Domestic Violence Crimes Against A Person

Unlike property crimes, offenses "against a person" will be designated as domestic violence any time the police believe there has been a romantic relationship between the defendant and the victim.



Assault means causing another person pain or injury. Assault involving the use of a weapon is a felony, no matter how minor the injury. Assault that causes “serious bodily injury” is also a felony, even if no weapon is involved. If an assault causes pain according to the person on the receiving end, even if no visible injuries result and even if the claim of pain is not objectively reasonable, this results in a charge of misdemeanor assault. Misdemeanor assault, or “third degree assault” is one of the most common kinds of Colorado domestic violence charges.



The Colorado law against harassment is very broad. Harassment can range from repeated and annoying telephone calls, to physical contact that does not cause pain or injury, to verbal abuse or cursing. Harassment can be the vaguest of the commonly charged domestic violence charges and also one of the most defensible. Even though many different actions lead to the filing of harassment charges, to prove harassment it must be proven that the action was done with the specific purpose to “harass, annoy, or alarm” the other person. An action that you took to defend yourself or to try to diffuse or reconcile a bad situation is not harassment.


Violation of a Restraining Order

As discussed in detail on our restraining order pages, no-contact orders can come into existence in several different ways. If there is a restraining order prohibiting you from contacting another person and you have been alleged to have attempted physical contact, telephone contact, email contact, or indirect contact through a third party, you will be charged with Violation of a Restraining Order, even if no contact actually resulted. Accusations that you have violated a protection order carry more serious consequences each time they are charged. Accusations of violation of a restraining order are also among the easiest to fabricate. For both these reasons, it is essential to have a good attorney aggressively defend against the restraining order when it is sought, and to have a strong defense to any accusation that you violated an order that is already in place.



Repeated violations of a restraining order are often charged as stalking. Stalking is a felony under Colorado law. Stalking may also be charged if the police believe that you made a credible threat to someone, and in connection with that threat that you followed or watched them on more than one occasion, or initiated any kind of communication that caused them “serious emotional distress”. Stalking is one of the ugliest labels in the Colorado criminal code, but stalking charges sometimes come from conduct that is quite innocent. A “credible threat” can be the basis of a stalking charge even if it is not a direct threat, a verbal threat, or even intended by you to have been a threat at all.



Menacing means making a threat that puts someone in fear of imminent harm. Like stalking, menacing does not have to be a verbal threat or even intended to be a threat at all. If the menacing involves a deadly weapon or an object that someone else believed to have been a deadly weapon it will be charged as a felony. Misdemeanor menacing is charged for all kinds of threats that don’t involve weapons or the belief of the alleged victim that a weapon was present.

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