Child Custody Stress and Domestic Violence Charges During the Holidays
During the holiday season, tensions tend to run high, especially among families dealing with child custody battles. This period often ignites disagreements over who gets to spend what time and how much of it with the children. These disputes can sadly escalate into violent exchanges or altercations – outcomes that nobody wishes for, but that unfortunately do occur.
If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges as a result of these incidents, you should reach out to a domestic violence defense lawyer in Colorado Springs as soon as possible.
Common Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado
While domestic violence can take many forms, there are a number of charges that frequently occur in Colorado:
Assault: This refers to knowingly or recklessly causing injury to another person. There are different degrees of assault in Colorado, with more serious ones carrying more serious penalties.
“A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:
- The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence the person causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or
- The person, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be a peace officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, or an emergency medical service provider, causes the other person to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including throwing, tossing, or expelling the fluid or material.”
Sexual Assault: Sexual assault is a severe crime involving sexually intrusive or violent behavior directed towards another person without their consent.
“…knowingly inflicts sexual intrusion or sexual penetration on a victim commits sexual assault if:
- The actor causes submission of the victim by means of sufficient consequence reasonably calculated to cause submission against the victim’s will; or
- The actor knows that the victim is incapable of appraising the nature of the victim’s conduct…”
The gravity of the charge and corresponding punishment depend on various factors, such as the level of violence used, the defendant’s criminal history, and the age of the victim.
Harassment: Harassment occurs when a person knowingly frightens, annoys or harasses another through acts like following them in public places, repeated phone calls or messages, and obscene language/gestures.
“A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:
- Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or
- In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; or
- Follows a person in or about a public place…”
Navigating any of these domestic violence charges along with child custody battles during already stressful holiday seasons can feel overwhelming. Support from an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer can provide much-needed guidance.The Seriousness of Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado
Domestic violence charges hold severe implications under the law, from immediate effects like restraining orders to substantial fines as well as potential prison time. Your interaction with your children and other family members can be dramatically limited by restraining or protective orders.
When considering employment or housing options, a permanent criminal record for domestic violence may seriously harm such prospects for the long-term future, casting a large shadow over your life even after all criminal penalties have been served.
Perhaps of most concern while navigating child custody battles during holidays is the profound ramifications that these charges can have on child custody arrangements moving forward.
What to Do If Charged with Domestic Violence in Colorado
If you find yourself facing domestic violence charges, it’s crucial to take specific actions to protect your rights and build a legal defense. Consider doing the following:
Contact An Attorney: Reach out immediately to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in handling domestic violence cases.
Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and do not have to provide any statements or admissions to law enforcement officers without having legal representation present.
Prepare a Comprehensive Account of What Happened: With your lawyer, recount all the events leading up to and including the incident calmly and thoroughly. This information will be critical in establishing effective defensive strategies.
Abide by No-Contact/Restraining Orders: Strict adherence to no-contact or restraining orders is crucial. Any violation of these could lead to further charges and additional penalties, compounding the gravity of your original domestic violence allegations.
While dealing with such cases during the holiday season can be challenging to navigate, professional guidance will alleviate some of the stress and help protect you and your future. If you need help with a domestic violence charge in Colorado, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.