County District Court No. 14CR2131 Honorable Larry C.
J. Weiser, Attorney General, Brock J. Swanson, Assistant
Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellee
A. Ring, Colorado State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado,
Alex San Filippo-Rosser, Deputy State Public Defender,
Pueblo, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellant
BERNARD CHIEF JUDGE
1 This appeal calls on us to decide whether an express
exception to a general statutory rule applies to an arguably
related circumstance that is not mentioned in the exception.
2 The general rule appears in section 18-6-801(1)(a), C.R.S.
2018. This subsection (1)(a), which addresses crimes that
include acts of domestic violence, requires a court to order
a defendant who has committed such a crime to "complete
a treatment program and a treatment evaluation that conform
with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender
3 The exception appears in section 18-6-801(2). This
subsection (2) states that the requirements of subsection (1)
"shall not apply to persons sentenced to the department
of corrections." In other words, a court that has
sentenced a defendant to prison for a domestic violence crime
cannot order him to complete a treatment program as described
in subsection (1).
4 The question we must answer in this appeal is: Does the
exception in subsection (2) prevent a court from ordering a
defendant to complete a treatment program if the court has
sentenced the defendant to jail? We answer that question
"no." We conclude, because of the reasons that we
explain below, that subsection (1)(a) applies to all
sentences except for prison sentences.
5 In this case, the trial court imposed a two-year jail
sentence on defendant, Mario Trujillo, for a misdemeanor
involving domestic violence. The court also ordered him to
complete a certified domestic violence treatment program. He
appeals. We affirm.
6 The prosecution originally charged defendant with third
degree assault, menacing, harassment, being a domestic
violence habitual offender, and obstruction of telephone
service. It also alleged that the facts of the case met the
definition of domestic violence in section 18-6-800.3, C.R.S.
7 Defendant agreed to plead guilty to third degree assault.
Under the plea agreement, he stipulated that the crime
involved an act of domestic violence, that the court would
sentence him to two years in jail, and that he would complete
"a court certified domestic violence treatment and/or
8 The trial court accepted defendant's plea. It then
sentenced him to two years in jail, which was the maximum
possible jail sentence; it ordered him to complete a domestic
violence treatment program; and it set a review hearing for a
year later to determine whether he had complied with the
9 Defendant then filed a Crim. P. 35(a) motion, which alleged
that the treatment order was illegal and asked the trial
court to vacate it. The court held a hearing on the motion.
Relying, in part, on section 18-6-801(1)(a), the court
decided that it had the authority to enter the treatment
order because the order was "in addition to," not
part of, defendant's sentence.
10 The court then offered to set a review hearing. Defendant
objected, arguing that the court did not have the authority
to set further review hearings because they would be
"akin to some sort of probationary sentence." He
added that the prosecution could "initiate
proceedings" for contempt, but the court did not have
"the authority to order [him] to appear . . . when no
contempt proceeding [was] ongoing." The court agreed,
and it set an internal review as a presumptive deadline for
defendant to file some proof of his enrollment in a treatment
program. The court then noted that it would be, at that
point, "up to the [prosecution] to take any action"
if he had not completed the program.
Subsection (1)(a)'s Plain Language Requires the Trial
Court to Order Domestic Violence Treatment
11 Defendant contends that the legislature did not intend for
the general rule in subsection (1)(a) to ...