The Breadth Of Domestic Violence
Last summer, NFL star Chad Johnson was arrested for domestic battery after head-butting his wife, Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada. 24 hours after the incident went public, Johnson was fired from the Miami Dolphins.
Unfortunately, domestic violence occurs with alarming frequency in the United States. It is also a fact that many charges are completely without merit and do not involve any violence at all. Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-6-800.3 defines domestic violence as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” This includes any other crime against a person or property in order to coerce, control, punish, intimidate or exact revenge.
Actions that may fall within the scope of domestic violence include:
- Physical abuse. In addition to slapping, hitting and beating, physical abuse includes throwing objects, destruction of property and refusing them access to medical care.
- Sexual abuse. This category not only includes rape and other forced sexual acts, but also sexual humiliation and withholding sex for punishment or manipulation.
- Emotional abuse. Some people may be surprised to find over-criticizing, withholding affection or appreciation, and yelling to be acts that have been charged as domestic violence.
- Economic abuse. Refusing to pay child support, withholding money, stealing joint property and not allowing input into financial decisions are among the many forms of economic domestic abuse.
One of the most concerning aspects of domestic violence reporting in Colorado is the state’s mandatory arrest laws. All it takes is one angry phone call; once the police are notified, they are obligated to make an arrest. It is immaterial if your accuser later regrets the call — only the District Attorney’s office can decide whether to press charges.
Conviction for a crime involving domestic violence may result in up to two years in jail (more if you have three or more previous convictions) and one or more years’ probation. Other consequences include restraining orders, at least 36 hours of domestic violence counseling, loss of your job or professional license, losing custody of children, loss of military benefits, inability to rent a house or obtain a mortgage, and a lifetime prohibition against the possession of firearms.
Because of the sheer number of false allegations and the severe consequences of a conviction, our firm is extremely aggressive in defending charges of domestic violence and hardly ever pleads out cases. If you are arrested, demand an attorney and call our office immediately.