Visit Our Blog
Read Out Blog
Case Evaluation
Charged With A Crime?

Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law – CRS Section 18-6-801(7)

by Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado domestic violence cases typically are filed as misdemeanors.  The most common of these charges is false imprisonment, assault, harassment, and interference with using a communication device.  However, Colorado laws enhance the charge if the offender has a history prior misdemeanor convictions.  This enhancement is a felony – Habitual Domestic Violence – a class five felony.

Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law

Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law

 The Domestic Violence “Tag”

The “tag” of a domestic violence conviction has many collateral impacts on your life – gun rights, employment, immigration issues, child custody issues, rental rights are among them. However, a felony domestic violence based conviction has an impact much greater than an analogous misdemeanor Colorado domestic violence conviction. 

CRS 18-6-801 – Colorado Domestic Violence Sentencing

The Colorado Domestic Violence Laws also provide for enhanced sentencing if you are found to be an Habitual Domestic Violence offender under CRS 18-6-801(7).

CRS Section 18-6-801(7) permits the enhancement of certain sentences involving domestic violence under the following limited circumstances:

In the event a person is convicted of any offense which would otherwise be a misdemeanor, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3(1)…

….and that person has been three times previously convicted, upon charges separately brought and tried and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, of a felony or misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation, the underlying factual basis of which was found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence,

…the prosecuting attorney may petition the court to adjudge the person an habitual domestic violence offender, and such person shall be convicted of a class 5 felony.  

Sentencing For a Felony FIVE – HERE is a  Link to Colorado Criminal Penalties Chart

 

If the person is adjudged an habitual domestic violence offender, the court shall sentence the person pursuant to the presumptive range set forth in section 18-1.3-401for a class 5 felony.  

..that is .. Up tp 3 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections and/or a $100,000.00 fine.

All of the former DV convictions and judgments are required to be set forth in apt words in the indictment or information.

The DA Must Petition The Court To Enhance The Sentence

The plain language of the law allows the prosecution, upon a defendant’s conviction of a misdemeanor involving domestic violence, to petition the court to determine whether the defendant meets the criteria of a habitual domestic violence offender. 

If the court then determines that the defendant has three prior convictions involving domestic violence, the misdemeanor offense becomes a class five felony, and the defendant must be sentenced accordingly.

Section 18-6-801(7) is a sentence enhancement statute, not a substantive offense.  

Enhancement of criminal charges are not the addition of a substantive offenses, they are  not the subject of a preliminary hearing, and can be bound over to the district court without the establishment of probable cause.

To understand the punishments of the Colorado Domestic Violence laws you need to closely analyze the law itself. 

Colorado’s Domestic Violence Sentencing Law – 18 – 6-801 follows with my commentary:

18-6-801. Domestic Violence – Sentencing

(1) (a) In addition to any sentence that is imposed upon a person for violation of any criminal law under this title, any person who is convicted of any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1),

[HMS – An Act of Domestic Violence is defined as:]

(1) “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, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, 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.

(2) “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

[HMS – see here that an act of domestic violence can also be …]

…or any crime against property, whether or not such crime is a felony, when such crime is 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…

[HMS – The finding here requires the convicted domestic violence defendant to complete a court ordered domestic violence treatment program.]

….shall be ordered to complete a treatment program and a treatment evaluation that conform with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board as required by section 16-11.8-103

[HMS – The Domestic Violence Evaluation Procedure]

(4), C.R.S. If an intake evaluation conducted by an approved treatment program provider discloses that sentencing to a treatment program would be inappropriate, the person shall be referred back to the court for alternative disposition.

(b) The court may order a treatment evaluation to be conducted prior to sentencing if a treatment evaluation would assist the court in determining an appropriate sentence. The person ordered to undergo such evaluation shall be required to pay the cost of the treatment evaluation. If such treatment evaluation recommends treatment, and if the court so finds, the person shall be ordered to complete a treatment program that conforms with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board as required by section 16-11.8-103 (4), C.R.S.

(c) Nothing in this subsection (1) shall preclude the court from ordering domestic violence treatment in any appropriate case.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to persons sentenced to the department of corrections.

(3) A person charged with the commission of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which includes an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), shall not be entitled to plead guilty or plead nolo contendere to an offense which does not include the domestic violence designation required in section 16-21-103, C.R.S., unless the prosecuting attorney makes a good faith representation on the record that such attorney would not be able to establish a prima facie case that the person and the alleged victim were currently or formerly involved in an intimate relationship if the defendant were brought to trial on the original domestic violence offense and upon such a finding by the court.

The prosecuting attorney’s record and the court’s findings shall specify the relationship in the alleged domestic violence case which the prosecuting attorney is not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and the reasons therefor. No court shall accept a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to an offense which does not include the domestic violence designation required in section 16-21-103, C.R.S., when the facts of the case indicate that the underlying factual basis includes an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1) unless there is a good faith representation by the prosecuting attorney that he or she would be unable to establish a prima facie case if the defendant were brought to trial on the original offense.

[HMS – Under C.R.S. § 18-6-801(3). There is No Plea Bargaining Away the Domestic Violence Designation The Court is prohibited from accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere with a non-domestic violence designation when the underlying factual basis for the crime involves an act of domestic violence unless the district attorney provides, on the record, a good faith representation to the court that there is not a prima facie case to meet the definition of an intimate relationship between the alleged victim and the defendant.

 [HMS – There Is No Possibility of HOME DETENTION]

(4) No person accused or convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), shall be eligible for home detention in the home of the victim pursuant to section 18-1.3-105 or 18-1.3-106 or for deferred prosecution pursuant to section 18-1.3-101.

Nothing in this subsection (4) is intended to prohibit a court from ordering a deferred sentence for a person accused or convicted of a crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1).

(5) Before granting probation, the court shall consider the safety of the victim and the victim’s children if probation is granted.

(6) Nothing in this section shall preclude the ability of a municipality to enact concurrent ordinances.

[HMS – This is the Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law]

(7) In the event a person is convicted in this state on or after July 1, 2000, of any offense which would otherwise be a misdemeanor, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), and that person has been three times previously convicted, upon charges separately brought and tried and arising out of separate and distinct criminal episodes, of a felony or misdemeanor or municipal ordinance violation, the underlying factual basis of which was found by the court on the record to include an act of domestic violence, the prosecuting attorney may petition the court to adjudge the person an habitual domestic violence offender, and such person shall be convicted of a class 5 felony.

If the person is adjudged an habitual domestic violence offender, the court shall sentence the person pursuant to the presumptive range set forth in section 18-1.3-401 for a class 5 felony. The former convictions and judgments shall be set forth in apt words in the indictment or information.

Pease call our law firm if you have questions about ..

Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law

H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the First 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior  prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.

In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations.  Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277

If you have questions about Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and to provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.

In the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.as reagrds Colorado Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law.


Other Articles of Interest:

If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
Main:  303.627.7777
Cell:  720.220.2277
24/7 Pager:  303.543.4433
FAX (Toll Free):  1.877.533.6276
Always investigate a lawyer's qualifications and experience before making a
decision to retain that lawyer or, for that matter, any professional ...in any field.