Domestic violence cases are taken VERY seriously in Colorado. The police can make an arrest for domestic violence in the following circumstances:
1. The victim exhibits signs of injury caused by an act of domestic violence. The word “exhibits” is to be liberally construed to mean any indication that a victim has suffered bodily injury, which shall include physical pain or any impairment of physical condition. Probable cause to arrest may also be established when the police officer observes any manifestation of an internal injury suffered by the victim.
2. If there are no visible signs of injury, but the victim states that an injury occurred, the officer then considers other relevant factors in determining whether there is probable cause to make an arrest. This determination is solely within their discretion.
3. A warrant for defendant exists.
4. Probable cause that a weapon was involved in domestic violence.
5. The police officer may also arrest a person if there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed even if there is no injury.
Many times, the police are put in tough situations when deciding which party to arrest when called to a domestic violence incident. Many times, the police will look at the following in deciding who to arrest:
The comparative extent of the injuries suffered;
The history of domestic violence between the parties, if any;
Other relevant factors, such as the sequence of events – who struck first and why etc.
Once a person is charged with domestic violence, the prosecutor takes over the case and the "victim" becomes the complaining witness.
It is RARE that the charges will be dismissed by the prosecutor without a trial
and/or testimony of the "victim" that the incident didn't really occur. In that case, the "victim" may face charges of filing a false police report
IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT if you have been charged with domestic violence that you contact an attorney in your area who specializes in criminal
law. Sometimes, an initial consultation is free or at a minimal cost. You can discuss the facts of the case, evaluate your options and decide how to proceed.
If the person charged with the crime is really the victim, an attorney may be able to disect the evidence, file a motion to dismiss the charges, file pre-trial motions, and request an evidentiary hearing prior to trial. If successful, any of these things may result in a dismissal prior to trial.
If it comes out during any of the above proceedings, or at trial, that the "victim" was the actual abuser, it is possible that the charges will be dismissed against the defendant and new charges for domestic violence will be brought against the "victim"--real abuser.
However, once a person is charged with domestic violence, it can be difficult to have the charges dismissed without a trial.
Finally, it is possible that your attorney may be able to gather information and evidence from you that shows that the "victim"--real abuser should also be charged with domestic violence.
I hope you find this information useful.
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***Answers given are for informational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice or assistance of an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. If you need any more information, please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you!