Domestic Violence in Colorado

Domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behaviors that occur within an intimate relationship or household. It involves the exertion of power and control by one person over another through physical, emotional, sexual, or economic abuse. Domestic violence is a serious issue that affects individuals and families across the globe, including in the state of Colorado.

In Colorado, domestic violence is defined under the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS 18-6-800.3) as an act or threatened act of violence against a person with whom the offender has or has had an intimate relationship. An intimate relationship includes spouses, former spouses, unmarried couples, or individuals who are or were in a dating relationship or who have a child in common.

Colorado takes domestic violence seriously and has implemented laws and resources to address and prevent such incidents. Some key aspects of domestic violence in Colorado include:

Mandatory Arrest:

Colorado law mandates that law enforcement officers make an arrest when there is probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic violence has occurred.

Criminal Charges:

Committing acts of domestic violence can result in criminal charges. Colorado has specific offenses related to domestic violence, such as assault, harassment, stalking, and violation of protection orders.

Protection Orders:

Victims of domestic violence can seek protection orders, also known as restraining orders or orders of protection, to ensure their safety and restrict the abuser’s contact with them.  If you are charged with a domestic violence enhancer, you will be receiving a criminal protection order.

Sentencing Enhancements:

Colorado law provides for enhanced penalties for crimes committed as acts of domestic violence. These enhancements can result in longer jail or prison sentences and increased fines.

Intervention Programs:

Colorado offers intervention programs for perpetrators of domestic violence, aiming to address their behavior and prevent further violence. These programs focus on accountability, education, and rehabilitation.

Support for Victims:

Various organizations and resources are available in Colorado to support victims of domestic violence. These include shelters, helplines, counseling services, legal advocacy, and assistance with finding resources and support.

In Colorado, domestic violence can be associated with various crimes. Domestic violence is a complex issue, and its impacts can be long-lasting and far-reaching. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, it is crucial to seek help and support.

Some of the specific offenses related to domestic violence under Colorado law include:


This includes both misdemeanor and felony assault charges, such as third-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204) and second-degree assault (CRS 18-3-203). It involves intentionally causing bodily injury to another person, with or without a deadly weapon.


Harassment (CRS 18-9-111) involves engaging in conduct with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, which can include domestic violence situations.


Menacing (CRS 18-3-206) is the act of knowingly placing someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury by threats or physical actions, such as displaying a weapon. It can be charged as a domestic violence offense.


Stalking (CRS 18-3-602) refers to engaging in a pattern of conduct intended to cause fear or emotional distress to another person, including repeatedly following, contacting, or surveilling the victim. It can be associated with domestic violence situations.

Violation of Protection Order:

A protection order is a court order issued to protect victims of domestic violence. Violating a protection order (CRS 18-6-803.5) by making contact with the protected person can lead to criminal charges.

Criminal Mischief:

If an act of domestic violence involves intentionally damaging or destroying another person’s property, it may be charged as criminal mischief (CRS 18-4-501).


In cases where domestic violence involves the unlawful confinement, removal, or restraint of a victim, it may lead to charges of kidnapping (CRS 18-3-301).

False Imprisonment:

False imprisonment (CRS 18-3-303) involves knowingly restraining another person without their consent. It can be charged if domestic violence includes the unlawful confinement or restraint of the victim.

This is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other crimes associated with domestic violence depending on the specific circumstances. If you need legal advice or assistance, it’s recommended to consult with a qualified attorney familiar with Colorado law.

If you are in need of legal assistance please contact us

Norml Legal Committee
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