Colorado’s Habitual Domestic Violence Offenses
Domestic violence charges in Colorado Springs are a serious offense and one that can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
The laws of Colorado and the surrounding areas when it comes to domestic violence are complex and often misunderstood by laypeople. Fortunately, an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer can explain the ins and outs of these laws for your benefit.
In Colorado, a person can be charged with the crime of domestic violence if they commit a violent act or threat of violence against a person with whom they have had an intimate relationship. If a person is convicted of a domestic violence offense, they may face severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and restraining orders.
Additionally, if a person has been previously convicted of domestic violence, they may be considered habitual offenders and face enhanced penalties for subsequent offenses.
This article discusses Colorado’s habitual domestic violence offenses and their potential penalties. Those who have been previously convicted of one or more of these offenses are often referred to as habitual violent felons, a term that can have significant legal implications, even after a defendant completes his sentence.
Colorado’s Habitual Domestic Violence Offenses
Colorado has several laws on the books that can lead to a conviction for habitual domestic violence offender status.
These laws fall into two categories: offenses that apply only to certain individuals and offenses that can be applied to anyone who commits certain types of domestic violence offenses.
Habitual domestic violence offenses include:
- Aggravated kidnapping
- False imprisonment
- Defrauding a financial institution
- Exploitation of the disabled
- Exploitation of the elderly
- Exploitation of the handicapped
- Obstruction of telephone access
- Sexual assault
- Sexual exploitation of a child
- Sexual exploitation of an elderly person
- Statutory rape
- Violation of a protective order
- Other offenses related to domestic violence
The Habitual Domestic Violence Offense and Defining Terms
Habitual offenders are subject to a number of laws and may be eligible for additional penalties, particularly if they are convicted of certain offenses.
This status can be attained either through a continuous-offense law or a habitual law.
A continuous-offense law does not require a prior conviction to be considered a habitual offender for the purpose of a future offense. This law applies to certain types of offenses, including child exploitation, exploitation of the disabled, and elder abuse.
A habitual law, on the other hand, requires a prior conviction to be considered a habitual offender for the purpose of a future offense. These laws apply to a number of offenses, including crimes of violence, weapons violations, fraud, and drug offenses.
What Constitutes Habitual Domestic Violence in Colorado?
Under Colorado law, an offender can be classified as a habitual offender if he has been convicted of one of the continuous-offense laws described above. However, even if an offender has committed multiple offenses, he can still be considered a habitual offender if he has been convicted of a continuous-offense offense.
Note that specific elements of the crime do not matter for continuous-offense laws, only if the offenses are connected by conduct. For example, if an offender has committed a forgery offense in conjunction with a kidnapping offense, he can be labeled a habitual offender.
Exceptions to the Rule: No-Contact Orders and Temporary Restraining Orders
Colorado’s continuous-offense laws are very broad in scope, but they have one major limitation: they do not apply to certain individuals. Specifically, these laws do not apply to those who have been convicted of a continuous-offense offense as a result of domestic violence.
These individuals can still be prosecuted for certain domestic violence offenses, but they cannot be labeled habitual offenders for the purpose of a future offense. This exception applies to several habitual offenses, including violations of protective orders and exploitation of the disabled, elderly, or handicapped individuals.
Can Habitual Offenders Fight Habitual Offenses?
A habitual offender can be prosecuted for any of the offenses that lead to habitual offender status, even if he has been acquitted of those charges.
If a habitual offender is charged with certain crimes (such as obstruction of telephone access or exploitation of the disabled), he may be able to fight these charges by arguing that he did not commit them. For example, an individual who had a protective order issued against him may have been falsely accused of violating this order. In this case, the offender would have a legitimate excuse for his actions and could fight the habitual offender charge.
In conclusion habitual domestic violence laws are complex and multi-faceted. The penalties for violating these laws can be severe, and it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney can thoroughly explain the laws in your area and help you navigate these complex waters as smoothly as possible.
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