Warrants

Colorado Search and Arrest Warrants

Police officers and Sheriff's Deputies have a free pass to go and talk to the "duty judge" in Jefferson and Adams County to ask for permission to go inside someone's private residence, car or business to search for evidence. Or, they can ask for permission to take someone into custody by arrest. The process is entirely behind the scenes and private. We say, "behind the scenes" because no one else gets to be present for this meeting with the judge - it is one sided. An officer tells the judge why they think they should get permission to invade your privacy or freedom, and a judge decides if "probable cause" has been established. If so, the magistrate or judge will sign the warrant.

Two Main Types of Warrants in Colorado

The most common types of warrants in Arapahoe and Douglas County are the search warrant and the arrest warrant. Both are invasive and designed with seizure of person or property. In each case, they mark the start of a battle for your freedom. With a search warrant, officers are given authority to come and look around your property for evidence of a crime - either the planning of one or the prior commission of one. With arrest warrants, police are saying they have enough probable cause to make your arrest. With search warrants, they are usually on the hunt for more evidence prior to arresting or charging you with a felony or misdemeanor crime. The more serious the crime, the more likely law enforcement officers are to utilize warrants. For less serious misdemeanor offenses, they don't usually employ search warrants. Arrest warrants are treated similarly, since less serious misdemeanor crimes (with the exception of Domestic Violence) can be charged by summons rather than an arrest.

Colorado Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants result from Denver police talking with an alleged victim who convinces the police that you are guilty of serious conduct. The idea behind an arrest is to take a person away from their support system as quickly as possible, before the accused has a chance to run away or call for advice from a lawyer. Police like to arrest you and hold you in a county jail where they can pressure you to talk. They know that if you are isolated from family, friends and lawyers, you are more likely to give them evidence that you committed a crime. A confession of a crime is the strongest evidence police can present to a jury.

Search Warrants

Our Denver area criminal defense lawyers see search warrants issued when police are investigating a crime and looking for more evidence. Sometimes, the word of an alleged victim is simply not enough to win a case. So, police tell the judge or magistrate the favorable statements their "victim" alleges. Police specifically describe what they think will be found if the judge lets them look around your property. Law enforcement must show "probable cause" that evidence of a crime will be found, often called "fruit" of a crime. Formally, police must write up an Affidavit for Search Warrant, which is their formal method of telling a judge why their request to invade your privacy is appropriate. If accepted by the court, the judicial officers will let them have access to your home, car or other property. We rarely see judges or magistrates say no to police. Next, the police "execute" the warrant, by forcing their way onto your property to look for evidence of criminal activity.

Common Scenarios with Warrants

Police are usually rude when they arrive at your home or work and make you leave while their search during the warrant's execution. If you don't answer the door, they will break it down. They commonly damage things and leave you a mess to clean up. When looking for electronic evidence on computers, they will seize and carry away your computers, hard drives, flash drives, external hard drives, flash drives and electronic devices like cameras and video machines.

Arrest Warrants are Executed Too

With this type of warrant, police in El Paso and Pueblo County come to houses or businesses and look for the person to be arrested. We often see police go out of their way to embarrass you by showing up and arresting you in front of your neighbors or coworkers. They consider this the price you must pay if you have refused to speak with them and remain silent. If you talk to them, they will often let you turn yourself in later. In some cases like those involving sexual assaults, police will ask you to come in and speak with them, then arrest you at the conclusion of the meeting. Either way, police will quickly take you into custody and not let you get dressed, call a friend or secure your residence. Police love to look tough and make a show of force when they come to arrest you. We have had many cases where we've offered detectives that we will have you voluntarily turn yourself in if a warrant issues, but they come and arrest our clients anyway. This costs taxpayers a ton of money and only serves to make an officer feel tough.

You've Been Searched or Arrested, What Comes Next?

Following a search warrant, police are required by Colorado law to leave behind an inventory of the search, specifically describing what they seized. Next, they are required to file a return of the warrant, which tells the judge the status of the warrant and what was taken. At the execution of a search warrant, it is common for Gunnison and Custer County area police to try to interview the suspect to get even more evidence against them. We strongly advise people NOT to talk with police. Officers have already made up their mind of your guilt and are not looking for the truth. They only want to gain more evidence to build a stronger case against you.

Following an arrest, men and women are either given a bond amount to post or are held without bond. Either way, persons being detained at their county jail are quickly brought before a judge where they are advised of their rights and the charges. At that point, the judge will assign a bond amount. In every case, a Protection Order is entered, preventing you from harassing or bothering witnesses or victims of your crime. In many case, a no-contact order is entered against you.

How Our Experienced Criminal Lawyers Can Help

Our Denver and Colorado wide criminal defense attorneys understand the U.S. and Colorado Constitutional standards for arrest and search warrants. We have experience suppressing evidence when a search warrant exceeds the law. We know search parameters and the "plain site" rule. There is an ongoing fight between overly eager police and criminal defense lawyers in Colorado. The government wants to exceed legal limits and intrude into your privacy. They go on searches with minimal evidence of a crime to see if you possess evidence of illegal activity. We can help - don't be taken advantage of. With arrest warrants, we can come to the jail during your advisement and persuade the judge or magistrate to give you a reasonable bond which you can afford.

We have been in Colorado fighting police and their harsh tactics for over twenty-five years. Don't fight this battle for your freedom alone. We have had seized evidence from improper search warrants suppressed and our clients released on a PR bond following their arrest. Quickly call us at 303-731-0719, 24/7 for help when you or your family member has been arrested or searched. Your freedom is on the line. We know the mindset of police, district attorneys and judges and put that experience to work for you. Call us today for a free consultation. Together, we can protect your future.

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