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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