Sentenced to Probation: What Does That Mean?

August 7th, 2014

PoliceTstopThose charged with a crime in Colorado, including most any misdemeanor or felony offense, face any one or more of the following; jail, prison, fines, or probation. And, while serving jail or prison time, or paying a fine all seem self-explanatory, the term probationary sentence can be less clear. What does the term “probation” really mean—and how will it affect your life? Read the rest of this entry »

Consequences for Hit and Run Drivers in Colorado Springs

July 11th, 2014

PoliceTstopLegal obligations of persons who are in accidents involving injuries vary from state to state. However, they must typically notify emergency personnel at the very least, and some states mandate the uninjured driver must assist the injury victim in other capacities, if necessary. It is also the duty of all persons involved in the accident to share personal contact and insurance information with one another. If a driver leaves the scene of the accident hastily without having met these requirements, he or she could face civil and criminal ramifications. Read the rest of this entry »

What are the Miranda rights?

June 19th, 2014

cuffs-behind-backWhenever someone is arrested in Colorado Springs, Colorado, or anywhere in the United States of America, the police will read you your rights. These rights are known as your Miranda rights and they address your 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment rights. While there is no specific language that must be used or recited by the arresting officer, in general, Miranda rights must inform suspects in custody of the following:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to an attorney
  • Anything you say will be used against you in a court of law
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one can be provided for you

If an arresting police officer believes or has reason to believe that the suspect does not understand these rights—either because of a language barrier or other disability—then an interpreter must be brought in to translate before a proper interrogation can begin. Read the rest of this entry »

Will DUI be a Felony in Colorado?

May 13th, 2014

Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other legislators are lobbying hard for House Bill 14-1036, which would make a felony DUI law in Colorado. Now, Colorado is just one of 4 states that does not have a felony DUI law already in place. Their reasoning is a list of shocking Colorado DUI statistics, including:

  • Drunk driving fatalities in 2012 represented 28% of all total traffic deaths
  • There were 25,385 DUI arrests in 2012
  • 7,309 individuals refused to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test in 2012
  • $704 million in taxpayer subsidy of drunk driving fatalities in 2012 alone
  • 32.8% of underage Colorado teens have used alcohol in the past month Read the rest of this entry »

Disorderly Behavior: Can I get Arrested for Being Drunk?

April 22nd, 2014

Being drunk in public is not a crime—as long as you are legally old enough to drink. In the State of Colorado, the legal age to purchase and consume alcohol is 21. As long as you are 21, you cannot be arrested simply for being drunk in public. What you can be arrested for, however, is drunk and disorderly conduct or disorderly intoxication. There is considerable gray area here in this law, and it is based on the subjective nature of the police officers at the time of the arrest. As such, it is imperative that you retain an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer immediately after you are arrested for disorderly intoxication. Read the rest of this entry »

How Can I Change Criminal Defense Lawyers?

March 18th, 2014

colorado criminal defense attorneyWhen you are facing criminal charges, you need to be sure that the lawyer you hire is the right one for your case. After all, the defense that he or she builds for you could be the difference between your freedom and spending significant time behind bars. So what do you do when you don’t believe your current criminal defense lawyer is the best one for the job? Can you change defense attorneys after you’ve already hired one? Read the rest of this entry »

What are the Penalties for Criminal Mischief in Colorado?

February 7th, 2014

 

cuffs-behind-backIf you destroy or damage another person’s property in Colorado, you could find yourself facing charges of criminal mischief, destruction of property, or even trespassing. Criminal mischief charges, also known as vandalism, can be filed for graffiti, breaking someone’s mailbox, keying another person’s car, or shattering a window. As with most criminal charges, the severity of the punishment depends largely on the type of vandalism you are charged with and the circumstances surrounding your crime.

In general, the penalties for criminal mischief in Colorado include:

  • Class 4 Felony: Property damage over $20,000.

    • Up to 6 years in prison

    • Up to $500,000 fines

  • Class 5 Felony: Property Damage between $1,000 and $20,000

    • Up to 3 years in prison

    • Up to $100,000 fines

  • Class 1 Misdemeanor: Property damage between $500 and $1,000

    • Up to 18 months in jail

    • Up to $5,000 fines

  • Class 2 Misdemeanor: Property damage between $100 and $500

    • Up to 1 year in jail

    • Up to $1,000 fines

  • Class 3 Misdemeanor: Property damage less than $100

    • Up to 6 months in jail

    • Up to $750 fines

Due to the expense of many of today’s modern conveniences, it is rather easy to damage property over $1,000 and be charged with a felony offense.

Types of Vandalism

There are many different types of vandalism in Colorado, but the most common offenses are:

  • Defacing wall or building with graffiti

  • Etching a window

  • Carving into a desk

  • Breaking a window

  • Ripping a bus seat

  • Slashing tires

  • Busting a mailbox with a baseball bat

  • Removing an emblem off of a car

  • Writing on a bathroom stall

  • Keying a car

  • And more

If you have been arrested and charged with vandalism or criminal mischief in Colorado Springs, it is important to speak with an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney immediately. Your lawyer will need to begin investigating immediately to expose the holes in the prosecution’s case against you. Through efficient investigation and savvy negotiations, your Criminal defense lawyer can often have the charges against you reduced to a lesser offense with no jail time or even dismissed all together.

Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

sarah-thumbIf you are facing criminal charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight for your freedom and protect your future. Call (719) 634-7770 today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.