What Are the Legal Consequences for Domestic Violence?

consequences for domestic violence

Domestic violence charges can completely upend lives and futures here in Colorado. Beyond the physical and emotional trauma, domestic abuse cases come with lasting legal penalties that many don’t realize until it’s too late.

At Right Law Group, we’ve represented many good people facing domestic violence allegations. While every case is unique, in our experience, the legal repercussions can be severe, even for first-time offenses.

That’s why it’s so critical to have an experienced domestic violence defense attorney on your side from day one. The right legal representation can help minimize penalties and start the healing process sooner.

Domestic Violence is a Serious Crime

Make no mistake, domestic violence is treated as a major violent crime in Colorado. Prosecutors aggressively pursue convictions and harsh sentences. Charges are either misdemeanors or felonies depending on circumstances like the extent of injuries, use of weapons, and past domestic violence history.

Acts considered domestic violence include:

  • Physical abuse or assault
  • Intimidation and threats
  • Strangulation or suffocation
  • Kidnapping or false imprisonment

Penalties, even for misdemeanors, often exceed sentences for similar non-domestic assaults. The intimate relationship makes these cases particularly serious in the eyes of the law.

Unlike a bar fight or public altercation, domestic violence demonstrates a pattern of control and power imbalances that courts want to disrupt. That’s why they come down so hard on these charges compared to other physical conflicts. The relationship dynamic itself is part of what makes domestic violence a major crime.

Jail Time is Common

In most domestic violence cases, prosecutors push hard for incarceration on top of other penalties. Colorado law includes lengthy mandatory minimum jail sentences. Misdemeanor domestic violence-related convictions often result in a minimum of 6 months jail time, while felony convictions can lead to a minimum of 1 year in prison.

Those are just the starting points. Aggravating factors like severe injuries or past convictions can quickly ratchet up sentences. We’ve seen felony domestic violence cases end in 4, 6, or even 10+ years of harsh prison time.

The risks of extended incarceration are very real, highlighting the need for an aggressive defense. The right legal advocacy can potentially reduce or avoid jail time, depending on the circumstances. Effective counsel identifies weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and puts up strong legal defenses.

With so much at stake, defending your rights with a fierce courtroom litigator is essential. Don’t leave your future in the hands of an overwhelmed public defender. An experienced trial attorney can make all the difference.

Firearm Prohibition

A domestic violence conviction also results in the loss of your legal right to own or possess firearms in Colorado.

Under state law, anyone convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or felony is prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns or ammunition.

The only way to restore your gun rights is through a complicated court process to have the conviction overturned. This is very difficult to achieve without an attorney’s assistance.

Fines and Court Fees

In addition to incarceration, domestic violence sentences often include stiff fines of up to $5,000. You may also be responsible for court administrative fees, domestic violence classes, and counseling. These costs quickly add up, creating major financial stress. Vigorous legal advocacy ensures you don’t get railroaded by overzealous prosecutors.

Probation and Classes

Probation may be awarded for some first-time offenders — but it is not guaranteed. While it’s not jail time, probation is no picnic.

This comes with:

  • Travel restrictions
  • Drug and alcohol monitoring and testing
  • Inability to possess weapons
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Not committing any other crimes

Violating these terms means jail time — no exceptions. In some cases, you may also be required to undergo domestic violence evaluation and treatment. These programs aim to prevent future abuse by promoting accountability and behavioral changes.

Many see these programs as demeaning or futile. But non-participation is not an option – judges will incarcerate probationers who refuse.

Restraining Orders

Beyond the criminal case, even an allegation of domestic violence is enough to trigger a restraining order barring contact with the accuser. You’ll be legally required to stay away from the protected person for a specified period of time.

Violate the order, and you’re looking at additional criminal charges and jail time.
Restraining order restrictions create major complications for parents with custody agreements.

Impacts on Family and Reputation

The stain of a domestic charge alters far more than just your criminal record. A domestic violence conviction can mean custody battles and restricted visitation, difficulty finding or keeping a job, and general stigma and assumptions from others. These expanded consequences demonstrate why robust legal defenses are vital when facing accusations.

At Right Law Group, our top priority is avoiding convictions and protecting your rights inside and outside the courtroom.

A domestic charge paints you as volatile, dangerous, and unable to control emotions. Even if untrue, that reputation can be near-impossible to shake without a skilled legal advocate on your side. We know how to counter salacious accusations effectively so your character stays intact.

Don’t Go Through This Alone — Contact Right Law Group

At Right Law Group, our top priority is avoiding convictions and protecting your rights.

A domestic charge paints you as volatile, dangerous, and unable to control emotions. Even if untrue, that reputation can be near-impossible to shake without a skilled legal advocate on your side.

If you or a loved one are contending with domestic violence allegations, please know you don’t have to endure the legal rollercoaster alone. Right Law Group’s compassionate attorneys are here to support and empower you. With tailored guidance every step of the way, we can help you steer clear of the harshest penalties.

No one should have their life defined by a single mistake. Let us stand by your side and ensure justice. Don’t leave your fate or your family’s future to chance. You and your loved ones deserve the very best defense. We’re ready when you are – reach out now for a free consultation on your situation.

Author Bio

alexis austin

Alexis Austin is the CEO and Managing Partner of Right Law Group, a criminal defense law firm she founded in 2018, with convenient locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch. With almost a decade of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, and other criminal charges.

Alexis received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver — Sturm College of Law and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named among the “Top 40 Under 40” in 2018 by The National Trial Lawyers and featured in Authority Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” series.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google