NFL Domestic Violence Policy Considerations
This post does not condone or explain the Ray Rice video or his actions as seen on that video. We have domestic violence laws to prevent the type of violence that we saw in that video. This posts seeks to provide information regarding domestic violence charges in Colorado and some potential differences with other states.
The NFL’s new penalties for any person convicted of a domestic violence crime marks a growing shift in how our society sees domestic violence related crimes. The NFL has the right to take whatever stances it would like, as it is a private organization. One thing that should be considered is the lack of consistency in domestic violence laws across the states that could lead to unequal enforcement of these penalties. One state may criminalize the same act as a felony, a different state may classify it as a misdemeanor, and another state may not criminalize it at all.
This post seeks to education you on the various levels of domestic violence charges in Colorado. In Colorado, there are three domestic violence charge classifications, each is very broad and are prosecuted with or without the victim’s willing cooperation. No matter the level of domestic violence charge that you may face, you need the help of an experienced domestic violence attorney.
Felony Domestic Violence Charges
A felony domestic violence charge typically involves substantial violence or injury to the alleged victim or the “use of a deadly weapon”. A deadly weapon is broadly interpreted to include any object that causes another person to fear immediate and serious bodily harm. This can include objects that may not be thought of as traditional weapons, such as a glass vase. It can also be charged as a felony if there are NO injuries or NO allegations that you touched or made any contact with the other person. It is very important that you seek the assistance of a domestic violence attorney before you make any statements to an officer.
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges
A misdemeanor domestic violence charge is usually one in which a person is accused of causing a small injury or no injury at all to the other party. This could result from an allegation that a person was shoved or kicked. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges can be boosted to a felony charge after three separate domestic violence charges.
Municipal or City Domestic Violence Charges.
Finally, a municipal or city code domestic violence charge is typically alleged conduct that is similar or less substantial then a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The main difference is that it is prosecuted in city court instead of county court. This type of conviction may be sealable after three years, where as a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence convictions are not sealable or expugnable in Colorado.
As the new NFL policy has just been enacted for Domestic Violence convictions, it is unknown how each level of crime in Colorado would be judged. It appears that the penalties would not be enforced until the criminal case has concluded. This is the best policy because it protects the due process rights of the accused and allows for the assertion of any potential defenses to a charge.
It is unknown if the NFL domestic violence penalties would be assessed on any level of domestic violence conviction or if it will require the conduct have the elements of violence and injury. It is suspected that the NFL would look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the conduct and not the level of conviction to determine its enforcement. If the enforcement of an NFL domestic violence policy is triggered solely upon a conviction, it could result in grossly unfair enforcing of the penalties as some states do not prosecute cases in which there are no injuries, unlike Colorado.
If you, a family, or friend are currently being charged with any level of domestic violence crime, contact us today for a free case evaluation. Don’t get caught up in a system that is complicated and unforgiving, contact us today at (303) 747-4686.