Being charged with an offense involving allegations of domestic violence is a serious charge and should be taken seriously. Crimes of domestic violence involve the same acts as other criminal conduct – except that such conduct involves a victim who is an intimate partner. In other words, the facts of domestic violence offense can involve the same facts as other types of criminal conduct, but the relationship of the defendant and the victim is one deemed under law as “intimate.” An intimate partner will often include people who are commonly referred to as one or more of the following: wife, husband, marriage partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, dating partner, fling, mistress, gigolo, hooker, or anyone who is classified as one’s “ex” (such as an “ex-boyfriend,” “ex-wife,” etc.).
The possible penalties and sentences from the court can have very severe consequences for a person – as most experienced domestic violence attorneys in Colorado know. The consequences will not only effect the person being accused and/or convicted, but will often effect such person’s spouse, children, and other family members. Moreover, a domestic violence charge and/or conviction will often have long-lasting effects that will bring about harm for the defendant and the defendant’s family for years – if not for the rest of their life. Undoubtedly, domestic violence charges and convictions carry with them much more serious consequences than other similar criminal charges and convictions that are not domestic-violence related.
An experienced domestic violence attorney in Colorado knows some of the possible penalties that can (or will) be imposed for domestic violence convictions include mandatory restraining order (or no-contact orders), years of probation and/or parole supervision, domestic violence treatment and therapy, substantial added costs, fees, and fines, and extended term of incarceration – including lengthy jail or prison sentences (or both!). Often these types of consequences are called “direct consequences.” There are also “indirect consequences” (or what have come to be known as “collateral consequences”).
Collateral consequences are often those things that result from a domestic violence conviction that a defendant is unaware of or are not as glaring of concern – though, many times they can be just as important, if not more important than direct consequences! For example, an experienced domestic violence attorney will advise her or his client that pleading guilty to (or being convicted of) a domestic violence offense will usually result in a permanent criminal record for the defendant. Even an alternative plea (e.g., a “deferred judgment and sentence” plea, a plea with “deferred prosecutions,” a plea of “nolo contendere,” an “Alford plea,” a plea “by mail,” etc.) can have dramatically harmful effects for the person entering the plea. Such consequences from alternative pleas can include (and often mandate) deportation and removal for non-U.S. Citizens, employer’s security clearance given to a person, demotion in the military, employment disqualification, an full and complete outright ban to possession of handguns and other firearms, a complete loss of one’s right to vote, and other unofficial punishments (see e.g., the Lautenberg Amendment and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act).
For all of these reasons, it is very important to have an experienced domestic violence attorney in Colorado representing you or those you care about when they are either (1) being investigated for domestic violence or (2) have actually been charged with a domestic violence offense. It will only benefit your case (sometimes resulting in a complete dismissal) to hire an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as you become aware of a pending investigation or case.
You should not trust the truth to protect you, for there are many innocent people in prison. You should not trust the police to protect you, for there are many innocent people arrested by the police (often resulting in the police lying or coercing confessions to support their wrongful arrest). You should not trust a prosecutor to protect you (even if you are a victim of domestic violence), as there are many prosecutors who are given cash benefits for obtaining convictions (regardless of the impropriety or wrongfulness of the conviction) and many prosecutors who are simply trying to make a name for themselves. You should not trust a judge to protect you because judges often don’t have the authority to ensure the truth prevails and/or don’t have the bravery to act in the face of pending elections and political pressures. You need one person: a criminal defense attorney dedicated and ethically bound to zealously represent you and your rights and who has the experience successfully defend you against domestic violence charges and allegations.
MASTERSON HALL, P.C. – protect and assert all of your legal rights and privileges.
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