Colorado’s zero tolerance domestic violence laws mean you will be charged if police believe there is probable cause, even if the alleged victim does not wish to pursue charges. This can have immediate consequences, including the establishment of a protection order against you, the inability to see your children or return home, and a prohibition against owning firearms in some cases.
These are fast-tracked cases, meaning you will be quickly brought to court to enter a plea and the case will proceed against you at a quicker pace than most other types of criminal charges. Contacting a Fort Collins domestic violence defense lawyer as soon as you are charged offers the best chance to protect your rights and establish a solid defense.
Under Colorado law, domestic violence is an enhancement or aggravator added to another criminal charge, typically:
Those charged with domestic violence will have an Emergency Protection Order put in place against them. These orders can prevent you from returning home, and will temporarily forfeit custody of children and pets. A victim may ask a court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order, which will last for 14 days. At a court hearing, the judge may issue a Permanent Protection Order, which will last for a minimum of two years.
Simply violating the protection order (CRS 18-6-803.5) in a class 1 misdemeanor. As the state’s most serious class of misdemeanor, the penalty for a first time offense is up to a year in jail (364 days).
Proper defense of domestic violence cases begin at the outset, with challenging the issuance of temporary or permanent protective orders, which can disrupt your property and custodial rights and in some cases may even negatively impact employment.
Because Colorado domestic violence charges are an enhancement to an underlying offense (such as assault or stalking) your domestic violence defense lawyer in Fort Collins will then work to defend you against the underlying charge.
These are emotional cases and because of Colorado’s zero tolerance mandatory arrest laws, many unfounded charges are pressed against defendants who were simply defending themselves, or have been the victim of false allegations made by a victim seeking divorce or child custody. Even in cases where your defense lawyer determines it is not in your best interest to take a case to trial, seeking a reduction in the underlying charge can have a major impact on the penalties a defendant will face.
There are many other ways to beat these charges. Our experienced Fort Collins domestic violence defense lawyers represent clients throughout the area, including Fort Collins, Longmont, Loveland, Larimer County, Weld County, Berthoud, Estes Park, Johnstown, Red Feather Lakes, Timnath, Wellington, Windsor, LaPorte, Bellevue, Greeley, Ault, Eaton, Severence, Nunn, Firestone, Dacono, Boulder, Winter Park, Granby, and Fraser.
Call Matthew Haltzman at the Haltzman Law Firm today at (970) 692-3440 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
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