blog Domestic Violence How Alcohol Can Exacerbate Acts of Domestic Violence

How Alcohol Can Exacerbate Acts of Domestic Violence

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on October 15, 2023

There is a strong connection between alcohol use and domestic violence. Defendants charged with domestic violence offenses in Colorado are frequently under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurs. When responding to a domestic dispute 911 call, police are much more likely to arrest a suspect who has been drinking.

Law enforcement officials and district attorneys aggressively investigate and prosecute domestic violence cases. They generally have a strong bias against defendants, and you will probably receive harsh treatment if arrested for domestic violence. That’s why it’s important to speak with an attorney right away. Your Breckenridge domestic violence defense attorney is the only person you should talk to about your case. Don’t answer questions from the police unless your attorney is present.

What Is Domestic Violence in Colorado?

Domestic violence is a legal term that describes a pattern of behaviors used by a person to maintain power and control over a current spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, a person you are currently in an intimate relationship with, a person you were formally in an intimate relationship with, or the co-parent of your child.

In Colorado, domestic abuse is not a separate offense. Instead, it’s a sentence enhancer, which means it may increase the severity of the sentence a defendant receives for a related offense. A person with three domestic violence offenses in Colorado may be prosecuted as a habitual domestic offender, which is a Class 5 felony that carries up to three years in prison and fines of up to $100,000.

Conviction for domestic violence does not necessarily require an act of physical violence. A defendant in Colorado may be convicted of domestic abuse for committing the following types of legal offenses:

Alcohol Use and Conviction of Domestic Violence

Research indicates a clear link between the consumption of alcohol and domestic violence. Drinking by one or both parties is frequently involved in domestic disputes, and habitual drinking has been shown to increase the frequency and severity of domestic abuse incidents.

Alcohol impairs cognitive and emotional functions, and this reduces the ability to solve conflicts. By reducing inhibitions, alcohol increases the likelihood that one or both partners will engage in actions that trigger a conflict.

Prosecutors are more likely to convict a domestic abuse suspect who has a history of problems with alcohol. If it is determined that alcohol addiction is the root cause of the conflict, a person convicted of domestic violence may be required to undergo alcohol treatment or counseling as part of their sentence. When the defendant voluntarily agrees to alcohol treatment, it may help reduce the severity of the sentence they receive.

Legal Defenses for Alcohol-Related Domestic Violence Cases

Your criminal defense lawyer will vigorously defend you against charges of domestic violence. Effective legal defense strategies in alcohol-related domestic violence cases include:

  • The defendant was defending themselves or someone else.
  • Witnesses against you are not reliable.
  • You were not intoxicated when the alleged incident took place.
  • You are the victim of false allegations.
  • The prosecution’s case is not supported by evidence.
  • The defendant was the victim of abuse.
  • You were not present at the time of the alleged assault.
  • Police conducted an illegal search and seizure.
  • The defendant was not informed of their Miranda rights.

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Colorado

Depending on the underlying offense, domestic violence may be prosecuted as a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony conviction will have a severe impact on your future, such as:

  • Loss of gun rights
  • Damage to your immigration status
  • Harm to your military career
  • Denial of a loan application
  • Loss or denial of a professional license

Were You Charged with Domestic Violence in Colorado?

The Breckenridge criminal defense lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC will challenge any charges against you and provide a vigorous defense on your behalf. We will find the best strategy for getting your charges dismissed, dropped, or reduced.

Whitaker & Penix, LLC proudly holds an “A” rating from the Better Business Bureau. Kylie Whitaker has been recognized by Super Lawyers as one of Colorado’s 2023 Rising Stars for significant professional achievement and outstanding peer reviews.

Call (970) 368-0602 to learn more today with a free consultation.

Posted in: Domestic Violence