawyers, you will never be left in the dark. Your voice will be heard and you will be able to rebuild and regain.