blog Criminal Defense Effective Legal Defenses for Domestic Abuse

Effective Legal Defenses for Domestic Abuse

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on February 20, 2023

Charges of domestic violence can have a devastating impact on your life. Even if the police have serious doubts about the accuser’s story, they will almost always arrest a person who has been accused of domestic violence. After the arrest, you will be subjected to a protection order that may prevent you from returning to your home.

Police and prosecutors aggressively pursue cases of domestic violence. But these charges are often illegitimate. Sometimes people misuse the legal system because they want to get revenge against a former spouse or partner.

Domestic violence charges are often inspired by feelings of anger or jealously. And they may be used as an underhanded tactic in custody disputes.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In Colorado, domestic violence is legally defined as an act or threatened act of violence or any crime that’s used as a method of coercion, control, or punishment against a person with whom the actor has been involved in an intimate relationship. The legal definition of intimate relationship includes:

  • A current or former spouse
  • A current or former intimate partner
  • Any person you are related to by blood or marriage
  • A person with whom you reside or formerly resided
  • A person with whom you have a child
  • Someone you are currently dating or have dated in the past

Legal Offenses That Can Be Prosecuted as Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is not defined as a separate crime in Colorado. Instead, it’s used by prosecutors as a sentence enhancer to increase penalties for an underlying legal offense.

A person doesn’t even have to commit an act of physical violence to receive a sentence enhancement for domestic violence. For example, breaking somebody’s windshield, sending an angry email, or taking money out your girlfriend’s wallet can all be prosecuted as domestic violence in Colorado.

When a defendant’s behavior is labeled as domestic violence, it may be prosecuted as a class 5 felony, resulting in up to 3 years in prison and fines up to $100,000 – in addition to penalties for the underlying charges.

Legal offenses that may be prosecuted as domestic violence in Colorado include:

How Your Breckenridge Criminal Lawyer Can Help

Never say anything about the charges against you to the police or prosecutors unless your lawyer is present. Avoid going anywhere that your accuser may be present, and don’t discuss the details of your case with friends or on social media.

Your Breckenridge domestic violence defense attorney will investigate the charges against you and interview everyone involved. Your lawyer will review the following types of evidence and use it to poke holes in the prosecution’s account of what happened:

  • Physical evidence
  • Police reports
  • Witness interviews
  • Forensic evidence
  • Police body cam video
  • Surveillance camera video
  • Time-stamped receipts
  • Toll bridge records

How You Domestic Abuse Lawyer Will Defend You

The police are required to arrest someone if they have probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred, but that doesn’t mean you’re guilty.

At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, our team will build the best legal strategy to defend you. Effective arguments that we may deploy on your behalf include:

  • You are completely innocent of the charges against you.
  • The accusations against you are false.
  • You have an alibi that proves you could not have committed the alleged offense.
  • Physical and forensic evidence contradict the charges against you.
  • You were defending yourself, another person, or your property.
  • The charges against you do not fit the legal definition of domestic violence.
  • There is insufficient evidence to support the prosecution’s account of what happened.
  • Witnesses against you are unreliable.

Have You Been Charged with Domestic Violence?

Our team at Whitaker & Penix, LLC will find the best strategy to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Our team has been recognized for outstanding achievement by Super Lawyers and we belong to the Better Business Bureau.

Call (970) 368-0602 to schedule a FREE consultation today.

Posted in: Criminal Defense