At The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC, we understand the high stakes involved when facing domestic violence charges. Your reputation, important rights, and even your freedom are on the line. As a former district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, Attorney Sean P. Harrell was trained on how the state builds its cases. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he is a Loveland domestic violence attorney dedicated to fighting tirelessly for the best possible outcome in your case. Don’t navigate this challenging situation alone, get in touch with our Loveland criminal defense attorney for a confidential consultation. Contact The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC online or call (970) 791-2006 today.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Colorado law defines domestic violence as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” Intimate relationships are defined as relationships between any of the following people:
- Spouses or former spouses
- Current or former unmarried couples
- Co-parents of the same child
Colorado handles domestic violence differently than most other states. Here, domestic violence is not considered an independent crime. Instead, it is a sentencing enhancement or aggravator, so it increases punishment for other offenses a person is convicted of. This enhancement can be applied to any case involving intimate relationships, but some of the most common offenses where the domestic violence enhancement is applied include charges for:
- Elder abuse
- Violating a restraining order
- Sexual assault
- Sexual contact
- Child abuse
- False imprisonment
The potential punishment you face depends on the underlying crime you are charged with. A fourth conviction involving domestic violence can label you as a habitual domestic violence offender, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in state prison and a fine of $100,000, in addition to the penalties for the underlying crime.
A conviction of a crime involving domestic violence can also result in other consequences, including:
- Issuance of a protection order – In cases involving domestic violence, the court typically issues a protection order. This type of order can instruct you to leave a shared residence, restrict your access to children, and remove firearms in your possession. If you violate the terms of the order, you can face additional penalties.
- Effects on child custody – Family courts can consider any history of domestic violence when making decisions regarding child custody.
- Immigration status – Domestic violence offenses can affect your immigration status and may lead to your removal from the country.
- Reputation damage – Accusations of domestic violence can damage your personal and professional reputation and relationships.
- Military status – You could also be subject to changes in your military status with a conviction of a domestic violence crime.
- Job opportunities – A criminal record can negatively impact your ability to get certain jobs or obtain or retain professional licenses.
These stiff penalties underscore the importance of getting competent legal assistance as quickly as possible
There may be various defenses to crimes involving domestic violence. Your Loveland domestic violence lawyer can carefully analyze your case and determine if any of the following defenses apply to your case:
- Self-defense – You have the right to protect yourself and others from abuse.
- False accusations – The alleged victim may have lied or exaggerated an incident to gain an upper hand in another case or get revenge for some perceived slight.
- No intent – In case of an accident or misunderstanding, this defense might apply.
- No intimate relationship – Another possible strategy is to show the domestic violence enhancement does not apply because there was never an intimate relationship between you and the alleged victim.
Contact a Skilled Loveland Domestic Violence Attorney Who Will Aggressively Protect Your Rights
If you are facing serious criminal charges with a domestic violence enhancement, call the Loveland domestic violence attorney at The Harrell Law Firm, PLLC. We can review the circumstances surrounding your arrest and begin mounting a solid defense strategy. Contact us today online or at (970) 791-2006 to get started.