Domestic Violence Defined

Legal Meaning of "DV": Colorado Domestic Violence Law

Domestic violence is a big word, one that frequently confuses or misleads juries in Arapahoe County and the Denver-Metro area. It is vague, and over broad. Because of that, it gets charged a lot more than people think. Essentially there are three (3) main parts to the legal definition of the word 'domestic violence'. First, you must have been in an intimate relationship with another person. This could be in the present tense or past tense. The age or sex of the other person does not matter, nor does marital status or possibly even length of time. As an example, two women dating for 1 week could be involved in an act of domestic violence. Intimacy is also vague and over broad. It could mean anything from a 20 year marriage, to hooking up weekly for sex. The final and third part of domestic violence is you have to exhibit - or attempt to exhibit - control, threat, or dominion over the other person. Again (no surprise here) this is a vague and over broad word. People have been charged with domestic violence for being 'verbally' controlling over the other person with their words. Sometimes it involves the other person taking personal property and withholding it as a means of control. Of course, the most common form is some type of physical act, i.e hitting, pushing, or even restraining.

"Domestic violence" means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. "Domestic violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when 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.

"Intimate relationship" means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

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