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Lakewood Domestic Violence Attorney

Defense Against Colorado Domestic Violence And Assault Charges

When you’re accused of domestic violence, everything you value most is at risk: your relationships, your reputation, and your freedom.  When the stakes are this high, it is essential that you have skilled legal representation on your side to mount a powerful defense strategy.

If you find yourself in this situation, The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic can help. 

During her more than 25 years working as a Lakewood criminal lawyer, attorney Elaine E. Lukic has gained distinction as a formidable defender of those facing even the most severe charges in Colorado. Working as a criminal prosecutor gave her a first-hand look at how the other side thinks. Now, she uses that knowledge to stay ahead of them – an edge that pays off significantly in the courtroom. She has a long track record of successfully getting acquittals and dismissals for her clients, allowing them to move forward vindicated and without damage to their lives.

After an arrest, call us as soon as possible so that we can begin working on your behalf. 

Why Hiring an Attorney As Soon as Possible is Crucial in Domestic Violence Cases

If you are arrested for a violation that includes a domestic violence sentence enhancer, it’s crucial that you get legal help immediately.  Under Colorado state law, police officers responding to 911 calls for suspected domestic violence are required to make an arrest.

If someone calls 911 and the officers see evidence of a disagreement or violence and determine that an “intimate relationship” exists, someone is going to be arrested and taken to jail, regardless of what statements are made when the police arrive.

Once you get a citation that includes a domestic violence sentence enhancer, it’s difficult for the district attorney to drop that portion of the charges.

How Colorado Defines Domestic Violence

In Colorado, domestic violence is defined as conduct that is meant to “coerce or intimidate” someone involved in an “intimate relationship,” generally meaning a sexual relationship either past or present. However, this term also includes those who share a child in common or ever lived together. Therefore, domestic violence may occur between:

  • Spouses
  • Ex-spouses
  • Boyfriends and girlfriends
  • Same-sex partners
  • Roommates
  • Parents and children 

At the scene of the disturbance, the police officer will ask the complaining party whether or not he/she is or ever was involved in an “intimate relationship” with the offender. Once the determination is made and a domestic violence charge is included in the citation, the district attorney does not have the discretion to remove domestic violence in any plea negotiation.

Immediate Arrests And Complications In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases

Colorado has a mandatory arrest law that applies in domestic violence cases, so if the police get called to a domestic violence situation and find probable cause that domestic violence has occurred, the accused will be arrested and sent immediately to jail. This can occur even in minor cases in which the victim alleges an offense such as harassment. Once police determine the alleged offender and victim are in an intimate relationship, law enforcement has to make an immediate arrest under the circumstances.  

The defendant remains in jail until a judge sets a bond amount. In some cases, this can be long enough for the defendant to miss work and lead to their job loss. Authorities may get involved in the family unit and order that the defendant stay away from their child until the criminal case can be resolved. Even if the alleged victim decides not to move forward with the case, the prosecutor can continue with the case and can only drop the charges if they swear under oath they cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Defendants can also face additional complications. For example, they may not be able to receive house arrest instead of incarceration because they share the residence with the alleged victim. They may also have trouble getting probation because the court must consider the safety of the alleged victim and any children who are involved in the situation. If the defendant is convicted of domestic violence four or more times, they can be labeled a habitual offender and see their charge upgraded to a class 5 felony. 

Protecting Your Freedom And Your Reputation

If you have been accused of domestic violence, attorney Elaine Lukic can make sure your side of the story is heard. She is a former sexual assault/domestic violence district attorney with extensive experience in prosecuting and defending domestic violence cases. Because of her knowledge in this area and the vast number of cases that she has handled, she is aware of the serious implications these charges can have on a defendant’s personal life and professional career.

In Colorado, a domestic violence conviction cannot be expunged and stays on your record forever. I believe that falsely accused and first-time offenders who are remorseful and willing to go into rehab should not be treated as criminals and suffer consequences for the rest of their lives. Often, professional licenses and personal relationships are at stake.

The Serious Implications Of A Domestic Violence Enhancer To Your Charges

The negative impact of domestic violence on criminal charges is not always immediately apparent. For example, a defendant may accept a plea that involves a deferred sentence, which is typical in offenses that do not involve physical injury. After the period determined for the deferment – usually two years – if you have no other violations of the law, the conviction is overturned. However, although the accompanying charge – often it’s third-degree assault or harassment – is overturned, the domestic violence sentence enhancer remains on your criminal record indefinitely.

Many criminal charges carry a domestic violence enhancer, including:

  • Assault
  • Child abuse
  • Harassment
  • Menacing
  • Restraining order violations
  • Sex crimes
  • Stalking
  • Weapons charges

If you and the alleged victim have an intimate relationship together, you could find yourself subject to a domestic violence enhancer. Former intimate partners can also claim sexual assault, meaning that the alleged would need to call a Lakewood sex crimes attorney for support.

If you are convicted of domestic violence, you can face jail time and fines. You will also likely be required to pay for and enroll in a domestic assault treatment program. 

A domestic violence conviction has several negative ancillary implications, including the following:

  • You cannot own a gun under any circumstances.
  • A noncitizen with immigration reporting requirements will likely be deported.
  • Your charge must be reported to employers in several professions, such as banking and securities, aviation, medicine, and education.
  • You can lose your military rank and security clearance if you are a military member.
  • You can lose child custody or visitation rights. 

Even with a plea of a two-year deferred sentence, the defendant will be required to pay for and complete 36 weekly domestic violence classes.

Protect Yourself From These Consequences With A Strong Defense

If you are facing accusations of domestic violence, it is important you get ahead of them and start establishing your defense early. An experienced Lakewood domestic violence defense attorney can talk with you, hear your story, and create a case strategy that is tailored to your case. Possible defenses might include:

  • Self-defense or defense of others
  • False accusations
  • Lack of intent
  • Accidental injury
  • Lack of intimate relationship

In some cases, it may not be possible to save you from a conviction, but we may be able to lessen the severity of your sentence. In these cases, your attorney can argue for lighter penalties or a plea arrangement that minimizes the collateral consequences to your life. 

Call Now For A Free Initial Consultation

As a former prosecutor, attorney Elaine Lucik knows how the prosecution handles cases and how to develop a strong legal strategy for her clients. A domestic violence conviction can have devastating consequences for your life, and we want to help you avoid them. 

To schedule an appointment to discuss the details of your case, contact The Law Offices of Elaine E. Lukic by calling (303) 809-3425 or filling out the online contact form.  If you are facing domestic violence charges in Lakewood, we can help.