A Washington cop allegedly tracked a woman’s location through GPS monitoring, manipulated her by threatening to commit suicide, threatened to shoot her after a no-contact order was filed against him in mid-February, and more.
After she went to police to describe his actions, Corporal Brooks Owen Laughlin, 33, was arrested and is currently under investigation and awaiting a hearing. There are numerous domestic violence charges that he could potentially face, including:
- Violation of a no-contact order
- Harassment with a firearm
- Unlawful possession of a firearm
- Tampering with evidence
His long list of possible charges is a good reminder that domestic violence is not relegated to a single type of action. There are all kinds of things that someone can do that might qualify for a domestic violence charge in Colorado.
Below, we’re going to go over our state’s domestic violence laws in more detail so you understand what could happen if you are ever charged.
Breaking Down Domestic Violence Law in Colorado
Domestic violence is broadly defined in Colorado statutes as a threat of an act of violence, or an actual act of violence, against a person with whom an individual is involved in an intimate relationship. The relationship may exist between the individual and a spouse, ex-spouse, current or former dating partner, roommate, or co-parent. For a charge to apply, the act must involve an intent to intimidate, control, coerce, punish or seek revenge against the person in the relationship.
The acts of domestic violence may involve assault, harassment, stalking, or battery. It may surprise you to know that physical violence is not needed for a charge to apply, but that’s the was the law is written. Threats of violent acts, such as “I’ll kill you next time,” are punishable by Colorado laws as well.
Additionally, if you commit or threaten to commit a property crime as a way of controlling or punishing the alleged victim, the act can qualify as domestic violence. What matters is that the act is carried out against someone with whom you have or have had an intimate relationship.
The acts carried out by the Washington cop are good examples of the various ways domestic violence charges can apply. The charges depend closely on the relationship of the accused to the accuser, and the nature in which the acts were carried out.
If your accuser claims domestic violence, that is how your charge will stand – even if the accuser immediately retracts the statement. Once the domestic violence charge process is in motion, it can’t be stopped unless the prosecutor decides to do so.
Your best move if you find yourself charged is to reach out to a knowledgeable Denver criminal attorney who can help you form a solid defense.
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction
If you are convicted of domestic violence crime in Colorado, you can expect stiff penalties. You may be required to go through a domestic violence treatment program. You may be put on house arrest if your home is not the same as the victim’s home. Probation may be granted if the judge deems it safe. Your right to own firearms can be revoked for at least a year.
Worse, if you have prior convictions, your sentence can be raised to a felony charge with a prison term. Since the charges are quite serious, you need a skilled Colorado domestic violence lawyer to help you. Call today for a free case review.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.