December 9, 2023
Even though the media may stress that domestic violence increases over the holidays, domestic violence advocates and research tell a different story.
Overall, domestic violence does not increase over the holidays. In fact, it may actually decrease a bit. Depending on whom you ask and where you collect your data, there may be spikes in domestic violence, but there are usually other factors to consider. And increases in holiday domestic violence are the exceptions instead of the rule.
It makes sense that people would think there’d be an increase in domestic violence due to the chaos of family gatherings and financial stress, combined with alcohol. But when looking at domestic violence over the holidays, studies show that a rise in domestic violence actually occurs after the holidays – once everything gets back to normal.
One reason for this may be because of what the holidays represent. After all, they’re often called “the most wonderful time of the year.” Everyone is usually festive and more apt to spread goodwill around the holidays, which can discourage bad behavior and encourage good behavior.
Regardless, whether it’s during the holidays or after, domestic violence is a serious charge that carries serious penalties, including mandatory arrest if there is probable cause that you’ve committed a domestic violence act.
Here are 3 other things you need to know about domestic violence charges in Colorado.
1. A victim can’t simply drop the charges. Even if the victim of domestic violence decides they no longer want to press charges or pursue the case, that doesn’t mean that the case will automatically be dismissed.
In Colorado, all crimes are considered to be “affronts to the peace and dignity of the State.” So only the prosecuting attorney can decide whether the case will move forward or be dismissed. A judge can’t even dismiss a case unless there are extremely unusual circumstances.
2. Any crime can be a domestic violence crime. The Colorado statute defines “domestic violence” as an act or threatened act of violence against someone whom the offender has had a personal relationship with. So when one spouse hits the other spouse, it is seen as an act of domestic violence.
But domestic violence can be attached to any crime committed as a means of forcing, controlling, intimidating, or punishing an intimate partner. So if a woman breaks her boyfriend’s TV because she’s angry that he’s out with another girl, it could technically be seen as an act of domestic violence.
3. Domestic violence convictions take away your gun rights. The federal laws say that if you’ve been convicted of domestic violence you can’t possess a firearm. Whenever a domestic violence case is pending, Colorado issues a protective order that makes having a gun or ammunition a violation of that protective order.
If you’re then convicted of a felony domestic violence charge once the protective order has expired, you will be charged with a felony if you’re in possession of a firearm. A conviction results in a lifetime ban against possessing firearms.
A domestic violence charge can affect everything in your life, from your relationships to your job. And most of all, it will follow you around forever. That’s why if you’ve been arrested and charged with an act of domestic violence, it’s crucial to contact a Colorado domestic violence attorney who will look at the facts of your case and help you get the best possible outcome.
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.