Domestic Violence Penalties

Consequences of DV Criminal Charges in Colorado

• Jail or prison (as little as 0 days up to as high as 6 years or more);
• Probation (as little as 1 year up to 5 years);
• Loss of right to own, possess, or use a firearm

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In addition to any sentence that is imposed upon a person for violation of any criminal law under this title, any person who is convicted of any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), or any crime against property, whether or not such crime is a felony, when such crime is used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship shall be ordered to complete a treatment program and a treatment evaluation that conform with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board as required by section 16-11.8-103 (4), C.R.S. If an intake evaluation conducted by an approved treatment program provider discloses that sentencing to a treatment program would be inappropriate, the person shall be referred back to the court for alternative disposition.

The court may order a treatment evaluation to be conducted prior to sentencing if a treatment evaluation would assist the court in determining an appropriate sentence. The person ordered to undergo such evaluation shall be required to pay the cost of the treatment evaluation. If such treatment evaluation recommends treatment, and if the court so finds, the person shall be ordered to complete a treatment program that conforms with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board as required by section 16-11.8-103 (4), C.R.S.

Nothing in this subsection (1) shall preclude the court from ordering domestic violence treatment in any appropriate case. Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to persons sentenced to the department of corrections.

A person charged with the commission of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which includes an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), shall not be entitled to plead guilty or plead nolo contendere to an offense which does not include the domestic violence designation required in section 16-21-103, C.R.S., unless the prosecuting attorney makes a good faith representation on the record that such attorney would not be able to establish a prima facie case that the person and the alleged victim were currently or formerly involved in an intimate relationship if the defendant were brought to trial on the original domestic violence offense and upon such a finding by the court. The prosecuting attorney's record and the court's findings shall specify the relationship in the alleged domestic violence case which the prosecuting attorney is not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and the reasons therefor. No court shall accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to an offense which does not include the domestic violence designation required in section 16-21-103, C.R.S., when the facts of the case indicate that the underlying factual basis includes an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1) unless there is a good faith representation by the prosecuting attorney that he or she would be unable to establish a prima facie case if the defendant were brought to trial on the original offense.

No person accused or convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), shall be eligible for home detention in the home of the victim pursuant to section 18-1.3-105 or 18-1.3-106. Nothing in this subsection (4) is intended to prohibit a court from ordering a deferred sentence for a person accused or convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1).

Before granting probation, the court shall consider the safety of the victim and the victim's children if probation is granted.

Any misdemeanor offense that includes an act of domestic violence is a class 5 felony if the defendant at the time of sentencing has been previously convicted of three or more prior offenses that included an act of domestic violence and that were separately brought and tried and arising out of separate criminal episodes.

The prior convictions must be set forth in apt words in the indictment or information. For the purposes of this section, "conviction" includes any federal, state, or municipal conviction for a felony, misdemeanor, or municipal ordinance violation.

Trials in cases alleging that the defendant is an habitual domestic violence offender pursuant to this subsection (7) must be conducted in accordance with the rules of criminal procedure for felonies. The trier of fact shall determine whether an offense charged includes an act of domestic violence.

Following a conviction for an offense which underlying factual basis includes an act of domestic violence: If any prior conviction included a determination by a jury or was admitted by the defendant that the offense included an act of domestic violence, the court shall proceed to sentencing without further findings as to that prior conviction by the jury or by the court, if no jury trial is had; (II) For any prior conviction in which the factual basis was found by the court to include an act of domestic violence, but did not include a finding of domestic violence by a jury or that was not admitted by the defendant, the trial court shall proceed to a sentencing stage of the proceedings. The prosecution shall present evidence to the trier of fact that the prior conviction included an act of domestic violence. The prosecution has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

At the sentencing stage, the following applies: A finding of domestic violence made by a court at the time of the prior conviction constitutes prima facie evidence that the crime involved domestic violence; Evidence of the prior conviction is admissible through the use of certified documents under seal, or the court may take judicial notice of a prior conviction; Evidence admitted in the guilt stage of the trial, including testimony of the defendant and other acts admitted pursuant to section 18-6-801.5, may be considered by the finder of fact.

In addition to any sentence that is imposed upon a defendant for violation of any criminal law under this title, if a defendant is convicted of any crime, the underlying factual basis of which is found by the court on the record to be a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, as defined in 18 U.S.C. sec. 921 (a) (33), or that is punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year and includes an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), the court: Shall order the defendant to: Refrain from possessing or purchasing any firearm or ammunition for the duration of the order; and Relinquish any firearm or ammunition in the defendant's immediate possession or control or subject to the defendant's immediate possession or control; and May require that before the defendant is released from custody on bond, the defendant shall relinquish, for the duration of the order, any firearm or ammunition in the defendant's immediate possession or control or subject to the defendant's immediate possession or control.

Not more than three business days after the relinquishment, the defendant shall file a copy of the receipt issued pursuant to paragraph (d), (e), or (h) of this subsection (8), and, if applicable, the written statement of the results of a background check performed on the transferee, as described in subparagraph (II) of paragraph (h) of this subsection (8), with the court as proof of the relinquishment. If a defendant fails to timely file a receipt or written statement as described in this paragraph (i):The failure constitutes a class 2 misdemeanor, and the defendant shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501; and The court shall issue a warrant for the defendant's arrest.

In any subsequent prosecution for a violation of this paragraph (i), the court shall take judicial notice of the defendant's failure to file a receipt or written statement, which will constitute prima facie evidence that the defendant has violated this paragraph (i), and testimony of the clerk of the court or his or her deputy is not required.

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