Maybe things got out of control, or your spouse is making it up. No matter what happened, you are now facing a domestic violence charge. It is scary to have someone press charges against you, but you must know that a criminal charge does not always result in a conviction. You could avoid facing the penalties of a conviction by proving your innocence to the court or giving them the right arguments.
The punishments for domestic violence
In Colorado, domestic violence is not a crime by itself. A person is not charged with domestic violence. They are charged with assault or harassment as an act of domestic violence. Harassment and violence include controlling behavior, punishments and threats. If your spouse is accusing you of any of these, you may need legal help to avoid an unwanted conviction that can come with the following penalties, in addition to the penalties set for assault or harassment:
- 36 weeks of anger management classes with a total minimum cost of $1,260 for the program.
- Up to 24 months of supervised probation, which can cost a total of $1,200.
- A fee of $100 for a domestic violence evaluation
- A fee of $200 in court costs.
- The prohibition of owning or using a gun ever again.
Additional to these penalties, you could be subject to a restraining order. If this happens, you will have to stay away from your spouse, house, and child for a determined amount of time.
The right of defense
A conviction for assault or harassment as an act of domestic violence can stay on your criminal record and damage your future employment and housing opportunities. This conviction also implies expensive fines and even time in jail. However, you still have the right to avoid those punishments by giving the right arguments or proving your innocence to the judge. You still have the right to defend yourself, and you can do this in court.