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.

What is Felony Sexual Assault in Colorado?

January 8th, 2014

 

cuffs-behind-backOne of the most serious criminal offenses in the State of Colorado is felony sexual assault. It is also most commonly referred to as rape. If you are accused of committing felony sexual assault, state prosecutors and law enforcement officials will fight aggressively to see that you are punished to the fullest extent of the law. As such, it is important to retain the services of an experienced and veteran Colorado criminal defense attorney immediately.

Felony sexual assault or rape is defined as the sexual penetration of a person against his or her own will. This can be done through physical restraints, threats of violence, acts of violence, or chemical restraints (such as drugs). Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and the age of the victim at the time of the alleged rape, you could be facing a Class 2 felony, a Class 3 felony or a Class 4 felony offense.

If you are found guilty of rape, you could face up to 24 years in a Colorado state prison and be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of your life. This alone will significantly damage your future opportunities, your housing choices, and your job prospects. Being convicted of a rape in Colorado will also damage your personal relationships, and your reputation in the community.

Defenses against Felony Sexual Assault Charges

There are numerous defenses your Colorado criminal defense attorney can employ to have the charges reduced or even dismissed. Remember, it is the prosecution’s burden to prove you guilty. You are always presumed innocent. The sad truth is that many rape charges are actually false and brought by jealous exes looking to seek revenge on an unsuspecting lover. They can also be made in order to gain the upper hand in custody battles or divorce proceedings. Your Colorado criminal defense lawyer will work diligently to build a defense designed to expose the holes in the prosecution’s case.

Colorado Sexual Assault Defense Attorney

sarah-thumbIf you are facing sexual assautlt charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight these serious allegations and protect your freedom. She can negotiate lighter sentencing, reduction in fines and may even be able to have the charges against you dismissed all together. Call (719) 634-7770 today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges.

Does Colorado Have a Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device Program?

December 11th, 2013

 

SONY DSCIn 2011, 161 people died in drunk driving accidents across the State of Colorado. This represented 36% of all traffic deaths in Colorado and is a 34% increase from 2010. If you are convicted of DUI in Colorado and this is your first offense, you may not be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

While other states have moved to a mandatory ignition interlock device program as a requirement after a DUI conviction, Colorado has not. Instead, Colorado courts allow DUI offenders to opt to use ignition interlock devices as a way to shorten their period of license suspension.

Currently, there are 15 states that have mandatory ignition interlock device regulations. DUI offenders are required to install these devices after a DUI conviction. Ignition interlock devices are devices, which monitor the breath alcohol content of drivers. They require drivers to blow into tubes in order to start their vehicles and then every several minutes while driving. The results are recorded and monitored. If the monitor detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start.

While Colorado does not require mandatory ignition interlock device installation, DUI offenders can opt for them. If you are convicted of DUI and this is your first offense, you will have your license revoked for at least 9 months. After the first month of suspension, a DUI offender can have this device installed and receive a limited driver’s license.


If your blood alcohol content is greater than 0.17, you may be required to install the ignition interlock device for up to one year. If this is your second offense within 5 years, you will also be required to install this device on your vehicle.

If you or someone you love is facing DUI charges in Colorado, you need an experienced Denver DUI defense lawyer on your side from the moment you are arrested. Your attorney will be able to investigate all aspects of your arrest, review all evidence, and advise you of the best ways to defend against these serious charges.

Colorado DUI Defense Attorney

sarah-thumbIf you are facing DUI charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight your DUI charges and protect your driving record. She can negotiate lighter sentencing, reduction in fines and a faster return of your driver’s license, so you can breathe a little easier. Call (719) 634-7770 today.

 

What are my Rights After a Colorado DUI?

November 13th, 2013

 

If you are arrested and charged with DUI in the State of Colorado, you may feel alone and out of options. Prosecutors and state law enforcement officials often make DUI suspects feel as if there is no use fighting these serious charges. Yet you do have rights—and knowing those rights can help you beat your DUI charges and protect your future.

What are my rights after a Colorado DUI?

  • You do not have to plead guilty—even if the BAC readings are greater than 0.08%. You have the right to enter a plea of not guilty.

  • You have the right to a trial within 6 months of pleading not guilty.

  • You have the right to be represented by an experienced Colorado DUI defense attorney of your choosing.

  • If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to ask the courts to appoint one for you at no additional cost.

  • You have the right of presumed innocence. This means that you are believed to be innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution and they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were legally intoxicated behind the wheel of a vehicle.

  • You have the right to confront and cross-examine any witnesses that testify against you in court.

  • You have the right to present your own evidence and to bring your own witnesses to build your defense.

  • You have the right to remain silent both before your arrest and afterwards. You even have the right to remain silent during the trial and you do not have to testify against yourself.

  • You have the right to appeal any decision made by the court. You can appeal to a higher court immediately after the verdict.

Knowing your rights is the first step towards building a solid and formidable defense against DUI charges. Unfortunately, many individuals are unaware that they can fight these serious charges.

DUI convictions are not just mere inconveniences. DUI convictions can jeopardize your job opportunities, your career, and your reputation in the community. They can make obtaining auto insurance difficult and cost you significant time and money.

Colorado DUI Defense Attorney

sarah-thumbIf you are facing DUI charges in Colorado Springs, Briargate, Black Forest, Fountain Valley, or anywhere in the State of Colorado, you need an experienced DUI defense lawyer on your side. Sarah Christensen has the experience and resources to fight your DUI charges and protect your driving record. She can negotiate lighter sentencing, reduction in fines and a faster return of your driver’s license, so you can breathe a little easier. Call (719) 634-7770 today.