A Colorado Springs man is being sought by police in connection with the homicide of his ex-girlfriend, who was the alleged victim in a Domestic Violence case against him (C.R.S. 18-6-801). Colorado Spring police arrested him in March on charges of Criminal Mischief (C.R.S. 18-4-501), Theft (C.R.S. 18-4-401), and Harassment (C.R.S. 18-9-111) after the couple broke up and he became violent, destroying some of her property. He is scheduled to go on trial for those charges in August. Although the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and the Colorado Spring police have been searching for this man for days on suspicion of the homicide, he has yet to be found.
In Arapahoe, Douglas, and Adams County, Colorado, Domestic Violence is not a crime by itself, but is a sentencing enhancer added to other crimes when there is evidence of an "intimate" relationship. Criminal Mischief and Harassment are two of the most common misdemeanor charges added to Domestic Violence. This makes logical sense if you picture a fight between two people in a relationship. Perhaps he calls her a nasty name and she spits in his face. Both persons could conceivably be charged under the Harassment statute, which has sub-sections for offensive physical contact (which includes spitting) and so-called fighting words. After she spits at him, if he takes a book off of the shelf and throws it across the room breaking her television, he could also be charged with Criminal Mischief.
With this kind of Domestic Violence related incident, Denver, Jefferson, and Boulder County, have a mandatory arrest law. Therefore, if the police have probable cause to believe that one or both of the parties involved has committed a crime of Domestic Violence, they must arrest them. Sometimes, this produces ridiculous results. For example, let's say the woman in the example above called 911 after her boyfriend started smashing up her property. Once the police hear that she spit at him, they would have to arrest her too, even though most people would probably have spit at him after being called a degrading name.
The attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office have over twenty years experience with Domestic Violence cases. We understand that when you have been arrested on Domestic Violence related charges by the Denver, Centennial, or Westminster police, it can be a frightening and dehumanizing experience. Many of our clients called the police looking for help, and instead were hauled off to jail themselves. If you are contacted by police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.