When Does Colorado File Vehicular Assault Charges?
March 10, 2023
It’s unfortunate that accusations of crimes involving domestic violence are common in the state of Colorado. Even when these accusations get made in the heat of the moment, they can still result in legal proceedings that can put the accused in legal jeopardy.
In Colorado, the situation is entirely in the hands of the police and, eventually, the prosecutor once domestic violence gets reported. That’s why, if you get accused of domestic violence, it’s vital to understand what you should do from the moment of your arrest to ensure you have the best possible chance at a proper defense later down the line.
Read on to find out more about the laws concerning domestic violence in Colorado and what you should do if you find yourself accused of an act of domestic violence in the state.
Under Colorado law, anyone who commits an act of violence or threatens to commit an act of violence against someone they’ve been involved in an intimate relationship with is committing domestic violence.
The definition of an intimate partner is key to the laws on the books, but it’s a broad definition. Basically, anyone you’re married to, have been married to, dated, share children with, or even live or have lived with.
Some type of physical contact is usually involved in domestic violence – but that’s not always the case. Yes, hitting or pushing another person can land you with a domestic violence charge, but so can harassing, intimidating, or yelling at another person. Or committing an act of sexual violence against them. Even property crimes, such as violence against a person’s pet, can land you with a criminal charge.
Another important aspect of the law in Colorado regarding domestic violence is that if the police have probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred, they are mandated to make an arrest of the suspect.
This means that if they see any indication that domestic violence has occurred, they will make an arrest. That’s why it’s vital to know what to do in the event you get arrested, even if the victim doesn’t want to press charges against you or you are innocent of what the police suspect you of.
If you find yourself arrested for a crime involving domestic violence, there are important things you must remember that can inform your actions from that moment forward. You should:
You have the right to remain silent, and you should take advantage of it. While you must provide the police with identifying information about yourself, you are not legally obligated to answer any questions about what transpired. Don’t say anything about the incident that occurred, and avoid talking to anyone attempting to interrogate you without your attorney present.
It’s vital to get an experienced domestic violence attorney on your team before talking to the police, so find one as soon as you possibly can or have someone in your family do so on your behalf. Domestic violence cases in Colorado are fast-tracked, which means you have a very narrow window of time to enter a plea and gather any evidence you need to build a solid defense.
You should never enter into any plea agreement with the prosecution with an attorney present. Remember, plea agreements are still an admission of guilt, so you can face penalties and have a permanent criminal record.
It’s also important that you do not speak to the victim involved in your case. Even if they try to contact you and tell you they want to recant any statements against you, it’s in your best interest to avoid that contact and contact with anyone close to them. It puts you in a bad position in court and may only be a trap on their part to gather more evidence against you.
While your case is working its way through the court system, do your best to avoid being charged with any new crimes, particularly any crimes involving domestic violence. Any additional charges against you will not look good in court, even if they have nothing to do with domestic violence. So, make sure you drive the speed limit, keep your car insurance up to date, abide by custody orders and protective orders, and just generally follow the law to the best of your ability.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.