If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence in Denver, Adams, or Jefferson County, it most likely happened without warning. The police are required to arrest someone when they respond to Domestic Violence (DV) calls like Domestic Violence Harassment, Domestic Violence Assault, or Domestic Violence Criminal Mischief. During a Civil Assist, the police will escort you to your own home and supervise the gathering of your belongings. Calls are usually made after a non-violent and non-physical verbal argument with a spouse or friend. People arrested in domestic violence situations are blindsided when they are arrested. The next day, you might be released in your pajamas, with no money, mobile phone, or car keys. And, you won't be allowed (because of a Restraining / Protection Order) to return to your residence. In situations like this, there is a provision of law that allows you to return to your home to gather essential items under the supervision of the police. This is called a domestic violence Civil Assist.
Domestic Violence Cases: What is a Civil Assist?
A Civil Assist is a procedure which allows a person accused of a Domestic Violence crime to return to their home to retrieve essential items, such as clothing, medicine, and work items. This is only possible when the person is accompanied by the police. In this way, there will be no violation of the restraining order.
What Items Can I Retrieve?
Often, we are asked by clients interested in a Civil Assist: “What items am I allowed to retrieve from my home?” The answer to this question depends on how the alleged victim in your case feels. If the alleged victim objects to you taking anything from the home by saying it is owned communally, or that the item is theirs, you won't be allowed to take it. The “victim” holds all the cards when it comes to your belongings in Arapahoe, El Paso, and Douglas County. The police don't allow any discussion or argument over any of the items.
Role of the Police in Civil Assists
I have spoken with the police involved in Civil Assists across Colorado and asked them how they rationalize whether or not a person can retrieve a certain item. They operate under the belief that they aren't judges – they don't want to get caught up in an argument about who owns certain items. Police officers are busy, and don't have time to arbitrate arguments over a computer, smart speaker, TV, or other valuables. The police listen to the “victim,” and if the “victim says it is “mine” or “ours,” it won't leave the property.
An experienced criminal lawyer can help you
move past a Civil Assist to get you your property.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Domestic Violence Cases
If you've been arrested, don't hesitate to contact one of our hardworking criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation. We have helped hundreds of good people through difficult Domestic Violence Civil Assist matters. The attorneys at our office have decades of combined experience. We have the knowledge and the expertise to guide you through the criminal justice system to get the best possible outcome in your case. Domestic Violence convictions can have long-lasting consequences. Don't put your future in the hands of an inexperienced public defender. Contact one of our passionate, full-time lawyers to get involved in your case.