Domestic violence is a serious criminal offense in Colorado Springs; prosecutors aggressively seek convictions for individuals accused of violence or threats against spouses, intimate partners, and children. If found guilty, the consequences can be catastrophic, including a lengthy prison sentence.
But what acts are considered “domestic violence” in Colorado Springs?
First, it is important to understand that the “violence” that could result in criminal charges includes not only physical acts but threats as well. It also includes acts and threats against property if the act is directed against an intimate partner as defined in Colorado’s primary domestic violence statute.
Under that statute, C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3, “domestic violence” in Colorado means:
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” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
Domestic Violence Involves “Intimate Relationships”
As set forth above, in order for an act to be considered domestic violence, it needs to be directed towards an individual with whom the accused has or had an “intimate relationship.” This means a relationship between
- former spouses
- past or present unmarried couples, or
- persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
Domestic Violence Involves Other Criminal Acts
Domestic violence charges are based on actions which are themselves separate criminal offenses, such as:
- Animal cruelty
- Assault – hitting, biting, strangulation, shoving, kicking
- Child abuse/wrongs to minors
- Destruction of property/criminal mischief/disorderly conduct
- Disturbing the peace
- False imprisonment
- Sexual assault/unlawful sexual contact
- Vehicle theft
- Violation of a protection order
It is when these acts are committed in the context of an “intimate relationship” that they become domestic violence as defined in Colorado law.
The intense emotions, motivations, and relationships involved in domestic violence cases can lead to horrific acts and severe punishment for those found guilty. But those same factors can also lead to false allegations of domestic violence. This is especially true when a couple is going through a divorce. One report found that:
- About one-fourth of divorces in the U.S. involve an allegation of intimate partner violence.
- In about 70% of those cases, the allegation is deemed to be unnecessary or false.
- Each year, about 175,000 children are involved in a divorce with a false allegation of domestic violence.
Whether in the context of divorce or otherwise, and whether the allegations are fabricated or the result of a momentary lapse in judgment, you need to retain a Colorado Springs domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been charged with domestic violence. A conviction can destroy your family and cost you your future. Don’t attempt to face this ordeal alone.