A complicated legal process is sprung when someone calls 911 to report a domestic dispute. More often than not, someone leaves in handcuffs and unfortunately, goes to jail.
Put simply, the ramifications of domestic violence charges can be severe. If you find yourself embroiled in such a situation, you will need an experienced and dedicated domestic violence defense attorney in Boulder to help protect your rights. Michael R. Ferrell and his team with The Ferrell Law Firm isn’t afraid to defend you and keep your good reputation intact.
What Are the Colorado Domestic Violence Laws?
Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-6-800.3 define domestic violence as either an act or a threatened act of violence directed at a person with whom the alleged perpetrator has an intimate relationship. The law defines an intimate relationship as a relationship between spouses, unmarried couples, or parents of a child, irrespective of whether they were ever married or lived together. Intimate relationships need not be current to qualify under Colorado’s domestic violence law.
However, domestic violence is not a specific crime in itself. In other words, the State cannot charge you solely with domestic violence—it must be in conjunction with another “base” charge, such as assault. What designates the crime as domestic violence is the fact that you allegedly carried out the assault against someone with whom you have an intimate relationship. Examples of common crimes that the State can designate as domestic violence include the following:
- Violation of a protection order,
- Criminal mischief, and
- False imprisonment.
Domestic violence can be against a person, property, or animal, either directly or as a method of coercion, control, intimidation, punishment, or revenge. The domestic violence designation can apply to both felonies and misdemeanor crimes.
Mandatory Arrest for Domestic Violence
Allegations of domestic violence can place police officers in a difficult position because C.R.S. § 18-6-803.6 mandates the officer arrest someone for domestic violence. The officer has no discretion if they determine that probable cause exists.
Probable cause means the officer has a reasonable basis to believe you committed the crime. But probable cause is a relatively low standard of proof. This is particularly true when compared to the far higher burden of proof needed for a conviction—which is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, if the police believe there is a reasonable basis to believe you committed an act of domestic violence, they have no choice but to arrest you. The law directs the officer to determine if there is a fair probability that a crime occurred and that the person to be arrested is the one who committed the crime.
After the officer makes an arrest, the law requires the officer to bring the arrestee to the police station for booking.
Domestic Violence Defenses
The circumstances of your case will dictate your best defense. However, domestic violence defense tactics we use often involve:
- Claiming self-defense;
- Arguing the alleged victim fabricated the injury or incident;
- Claiming the alleged victim made up the story out of revenge, deceit, or other nefarious reasons; and
- Proving the incident was mutual combat.
Defenses based on violating your rights may also be viable in your case. For example, suppose the police unlawfully searched your phone or questioned you while in custody before giving you Miranda warnings. In that case, we might be able to use these violations to your advantage.
Contact a Boulder Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Today
You may categorically deny the allegations against you; however, prosecutors and courts take domestic violence charges very seriously. You will need a knowledgeable defense lawyer if you are facing domestic violence charges. Contact The Ferrell Law Firm today at 720-687-2795 for immediate representation from an aggressive and dedicated Boulder domestic violence defense attorney.