Did you know that laws change every day in Arapahoe and Jefferson County? You might think the variations don't affect you; you aren't a criminal, after all. The problem is that when the definition of a crime changes, it can quickly become your problem. [pullquote align=”right” textalign=”center” width=”40%”]The law was interpreted differently by the Colorado Supreme Court in People vs. Disher.[/pullquote]
Let me tell you a story: Not very long ago in a case in Adams County, a judge ruled that the defendant was not guilty of committing an act of Domestic Violence – C.R.S 18-6-800.3, because it could not be proved that he ever had a sexual relationship with the alleged victim. The district attorney in the case was unhappy with this ruling, so he appealed it to the district court. The district attorney was thwarted again, however: the district judge agreed with the original judge that the term “intimate relationship” (which must be present in order for domestic violence to be charged) referred to a sexual relationship. The case made it all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court. When the justices reviewed the case (People vs. Disher, 224 P.3d, 254 – Colo, 2010), however, they decided that the definition of “intimate relationship” was different than the lower courts. They reversed the decisions and rewrote the law to say that “evidence of a sexual relationship is not necessary to establish the existence of an intimate relationship.”
The Consequences of a Definition Change: Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, this decision is very broad and open to many different translations. Before the law was changed, an intimate relationship was very easy to spot – it required a sexual relationship. It is now anyone's guess as to what an “intimate relationship” is in Denver, Broomfield or Douglas County. If you get into a fight with someone you kissed in high school, can you be charged with Domestic Violence? If you go on a blind date that goes sour, you could be charged with DV, and your life could be changed forever.
Domestic Violence is a “sentence enhancer,” and can only be charged with other crimes, such as Unlawful Sexual Contact, or Sexual Assault / Rape. If you are facing any of these charges, it is vital for your freedom that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at our office.
3 Things to do if you are Charged with Domestic Violence in Denver
If you are contacted by the police in Denver, Aurora or Arvada concerning domestic violence, there are three things you should do right away:
- Contact our office immediately; quick action is necessary for your defense.
- Do not speak with the police. It is wise to say nothing – anything you say can be used against you.
- Preserve your relationship with the alleged victim. This is vital for your defense. Also, it is common for spouses and significant others to drain bank accounts, obtain no-contact orders, and attempt to gain custody of children. Immediate action on your part is important for your future freedom.