Domestic violence is a sentence enhancer or designation; it is not a separate crime. It is considered a sentence enhancer because if you plead to or are convicted of a crime as an act of domestic violence, you will be required to undergo an evaluation and complete domestic violence treatment.
In Colorado, domestic violence only applies if the accused was in an intimate relationship with named victim, either at the time of the incident or at any time prior. Additionally, the accused had to have acted to control, coerce or retaliate against the victim.
A person is charged with committing a crime as an act of domestic violence. Nearly any crime can be charged as an act of domestic violence. The crime need not be one of physical contact. For example, if a person is upset with his or her spouse, breaks a picture frame and then assaults the named victim, then that person would be charged with criminal mischief and assault as acts of domestic violence.
A conviction for domestic violence crime carries significant consequences. Not only does the law require domestic violence classes, but it will impact your right to possess firearms and may impact employment opportunities.