Change in Domestic Violence Statute Regarding Intimate Relationships
In Douglas County, governing officials such as judges and attorneys have agreed for years that Domestic Violence – C.R.S. 18-6-800.3 takes place between two people whose relationship includes or included sex. This is no longer the case, according to a ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court. In February of 2010, in the case People vs. Disher, the Colorado Supreme Court issued the following ruling: “Evidence of a sexual relationship is not necessary to establish the existence of an intimate relationship for the purpose of the domestic violence statute.”
Thus, sex is not required to be a component of a domestic violence charge in the state of Colorado, which leaves much open to the interpretation of the courts. When definitions are vague, innocent people fill our prisons and jails and families have to deal with the consequences.
The New Definition of “Intimate Relationship”
According to Colorado law (C.R.S. 18-6-800.3(2), an intimate relationship is defined as a relationship which takes place between:
1.The parents of a child
4.Couples who were “together” at one time whether married or not
Domestic Violence Label Can be Attached to Any Crime
In Adams County, the term domestic violence (DV) can be attached to any crime such as sexual harassment or Assault. The term is basically a sentence-enhancer or label. When one partner makes allegations of DV an arrest is mandatory in Colorado. If there is a claim of violence in Arapahoe County, a police officer will come to the home or place of business. The accused will be taken to jail on a Domestic Violence charge; an arrest is mandatory in DV situations. By arresting the accused, the officer is stating that they are guilty of doing one of the following actions: Threatening, forcing, intimidating, punishing, controlling or seeking revenge on another individual where an intimate relationship is involved. No judge is involved in making this arrest decision and the police officers rarely challenge the accusation of the “victim.”
Denver Domestic Violence Attorneys Must Fight Hard
With the new ruling of the Supreme Court, domestic violence cases have changed. Now, domestic violence defense attorneys have to work harder at uncovering the truth because there are certain measurements to determine if an “intimate relationship” is actually involved. Those requirements serve as a guide and include the following:
- length of relationship,
- type of relationship,
- how often the two parties were together
The attorneys at our office know how to use the poorly written Domestic Violence law to your advantage in court.
Because of the new court ruling, Domestic Violence cases have become much more complicated. What once was easy to understand by everyone (intimacy = sex) is now up for interpretation by the District Attorneys and judges in Jefferson County and throughout Colorado. Believe it or not, the poorly written Domestic Violence law can be used to your advantage by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The capable criminal defense attorneys at our office have been handling cases such as these for over 20 years. We know how the district attorneys think, and we know how to present the best defense possible to uncover the truth.