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Domestic Violence in Colorado

"Domestic Violence" is not a separate offense. It is a label. Many cases are "DV" cases. The DV label has important consequences, however. From start to finish these domestic violence cases are handled differently than many cases.

These Cases are Different Because:

  • There is a mandatory 24 hour no bond hold. This means go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not get out of jail free. You must post bond and stay overnight.
  • The "victim" is often powerless to stop charges from being brought. The case takes on a life of it's own once the police are called. Even if she (or he) wants to "drop the charges," the matter is not in her hands, but in the District Attorney's hands.
  • Even a recant is treated skeptically. Helpful victim-witness advocates try to dissuade honest recants.
  • You can expect a no contact order barring you from your on home. Although a lawyer can sometimes get this modified, even a willing spouse is not always enough.
  • If convicted, you will have to do months of classes.
  • You will also, if convicted, lose all rights to a carry firearm.

As with most cases, a good lawyer can help you in a domestic violence case. A good lawyer will consider whether your relationship may be saved and what you want to do about the case. He will either try to solicit the help of your loved ones if they are cooperative (remember, you cannot discuss the case with them), or try to "impeach" their credibility if they are not. He will help you to decide whether a plea or a trial is right for you.

In Domestic Violence cases, especially those where there is a recanting victim, the prosecutor may call an “expert witness” that will testify against you, despite the fact that they know nothing about your particular case. This “domestic violence expert” will tell the jury that it is common for the victim is a domestic violence case to recant by the time the case reaches trial, and that they should believe what he or she said at the time of the incident, not what they are saying in court. Effective cross-examination will expose the bias in this position, including the false assumption that an accusation could not have been false when made, and now the alleged victim is try to correct for this injustice by telling the truth in court.