A Denver Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Who Understands Your Charges
You and your partner get into an argument. Things get heated. They get loud. Tough words are exchanged. When the police knock on your door though, it surprises both of you.
Immediately shocked out of the moment, you collect yourselves and open the door. “Calls of a disturbance,” the police say. “Yelling. Things breaking.”
You try to tell them that you are both okay. You were having an argument, sure, but no one was hurting anyone.
They take in an unrelated bruise on your partner’s arm. Cuts on your partner’s hand from smashing a glass during the argument. The general chaos of your home. They do not listen.
Within moments, you have been handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car, still not quite sure how you ended up there. The officers say they are arresting you for domestic violence, but you do not understand why.
What exactly did you do? How can you be charged just for having an argument?
Kimberly Diego is a well-respected Denver domestic violence attorney who has successfully handled countless cases, and she hears questions like these all the time. The answer comes down to the laws of our state.
Colorado has a mandatory arrest rule in place for domestic violence. If the police are called to deal with a situation and have probable cause to believe domestic violence occurred, they are required to make an arrest. It does not matter if the alleged victim says no violence happened, because they are not the ones pressing charges – the State is. That means only the prosecutor can decide to drop the charges, and the victim’s word is not likely to be enough.
If you want to give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome, it is vital that you understand how domestic violence charges work. Ms. Diego can help you learn why exactly you were charged and what you are up against. Then she’ll work with you to craft a defense strategy designed to get your charges reduced, dropped, or dismissed.
Colorado Criminal Attorney Kimberly Diego Knows What Constitutes Domestic Violence in Our State
Most people have a fairly narrow view of what “domestic violence” means. Ask a random person on the street, and they might say something like, “Hitting your spouse or kid.”
However, while that is one type of domestic violence covered by the laws of Colorado, it is not the only act that can get you charged. What does the law say, specifically?
Domestic violence is any act of violence – or threat of violence – between two people who are in or previously had an intimate relationship. That sounds pretty simple, but there is actually a lot to unpack there.
Let’s start with the various acts the law covers. Violence and threats of violence. That can mean a number of different things. It obviously includes acts of physical and sexual violence against the victim, including hitting, kicking, slapping, choking, and so on – with a weapon or without. However, since threats count as well, it can also mean saying something like, “Shut up or I’ll shut you up!” in the middle of an argument or even raising your hand in a threatening manner.
Stalking and harassment apply, too, as do property crimes depending on the specifics of the situation. For example, taking your partner’s phone so they cannot contact others can be domestic violence, as can breaking their phone in an argument. These latter types of domestic violence offenses have even been known to result in victims being charged instead of their abusers.
Are there specific domestic violence charges for all these types of crimes? Not exactly. In fact, there is no actual charge of “domestic violence” outlined in our statutes. Rather, domestic violence is what is known as an “aggravator” or “sentence enhancer.”
The means that someone “charged” with domestic violence is really being charged with another crime and having additional penalties related to domestic violence added to the consequences they already face.
The charges that most commonly come with enhanced domestic violence penalties include:
- Child Abuse
- Disorderly Conduct
- False Imprisonment
- Property Crimes
- Restraining Order Charges
- Sex Crimes
- Weapons Charges
What separates acts of domestic violence from other types of crimes? Quite simply, the relationship between the alleged perpetrator and the victim.
Colorado defines this as two people who have had an “intimate relationship,” which is a big umbrella. Cases in our state have been filed against:
- Same-Sex Partners
- Parents and Children
- And more
Essentially, you can be charged with domestic violence for acts against anyone with whom you have had an intimate relationship at any time.
Avoid the Serious Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction with a Knowledgeable Denver Defense Attorney
What are you up against if charged with domestic violence in our state? A lot of that depends on the specific charge.
For example, the penalties you face for domestic violence sexual abuse will be quite a bit different from those for breaking your spouse’s TV. That being said, there are a number of commonalities between the types of enhanced penalties you can get for domestic violence, including:
Difficulty Getting House Arrest. Often, defendants are able to negotiate house arrest, so they do not have to stay in jail while awaiting trial. However, this is impossible in many domestic violence cases since they share a home with their alleged victim.
Difficulty Getting Probation. For most crimes, probation is granted largely depending on the nature of the act itself and the character of the accused. Where domestic violence crimes are concerned, however, the court must also think about the safety of the victim and any children who are involved. If there is a potential for violence, probation likely will not be granted.
Gun Rights Taken Away. If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, the law says that you are no longer able to own, use, or transport guns or ammunition. This is also true if you are under a protection order with certain criteria.
Labeled a “Habitual Offender.” Anyone who has been convicted of a domestic violence charge three or more times in the past and is charged again can be labeled a “habitual offender.” This is incredibly important, because along with the label comes an automatic bump up from a misdemeanor offense to a Class 5 felony charge.
Required Evaluation or Treatment Program. If you are convicted but not sent to prison, you will be required to complete a domestic violence evaluation or treatment program.
Why Kimberly Diego Is the Colorado Domestic Violence Lawyer You Need to Beat Your Charges
There are a lot of criminal attorneys in and around the Denver area who say they can help with domestic violence charges, but most of them do not have Ms. Diego’s experience, knowledge, or pedigree.
She has helped all kinds of Coloradoans just like you to reach the best possible outcome in their cases, and her work has been recognized by clients and peers alike, including:
- Super Lawyers — Rising Stars
- National Trial Lawyers — Top 100 Trial Lawyers
- Denver Award — Denver Domestic Violence Attorney Winner
Additionally, she has written extensively on the topic and knows the laws of our state inside and out:
- Domestic Violence and Gun Rights
- Domestic Violence: The Arrest
- Domestic Violence: Conviction
- Domestic Violence Fast Track
- Domestic Violence: Possible Immigration Consequences
- What Is Domestic Violence?
- I am the victim in a pending case. Do I need a lawyer?
- Should I take my case to court?
- Prior Domestic Violence Convictions
- VAWA Self-Petitions & The U-Visa
- Battered Women’s Syndrome
- The victim wants the charges dropped. What happens next?
Finally, she gets results.
Start Fighting Your Colorado Domestic Violence Charge Today by Contacting Kimberly Diego
If you are facing domestic violence charges, you have no reason to delay and every reason to act quickly. Unlike some cases that can seem to drag on forever, domestic violence cases in our state are fast-tracked.
To give yourself a real shot at beating your charges, that means you need a good lawyer – and you need one immediately. Learn how Kimberly Diego can help you by reaching out to our office and setting up a free initial consultation. Fill out our simple online contact form, email email@example.com, or call (720) 257-5346