Castle Rock Domestic Violence Lawyer, Family Law Attorney, Denver Colorado Anthony J. Fabian, P.C.
Attorney and Counselor At Law

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Helping those who need a lawyer specializing in such areas as: DWI / Drunk Driving, Negotiating
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Criminal Defense Attorney / Family Law
Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases are serious matters in Colorado and anyone accused of a crime of domestic violence, no matter how trivial, should be represented by competent, experienced legal counsel.

In addition to many collateral consequences such as firearms ownership discussed below, domestic violence charges carry immediate and severe impacts on the accused. Colorado law requires that a person suspected of domestic violence MUST be arrested and remain in custody without bond until he/she appears before a judge for advisement and service of a mandatory protection order. This means that if you are arrested on a Friday night before a Monday holiday, you will remain in jail for four days before given the opportunity to post bail. If the Court deems it necessary, you can be ordered to vacate your home and have no contact whatsoever with the complaining witness. You will also be required to relinquish and safely transfer/store all firearms and other deadly weapons in your possession to the satisfaction of the court until the conclusion of the case, which in the common event of probation can be two years.

Colorado law requires that any person who pleads guilty to a crime of domestic violence must pay for and complete a course of domestic violence counseling. This course of counseling can range from a minimum of six months to well over a year.  Convictions for domestic violence, even misdemeanor crimes, carry permanent and long-lasting negative effects for the accused. You should never plead guilty to any offense until you have had the opportunity to consult competent, experienced legal counsel. Since the evidence in many of these cases is based entirely on the allegations of a single person, they are often not good cases for the prosecution.

Domestic Violence and Firearms Possession/Ownership

Let me begin by stating that a misdemeanor crime classified as “domestic violence” under Colorado law may not necessarily be a “Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence” (MCDV) under federal law, and vice-versa.

Colorado law does not preclude firearms possession/ownership based on any form of so-called “domestic violence.” Federal law does prohibit possession and/or ownership of a firearm by a person convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence (MCDV). But the federal definition and the state definition are VERY different.

“Domestic violence” under Colorado law means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship (past or present spouse or live-in partner with whom a child is shared), or any crime or 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. Sec. 18-6-800.3(1)(2) C.R.S.

“Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence” under federal law means a misdemeanor under either federal or state law and has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, committed by a current or former spouse, parent or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian, or by a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim. 18 USC Chap. 44, sec. 921(a)(33)(A).

The most common question with which I have been dealing concerns misdemeanor child abuse cases. Child abuse cannot be, by definition, a crime of domestic violence under Colorado law. However, under the federal definition of MCDV, and that is the definition that counts, some forms of misdemeanor child abuse may preclude firearms possession/ownership upon conviction. Many persons enter a plea to this type of charge believing that, because the words “domestic violence” are not involved, there will be no collateral consequences to their firearms rights. In child abuse cases, if the child involved is the child of the accused, or lives with the accused, and the crime involves an element of physical force, then a conviction will preclude firearms possession/ownership per federal law.

On the other hand, it is quite common in Colorado for certain forms of harassment or criminal mischief (damage to property) to be charged as acts of domestic violence. Harassment involving non-threatening communications and all forms of criminal mischief under Colorado law would not fall under the federal MCDV definition.

As a final note, if you have a Colorado Concealed Handgun Permit, you will have to surrender your permit immediately upon being charged, as a mandatory protection order will entered against you and remain in effect until the case is closed.

As you can see, the modern criminal schemes are very complex involving the collateral effect on firearms possession/ownership. An MCDV conviction has the exact same consequences as any felony conviction when it comes to your right to keep and bear arms. I strongly encourage anyone, especially gun owners, to seek competent legal counsel when charged with any criminal act, regardless of whether the words “domestic violence” come into play. The consequences of any criminal conviction can be far-reaching and permanent.

Anthony J. Fabian, P.C.
Attorney and Counselor At Law

Castle Rock
510 Wilcox Street
Suite C
1660 South Albion Street
Suite 918


Anthony Fabian Criminal Defense Trial Attorney in the state of Colorado covering Castle Rock, Douglas County, Elbert County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Denver County, Boulder
County, El Paso County, Pueblo County, Larimer County, Weld County, the entire Rocky Mountain Front Range area including the greater Denver Metro Area, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins, and Greeley.

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