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What is a 'domestic violence enhancer'? Meaning of Jerry Jeudy charges explored

Bruno Cooke May 13, 2022
domestic violence enhancer meaning
Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

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Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is facing charges of second-degree criminal tampering, a misdemeanour, ESPN reports. But a “domestic violence enhancer” was also added to the charge – meaning what, according to Colorado law?

What is the meaning of Jerry Jeudy’s ‘domestic violence enhancer’ charge?

In some US states – such as Wisconsin and Colorado – domestic violence is not a standalone charge. 

Instead, it is an “enhancer” that attaches to one of any number of other criminal charges – according to DK Anderson’s explainer.

In other words, in no instance can an individual in one of these states face only a domestic violence charge. They have to already be facing other charges.

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As O’Malley Law Office explains, if someone is arrested for assault – as an example – and the assault was committed against their domestic partner, then it becomes an Assault charge with a Domestic Violence enhancer attached.

“Any crime can receive the Domestic Violence enhancer, as long as there is an intimate relationship.”

It’s worth stressing that just because he is facing a criminal tampering charge with a domestic violence enhancer doesn’t mean Jerry Jeudy is guilty of either. He has not been convicted.

According to Marca, Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown stated that “there was no physical contact between Jeudy and the other person. The second portion of this is a domestic violence enhancer and I know the word `violence’ connotates physical contact,” Brown said.

“I can tell you specifically that there was no physical contact between Mr. Jeudy and the female party in this investigation. It solely involved property.” Brown continues “There was no damage to property. All that happened is that there was an accusation that property was being withheld and deputies determined that there was enough probable cause to make an arrest.”

What about Jeudy’s primary charge of ‘second-degree criminal tampering’?

The Arapahoe sheriff’s office announced via Twitter yesterday (12 May 2022) that Jerry Jeudy had been arrested by deputies, and was being held at the county jail on charges of second-degree criminal tampering – with a domestic violence enhancer.

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It also stresses that he is innocent until proven guilty.

According to the Colorado Legal Defence Group, in the state of Colorado, tampering with the property of another “with the intent to annoy, inconvenience, or interrupt utility service” constitutes “criminal tampering”.

It’s a class 2 misdemeanour. It carries “up to 120 days in jail and/or up to $750 in fines”. 

The laws and penalties that relate to criminal tampering may differ from state to state. For example, in New York, criminal tampering in the second degree is a class A misdemeanour (compared to class 2 in Colorado).

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What’s next?

9Sports journalist Mike Klis tweeted earlier that Jerry Jeudy would be held overnight in Arapahoe County Detention Centre. 

At 8:30am on Friday, 13 May 2022, he will be brought before a judge.

Klis later added that, according to the Arapahoe County police report, on the evening of 11 May, “things got crazy” between Jerry and the mother of his child.

ESPN quotes a statement from Jeudy’s team, the Denver Broncos: “We are aware of the matter involving Jerry Jeudy and are in the process of gathering more information.”

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.