Domestic Violence

Taggart Howard has represented many people charged with Domestic Violence in Colorado over the years.  In Colorado, domestic violence is defined as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” 

Domestic violence (DV) in Colorado is not treated as an independent crime. Rather, DV is a sentencing enhancement or aggravator. It increases the punishment for any offense committed against current or former spouses or dating partners.

Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. This means police must arrest anyone they have probable cause to believe committed domestic violence. It does not matter if the alleged victim:

  • recants or
  • doesn’t want to press charges.

While DV charges are pending, defendants will have a protection order taken out against them.

Crimes that commonly include the domestic violence enhancement are:

  1. Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-202 through 18-3-204
  2. Stalking, C.R.S. 18-3-602
  3. Harassment, C.R.S. 18-9-111
  4. Child Abuse, C.R.S. 18-6-401
  5. Menacing, C.R.S. 18-3-206
  6. False Imprisonment, C.R.S. 18-3-303
  7. Menacing, C.R.S. 18-3-206
  8. False Imprisonment, C.R.S. 18-3-303
  9. Violating a Protection Order, C.R.S. 18-6-803.5

But the domestic violence case enhancement can apply to any criminal charge or municipal ordinance violation. Even crimes against pets or property.

Sentencing on a Domestic Violence Case:

As mentioned above, Domestic Violence is not an independent crime.  It is a sentencing enhancer and basically means that, if convicted, you will have to get a DV evaluation and follow the recommendation.  The old rule was 36 weeks of treatment for everyone; now there is a committee that evaluates each person separately to determine if you need low intensity, medium intensity or max intensity treatment.  Middle level is usually around 36 weeks.  For more information:

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