What are the effects of Colorado’s mandatory arrest policy?

Many couples get into arguments from time to time, though these often resolve in a peaceful manner. Yet, it is possible you could find yourself in a dispute with your spouse or partner that escalates quickly. In the heat of the moment, they may decide to call the police on you, and you will likely face arrest as a result. In Colorado, this can lead to serious consequences, and it is important to understand how they could affect you.

How Colorado’s mandatory arrest policy works

If your spouse or partner calls the police during a dispute with you, the intimate nature of your relationship could affect the actions of the responding officers. This is because, under Colorado law, officers must make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe an act of domestic violence has occurred. In your case, this could happen regardless of whether you committed the act your partner accused you of.

For officers to determine if they have a probable cause to arrest you, they must weigh:

  • The existence of previous domestic violence complaints
  • The likelihood that your alleged actions occurred in self-defense
  • Whether you or your accuser sustained injuries during the alleged incident
  • Your and your accuser’s risk of future harm

The impact of Colorado’s mandatory arrest policy

While Colorado’s mandatory arrest laws aim to protect victims of domestic violence, they often have unintended consequences on the accused. For one, you could face stiff penalties if your charges lead to conviction. Likely, the court will require you to attend a treatment program. You could also face probation or jail time, and you may lose your right to own and possess firearms. Furthermore, a domestic violence conviction will remain on your record, and its presence could have negative effects on your ability to find employment and housing.

Domestic violence allegations have the potential to derail the lives of the accused in Colorado. If your spouse or partner makes accusations against you, you may have defenses available to protect yourself. An attorney with criminal defense experience can help you work to mitigate the effects of your charges.