Understanding Colorado’s Domestic Violence Laws
When someone acts violently or threatens violence against another person, that person may be guilty of the crime of assault. However, when someone uses violence or intimidation against their spouse or significant other, the law considers such an act to be domestic violence.
Offenses that constitute or are related to domestic violence include:
- Misdemeanor domestic violence. A first domestic violence offense constitutes a misdemeanor.
- Felony habitual domestic violence. Subsequent domestic violence offenses may be escalated into a class 5 felony.
- Violation of a protective order. Violation of a restraining order prohibiting the restrained party from contacting the protected party.
Under Colorado law, domestic violence is defined as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” Colorado law defines “intimate relationship” 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.”
Domestic violence offenses can constitute a crime against a person, or against property, including pets or animals.