Domestic Violence Treatment in Colorado - C.R.S. 18-6-801

Domestic Violence Treatment Rules in Colorado

Domestic Violence (DV) Treatment in Colorado consists of a standardized "one-size-fits-all" draconian program under C.R.S. 16-11.8-103. This criminal treatment program mandates that an evaluation be performed on, and paid for by, every person convicted of a crime involving an act of domestic violence, and then that treatment be given under the standards created by a Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (remember the Colorado Sex Offender Management Board?). Also, even before a plea to a domestic violence crime, your name will be added to a Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) database indicating that you are a domestic violence perpetrator. This offends the basic notions of fair play and a presumption of innocence.

Know This Before You Plead to Any Domestic Violence Offense

Before making any plea to a domestic violence offense, you need to know what the government has in store for you. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor in Jefferson County, Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Adams County or Denver County, they will require you to complete and pay for an extensive assessment of your life and mental health issues, where nothing is off limits. Then, they will outline mandatory treatment program that will include at least 36 weeks of classes and related therapy. There are over 200 pages of do's and don'ts for evaluators and treatment providers on the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board Standards pages.

The problem we have with this standardized domestic violence program and the sex offender treatment program is that judges and district attorneys lose the ability to differentiate between different types of domestic violence offenses. Did you know that the definition of domestic violence does not require any violence? A man who repeatedly calls up his ex-girlfriend in the middle of the night to get back at her for breaking up with him (Harassment, C.R.S. 18-9-111) commits an act of domestic violence under Colorado law. The man who beats his wife also commits that same act of domestic violence. The system does not have the flexibility needed so that the first man can receive the minor counseling he needs, and then stop treatment. Too many government workers are afraid the first man might commit a worse offense down the road and they will be criticized for not subjecting him to "the works." So, they treat all men the same, requiring the evaluation and standardized minimum 36 weeks of treatment and classes.

All Treatment Providers Are Not Created Equal

Treatment providers must be approved by the Domestic Violence Board, so be careful where you start your treatment. It will not score you any points if you have an evaluation and treatment at non-approved providers. That will be wasted money and wasted time. Also, you can't do any online programs, so avoid those programs completely. None are approved in Colorado. There is great value in the evaluator and provider you choose. In many cases, we can help you in selecting the more friendly treatment providers.

We have been defending good people like you charged with domestic violence in Colorado for over 20 years. If you've been contacted by police concerning a DV case, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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