If you are facing charges of domestic assault, much is at stake. You deserve a dedicated Denver domestic violence attorney who will stand up for your rights and interests.
Domestic violence cases are seldom straightforward. There is often more to the story than what appears in the criminal complaint. Whenever 911 is called for a domestic dispute, one or both parties will likely end up in jail. Law enforcement officers often take the accuser at his or her word without fully investigating the other side of the story. Additionally, the court often grants a no-contact order, preventing the arrested person from returning home.
A conviction for domestic assault poses serious and lasting consequences. A felony-level offense can permanently taint your record and impact many types of state licensure, such as childcare and teacher licenses. Additionally, under state law as well as the federal Brady law, any type of domestic assault conviction will result in a permanent ban on owning or carrying firearms. For hunters, this is a particularly harsh ramification.
An Experienced Team of Dedicated Advocates
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., in Denver, our Denver criminal defense attorneys are powerful advocates for those accused of crimes. Together, we boast more than 40 years of combined trial experience.
Our defense team draws on valuable experience handling criminal cases from all sides of the courtroom — as defense attorneys, former prosecutors and a former municipal judge.
We understand the roles of each player in the criminal justice system, and we know how to effectively navigate all stages of the process. This depth of experience lends us the skills, insight, and knowledge necessary to prepare the strongest possible case for our clients.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined in Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-6-800.3. This law states that domestic violence is an act or threatened act of violence upon someone with whom the perpetrator is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. An intimate relationship is one between spouses, ex-partners, past or present unmarried couples, or two people who share a child together. It also refers to anyone who has lived together at any time.
Domestic violence is technically not its own crime in Colorado. While Colorado has some of the most severe domestic violence laws in the nation, it does not have a criminal statute specifically for domestic violence. Instead, it refers to domestic violence as an enhancement to other crimes, such as assault, battery, stalking, harassment, child abuse, sexual contact, elder abuse and violating a restraining order. The domestic violence enhancement increases the penalties connected to these crimes.
Many people do not realize that domestic assault charges do not require physical acts of violence. Throwing objects, making verbal threats, and other behaviors that place someone in fear for his or her life can also be a basis for charges. Domestic violence can also refer to other crimes committed against a person or property, including an animal, When used as a method of punishment, revenge, intimidation, control or coercion against a person with whom the perpetrator has an intimate relationship.
Colorado is a Mandatory Arrest State for Domestic Violence
Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. This means that the police must arrest anyone believed to have committed domestic violence. If a police officer has probable cause, meaning evidence or information suggesting that someone has committed the crime of domestic violence, they have to make an arrest – even if the alleged victim or the person who called the police recants the charge or doesn’t wish to press charges at all.
In addition, anyone who is arrested for domestic violence in Colorado will have a protection order taken out against them while the criminal charges are pending. A protection order, also referred to as a restraining order, prevents the defendant from having contact or interacting with the alleged victim of domestic abuse.
Finally, domestic violence cases are fast-tracked in Colorado. This means that you will need to enter an initial plea during your first court hearing if you are arrested for domestic violence, rather than waiting several weeks (as is often the case with other types of crimes).
Defense Strategies in Domestic Violence Cases
A domestic violence enhancement can lead to serious consequences that have a long-term effect on your life. It’s critical to contact a criminal defense lawyer right away if you are accused of domestic assault, as these are complicated and nuanced cases with their own set of laws in Colorado.
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our Denver domestic violence defense lawyers understand how to effectively challenge all types of domestic assault charges. We utilize tried-and-true strategies to place our clients in the best possible position, whether through aggressive plea negotiations or by presenting a compelling case at trial.
Self-defense is an accepted defense in Colorado domestic violence cases in limited circumstances. To use this defense, your lawyer must show that you had a reasonable belief that you were in imminent fear of serious bodily harm and that you believed your actions were necessary to protect you or a third party against this harm. You must also show that you used only a degree of force that was reasonable and appropriate for the situation.
If your defense is that the alleged victim is falsely accusing you of domestic violence, your attorney will seek to establish a motive as to why the victim would fabricate the story, such as revenge or to damage your reputation. Your lawyer will also search for evidence that contradicts the victim’s story, such as inconsistencies with the police report or the victim’s injuries.
With this defense, you are not claiming that you did not cause the victim’s injuries. Instead, you are denying that you caused the injury intentionally. For example, you may have swung a door open that accidentally hit your spouse in the face rather than intentionally causing a facial injury. Without intent to assault the victim or commit the crime that you’re being charged with, the prosecution may not have enough evidence for a conviction.
To discuss your case with an experienced Denver domestic violence lawyer during an initial consultation, contact Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. From our offices in Denver, Westminster and Breckenridge, we represent clients throughout the state of Colorado.
Litigation is a journey. This is a journey we have taken with our clients a countless number of times. If you face the uncertainty, risk, fear, anger, or disbelief that comes with the prospect of going through a legal dispute, the law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will help you through it.