& Family Law Representation
Domestic Violence Legal Defense in Durango
If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence, you may be embarrassed and anxious about the effect of a conviction on your personal life and your reputation. You should not hesitate to consult the experienced Durango domestic violence attorneys of Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt. We have significant experience in criminal defense and can build a strong defense on your behalf. Our firm serves clients in Colorado cities including Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and Ignacio.
Domestic Violence in Colorado
Domestic violence is not a separate offense but rather a label used when a violent act or threatened violence are directed towards somebody with whom the accused has an intimate relationship or used to have an intimate relationship.
In addition to acts or threats of violence against intimate partners, domestic violence can also be any crime committed in order to punish, coerce, control, intimidate, or obtain revenge against an intimate partner. For example, if your partner claims that you threw a chair against him or her to show you are angry, it may be considered an act of domestic violence. Cases commonly given the label of domestic violence include harassment, assault, criminal mischief, and menacing.
Law enforcement officers have discretion over many arrests. If they are called to handle a domestic violence incident and have probable cause to believe there actually was domestic violence, however, they must arrest the suspect without delay. The suspect cannot be given bond until the victim is given the right to be heard at the bond hearing.
Domestic violence cases in Durango are victim’s rights cases. This means the prosecutor’s office must consult with the alleged victim before any deals are offered. While a victim cannot control whether the prosecutor pursues the case, he or she can have an impact on it.
It is not uncommon for a victim to decide he or she doesn’t want the prosecutor to press charges. However, only the prosecutor can decide whether to pursue a case or not.
You should be aware that repeated domestic violence is taken seriously. If you have been convicted three times of misdemeanor domestic violence, you may be considered a habitual domestic violence offender. This means that another misdemeanor charge may be turned into a class 5 felony. If convicted, the defendant may be sentenced to 1-3 years in prison, the presumptive range for this class of crime. Most sentences for domestic violence, including those for low-level misdemeanors, will require completion of a treatment program and evaluation. Treatment will not be imposed if the person is sent to prison.
In addition to the sentence, there may be additional repercussions to a domestic violence conviction. The criminal conviction will appear on the defendant’s record and may have to be disclosed when applying for a new job or rental application. In a difficult economic climate, a criminal record can undermine your ability to get a job.
Of critical importance to many residents of Southwest Colorado, is the ability to possess firearms either for personal protection or for hunting purposes. A person convicted of domestic violence may not possess or carry a weapon for any reason.
Consult a Trustworthy Domestic Violence Attorney in Durango
Violence or threats of violence against an intimate partner are taken seriously in Colorado. Unfortunately, too often one party in a relationship fabricates allegations of domestic violence for his or her own benefit. However, an experienced Durango domestic violence lawyer at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt may be able to put forth a strong defense on your behalf. Contact us at (970) 259-4422 or via our online form to start a conversation about your case. We serve clients in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.