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Domestic Violence FAQ

What acts are considered domestic violence?

Domestic violence is considered the act or threat of violence between two people who have shared an intimate relationship. For example, in Colorado (unlike other states) "domestic violence" is not an act of violence against a child - such an act would simply be prosecuted as child abuse, not domestic violence.

Furthermore, many criminal acts can be used as the underlying criminal charge in a domestic violence prosecution. For example, a male or female could be charged with assault, stalking, criminal mischief, or harassment - each of which is a separte crime, but with the sentencing enhancer of domestic violence.

What are the penalties for domestic violence?

In Colorado, "domestic violence" in and of itself is not a crime. It is only a sentencing enhancer. A domestic violence conviction will result in the following penalties: up to two years in jail, one or more years of probation, 36-weeks of domestic violence counseling, and a court-issued protection order that prohibits you from contacting or coming within a certain distance of the victim. If you were charged with felony domestic violence, you may also face time in the state prison.

For many, especially those who's hobbies or careers involve the possession and use of firearms (police officer, military, hunters, etc), a conviction, even to a minor domestic violence charge will forever mean a loss of one's constitutional right to possess or own a firearm again.

If I’m accused of domestic violence will I still be able to see my children?

Maybe. Not all domestic violence cases are the same, and while one person may be prohibited from seeing their children it doesn’t mean that all people will be prohibited from seeing their kids. Generally what happens is that after some time as passed, you will be given visitation rights and gradually earn more time with your kids. However, there are some extreme cases in which a judge may never allow you to contact your children.

If you are concerned about seeing your children, it’s best to speak with an experienced attorney who can review your case and give you a better idea of where you stand.

What if the person who accused me of domestic violence decided to change their mind?

Sadly, even if the person who accuses you of domestic violence decides to change their mind (recant), you will still be prosecuted. Under Colorado law, police officers must arrest someone if they respond and investigate and subsequently find probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has occurred.

Frankly, many experienced criminal justice professionals in Colorado believe that given the way the law is written, that the first person to pick up the phone and call police will often insure that the other party (spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend) will be arrested whether or not the initial allegation made over the phone are true. This is why someone charged with domestic violence needs an experienced domestic violence attorney to find the true evidence which will exonerate you.

In reality, and in most Colorado jurisdictions, once the police arrest you on a domestic violence charge, you will be taken to jail and held there without bond until you are put through a domestic violence "FAST-TRACK" process. The D.V. - FAST-TRACK was designed by prosecutors and special interest groups to coerce a defendant (almost always a male defendant) to feel pressured into pleading guilty immediately without ever having the chance to speak to an attorney.

IMPORTANT: If you are arrested for domestic violence in Colorado - DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY AT ANY FAST-TRACK PROCEEDING. DEMAND AN ATTORNEY AND PLEAD NOT GUILTY! Then call us at (303) 720-7280.

Why should I hire Chris Cessna?

If you are facing domestic violence charges, it’s in your best interest to hire attorney Chris Cessna to handle your case. Not only will Mr. Cessna protect your rights, but he can also devote the time and attention to your case that a public defender cannot. The attorneys in the public defender’s office don’t have the time to thoroughly investigate your charges, and cannot provide you with the comprehensive legal counsel you need. Mr. Cessna can address all of the various elements of your case, and can utilize his extensive knowledge and experience to help you overcome your charges.

For more information, please contact Metro Denver domestic violence attorneyChris Cessna today! Call us at (303) 720-7280.

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