What Are Colorado Domestic Violence Laws?

Colorado laws define domestic violence as an act or threatened act of violence against a person with whom you have an intimate relationship. It entails physical violence such as hitting or pushing, verbal and emotional abuse, or coerced sexual relations against spouses, former spouses, children, roommates, or domestic partners.

It also entails criminal acts against a person or their property to intimidate, control, punish, or revenge against them. The definition is expansive, given that intimate partners don’t necessarily have to live together or be married to file a domestic violence charge. Consult skilled criminal defense lawyers in Colorado if you’re facing domestic violence charges.

Can My Accuser Drop the Domestic Violence Charges?

In Colorado, a criminal charge is brought by the state against the defendant. That means that a victim of domestic violence cannot drop the charges as only the state prosecutor can, based on various factors.

However, the Colorado Victim’s Rights Amendment requires prosecutors to consult with the alleged victim when handling the case, but this doesn’t usually happen.

Colorado’s Mandatory Arrest Policy

Colorado is a mandatory arrest state, meaning that once the police have probable cause that domestic violence occurred, they must arrest the suspected offender, no matter the wishes of the alleged victim. It also doesn’t matter how messy or insignificant the evidence is. Once the alleged victim calls 911, it cannot be canceled.

Even if the caller hangs up after dialing, the emergency response team must call back. The police will investigate if they suspect foul play, which is often the case in most situations. Interfering with a person making a 911 call could attract a felony charge. Consult aggressive domestic violence lawyers in Colorado immediately after your arrest on domestic violence charges.

Elements of the Mandatory Arrest Policy

Police in Colorado are obligated to arrest domestic violence offenders if they have probable cause to suspect domestic violence has happened. They use five crucial elements to determine if a domestic violence report is likely to be legitimate:

  • Intimidation
  • Punishment
  • Coercion
  • Control
  • Revenge

If one of these conditions is met, they can assert the offender. However, these indicators create ambiguities that sometimes complicate domestic violence cases. Experienced Colorado domestic violence attorneys can examine your case and aggressively defend you to show you didn’t have any of these intentions or that the allegations are false.

What if My Accuser Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?

Once you have been arrested for domestic violence in Colorado, your case quickly escalates to a higher authority. It goes to the prosecutor, with the law prohibiting them from dismissing a domestic violence case or pleading you out of the charge.

The only exception is if the prosecutor can’t prove that a domestic violence crime happened. They must swear under oath to the court that there isn’t sufficient proof beyond a reasonable doubt to press charges against you. As a suspected offender, you will be jailed until a judge determines a bond amount.

Instances When a Prosecutor May Drop Domestic Violence Charges

Since domestic violence charges can be dropped depending on whatever evidence prosecutors have or don’t have, here are a few instances when that could happen:

  • The victim recants their statement: A victim may take back their account, which happens more than half the time. However, that might not result in the charges being dismissed if there is still evidence the prosecutors could use against you.
  • Lack of physical evidence: Lack of statements from witnesses or photographic evidence could lead to the dismissal of the charges. It will also help if you don’t have a record of domestic violence.
  • Evidence in your favor: If you’re being accused of domestic violence but have physical wounds and your accuser doesn’t, your domestic violence lawyer could argue that you sustained the injuries while defending yourself.

Do Domestic Violence Charges Always Come with a Protective Order?

A protective order is always required after a domestic violence charge. Once it is issued against you, you must stay away from the alleged victim and not drink alcohol while the injunction is in effect. The order may be issued by any municipal, county, juvenile, district, or probate court, prohibiting you from interacting with the alleged victim.

A restraining order can adversely affect you in many ways. It may prevent you from coming near or interacting with your children and other people named in the order, straining your relationship with them. Enlist the help of skilled criminal defense attorneys to help you challenge the order and fight the charges.

How Can I Defend Myself Against Domestic Violence Charges?

Getting domestic violence charges dropped is often tricky. Prosecutors will quickly press charges, so you should have a solid defense strategy to fight for your rights. Experienced criminal defense lawyers in Colorado can help you challenge or attack the integrity of the evidence to make it difficult for prosecutors to proceed.

Possible defenses your attorney can use to help you build a solid strategy include the following:

  • Being accused falsely to bolster a divorce case
  • You acted in self-defense to protect yourself or others from harm
  • There was no use of a deadly weapon
  • Lack of intent to cause injury

What is a Protection Order and What Does it Mean?

Protection orders, often called restraining orders, are orders issued by the court that keep an alleged harasser or abuser from contacting their alleged victim. If you have been issued a protection order, you are probably wondering what it requires you to do or not do, and how or whether you should respond to it in any way. Being accused of abuse or harassment and then being prohibited from seeing the person who may be accusing you to try to work things out can be very frustrating and upsetting.

However, violating the terms of a protective order can have serious consequences. You don’t have to figure out how to handle a protection order that has been served on you by yourself. Let one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys from our law firm help you figure out your best way forward once you have been served with a protection order. Call our Colorado Springs office today at 719-451-7469 to let one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys explain your options.

What Types of Protection Orders Are There in Colorado?

The most common type of protection order issued in Colorado is the domestic violence protection order. Other types of protection orders that can be served include protection orders for stalking, sexual assault, physical harm/threats, and abuse of the elderly or at-risk adults.

Although Colorado, unlike other states, does not have a “workplace protection order,” employers can file for a domestic violence protection order in the name of their business if they feel customers or employees are being put at risk by an abuser. Colorado also provides for what is called an “extreme risk” protection order, which serves to remove access to firearms to those who are deemed to be highly likely to harm others, prohibiting the respondent from having firearms in their custody or control and from possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm.

What Is The Difference Between Civil and Criminal Protection Orders?

A civil protection order is sought by the victim or victims. A criminal protection order is sought by the courts, and the victim(s) have no say in the matter. Certain domestic violence charges carry mandatory protection order requirements, and in those cases, the protection order is served immediately after the domestic violence arrest, without a hearing, and generally lasts for the duration of the domestic violence criminal case. Those arrested for domestic violence are automatically prohibited from contacting the victim.

Can I Get a Protection Order Dismissed?

Whether you can get a protection order lifted depends on the specifics of your case, but your best move is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after being served so that you can get started on figuring out your best options. It is easier to get a temporary restraining order lifted before it becomes permanent than it is to get a permanent restraining order lifted or modified, so time is of the essence. Call our law firm today at 719-451-7469 for a free consultation to learn more about how to handle your protection order.

An Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney Helping You Beat Domestic Violence Charges

If you’re facing domestic violence charges, you must take the relevant action as soon as possible to protect your rights and future. Only in rare circumstances are domestic violence charges dropped in Colorado. Your best bet at protecting your freedom is to fight aggressively against the charges with the help of domestic violence lawyers in Colorado.

Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers have the experience and track record of success needed for the best possible outcome. We know how frightening it can be to be on the wrong side of the law, and we want to defend you. Call The Lux Law Firm at 719-451-7469 for a FREE case evaluation.