September 19, 2023
Domestic violence in Colorado is not an actual charge, but rather an “enhancement” to other, existing charges. Because of this, it is something that covers quite a bit of ground and can be attached to a number of different criminal offenses.
In this post, we’re going to detail the offenses most commonly associated with domestic violence and tell you how to get help if you are facing any of these charges.
Defining Domestic Violence in Colorado
Colorado law defines domestic violence as an action or threat of violence against a person with whom the offender has an intimate relationship, when the act is used to control, coerce, intimidate, punish, or seek revenge against the victim.
These are the types of relationships protected by Colorado statutes regarding domestic violence:
- Current or former spouses
- Current or former dating partners
- Current or former roommates
- Parents of the same child
Since a Colorado domestic violence conviction carries additional penalties, you’ll want to consult with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to build a solid defense against your charges.
Common Colorado Offenses Involving Domestic Violence
These are the most common offenses that are committed against victims in intimate relationships with the offender.
Assault is knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person.
Aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury, which normally requires medical treatment. Assault is charged as aggravated assault when a deadly weapon is used, if the victim is in a protected class, or if the assault is a crime of passion.
Assault crimes are prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. A conviction will likely result in a jail or prison sentence along with fines.
Battery, also known as menacing, is using threats or actions to knowingly cause a victim to fear imminent serious bodily injury. It is normally a Class 3 misdemeanor with up to six months of jail time and up to $750 in fines.
Battery charges can be raised to a Class 5 felony if a deadly weapon or representation of a deadly weapon is used. The penalties include one to three years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines.
Stalking is classified as following, threatening, or making unwanted contact with another person. It is a Class 5 felony for a first offense and can be raised to a Class 4 felony for prior offenses.
A person can commit harassment by intending to annoy, alarm, or harass another person in the following ways:
- Following someone in a public place
- Speaking with obscene language or making obscene gestures toward a certain person
- Subjects another person to physical contact, such as shoving, kicking, or striking the person
- Using a communication device to initiate harassing or obscene contact
- Causing a phone to ring repeatedly without purpose
- Attempting to make communications at inconvenient hours that disrupt another person’s privacy
- Repeatedly using offensive language to taunt, insult, challenge, or provoke another person’s response
Trespassing, tampering, and criminal mischief
Invading someone’s space or damaging another person’s property can be penalized as a misdemeanor or felony in Colorado.
Detaining or containing another person against their will is either a Class 2 misdemeanor or a Class 5 felony, depending on certain factors.
These are not necessarily the only criminal acts that may fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Any actions you commit against someone with whom you have (or have had) an intimate relationship that fall under the definition above qualify.
If you are facing any of these charges and they qualify for a domestic violence enhancement, you will face additional penalties if you are convicted. Do not take your charges lying down. Fight for your family and future.
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 designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.