Frequently Asked Questions
Are domestic violence charges a felony?
Acts constituting domestic violence can occur in several different scenarios. Sometimes a party has a mandatory criminal restraining order that stems from criminal charges (misdemeanor and/or felony domestic charges). Other times, there are no criminal charges, but a party still has grounds to secure a civil protection order.
Is domestic violence grounds for divorce in Colorado?
Colorado is a “no-fault” state. So, while acts of domestic violence may be a catalyst for seeking a divorce, neither party will gain a financial advantage or suffer a financial disadvantage based on a finding of domestic violence. If domestic violence is an issue within the marriage, it is advisable to speak with an attorney to find out the best way to approach a divorce.
Will being accused of domestic violence affect my child custody rights?
While domestic violence will not alter the financial outcome of a dissolution, if a criminal or family law court determines that you have committed acts of domestic violence, it may affect your child custody rights. If it is believed that you pose a danger to your child, the court may deny visitation or allow minimal supervised visits. It could also be grounds for one party to act unilaterally for the benefit of the children. This is why it is so important to get an experienced attorney involved in your case as soon as possible.
What is the difference between a criminal domestic abuse case and a civil domestic abuse case?
A criminal domestic violence case is handled by the state prosecutor. Domestic violence cases are classified as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the actions that are being alleged. A criminal case conviction could lead to serving time in jail or prison.
In a civil domestic abuse case, the accused will have a temporary order of protection issued against him that prevents him from having contact with the accuser. Within a short period of time, the case will be set for hearing. From there your attorney will prepare you for your hearing as well as attempt to negotiate a favorable resolution for you. If it is determined that without the issuance of a permanent protection order the behavior will continue, it could be grounds to make the protection order permanent.
Can domestic violence charges be expunged in Colorado?
Yes, in certain cases, criminal domestic violence charges can be expunged after a certain period of time has passed and certain requirements are met. An attorney can help assess your specific case and when you may have the charges expunged.
When do protection orders begin and expire?
Temporary protection orders are typically in place for 14 days, until the parties attend a hearing and the court determines whether the protection order should be made permanent. Permanent protection orders are just that: permanent. The protected party can move to dismiss or modify the protection order at any time. The restrained party must wait at least two years before attempting to dismiss or modify it.
Are restraining orders public record in Colorado?
A background check may reveal that someone is the subject of a permanent protection order.