If you’ve been charged with a Domestic Violence Offense it is critical that you take the time to learn about and understand Colorado Domestic Violence Laws and Colorado Domestic Violence Sentencing. A good Denver Domestic Violence Defense Attorney will work with you to make sure you know what is happening and why, before you ever step into a courtroom. Below are the Colorado Revised Statutes on Domestic Violence:

What Is Domestic Violence?

In some cases the accused aren’t even aware they’ve committed a Domestic Violence offense. Its important you understand exactly what constitutes Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of physical, verbal, or psychological violence or sexual assault on their current or past intimate partner. (Source FVPF2)

Domestic Violence In Its Legal Definition:

Domestic violence means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person or against property or any municipal ordinance violation against a person or against property, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

An intimate relationship is defined as “a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.” (Colorado Revised Statutes Section 18-6-800.3(2))

To be deemed domestic violence, the couple involved does not need to be sexually intimate. They merely need to represent themselves as a couple, of different sexes or the same sex.

Domestic violence is not a crime in and of itself. Domestic violence is an enhancement to other criminal offenses such as harassment, assault, trespassing, and destruction of property. Upon conviction, the domestic violence enhancement carries additional sentencing considerations, including mandatory perpetrator treatment.

Know What Constitutes Domestic Violence?

Physical Violence

  • pushing, shoving, slapping, biting, kicking, choking, pinching, pulling hair, hitting, grabbing, beating
  • stabbing, shooting
  • purposely locking out of the house
  • abandoning in dangerous places
  • throwing objects
  • destruction of property
  • subjecting to reckless driving
  • threatening with a weapon
  • refusing victim help while sick or pregnant
  • any physical restraint
  • purposely cutting off victim’s hair
  • use of any object to inflict pain, punishment, or to intimidate
  • Sexual Abuse
  • telling anti-women, homophobic jokes to humiliate, embarrass, intimidate, or hurt
  • forcing sex
  • rape
  • unwanted fondling and touching
  • ritual abuse
  • sexual innuendos
  • accusation of promiscuity or infidelity
  • forcing victim to dress in a more sexual way than is comfortable for her/him
  • forcing victim to strip or perform other sexual acts
  • forcing sex while others watch, or with objects, or after beatings
  • using sex to bargain or withhold for punishment or manipulation



  • ignoring emotionally
  • yelling at for small actions
  • calling victim names, using put downs, demeaning
  • constantly over-criticizing or telling victim she/he is fat, ugly, stupid
  • telling victim she/he cannot do certain things well
  • threatening
  • harassing
  • isolating from friends and family, forbidding to socialize, drive, work, or make certain decisions
  • threatening suicide or homicide
  • threatening abandonment, kidnapping of children, calling social services or law enforcement, outing, hurting family, friends, and/or pets
  • manipulating with lies and contradictions
  • punishing by withholding affection or appreciation
  • not encouraging victim to build self-esteem
  • little or no communication
  • blaming
  • humiliating in public or private
  • stalking
  • setting time limits
  • preventing victim from leaving the house
  • disconnecting the phone
  • hiding the car keys
  • preventing victim from going to a place of worship or from praying
  • abusing a pet
  • destroying victim’s treasures




  • taking all the money from a joint account
  • stealing joint property or possessions
  • withholding money
  • forbidding victim to work
  • forcing victim to ask for money
  • not allowing access to any financial documents
  • not allowing any input into financial decisions
  • not allowing any control over or access to money, financial statements, and documents
  • requiring receipts and exact change for financial transactions
  • ruining victim’s credit
  • forcing victim to work while partner refuses to
  • requiring victim to turn over every paycheck to partner
  • preventing victim from getting or keeping a job (including not providing agreed upon childcare or transportation, or destroying work clothes/uniforms)
  • harassing victim at work
  • refusing to pay child support


  • overt direct action such as homicide, vandalism to the victim’s car or other property, and threats.
  • subtle direct action such as use of workplace property to commit an illegal act such as sending threatening, harassing, or abusive e-mail and faxes; use of workplace property to violate protective orders, such as phoning the victim when prohibited by court order; and use of an agency car to follow (stalk) the victim.