If you follow college sports or have been reading the news reports about the University of Colorado, you probably know that former coach Joe Tumpkin is in some big trouble. He recently resigned over allegations of repeatedly abusing his ex-girlfriend, who has a restraining order against him.
Currently, Tumpkin is facing five felony counts of second-degree assault and three misdemeanor counts of third-degree assault. It’s not just the former coach who is in trouble, though. The charges against Tumpkin put the university as a whole in hot water.
Allegedly, both the head coach and the athletic director of the CU Buffs knew about the allegations in mid-December when the complaints were originally made, yet still let Tumpkin coach in the Alamo bowl at the end of the month. The university hired an outside law firm to investigate the situation and the charges.
This is a pretty big scandal for the Buffs, and it comes at a time when our state is already taking a harder look at domestic violence. Colorado already has strict policies and harsh penalties against alleged abusers, but right now our state is adding more resources to look at domestic violence and how it can be prevented throughout the state.
New Bill Proposes Additional Domestic Violence Review Board
Right now, if a domestic violence case occurs in Denver, a review board looks at the case to see what potentially could have been done to prevent the violence from happening in the first place. They then use their findings to talk to lawmakers and programs that deal with domestic violence in the hopes of catching future incidents faster – or stopping them from happening altogether.
Right now, this group only exists in Denver, but it could be a statewide board soon if Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s recently introduced bill is passed. To help craft her bill, Coffman met with many domestic violence groups, as well as domestic violence survivors.
If her bill passes, the statewide board would look at cases where a victim died from domestic violence in Colorado. Unfortunately, there are quite a few to go over – there were 40 deaths from domestic violence in Colorado last year.
According to the requirements of the bill, the board would be made up of healthcare providers, domestic violence survivors, and members of law enforcement who see domestic violence crimes in our state every day. Each year, the board would collect what they’ve gathered and make recommendations to lawmakers.
The information would hopefully be used by lawmakers to craft laws and programs that better help victims of domestic violence, and hold abusers accountable for their actions.
Colorado Domestic Violence Charges Are Already Incredibly Serious
If it wasn’t apparent already, our state takes domestic violence very seriously. When officers respond to a call about domestic violence, they are required to make an arrest if there are any signs of violence at all, and once an individual is arrested, they have to spend the night in jail. Even a single angry text can land someone behind bars.
Recent legislation makes it even harder for defendants to get their charges dropped, which is unfortunate since it is so easy for police to misinterpret these types of situations or for someone to make a false accusation. It’s impossible to predict what will happen to domestic violence legislation if the statewide board is approved, but if it follows suit with other recent laws, things may be about to get even tougher for alleged abusers.
If you have been arrested or charged with domestic violence, protect your future by getting in touch with a knowledgeable Denver criminal attorney immediately.
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.