If you’ve been arrested and are facing domestic violence charges, it’s of the utmost importance to have a criminal defense attorney representing you. Immediately upon being arrested, you should invoke your right to remain silent so you do not inadvertently provide law enforcement with information that may be used against you.
Understanding domestic violence charges
When law enforcement officers are contacted about a domestic dispute, they are required to arrest one of the involved parties if there is any evidence that supports such an arrest. Keep in mind, the elements of domestic violence include:
Under Colorado law, anyone who has an intimate relationship with another person can face domestic violence charges. Intimate relationships are defined as “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 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”.
Restraining orders and domestic violence
Colorado mandates automatic restraining orders once someone is arrested and facing domestic violence charges. This means if you attempt to contact the victim, their friends to contact the victim, etc., you could be facing additional criminal charges. It is important to remember this so you do not make the charges worse than those you are already facing.
Domestic violence: Level of criminal behavior
Generally, domestic violence charges are considered misdemeanor offenses. However, if the officer believes you intended to cause serious charge, if a weapon was involved during the incident or if you have a previous record, you could potentially be facing felony domestic violence charges.
After an arrest: Facing charges
Most people believe if the alleged victim of domestic violence will not testify against them they have nothing to worry about. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Prosecutions will go forward once charges are lodged; victims cannot withdraw charges nor are they required to testify. The District Attorney will go forward with charges and therefore, having an attorney to represent you is extremely important, even if the alleged victim is unwilling to offer testimony.
A conviction for any domestic violence charge has consequences that could follow you the rest of your life. Thanks to the Lautenberg Amendment those convicted of domestic violence are not allowed to own a firearm. Additionally, you could be looking at steep fines, jail time, mandatory attendance in an anger management program and a restraining order that could impact your relationship with your children.
Immediately upon being arrested you need to seek immediate legal help. If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Durango, Pagosa Springs and Silverton CO contact Joel Fry, Attorney at Law at 970-799-3230 for an appointment. I’ll make sure your rights are protected and ensure you receive fair