In Denver and across Colorado, you can face class 5 felony charges after three or more prior misdemeanor offenses that included an act of domestic violence. In many Colorado cities like Denver and Aurora, this gives you the label of a “habitual domestic violence offender”. These offenses must have been separately brought and tried and must have arisen out of separate criminal episodes. In Colorado, you can face Domestic Violence, C.R.S. 18-6-800.3, charges whenever an act or threatened act of violence is committed upon someone you are or have ever been in an intimate relationship with. You can also face Domestic Violence charges if committing any other crime or municipal ordinance violation against a person or property, including an animal, when that conduct is used for control, coercion, punishment, intimidation or revenge.
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Domestic Violence Amended Law in Douglas and Adams County
As of this year, Colorado lawmakers amended the law under C.R.S. 18-6-801(7) to clarify the procedures the court must follow to determine whether you have been convicted of 3 or more offenses which include an act of Domestic Violence. Below is the amended law in Douglas, Adams County and across Colorado, under C.R.S. 18-6-801(7):
“(7) (a) Any misdemeanor offense that includes an act of domestic violence is a class 5 felony if the defendant at the time of sentencing has been previously convicted of three or more prior offenses that included an act of domestic violence and that were separately brought and tried and arising out of separate criminal episodes.
(b) The prior convictions must be set forth in apt words in the indictment or information. For the purposes of this section, “conviction” includes any federal, state, or municipal conviction for a felony, misdemeanor, or municipal ordinance violation.
(c) Trials in cases alleging that the defendant is an habitual domestic violence offender pursuant to this subsection (7) must be conducted in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure for felonies. The trier of fact shall determine whether an offense charged includes an act of domestic violence.
(d) Following a conviction for an offense which underlying factual basis includes an act of domestic violence:
(I) If any prior conviction included a determination by a jury or was admitted by the defendant that the offense included an act of domestic violence, the court shall proceed to sentencing without further findings as to that prior conviction by the jury or by the court, if no jury trial is had;
(II) For any prior conviction in which the factual basis was found by the court to include an act of domestic violence, but did not include a finding of domestic violence by a jury or that was not admitted by the defendant, the trial court shall proceed to a sentencing stage of the proceedings. The prosecution shall present evidence to the trier of fact that the prior conviction included an act of domestic violence. The prosecution has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
(III) At the sentencing stage, the following applies:
(A) A finding of domestic violence made by a court at the time of the prior conviction constitutes prima facie evidence that the crime involved domestic violence;
(B) Evidence of the prior conviction is admissible through the use of certified documents under seal, or the court may take judicial notice of a prior conviction;
(C) Evidence admitted in the guilt stage of the trial, including testimony of the defendant and other acts admitted pursuant to section 18-6-801.5, may be considered by the finder of fact.”
Domestic Violence Charged as Felony in Arapahoe and Jefferson County, Even with Less Serious Behavior
Less serious behavior in Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and across Colorado, such as calling an ex-spouse repeatedly, taking a jointly owned animal from a property, or pushing someone, can lead to felony Domestic Violence charges if you've been convicted of 3 or more misdemeanor offenses that include an act of Domestic Violence. In these cases, what is considered misdemeanor conduct is punished as a felony, which can lead to more serious consequences like prison. Additionally, in some cases where you have prior DV convictions, District Attorneys may threaten filing Habitual Domestic Violence charges in a misdemeanor case to make you plead guilty. To protect yourself from these threats and the harm of a crippling DV conviction in Colorado, contact a Domestic Violence lawyer at the O'Malley Law Office who will stand by your side and fight aggressively for you in court.
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If you or a loved one faces charges of a felony Domestic Violence crime in Colorado, be smart and exercise your right to remain silent. Then, contact the best criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
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