According to the Colorado law C.R.S 18-6-800.3(1), domestic violence is “an act of violence or threatening violence to a person to whom the victim is intimately involved and has been involved intimately in the past.”
Intimate relationships do not only apply to people living together or to married people. It could also refer to former spouses, spouses, children, domestic partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, and roommates.
Domestic violence contains physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. It can also pertain to any other crime against a person or their property, such as a pet, used to control, coerce, intimidate, or punish against a former or current partner.
Common DV Charges in Colorado
Domestic violence enhancement applies to any municipal ordinance violation or criminal charge, even brutality against pets or property. Here are the eight common crimes, which include domestic violence enhancement in Colorado.
- Assault. The Colorado law defines assault as a wrongful act causing injury to another person. Assault can be a misdemeanor or felony charge, depending on the situation. The three types of assault are crimes of assault, assault and battery, and aggravated assault.
- “Vonnie’s law” or stalking. It is unwanted and/or repeated surveillance of a person or group of people to another individual. Stalking is not just a mere behavior causing bother to another person. The Colorado law considers the unwanted act as stalking if there is a credible threat and a repeated action causing the other person to be afraid or suffer emotional distress.
- Harassment. It involves the intentional act of bothering, alarming, or annoying another person through repeated contact, hitting, taunting, obscene gestures, or following in public. Harassment charges are considered a misdemeanor crime in Colorado.
- Child Abuse. Generally, child abuse is an act of harming a minor under 16 years old, which can cause danger to the minor. Child abuse can be considered as a misdemeanor charge if there are no severe injury results to the minor. Otherwise, it can escalate as a felony charge.
- Sexual Contact. It is a lesser version of sexual assault wherein the offender committed penetration or intrusion. In comparison, sexual contact involves unwanted touching without penetration.
- Menacing. It occurs when a person threatens another person knowingly or attempting to place a person in fear of impending severe injury. It is also known as “battery” and usually comes with an assault charge.
- False Imprisonment. It is an act of wrongful detention of another person without his or her consent. It does not require the victim to be moved before it can be considered a false imprisonment offense. Unlawful detention for a shoplifting suspect is deemed to be false imprisonment.
- Elder abuse. Although Colorado law has no specific crime for elder abuse, any crime committed against a person aged 70 and older can face elder abuse charges. These crimes are criminal negligence, assault, theft, robbery, sexual assault, exploitation, and caretaker neglect.
Mandatory Arrest Policy for Domestic Violence Law Offender
This policy is created to prevent the abuser from causing further harm to the victim. The State of Colorado is one of few states with a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence offenses. This is only if the authorities determined domestic violence occurrence, or what they call probable cause. But what is probable cause?
Probable cause in domestic violence
Generally, the authorities in Colorado follow five indicators to determine if there is an existing probable cause. These factors are coercion, intimidation, punishment, control, and revenge. Therefore, if the police officers found out that there is a probable cause of domestic violence in the area, a mandatory arrest is allowed by law.
What can a DV offender do after an arrest?
If someone has been arrested for a domestic violence offense, he/she must know his/her Constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to bail. Also, the authorities should have clearly stated the Miranda rights before doing police questioning. It is to prevent yourself from telling self-incriminating statements that they can use against you.
The next thing you have to do is hire a professional bail bondsman in Aurora and a skilled defense lawyer to help you with the case. Keep in mind that the Colorado law develops fast-track procedures for domestic violence offenses.
Fast-track procedures for domestic violence in Colorado
Since Colorado law ensures that the alleged victim won’t incur further damage, the state created fast-track domestic violence crime procedures. In the fast-track procedure, the arresting officer needs to finish a same-day incident report. During the first court appearance, the defendant is required to take a plea. That’s why hiring an experienced defense lawyer and bail bondsman in Aurora will help the defendant to understand the fast-track process of DV charges.
What if the victim does not want to press charges?
There is no turning back once the individual has been arrested for domestic violence in Colorado. It is true even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges against the defendant. Typically, domestic violence charges can’t be dismissed unless the prosecution office declares on oath that the case can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Penalties and consequences under domestic violence law
Domestic violence offenses are sentence-enhancement, which means that DV charges are not stand-alone charges and do not have specific penalties. The punishment for the defendant facing a DV charge still depends on the underlying charge. However, DV enhancement can trigger the following consequences or penalties:
- As mentioned earlier, a fast-track procedure is needed in DV charges, therefore, suspected DV offenders would be sent to jail regardless of whether the victim wants to press charges or not.
- DV charges automatically require a protection order wherein the defendant cannot take alcohol and must avoid the victim. Violating this protection order will cost the defendant a penalty of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months of jail time.
- After conviction, the judge may order the defendant to finish the DV treatment program and may extend the restraining order.
Also, a classified person as a habitual domestic violence offender will face a class 5 felony DV charge. Penalties are 1 to 3 years in State prison and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.
How much is the domestic violence bond amount in colorado?
Setting the Aurora bail bonds amount for domestic violence crimes depends on the alleged suspect’s type of committed crime. However, domestic violence charges usually have high bail amounts since the judge also considers the defendant’s threat to the alleged victim.
If you want to know more about bail bonds for domestic violence, call Lucky Lucero’s Bail bonds 303-659-2245.