a criminal defense
Greeley Domestic Violence Attorney
What is Domestic Violence?
The common definition of domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.
According to C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3(1) (2021), Colorado has legally defined domestic violence as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”
How is Domestic Violence a Crime in Colorado?
It is a crime to commit an act or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the actor is in an intimate relationship. Per, C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3(2) (2021), it is also a crime of domestic violence when a crime is committed “against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”
Some common charges are “Harassment as an Act of Domestic Violence“ or “Criminal Mischief as an Act of Domestic Violence”. A simple push in an argument with your partner can lead to the criminal charge of Harassment as an Act of Domestic Violence. Throwing something across the room during an argument with your partner can lead to the criminal charge of Criminal Mischief as an Act of Domestic Violence. It is important to realize that domestic violence is not reserved for the most horrendous crimes. It is applied to crimes most people consider minimal and maybe not even criminal. What’s worse is these crimes can be charged without evidence. If the police show up at your home during an argument and your partner tells the police that you pushed them, without any other evidence, the police must arrest you. They have no discretion.
What Happens After an Arrest in Greeley, Colorado?
After you are booked into the jail, you will see a judge who will determine your bond, bond conditions, and issue a mandatory protection order. The mandatory protection order will determine what you can and cannot do with your partner. For instance, most protection orders are no contact, which means you will not be able to talk to or be around your partner, you will have to leave your home and find a new place to live. If you violate the protection order by talking to your partner, you can be charged with another domestic violence crime. The judge may also decide to impose certain bond restrictions requiring you to check in with a pretrial services program and complete substance use testing (such as UA’s or breath tests). Your liberty, while charges are pending, will be significantly restricted and it can be expensive.
The Negotiation Process
After you see the judge, you will be given a court date to appear on the charges. You will want an experienced criminal defense attorney to be there with you to talk to the prosecutor and the judge on your behalf. This is the first step in resolving your case. At the first court appearance, you may request your lawyer to ask the judge to modify the protection order so you can talk to your partner or get some of your belongings from the home. The judge will decide whether the protection order is modified or not. The prosecutor will also extend an offer at your first appearance which you will then need to discuss in detail with your lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney will review the discovery with you, the offer from the prosecutor, and advise you of your options. You can accept the offer, counter the offer, or reject the offer and set the case for trial. Your lawyer should give you their professional opinion about what to do, but ultimately the decision about accepting an offer or not is up to you.
Lifetime Consequences of Conviction
If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you need to be prepared for lifetime consequences such as:
- Restrictions on owning or possessing firearms and ammunition
- Prevent you from obtaining certain housing
- Prevent you from working in certain career fields
Additionally, there are other sentencing requirements that can be expensive. If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you will be required to be placed on probation and take domestic violence classes. Probation and classes are expensive and can take two or more years to complete.
What to Know About Criminal Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado
A Crime Committed Against an Intimate Partner
In Colorado, domestic violence is a crime perpetrated against a person with whom the alleged offender has an intimate relationship. Colorado law ((C.R.S.) 18-6-800.3(2)) defines an intimate relationship as “spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples or persons who are both the parents of the same child.”
A Domestic Violence Enhancement Can Be Applied to a Wide Range of Offenses
Assault is not the only criminal charge that can carry a domestic violence enhancement in Colorado. Quite the contrary, a wide array of different underlying offenses may be an issue in domestic violence cases, including stalking, harassment, false imprisonment, menacing, sexual assault, and the violation of a restraining order, to name a few.
Domestic Violence is Not a Separate Crime—It is an “Enhancer”
Notably, unlike in some other states, domestic violence is not its own unique criminal offense in Colorado. Instead, domestic violence is a so-called “enhancer”. It will make the penalties associated with the underlying charge even more severe. Even though it is not a separate crime, the consequences of conviction can be life-altering. It can prevent the convicted from owning guns, or getting certain housing or jobs.
As an example, the most common domestic violence charge in Colorado is an assault committed under C.R.S. 18-3-202 – 204. An assault committed against a person with whom the alleged offender shares an intimate relationship (spouse, former spouse, etc.) will enhance the charge.
How Criminal Defense Lawyer Havilah Louise Bruno Lilly Can Help
Domestic violence cases are complicated. As a seasoned litigator and experienced criminal law attorney, our managing partner Havilah Louise Bruno Lilly is committed to helping clients find the best path forward in their cases. Among other things, our Colorado domestic violence attorneys will:
- Listen to your story and answer your questions;
- Review and investigate the charges; and
- Develop a legal strategy focused on securing your future.
We believe that a one-size-fits-all approach is not good enough for our clients. Our Colorado domestic violence defense attorneys will put in the time, resources, and attention to detail to ensure that you get the personalized legal representation that you deserve.
Get Help From Our Colorado Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
At Bruno Lilly Legal, PLLC our Greeley domestic violence defense lawyers have the professional skills and legal experience that you can trust in a complex case. If you or your loved one is facing a domestic violence allegation, we are here to help. Call us at 720-340-1373 or contact our law firm online for your fully confidential case review. With a law office in Greeley, we represent clients throughout the region, including Greeley, Windsor, Loveland, Brighton, Fort Collins, and Boulder.
People v. A. G. - Weld County
Client charged with domestic violence.
Case dismissed - January 2022
People v. S. A. - Weld County
Client charged with domestic violence.
Case dismissed - January 2022
Contact Bruno Lilly Legal today to get a case consultation. Learn more about what we can do for you.
The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
From our Greeley office, we provide legal representation to those in Greeley, Loveland, Windsor, Boulder, Fort Collins, Berthoud, Evans, Eaton, Brighton, Fort Lupton, Boulder County, Larimer County, Weld County, and Adams County.