Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Glenwood Springs and all of Garfield County
Although Glenwood Springs, Colorado is a small community of about 10,000 residents, it boxes well above its weight in beauty, culture, and sheer fun. The wild Colorado River, the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley, and the steaming hot springs entice the visitor and convince local residents to stay put.
In recent years, Glenwood Springs has racked up an impressive resume of national honors – it has been named one of the top five places in the United States to live by Outside Magazine, the Most Vibrant Small Town Arts Environment by Southern Methodist University, and the Most Fun Town in America by USA Today.
None of this matters, however, when you are facing the very real possibility of incarceration, as is the case with many – if not most – domestic violence defendants. Colorado domestic violence law is harsh, complex, and confusing. Under these circumstances, the services of a top Glenwood Springs and Garfield County domestic violence lawyer is a necessity rather than a luxury.
Domestic Violence Charges in Glenwood Springs and Garfield County
Domestic violence is not a separate crime in Colorado. Instead, it is a “sentence enhancer” designation that is attached to another crime that can be used to increase the punishment. The domestic violence designation can be applied in cases of violence or threatened violence against an intimate partner for the purpose of “coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge.”
The domestic violence designation doesn’t just apply to beating your spouse – terms such as “violence” and “intimate” are so loosely defined under Colorado law that it is possible to become subject to the domestic violence designation for matters as mundane as the alleged verbal abuse of a former short-term lover.
The following crimes are often associated with domestic violence and can support a domestic violence sentence enhancement:
- Assault: Colorado recognizes assault in the first degree, second degree, and third degree. Actual bodily injury is required for a conviction, but you didn’t have to intend to hurt the alleged victim, or even make physical contact – “reckless behavior” is enough.
- Harassment: Harassment includes annoying or disturbing behavior such as “violent” physical contact that does not result in pain or injury, abusive language, obscene phone calls, and other similar activities.
- Criminal Mischief: Criminal mischief is a form of vandalism against property. You can be charged with criminal mischief for slicing the tires on your own car if it is jointly owned with your partner.
- Disorderly Conduct: “Disorderly conduct” is a vague term that generally refers to annoying or disturbing behavior in public, such as obscene language or other loud or abusive public behavior.
The “Victim’s Rights” Problem
Domestic violence is a political football in Colorado, and once you are charged with it you lose several of the rights that defendants charged with other crimes may still enjoy. For example:
- Once the police establish probable cause to arrest you, they are required to arrest you immediately – regardless of whether or not they believe you are guilty.
- A restraining order preventing you from contacting the alleged victim will be issue immediately. If you violate the restraining order, you can be charged separately; you can be convicted of it even if you are acquitted on your domestic violence charge.
- The prosecutor is required to take your case all the way to trial unless you pled guilty or it is reasonably concluded that the prosecutor has no chance of winning at trial. For this reason, plea bargaining is problematic.
A number of legal defenses may be available to you depending on the facts of your case. Some of the most common defenses are:
- Self-defense: A frequently successful defense.
- Defense of others: Your child, for example.
- False accusation: False accusations are quite common in divorce and child custody proceedings.
- Exclusion of evidence: Evidence from an illegal search can be excluded, for example.
Many other possible defenses may present themselves to a lawyer who is conscientious and careful to examine your case.
Every Moment Matters. Contact Me Today.
When your freedom is on the line, the last thing you need is a lackadaisical, inexperienced, or distracted lawyer. You deserve sympathetic and personalized representation based on the unique facts of your case, and you deserve the undivided attention of your lawyer.
My name is Mark S. Rubinstein, and I am a sole practitioner with over twenty years of experience. I can focus intensely on your case and listen carefully to your concerns. I will even provide you with my personal cell phone number just to make sure that I will always be available whenever you need me.
The sooner you contact me, the sooner I can start devising a strategy to keep you out of jail and protect your reputation. Call 970-945-7233 or contact me online, so that we can schedule a free initial evaluation of your case.