What is “Domestic Violence” in Colorado?
Like most states, Colorado has laws that make “domestic violence” a specific crime, separate from similar crimes like assault. Because domestic violence can carry more severe penalties in Colorado than similar convictions can, it’s important to understand how Colorado’s domestic violence statute works.
Colorado law defines “domestic violence” generally as:
- “An act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship,” or
- A crime or ordinance violation against a person, property, or an animal, “when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge” against a person with whom the actor shares an intimate relationship.
Because Colorado’s domestic violence laws depend on the existence of an “intimate relationship,” it’s important to know what the law means when it uses that phrase. Colorado law defines an “intimate relationship” in the domestic violence context as a relationship between:
- Former spouses;
- Unmarried people who were or are in a relationship; or
- The parents of a child, whether or not the parents ever lived together or were ever married.
The penalties for a Colorado domestic violence conviction go far beyond jail time or fines, although these are both possible. Often, a domestic violence conviction in Colorado includes protection orders that prevent the convicted person and the victim from being in the same place, even if they are married or share a home. A resulting criminal record can have consequences for employment, housing, and other needs for years.
Because the penalties are severe, securing the help of an experienced domestic violence defense attorney is crucial to protecting your rights and winning the best possible outcome in your case. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our legal team has the skills and knowledge needed to create an aggressive defense in order to get favorable results in your case. Call (719) 475-2555 to discuss your situation with us.