What is Domestic Violence?
This may seem like a silly question, but different states have different legal definitions, so it’s important to understand what is regarded as domestic violence (as opposed to other forms of violence) in the state of Colorado. Colorado Revised Statutes categorizes 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”.
However, it is not a standalone offense, as with, say, a physical assault, which is why the Statute goes on to say that domestic violence “includes any other crime 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”.
What qualifies as an intimate relationship? According to the Statute, it is “a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time”.
In the state of Colorado, legal authorities take decisive action whenever there is a report of domestic violence, and this includes following the mandatory arrest law. If police are called to assess a situation where harassment, abuse, or physical violence has occurred, they determine probable cause, and they discover that the alleged victim and offender are in (or were in) an intimate relationship, they must arrest the offender immediately for the safety of everyone involved.
Offenders will be taken to jail and remain in custody until a judge sets a bond. Charges of domestic violence will be added to other criminal charges in the case as an aggravating offense, or “sentence enhancer”. The case cannot be dismissed just because the victim decides not to press charges.
The Need for Legal Representation
Victims in domestic violence cases are often frightened of facing their abusers. A qualified attorney can help victims to take needed steps to prosecute offenders and deal with the aftermath of abuse. Those accused of perpetrating domestic violence need to understand the consequences of their offenses, and the right legal team can help them to mount a defense.
If you’re involved in a domestic violence case, you need legal advice and representation. Contact the qualified attorneys at Curtis Law Firm today at 303-625-6894 to learn more.