Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark S. Rubinstein is Here to Serve You
Avon, Colorado, with a population of less than 7,000, sits along the Eagle River and serves as the gateway to the Beaver Creek Resort. Although neighboring Vail is even smaller with fewer than 6,000 souls, it is home to the world-famous Vail Ski Resort and is surrounded by White River National Forest. Both of these extraordinary communities are located in picturesque Eagle County.
Trouble lurks in even the most idyllic of settings, unfortunately, and neither town is immune from the plague of domestic violence. Not all domestic violence allegations are fair or reasonable, however. If you have been charged with domestic violence in either of these communities, Colorado domestic violence defense attorney Mark S. Rubinstein is the person whom you need to talk to.
What is Domestic Violence?
In Colorado, domestic violence is a “sentence enhancer,” not a separate crime in itself. If you are convicted of a crime that has been traditionally associated with domestic violence, a Colorado court can increase the severity of your sentence if you meet the three additional conditions necessary for the “domestic violence” designation to apply:
- An actual or threatened incident of “violence”: Under Colorado domestic violence law, the term “violence” is broadly defined – violence against a pet or even the alleged victim’s property is enough to constitute violence. Since a credible threat of violence is enough, even heated words used during an argument could be used against you.
- An “intimate” relationship: An “intimate” partner could be your spouse, your girlfriend or boyfriend, your lover, or even your partner in a one-night tryst (if a live birth resulted). Since past relationships count the same as ongoing relationships, you can be charged with domestic violence against an “ex.”
- An abusive purpose: The court must conclude that the purpose behind your behavior was coercion, control, intimidation, punishment, or revenge.
Domestic Violence Crimes
The following crimes are most commonly associated with the domestic violence sentence enhancer:
- Assault: Colorado recognizes assault in the first degree, the second degree, and the third degree, any of which is sufficient to support a domestic violence designation. Although actual bodily injury is required to support an assault conviction, you didn’t have to specifically intend to hurt the alleged victim – reckless behavior is sufficient if it results in bodily injury.
- Harassment: The crime of harassment can apply to a wide spectrum of annoying or disturbing behavior, including slapping the alleged victim without causing pain or injury, or in some cases even using harsh language. If the harassment is serious and continuous enough, it can be characterized as “stalking” and charged as a felony.
- Criminal Mischief: Criminal mischief involves damage to property. The property doesn’t have to belong exclusively to the alleged victim – slicing the tires of a car that you own jointly with your spouse could be used to support a criminal mischief charge, for example.
- Disorderly Conduct: Disorderly conduct refers to a broad category of public behavior. It could include discharging a gun (even into the air), fighting in public, and loud verbal abuse in public.
Judges enjoy a certain amount of discretion when handing down sentences for various crimes, and a domestic violence designation could tempt a judge to “throw the book at you” by sentencing you to six months in jail instead of two weeks, for example. The court could also add various penalties such as mandatory domestic violence counseling, mandatory substance abuse treatment, or a permanent restraining order. You will also face civil penalties, such as a prohibition against owning firearms (a federal requirement). Habitual domestic violence offenders can receive much harsher sentences.
Contact Mark S. Rubinstein Today
Mark Rubinstein has been practicing criminal defense law, including domestic violence cases, for decades. Experience has taught him that listening carefully to his clients is one of the most important attributes that a domestic violence lawyer can possess. Every case is unique, and there is simply no substitute for researching the law and digging deeply into the facts that separate one case from another.
You deserve the understanding, sympathetic, and individualized representation that a dedicated and experienced sole practitioner can offer – not the “one size fits all” formulaic approach that all too often poisons lawyer-client relationships. As a sole practitioner with two decades of experience, I can devote my full attention to your case. I will even provide you with my personal cell phone number so that you can call me, day or night, when you need me.
Time is of the essence when you have criminal charges pending against you. The sooner you act, the sooner I can begin formulating a strategy to keep you out of jail and keep your record as clean as possible. Call me at 970-748-5044 or contact me online to schedule a free initial consultation.