What should I expect having committed two felonies? 2 Answers as of July 20, 2011

My boyfriend and I are homeless, have been living in a car over a year. He has severe early onset alcoholism and is in end stage alcoholism and needs inpatient care to get better. He was drinking and I was trying to sleep in my car when he started calling me a whore. I did nothing to provoke him. I told him to stop and to leave and he refused to leave. I hit him and he didn't leave and this turned into a fist fight. We have both been charged with 3rd degree assault and domestic violence. I love him, I don't want to loose him. What are they going to do with the restraining orders? All I want is for him to get treatment. I think jail will make things worse. Will either of us be facing jail time? Will we ever see each other again? What can I do to defend myself? What can I do to keep him out of jail and get him treatment? What is going to happen? What should I do? Will I have to face a jury? Am I protected by the castle doctrine?

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Frances R. Johnson
Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
What you can expect (in terms of a potential sentence) depends upon the strength of the facts, whether self-defense is a viable defense, what community alternatives to prison are available, etc. Your attorney, even a public defender or other court-appointed attorney, can help you develop a defense and alternatives to jail/prison if you are convicted. The restraining orders remain in place until typically the case is resolved (completed). You may or may not face jail time (as well as your boyfriend) depending upon the factors listed above. I can't answer if you'll ever see each other again. Request a court appointed attorney to help you with your defense. His attorney will be responsible for addressing his issues; you can't address your and his issues at the same time. I don't know what the castle doctrine is. Please request a court-appointed attorney and/or seek an attorney with experience where the charges arose.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/20/2011
Miller & Harrison, LLC
Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
The hardest part of any 'domestic violence' case is that if you plead guilty or are convicted, you will have to do a domestic violence treatment program. It can be pretty long, expensive and time consuming (although all providers will have a sliding scale). To avoid the program one can choose to do jail time, no probation. It is harder when both people are charged from one incident because the 'victim' in the first trial will not want to prejudice their later trial so should probably 'take the 5th' and refuse to testify. The prosecutor MIGHT have to decide which of you two to prosecute. You should definitely take the court appointed lawyers they will offer each of you. For the restraining order you can each go and ask to have it lifted, but they may not agree to do that and likely the two of you will not be able to have contact for some time. It is a very harsh law. I do not think 'protecting your castle' type defense is likely to work.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/20/2011
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