Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Grand Junction and Mesa County
The breathtaking beauty of Grand Junction, Colorado, surrounding Mesa County, and the Colorado National Monument can make you forget everything but the present moment. Named because of its location at the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, Grand Junction’s Wild West charm has the ability to intrigue the visitor and dazzle the local.
Ultimately, however, distressing realities all too often intrude upon Grand Junction’s serenity. The city’s 60,000 resident are just as prone as anyone else to domestic discord, some of it resulting in serious legal problems that can spiral out of control if they are not properly handled.
My name is Mark S. Rubinstein, and I defend people who need a Grand Junction domestic violence defense attorney. If you have been charged with a criminal offense involving an allegation of domestic violence, I can provide you with a guiding hand and a robust defense.
What is “Domestic Violence” Under Colorado Law?
Strictly speaking, domestic violence is not a crime in Colorado – it is a “sentencing enhancer,” meaning that it can be used to punish you more harshly if you are convicted of a crime involving domestic violence. Below is an incomplete list of typical crimes to which the domestic violence sentencing enhancer is applied:
- Assault: Colorado divides assault into first degree, second degree, or third degree. Colorado defines assault as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury. Reckless behavior does not require you to have acted with the purpose of injuring someone, but it can still result in a conviction.
- Harassment: Harassment is broadly defined under Colorado law. It can include striking a person even if no pain or injury results, or even using “fighting words.” A repeating pattern of harassment can result in a felony charge of stalking.
- Criminal Mischief: Criminal mischief is similar to the common law crime of vandalism in that it involves damage or destruction of property. The property can belong to the victim or it can be jointly owned by both you and the victim.
- Disorderly Conduct: Despite its name, disorderly conduct does not refer to bad housekeeping skills. Instead, it refers to a broad category of behavior that includes discharging or threatening to discharge a firearm in public, fighting in public, and verbal abuse (especially obscenity).
Elements of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is composed of three elements – that is, the prosecutor must prove three facts to win a conviction:
- Violence or a threat of violence: Colorado defines “violence” very broadly – beating the victim’s dog (or even threatening to do so) could be enough, as could uttering vague and unspecific threats that might be reasonably interpreted as a threat of violence.
- A past or present intimate relationship: A past or present spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend, or lover is enough to constitute an intimate relationship. You are considered to have had an intimate relationship with the parent of your child, regardless of whether or not any relationship other than conception occurred.
- An ulterior motive: An ulterior motive means a purpose of coercion, control, intimidation, punishment, or revenge. A lot of unfairness can result when a court attempts to probe into a defendant’s motives based on his or her behavior.
Sentencing for a domestic violence conviction involves two considerations – the seriousness of the underlying offense and the enhancement of the sentence based on domestic violence. The added penalties you might face include:
- Enhanced penalties for the underlying crime – a longer period of incarceration, for example.
- Mandatory domestic violence counseling.
- Mandatory anger management classes (which might not be required if you are sentenced to mandatory domestic violence counseling).
- Mandatory substance abuse counseling and treatment, if a substance abuse problem is indicated.
- A permanent restraining order, prohibiting any contact with the alleged victim.
- Possible deportation, if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Contact a Grand Junction and Mesa County Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
You deserve dedicated, sympathetic, and personalized representation, not the “assembly line approach” that so often substitutes for professionalism these days. As a sole practitioner with two decades of experience, I can devote my undivided attention to your case. I will even provide you with my personal cell phone number so that you can contact me day or night. The sooner you act, the sooner I can formulate a strategy to keep you out of jail so you can move on with your life.
Call me at 970-248-0984 or contact me online to schedule your free initial case consultation.