For most people in Colorado, the laws governing domestic violence are completely foreign to them, until they are suddenly thrust into a potentially life-changing situation. At The Foley Law Firm, we think it is a good idea for everyone to be familiar with the laws, so you will know what to expect should a domestic violence call be made.
In Colorado, whenever the police are called to respond to a potential domestic violence situation, someone will be arrested. Colorado has a mandatory arrest law, which means that the police have to arrest an individual if they suspect that an act of domestic violence has taken place.
As a result, even in situations in which nothing happened, but police were called and they suspect something might have taken place, someone will be arrested.
Another factor that many people don't understand in Colorado is the type of relationship that can lead to domestic violence charges. The law in Colorado states that domestic violence includes "any act or threatened act of violence" involving people who are or have been in an "intimate relationship."
The definition of an "intimate relationship" is somewhat vague under the law, but includes:
- Former spouses
- Past or present unmarried couples
- Parents of a child, regardless of whether they were married or ever lived together
In addition, in a case from 2010 - People v. Disher - the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a sexual relationship did not need to exist in order to show an intimate relationship. In other words, if you went on one date with the person, but never engaged in any physical relationship, you could still be considered to be involved in an intimate relationship under the law.
When the police are called and someone is facing charges of domestic violence, it is extremely important for that individual to seek the counsel of a skilled criminal defense attorney. As we will discuss in future posts, a domestic violence conviction can have devastating, life-altering consequences.
At The Foley Law Firm, we want to listen to your story and help with your case. David Foley helped establish the county's domestic violence response program 15 years ago, when he worked as a prosecutor. He understands the ins and outs of domestic violence law and is ready to advocate on your behalf.