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What can happen if you are accused of domestic violence?

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An accusation of hurting, threatening, or controlling a relative or intimate partner can be harmful in many ways. The state of Colorado does not take accusations of domestic violence (DV) lightly. If someone accuses you of committing this type of offense several things can happen — up to, including, and often starting with, jail time.

There is a common misconception that if police respond to a DV call, it is standard practice to arrest the alleged perpetrator. In reality, the police are required to arrest any person once the officers have established probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a crime of domestic violence. Because individuals suspected of committing a domestic violence related offense are required to be advised by a judge before bonding out of jail, they often spend at least one night in jail before they can appear before a judge the following business day. If you are arrested on a weekend or holiday, that can often turn into a longer jail stay.

Penalties associated with a DV conviction

There are many penalties associated with a DV conviction. The penalties that apply to a specific case depend on the details of your case and how your case plays out in court. If a judge does not order jail or prison time, you may:

  • Have to enter a domestic violence treatment program
  • Be on probation
  • Be on house arrest
  • Have to give up your weapons — temporarily or permanently

If you have previous DV convictions on your record, you may face a habitual domestic violence charge, which is a felony-level offense even if the underlying conduct would typically be charged as a misdemeanor.

Defense options

You have a variety of defense options available for a DV charge. An attorney will have the ability to look at all the facts of your case, question any evidence offered against you and then help you decide on a defense strategy that bests suit your interests.

You are not alone

Domestic violence cases are complex, as they typically involve one person's word against the other. There is always more than one side to a story. You do not have to face these charges by yourself.

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