Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-800.3 defines 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. “Domestic violence” also 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.
As one can see, the statute is quite broad.
It is important to note that the alleged perpetrator of domestic violence and the alleged victim must be involved in an “intimate relationship.” An “intimate relationship” is 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.
The State of Colorado, including Douglas County, takes domestic violence seriously, and it is important to understand that if the police respond to a call about domestic violence, at least one of the parties may be charged will a violation of the statute and taken to jail. When the person charged is released from jail, a mandatory protection order will be put down by the Court, which may restrain the person from being around the alleged victim of the domestic violence. If there are children involved, then the person charged may be temporarily restrained from being around them as well. Even worse, if the children were around when the alleged domestic violence took place, the person accused of the domestic violence may also be charged with child abuse for potentially putting the children in danger.
While these restraining orders may be necessary to facilitate a cooling off period and necessary to protect the safety of the alleged victims, they can also put a terrible strain on entire families. If a father or mother is charged with domestic violence, when they are released from jail, they usually can’t return to the home because they are restrained and must find a temporary place to live. Because they often can’t be around the children, they can’t help out with any of the parenting. This is on top of the emotional trauma these families are already experiencing from having to go through the events that led up to the police being called in the first place. This is why one of the first things many attorneys try and accomplish when representing someone charged with domestic violence is to get the restraining order modified in such a way that makes it easier for these families to be able to live their day to day lives and begin the healing process.
It is extremely important that someone accused of domestic violence understands their rights and the law, because these plea deals can vary greatly, and the type of deal one ends up taking will have a lasting impact on their future and the future of their family. If you have been accused of domestic violence, an attorney can be of great assistance. At TOWN & TOWN, we are happy to help. Give us a call for a free consultation.