Domestic Violence is not a statutory crime by itself. It's a sentencing enhancer to an underlying related charge, such as assault, false imprisonment, or obstruction. 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 when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the accused is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. 

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.

Accusations of strangulation have become more common in domestic abuse cases in the United States over the last decade.

The law distinguishes two types of strangulation: manual and ligature. Manual is the use of one or two hands, with forearms, or kneeling on the person’s neck. Ligature is used with a band that is tightened by force, such as belts, cords, ropes, clothing, or bedding. Both charges can carry severe consequences including incarceration and heavy fines.

There is a bill in the state of Colorado to consider upgrading strangulation to a felony conviction even without the appearance of bodily injury in a domestic case. The act of strangulation will be a first or second-degree felony assault crime. The details are outlined in Colorado House Bill 16-1080.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced Denver Criminal Defense attorney, Molly Jansen Law Group, by filling out our online contact form or call our office for a free consultation.

Click on links to read Colorado Revised Statues

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