If you were arrested for a crime of domestic violence that allegedly involved any choking or suffocation of the alleged victim, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Strangulation cases are taken very seriously by prosecutors in Colorado, and most will be aiming to have alleged offenders convicted and subsequently incarcerated.
Incidents of domestic violence can be incredibly complicated, and police officers may arrest and charge people with these crimes without any sufficient evidence. You are entitled to a presumption of innocence in a Colorado court of law, and the prosecutor will be required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Law Office of Kevin Pauly handles all kinds of domestic violence cases in the Denver area, and our firm will immediately investigate your incident to determine the strongest defenses. Our attorney will then be able to negotiate to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Specific allegations in these cases may be exaggerated or wholly manufactured, and Kevin Pauly can use any lack of evidence to help you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your situation. Call us today or complete an online contact form to have our firm review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free consultation.
In 2016, the Colorado General Assembly passed a bill that added intentionally causing injury or serious injury through strangulation to the criminal statutes for assault in the second degree and assault in the first degree, respectively. Both assault in the second degree under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-3-203 and assault in the first degree under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-3-202 now have sections in the statues specifying that a person can be charged with either crime when it is alleged that they strangled a victim.
The exact statutory language reads that a person commits either degree of assault when they have the intent to cause bodily injury and apply “sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes bodily injury.” The difference between the two statutes is that second-degree assault charges apply when the intent is bodily injury but first-degree charges result when the intent is serious bodily injury.
Either crime will usually be referred to as “domestic violence” when it is committed against a person with whom the alleged offender had an “intimate relationship.” Colorado Revised Statute § 18-6-800.3(2) defines an intimate relationship as “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.”
Colorado takes allegations of strangulation very seriously. In addition to fines and imprisonment, you could also be ordered to complete a mandatory treatment program if you are convicted. Domestic violence convictions can also jeopardize your rights to possess or own firearms.
Strangulation accusations can be difficult for a prosecutor to prove, depending on the level of pressure that was applied, how it was applied, and how long it was applied for. In general, strangulation offenses usually involve manual strangulation or strangulation by ligature or hanging.
Manual strangulation involves attempts to impede breathing with a person’s hands. These forms of attacks rarely leave any lasting evidence.
Ligature refers to an object such as a rope or chain being used to strangle another person, and hanging is when a cord is wrapped around a person’s throat and they are suspended by that cord. Victims are much more likely to have marks on their necks in these types of instances.
Some strangulation allegations, however, are based purely on the claims of the alleged victim. Law enforcement agencies in Colorado are required to arrest somebody when responding to any domestic violence call in the state when they have probable cause, and a strangulation accusation is usually deemed probable cause to believe that a crime or offense involving domestic violence was committed.
Denver criminal defense attorney Kevin Pauly will work to identify any flaws in victim and witness accounts of an incident and use any uncertainty to call the evidence into question.
Were you arrested or do you think that you are currently under investigation for a second-degree or first-degree domestic assault involving alleged strangulation in Colorado? Whatever you do, you should say absolutely nothing to authorities until you have legal representation.
Even if you know for a fact that you are innocent and did nothing wrong, you should still avoid trying to explain yourself. You may inadvertently make a crucial admission that could be used against you later.
When you are facing any domestic violence charge in Denver, you will want to contact the Law Office of Kevin Pauly. Our firm fights to protect your rights and will work to help you avoid the many consequences that can follow those arrested for domestic violence offenses.
Keep in mind that an alleged victim in these types of cases does not have the power to “not press charges.” All filing decisions are at the sole discretion of the district attorney.
For this reason, it is critical that you contact the Law Office of Kevin Pauly as soon as possible. Call today to schedule a free consultation.