Crimes of property are often perpetrated by a stranger, and it is troubling but generally easy to recover from losing a possession. Crimes of trauma, however, are often more difficult because a person must get better from physical and mental abuse at the same time.
Moreover, many violent crimes in Colorado are domestic issues, with an attacker victimizing a member of his or her own family. The city of Pueblo, for example, answers more emergency calls regarding domestic violence than investigations of auto theft.
Colorado’s Steel City has seen domestic violence calls increase by 28 percent since 2013. The troubling trend led Boulder’s police department to include an additional form for domestic violence issues, called a “victim’s report” on top of the usual documentation of an assault.
“A lot of people want to boil it down [and say] ‘well, don’t be with that person’,” said a member of the Pueblo Police Department. “For some people, it’s not that simple.”
Domestic violence is not a crime in itself under Colorado law. However, it may increase the class and punishment for other charges, like aggravated assault, if the prosecution can demonstrate in court that the victim was involved in a domestic dispute. This “charge enhancer” status is similar to upgrades for driving penalties while a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
People fighting domestic violence enhancements to assault charges and other claims may be helped by an attorney representing their interests during interrogations, plea bargaining or court cases. A lawyer may increase the chances of your best defense against criminal charges.