Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped in Colorado?
Domestic violence is a serious charge. If you are convicted of domestic violence in Colorado, you could face jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record. If you have been arrested, it is important to understand the charges against you and what you can do to defend yourself. Unfortunately, it is not a defense for the victim to drop the charges or tell police or the prosecutor that they don’t want the defendant to be prosecuted. If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a free consultation.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is any act of violence or threat of violence against a family member or household member. In Colorado, domestic violence victims can be spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, children, parents, in-laws, roommates, and current or former partners.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Colorado
A conviction for domestic violence in Colorado can have serious repercussions. You may be ordered to pay fines, serve jail time, and attend mandatory counseling sessions. You can also be required to surrender any firearms you own and will be placed on a statewide registry of domestic violence offenders. A domestic violence conviction can also make it difficult to find employment and housing.
In addition, if you are an immigrant or non-citizen, a domestic violence conviction can lead to deportation. If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important to understand all the potential consequences before making any decisions about your case. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights and options under the law.
How The Colorado Mandatory Domestic Violence Arrest Law Works
In most states, the decision of whether or not to arrest someone is usually left up to the discretion of the responding officer. However, under Colorado’s mandatory arrest law, if an officer responds to a domestic violence call and finds evidence that a crime has been committed, they must make an arrest. The officer does not have discretion to determine whether an arrest is warranted or necessary; if certain predetermined criteria is present, they must make an arrest.
No Drop Policy
Colorado also has the “no-drop policy” for domestic violence cases. Prosecutors will not drop charges even if the victim does not want to press charges or changes their story. Prosecutors believe that domestic violence cases should not be settled between the two parties involved. The logic behind this policy is that victims of domestic violence are often pressured by their abuser to drop the charges or change their story.
While there are some clear advantages to Colorado’s “no-drop” policy for domestic violence charges, there are also some potential disadvantages. This policy can often result in innocent people being charged with a crime they did not commit because the “victims” are essentially prohibited from recanting their false allegations.
Additionally, this policy can put an incredible amount of pressure on victims of domestic violence who may already feel like they have no control over their situation. Prosecutions can drag on for months or even years, and victims may feel like they cannot move on with their lives until the case is resolved. In some cases, victims may even feel like they have to choose between cooperating with prosecutors and protecting themselves and their families from further harm.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Colorado Springs who can help defend your rights and fight for a dismissal or acquittal.