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If a person is found guilty at trial for a criminal charge or criminal charges related to domestic violence or a person elects to accept a plea agreement, there are several legal consequences that the convicted person will face.

  • Incarceration:  A person could be confined to prison or the county jail for a criminal conviction.  Although prison and jail are not always part of the sentence, the defendant needs to realize that jail or prison are possible consequences of being found guilty at trial or accepting a plea offer from the district attorney.  Because there are so many potential criminal charges associated with domestic violence, and those can range from a low level misdemeanor to high level felony, and also consist of multiple misdemeanors and felonies, the potential jail / prison range is not discussed here.  Please see the portion of this web site that discusses common charges.
  • Probation:  When a person is convicted of or accepts a plea agreement to misdemeanor domestic violence charge and does not have a prior criminal record, the court is likely to grant probation.  However, jail or prison are always possible, a more likely on a second or subsequent misdemeanor charge and also a first time felony conviction.  A lawyer experienced with a domestic violence cases that is able to evaluate the facts of a case can expand on this issue.  When a person is on supervised probation a probation officer is assigned.  The probation officer is there to assist the person is completing the court ordered requirements, helping the defendant to not be in a situation where they get charged with any new criminal offenses and basically keeping an eye on the person through supervision.  The probation officer can generally add in additional reasonable requirements to probation.  There is a monthly fee associated with being on supervised probation.  In some cases unsupervised probation may be granted.  This is a decision that is left to the discretion of the court / judge. The court requirements stay in effect, with the basic difference being that the defendant does not have a probation officer to check in with nor be required to pay the probation supervision fees.  If a defendant fails to complete the requirements of probation, probation can be revoked.  Revocation of probation can result in additional penalties, requirements, and jail or prison.
  • Domestic Violence Counseling: Colorado Revised Statutes 18-6-801 provides that in addition to any sentence that is imposed on the defendant for violation of any criminal law under the Colorado Revised Statutes, Colorado law, with the underlying factual basis include an act of domestic violence as defined in Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-800.3 (1), or any crime against property when such crime is used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge that is directed against a person with who the defendant is or has been involved in an intimate relationship shall be ordered to complete a domestic violence treatment program and a treatment evaluation that conforms with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board.                                                     Basically, when a person is sentenced, or prior to sentencing, the defendant will be required to participate in a domestic violence evaluation and follow the recommendations.  Due to the fact that the person has plead or is anticipating pleading guilty to a criminal charge related to domestic violence, domestic violence treatment will be ordered.  The minimum that is ordered consists of 36 hours of domestic violence treatment, which is usually completed at the rate of 2 hours per week.  In more serious or concerning situations more domestic violence treatment hours can be required.  The defendant is required to pay the costs of the evaluation and treatment, although some treatment providers may reduce cost based on a sliding scale.                                                                                            In addition to a domestic violence evaluation, some cases may require a mental health evaluation or parenting classes if there is an indication or concern of mental issues or children in the home that may be a witness to or involved in a domestic violence allegation.
  •  Anger Management: In some domestic violence cases a person may be ordered to attend and complete anger management as part of their treatment.  However, there is some dispute that participating in anger management and domestic violence cases at the same time can be counterproductive for the defendant.  Many individuals may start anger management classes as a result of being arrested or charged with domestic violence.  However, the defendant should be aware that the criminal court may or may not give credit for this.
  • Substance abuse evaluation and treatment:  In a situation where alcohol or an illicit drug may be a factor that has lead to domestic violence charge or charges, the plea agreement, court order, or probation department may require a substance abuse evaluation.  A court-ordered substance abuse evaluation should determine if, and to what extent a party is using substances, evaluate the defendant’s suitability for drug or alcohol treatment and determine whether drug or alcohol treatment is appropriate. If drug or alcohol   treatment is deemed appropriate, the evaluation should result in a recommendation for drug or alcohol treatment appropriate to the defendant's needs.
  • Restraining order: In any criminal case there is a Mandatory Protection Order that is issued against the defendant.  This should not be confused with Temporary Protection Orders, Permanent Protection Orders, or Permanent Restraining Orders that are requested by an individual seeking protection from another person, which are considered civil protection orders.                                                              Mandatory Protection Orders remain in effect until the case is complete.  This type of restraining order restrains the defendant from harassing, molesting, intimidating, threatening, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness to an alleged crime or to an alleged victim of a crime.                                                                                                                                                                                         Although this Protection Order does not prevent the person from having communication with a alleged victim or witness, it certainly makes it easy for the person to be charged in the event the defendant charged with a domestic violent crime and the alleged victim in a case get into an argument or altercation.
  • Deportation: Many criminal convictions can result in a non-citizen being deported.  Prior to entering into any type of plea the Defendant needs to be aware of being deported.  Although this law firm does not practice immigration law, any lawyer handling a case that involves a non-citizen should consult with a lawyer that is knowledgeable in immigration / deportation laws.

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