According to the law, domestic abuse is classified as a bodily injury inflicted on a cohabitant, current spouse, or former spouse. It is also defined as an injury caused to the co-parent of a child. If a person has three criminal convictions of domestic abuse in Colorado, they are labeled a habitual domestic violence offender. This classification is a Colorado Class 5 Felony, which might include between one and three years in prison as well as a fine up to $100,000, thereby requiring the need of a criminal defense lawyer.
How Long Does a Domestic Violence Charge Stay on Your Record in Colorado?
Domestic violence-related convictions in Colorado municipal court can be sealed after three years. For this to occur, the defendant can’t have any new charges during those three years. A domestic violence lawyer often handles these cases. If the domestic violence-related convictions occur in non-municipal court, they will remain on the defendant’s record indefinitely.
When Is Domestic Violence Escalated to a Felony?
Most of the time, domestic violence is charged as a misdemeanor offense. However, it is escalated to a felony charge if:
- Serious bodily harm occurred to the victim
- The sexual assault occurred to the victim
- Sexual assault or bodily harm occurred to a minor
- There are previous convictions of other crimes or domestic violence
- Domestic violence leads to criminal charges
The Following Two Scenarios When Charged with Domestic Violence:
- Spousal Battery is considered a misdemeanor
- Corporal Injury to a spouse is considered a felony
If Charged with Corporal Injury to a Spouse or a Cohabitant
Corporal injury charges are given when the injuries inflicted result in trauma. Traumatic conditions occur when there is an injury or wound present. Even minor bruising can be classified as a traumatic condition. However, emotional distress is not a valid case. To prosecute, prosecutors must first prove that you intended to commit a crime.
If Charged with Battery of a Spouse
Colorado law defines the term spousal battery to mean the unlawful and willful violence against a cohabitant or spouse. There don’t need any noticeable injuries for a person to receive a charge for this crime.
Penalties for Felony Domestic Violence
Once you receive charges for this felony, you could serve a maximum of four years in Colorado state prison. This sentence could even be longer based on how serious the injuries were. You might also need to participate in a court-mandated domestic violence class.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Violence
If you receive a domestic battery charge, there will be a fine of $2,000 and a possible prison sentence in the county jail lasting up to one year.
Penalties for Multiple Acts of Domestic Violence
Once you commit multiple domestic violence acts, assault with a weapon, sexual assault, or any attempted assault charge within the past seven years, you could face longer sentences up to five years and be responsible for additional fines of $10,000. There are also further factors in a criminal history that could affect your sentencing. Additionally, severe bodily injury to the victim might lead to consecutive prison sentences, which further lengthens your time in jail.
Reasons To Hire A Lawyer
With a qualified domestic violence lawyer, you might have your charges reduced to spousal battery, which could mean no or less jail time and fines. When the court agrees with removing jail time from the equation, you might still need to undergo a probationary term and counseling.
The Severity of Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges can be assigned in Colorado when the victim fails to report the so-called incident. After you are charged, the victim cannot drop the complaint, but your domestic violence lawyer might be able to negotiate a lesser charge for the offense.
Legal Consequences for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence occurring in Colorado can lead to several legal consequences, including fines, probation, counseling, community service, and imprisonment. You might also be prohibited from making contact with the victim in the future.
Other Serious Ramifications of Domestic Violence Charges
Because this charge becomes part of your record, your employment could be affected. It might become more difficult to secure a job once employers see the charges. That’s why you want to speak with a qualified criminal defense lawyer.
I Am Seeking A Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me….
Thomas Ramunda has been helping clients like yourself for over 25 years. With his experience as a domestic violence lawyer in Colorado, you can mitigate the consequences of these charges.
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Thomas Ramunda Jr. is available for your defense. Contact us today at 303.840.2700 to get your consultation.