What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence” is not a criminal charge in and of itself.

Under Colorado law, domestic violence is a “sentence enhancer”, meaning that it is a description of the circumstances under which another offense was committed that causes the sentence for that underlying offense to become harsher. You cannot be convicted of domestic violence unless there is enough proof to convict you of some other "underlying" crime against a person or property. The most common charges to which the domestic violence tag is attached are:


Crimes against a person:
- Assault
- Harassment
- Violation of a Restraining Order
- Stalking
- Menacing


Crimes against property:
- Criminal Mischief
- Trespass
- Burglary


In addition to proving that the underlying crime occurred, to add the sentence enhancer of domestic violence, it must be proven that you committed the crime against a person with whom you are or were involved in an “intimate relationship”. Also, unless the underlying crime is an act of violence or a threat of violence, it must be proven that you committed the underlying crime as a method of coercing, controlling, punishing, intimidating, or getting revenge against your partner or ex.


A good domestic violence attorney will carefully consider these definitions in the defense of your case.  Contact Zachary Malkinson if you have questions or would like a consultation about how the definition of domestic violence applies to your situation.

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