FAQ About Domestic Violence Treatment

My DV charge was a one-time freak occurrence and I know I don’t need domestic violence treatment. Can’t I avoid the therapy if it’s obvious that I don’t need it?

You cannot avoid DV treatment if you plead guilty and accept probation to a domestic violence offense. If you are charged with domestic violence, the only routes to avoiding DV therapy are:

1) to win a dismissal or acquittal of your case by convincing a prosecutor or jury that you are innocent of any crime; or
2) to convince a prosecutor or judge that due to a technical difference between the facts of your case and the DV statute, the case is not a domestic violence offense and therefore the treatment requirement does not apply to you; or
3) to request a sentence to jail instead of a term of probation if you plead guilty or are convicted of an offense.


I have an existing relationship with a psychologist or personal counselor. Can I go to him or her to satisfy my domestic violence treatment requirement?

The only counselors that can be used to satisfy a court order for DV therapy are treatment providers accredited by the Colorado “DVOMB” (Domestic Violence Offender Management Board). The Denver/Boulder metro area has dozens of DVOMB certified treatment providers and publishes a list of accredited counselors that you may choose from. You can ask your existing counselor about his or her DVOMB status, but no counselors who are not DVOMB certified will be permitted to conduct court-order DV treatment.

 

How much will domestic violence treatment cost?

Cost of services varies between the different Colorado domestic violence treatment providers, but is generally between $25 and $40 per group session. Domestic violence treatment lasts a minimum of about 24 sessions but can be significantly longer for many people.

 

What happens if I am court-ordered to do domestic violence therapy and I don’t finish it?

If a judge finds that you failed to cooperate in completing court-ordered DV treatment, your probation can be revoked and you will be resentenced to any penalty up to the maximum sentence that can be imposed for the offense of conviction. For some people, this will mean a sentence to jail or to prison.

 

What happens if I have medical issues or mental health concerns that interfere with my domestic violence treatment?

Colorado law on domestic violence treatment before September 2010 allowed for the completion of domestic violence therapy by your attendance at 36 weeks of treatment. However, starting in September 2010, you cannot complete DV treatment until you demonstrate understanding and application of 18 “core concepts”. The DVOMB acknowledges that some people with developmental disabilities or certain types of mental health issues will not be able to demonstrate these “core concepts” regardless of the amount of time spent in DV therapy. The question of how these people can be identified and treated fairly by the system is a big concern of domestic violence defense attorneys.

 

 

 
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