November 23, 2022
Domestic violence charges are taken very seriously in Colorado. Not only will you potentially face harsh penalties and restrictive protective orders, but a domestic violence conviction will also affect all aspects of your life.
A domestic violence conviction greatly limits your ability to find employment and housing. If you have children, a conviction could severely reduce visitation or even take away your parental rights altogether. Not to mention the damage a domestic violence conviction can do to your reputation and good name. Anytime anyone performs a background check, your criminal record will be right there for them to see.
That’s why, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you need to seek the legal representation of an experienced Colorado domestic violence attorney to fight back. A charge is not a conviction, and a skilled lawyer will be able to asses the facts of your case and determine the best possible defense to get your charges reduced, dismissed, or dropped.
Here are some things you should know about building a defense against domestic violence charges.
Remain silent. If you’ve been arrested and read your Miranda rights, you know that you have the right to remain silent because anything you say can and will be used against you. When you’re given a right like that, you should take it. Not only because you don’t want to incriminate yourself, but also because nothing you say to prosecutors, police officers or detectives, or family or victim’s rights advocates will matter. You won’t be able to convince them that the alleged domestic violence didn’t happen.
Remaining silent obviously applies to any kind of criminal charge, but many people in these kinds of situations have a strong desire to tell their side of the story. But your side of the story might lead to admissions – real or implied – that could do damage to your case. With the help of an attorney, you can cooperate with the investigation without incriminating yourself. Speaking of which…
Work with a lawyer who understands domestic violence cases. These types of cases are different from the usual criminal charges and need to be handled differently. That’s why you need to find an attorney who has specific experience and proven results in dealing with our state’s domestic violence laws. When you’re fighting domestic violence charges, you’re up against a lot of disadvantages since the public will most likely already believe you’re guilty. Your attorney will have to get started immediately on your defense to prove your innocence and clear your name.
Plea bargains most likely won’t cut it. You might be willing to take a deal if it means putting the entire ordeal behind you. But if you’ve been falsely accused, that means you’re pleading guilty to something you didn’t do and you will still face lifetime repercussions.
The best time for a dismissal is before you’ve been formally charged. With the help of an attorney, you can start defending your case from the get-go before it officially starts. You can collect evidence for a charge dismissal packet that could include:
- Your criminal history
- Education records
- Character letters
- Polygraph results and reports
- Personality and psychological testing
- A factual summary of your version of events
- Statements that the alleged victim has falsely accused before
- Expert witness testimony and affidavits regarding the prosecution’s evidence
This could be beneficial because pre-charge evidence does not have to meet the standards of admissible evidence at trial. And if there is enough pertinent pre-charge evidence supporting your innocence, the charges could potentially be dismissed.
Domestic violence charges need an aggressive defense. If you are formally charged, your attorney will have to prepare the case for trial. And once charged, it’s rare that the state will dismiss your case.
Poking holes in the prosecution’s case and jury selection will be crucial to your case’s outcome. People come into domestic violence cases with strong emotions and opinions, but they need to be able to look beyond that and focus solely on the evidence. They also need to understand the ramifications of a false allegation and how false allegations could even be made in the first place.
Domestic violence charges are serious and often scary. But with the help of a qualified Colorado defense attorney, you will know your case is in good hands.
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.