Do you know the legal definition of the term “domestic violence” in the state of Colorado? All too many defendants are unaware that their assault and battery and other charges could be upgraded because of domestic violence allegations. Understanding the formal definition of domestic violence can help defendants formulate a more effective criminal defense against these accusations.
Who can be considered a victim of domestic violence?
In many cases, domestic assault charges are levied against someone who is accused of harming their spouse or partner. However, any blood relative or someone with whom the victim has had an intimate relationship can also be considered for domestic violence charges. Further, anyone who has lived with the victim — including a roommate — may also be subject to domestic violence violations. Acts of violence against children and pets can also be considered domestic in nature.
What types of behaviors constitute domestic violence?
Although we often think about domestic violence in terms of physical abuse, other categories of family violence also exist. Sexual abuse can occur when a family member forces sexual interaction upon a spouse or relative. Even the threat of harm can constitute domestic violence; a physical encounter does not necessarily have to occur. Those accused of stalking or verbally threatening violence may also face additional penalties in court.
The fact remains that domestic violence allegations should always be taken very seriously. A domestic violence conviction — or even a restraining order against you — can have serious implications for your personal and professional future. An assertive criminal defense is required to combat such allegations. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide you with additional information.
Source: WomensLaw.org, “Domestic Violence Protection Orders” Sep. 17, 2014