Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

“Fast-Track” to a Domestic Violence Conviction: C.R.S. 18-6-800.3

| May 7, 2012 | Domestic Violence |

Denver Domestic Violence Attorney

The “Fast-Track” Domestic Violence (“DV”) programs implemented by Colorado counties like Adams, Jefferson, and Arapahoe County are used by District Attorneys’ offices to scare and bully people into domestic violence convictions (C.R.S. 18-6-800.3). Because of Colorado’s Mandatory Arrest Law (C.R.S. 18-6-803.6), if the police have probable cause to believe domestic violence has occurred, they must arrest the alleged offender. The accused will spend (at least) one night in jail before appearing before the magistrate or judge the following day. At that time, the magistrate will issue a mandatory restraining order against the accused and will advise them that they are to appear in court for arraignment that same day.

Domestuic Violence in Boulder: Convictions at the First Appearance

After a terrifying and sleepless night in jail, the alleged perpetrator is hauled into court (still in jail attire and handcuffs) to meet with prosecutors. In Denver, Douglas, and Boulder County, the prosecutor’s intent at this first meeting is the get the accused to plead guilty to a domestic violence charge. Most of the time defendants have not yet had the opportunity to speak to legal counsel and they just want to be done with the whole process and get out of jail, so they unknowingly accept plea bargains that have lifelong consequences.

Aurora Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Advises

Do not be fooled. Prosecutors in Greeley, Aurora, and Centennial love fast-track programs, and while they will say it is because it provides swift justice for alleged victims of DV, the real reason is that domestic violence cases almost always get worse with time for the prosecution. Many times a partner or spouse will falsely accuse the other partner of DV in the heat of an argument. By the time the case is set to go to trial, many times alleged victims will realize their mistake and recant their story. This is why prosecutors push so hard to plead these cases early. Believe me, none of them want to go to trial with a recanting victim, and they will use your vulnerability to coerce you into a plea bargain at your first appearance.

Consequences of a Jefferson County Domestic Violence Conviction

A DV conviction in Colorado, usually associated with crimes like Third Degree Assault (C.R.S. 18-3-204) and Harassment (C.R.S. 18-9-111), can affect your ability to work, your right to carry a weapon, and comes with costly DV treatment programs.

If you have been accused of domestic violence in Larimer, Weld, or El Paso County, do not let the fast-track program railroad you into a conviction. An experienced criminal defense attorney from the O’Malley Law Office can help you navigate this frightening process, protect your rights, and fight for justice in your case. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silence, and call us immediately at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.