Implications Of Being a Domestic Violence Offender In Colorado


Nobody wants to face a domestic violence trial in Colorado, a state known for having a strict attitude toward domestic violence offenders. Severe penalties may result from a domestic violence conviction, with the level of punishment dependent upon the nature of the conviction. Being accused of a domestic violence can be frightening. People accused of domestic violence may feel isolated, and will worry about what will happen if they are convicted. Could they lose their job, or go to jail?

Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge

Here are some of the mandatory penalties that will result from your being charged with a domestic violence offense. These penalties apply without regard to the severity of your case, and apply to felony, misdemeanor and municipal court cases. These penalties come into effect when you are placed on probation:

  1. Mandatory arrest - If the police respond to a domestic violence report and determine that a domestic violence crime has occurred, they must arrest the person who they determine to have committed the act of domestic violence.

  2. Mandatory protection order - A domestic violence charge will trigger a mandatory protection order against the defendant, imposing measures intended to ensure the safety of the alleged victim. If you live with the alleged victim you will be ordered to leave the place of your residence. You may have limited contact with your children. You will be prohibited from consuming alcohol even if you are above the legal age, and you will not be able to get a license for a firearm.

  3. Mandatory domestic violence evaluation and treatment - If you are placed on domestic violence probation period then you will be required to complete a domestic violence evaluation and may be ordered to attend treatment programs, classes and therapy sessions. You will be ranked based upon the result of your evaluation, and the nature and extent of the treatment or therapy you are required to complete will depend upon your ranking. Rankings are of A, B, and C, with an A ranking triggering the shortest amount of treatment, education and therapy, and a C raking resulting in the longest period. There is no ranking that will not result in a mandatory treatment program.

  4. Mandatory fines and fees - If convicted, a domestic violence offender must pay for the cost of probation, evaluation and all the therapy sessions ordered by the court. In addition the defendant must pay court fines and fees, which must be submitted to the court before the completion of the term of probation.

  5. Cancellation of gun rights - A domestic violence conviction will result in the loss of gun rights. If you are placed on probation, you may not carry a firearm with you during the term of your probation. If found in the possession of a gun you could potentially face both state and federal criminal charges.

Incarceration for Domestic Violence Offenders

All domestic violence convictions carry the possibility of incarceration. Most people convicted of felony domestic violence will be sentenced to time in the county jail or to prison. The amount of time that you spend in the jail is be based on the level of the felony charge and if you have a previous record of any crime, including marijuana-related offenses and domestic violence offense related offenses.

  • A felony domestic violence charge may put you in jail for 90 days or more, followed by your being under the supervision of the probation department for 2 to 5 years. Colorado has six different classifications of felony offenses, and as a result the potential prison sentence for somebody convicted of domestic violence will depend upon the exact conviction charge.

  • A misdemeanor domestic violence may subject you to up to two years in the county jail. Most misdemeanor convictions will result in probation, which may reduce the jail time to sixty days in association with mandatory treatment.

  • A municipal code or petty offense conviction for a domestic violence crime or a petty offense can result in a sentence of up one year in jail. It may be possible to avoid jail time.

A person charged with domestic violence should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney for a proper consultation.

Copyright © 2017 Steven J. Pisani, All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express written permission of the copyright holder. If you use a quotation, excerpt or paraphrase of this article, except as otherwise authorized in writing by the author of the article you must cite this article as a source for your work and include a link back to the original article from any online materials that incorporate or are derived from the content of this article.

This article was last reviewed or amended on Apr 3, 2017.