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May 2013 Archives

Police Officer's Forgery Arrest Shows Everyone Makes Mistakes

A Colorado Springs police officer has recently been arrested on suspicion of theft and forgery. The charges stem from the officer being paid for work not performed. As part of the payroll process, the officer reported he worked hours when GPS records show he was not working, but at home or other locations. When the officer filled out paysheet payroll forms, he represented falsely that he completed the work, when he did not. This is similar to cases we see where documents are falsified in Arapahoe, Douglas and Adams County.

Trespassing in Car & Loss of Colorado Driver's License

A Colorado Trespass charge comes in many flavors, from First Degree Trespassing, to Second Degree Trespassing, and Third Degree Trespassing. These crimes can be a felony or misdemeanor. They differ depending on where a person trespasses in Jefferson, Denver and Arapahoe County. Most interesting, however, is that one of them can result in the loss of your Colorado driver's license!

False Reporting to Authorities and Police

People who have made false claims (False Reporting) of domestic violence in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Boulder County, may later want to admit that they lied to the police about their initial report after realizing the dire consequences their loved one may face. Unfortunately, this creates a tricky situation where the alleged victim wants to undo the harm they caused, but the fear they could have criminal repercussions may prevent them from ultimately telling the truth.

Sexual Exploitation of a Child = Child Porn in Colorado

Colorado is big on protecting kids and that is good. Colorado prosecutes the possession of even one nude image of a child, and that is bad. Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S. 18-6-403, is designed to protect kids by criminalizing the possession, manufacture, or distribution of sexually explicit images of kids. In today's high volume, high speed computer world, innocent men and women get caught in this law's broad reach.

Reckless Endangerment in Colorado

In Adams, Broomfield and Jefferson county, Reckless Endangerment is a criminal charge designed to punish people who engage in activity with dangerous potential consequences for others and who disregard that foreseeable danger. Specifically, the statute states, "A person who recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person commits Colorado reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor." C.R.S. 18-3-208. "A person acts recklessly when he or she consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur or that a circumstance exists." An experienced attorney can help you fight undeserved charges.

Denver Harassment Charges Come Too Easy, C.R.S. 18-9-111

In many card games, the wild card makes it easy to win because it works in any situation. Police in Denver, Jefferson County and Adams County have a wild card at their disposal too. Harassment, C.R.S. 18-9-111, is charged when police can't make allegations of a crime fit any other statute. Broadly written to include words like "harass, annoy, alarm" another person, men and women are charged with this crime when they allegedly "strike, kick, or otherwise touch a person." It is also charged when someone is accused of following another in a public place. Other scenarios where this crime is charged include phone calls, uttering insults, and the use of offensively coarse language in a manner likely to provoke a disorderly response (how can you predict what another will do?).

Enticement of a Child & Colorado Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

I have been telling you for years that peer to peer networks, like Limewire, are a dangerous place to log in. Now its official and successful prosecutions from these sites are published by law enforcement agencies like the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and other agencies. Check out http://www.coloradoicac.com/abouticac.html and learn of the large number of arrests for crimes like Enticement of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-305, Internet Luring of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-306 and Sexual Exploitation of a Child, 18-6-403.

Minor in Possession of Alcohol, MIP Lawyer

Summer is just around the corner and I wanted to ensure that young adults 18-21 years old, and juveniles who are under 18, are aware of the law concerning alcohol use. Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol by an Underage Person, a/k/a Minor in Possession of Alcohol, a/k/a MIP, C.R.S. 18-13-122, is a common charge when kids and young adults are drinking beer or wine or hard liquor. If a parent is present and gives permission for the child to drink, these laws will not apply.

Mesa County Cookie Thief Theft - Work Release Sentence

A Mesa County woman recently plead guilty to felony Theft (C.R.S. 18-4-401), after stealing money from the proceeds of Girl Scout Cookie sales. For the theft conviction, she was sentenced to six months of work release and eight years of probation. This Girl Scout leader stole more than $4000 from her daughter's troop's annual fundraiser. The Mesa County District Court judge also ordered her to pay back the Girl Scouts' restitution. Restitution is designed to make the victims whole.

Prohibited Use of Weapons vs. Illegal Discharge of a Firearm

The question often arises whether Colorado's Prohibited Use of Weapons, C.R.S. 18-12-106, or Illegal Discharge of a Firearm, C.R.S. 18-12-107.5, is worse and which applies to particular facts in Denver, Douglas or Arapahoe County. Any inquiry into this question should first examine what type weapon or firearm is regulated by each crime. Prohibited Use of Weapons, "PUW", is a misdemeanor and applies to guns, bow and arrows, throwing stars or nunchaku (a/k/a numbchucks). Illegal Discharge of a Firearm is a felony and applies to firearms (guns).

Criminal Impersonation vs. False Reporting in Colorado

Under C.R.S. 18-5-113, Criminal Impersonation is a felony offense in Colorado and requires the assistance of an experienced attorney to fight the charges in Boulder, Jefferson, and Arapahoe County. Criminal impersonation charges can arise in a variety of scenarios but most typically, it is charged when a person is accused of using a false identity to get a benefit. For example, if the police stop you for a traffic stop and you use another name because you know that there is a warrant for your arrest, the fact that you are evading arrest elevates the case from a simple traffic stop to a class 6 felony. In this scenario, the prosecutor will allege that your benefit is that you were able to remain at large by lying to the police.

Why Driving Under the Influence, DUI or DWAI?

It is now spring in Colorado, and the time of year drinking and driving charges explode. It is like there is a sign which says, "drink and drive - it's ok now". Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) or Drugs like marijuana (DUID), result from men and women lacking the discipline or clear head to say "I'll get a ride home." After 21 years practicing Criminal Defense in Denver and Arapahoe County, I think the causes of DUI and DWAI cases can be categorized even a little deeper. Once people start drinking, they don't realize they can no longer make intelligent decisions. So, they need to give away their car keys and schedule a ride before the first sip of alcohol.

Internet Luring of a Child - a Colorado World Wide Problem

Did you know that police in Colorado trick men from around the world into coming to Colorado for sex with children? Be on the alert, particularly in internet chat rooms. Police will engage in conversations with men, pretending to be a child (under 15) who openly discusses sex. The idea is to lead men into conversations where there is a description of "explicit sexual conduct", an invitation to meet for any purpose (nonsexual or sexual), and the man is at least four years older than the child. This combination is lethal and will result in Internet Luring of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-306, charges, a Colorado class five or class four felony.

Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child Denver Lawyer

Sexual talk or conduct involving kids of any age is dangerous in Colorado. Police frequently pose as kids online and elicit sexual conversation, only to lead you into the commission of a crime. Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, C.R.S. 18-3-405.4, is a perfect example. You might be minding your own business in a Yahoo Romance chat room, and a person strikes up a conversation with you. As your conversation develops, if you ultimately invite a person less than 15 years of age to touch or expose their own or another's intimate parts, or ask them to observe your intimate parts (i.e. you send a picture of your intimate parts), police will arrest and charge you. What seems like a private and confidential exchange is recorded and used as evidence against you in Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams County. Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child is a class 4 felony in Colorado, and a sex offense. With a conviction, people are required to register as a sex offender and complete the onerous SOMB sex treatment.

Record Sealing Lawyers: Pro Se or Hire an Attorney?

I get asked many times by people whether they need to hire an attorney for their Probation Revocation (C.R.S. 18-1.3-201), Marijuana Possession (C.R.S. 18-18-406), and Trespass (C.R.S. 18-4-504) case. The answer never changes: yes, you need to hire an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney to fight the charges and to get the best outcome. The main reason is because people often want to complete a Record Sealing of a prior case because they can't get a job with their record. How a case is handled will determine whether it can be sealed.

Spring and Summer's Disorderly Conduct - C.R.S. 18-9-106

In driving cases, police use Careless Driving as the catch all charge when they want to write a ticket and the facts fit no other crimes. With criminal cases, Disorderly Conduct, C.R.S. 18-9-106, is the wild card crime. It fits so many circumstances that police officers charge it when a person is just being ornery and no other crimes fit. As with so many crimes, alcohol use often accompanies Disorderly Conduct in Denver and Douglas County Colorado. When someone has too much to drink, they are loud, yelling, and simply disturbing others who are trying to sleep. Under these circumstantces, they are frequently charged.

Can a Juvenile be Convicted of a Crime?

In some cases, but not all, juveniles in Colorado who have violated the law can be convicted of a crime. Only when the juvenile is at least 16 years old, can the District Attorney file adult charges, where a conviction may result. This filing process is called a Direct File or Direct Filing. Recently, the Colorado governor signed a law into place which raised the age limit from 14 to 16 years old, when the DA may do a Direct File on a juvenile. The new law allows DAs to charge young kids as adults in murder, violent sex crimes, kidnapping and assaults which are violent. Juveniles charged via the Direct File can appeal to a district judge, who gets to say whether the child should be tried as an adult.

Right to Remain Silent - Denver Attorney

When confronted by police in Denver, Aurora, or Lakewood, our clients often wonder whether they have the right to remain silent and whether they can ask for an attorney to help. In general, you can choose to not speak to the police when they are confronting you and asking you questions about whether or not you have information for them. You are not entitled to a lawyer at your arrest.

Unlawful Sexual Contact Charges Come Easy, C.R.S. 18-3-404

I have told men again and again, that if they have ANY sexual contact with a woman, they'd better be willing to trust her with the keys to their life. Our hypersensitive world encourages calls to police in the event of any misunderstanding, and the police are willing to charge anything involving sex. Sex offenses like Unlawful Sexual Contact, C.R.S. 18-3-404, require sex offender registration, sex offender treatment, and strict monitoring.

Firearms - Possession of Weapon by Previous Offender, Lawyer

Recently, I was asked to comment on the interplay between the Affirmative Defense of Self Defense, the constitutional provisions permitting possession of firearms for defense of one's home, person and property, and C.R.S. 18-12-108, Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender "POWPO". Possession of a Weapon by Previous Offender, or POWPO, involves a convicted felon (either from a juvenile adjudication or an adult felony conviction), who possesses a firearm in Adams, Arapahoe or Broomfield County. It is a felony for the felon to possess firearms.

Assault by CSU Football Player and Girlfriend, C.R.S. 18-3-204

The recent arrest of a Colorado State University football player, and his girlfriend, mark an unusual occurrence at the CSU campus. Rarely are both the man and the woman in a relationship arrested for Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-204, 18-3-203 and 18-3-202. Third Degree Assault is most often charged when there is some minor hitting or pushing of one another. Second Degree Assault involves bodily injury (not serious) with a deadly weapon. Finally, First Degree Assault usually involves force, a deadly weapon and some type of serious bodily injury.

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor - Makes no Sense?

Everyone reading this blog must agree on one thing. A felony should be a felony if a serious law violation occurs, right? All Colorado criminal statute law violations are written on that basis. Murder is worse than shoplifting, shooting someone is worse than punching them, and stealing $250,000 is worse than stealing $99. Why then is someone charged with a class four felony of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor in Colorado if they induce, aid or encourage a child to litter, make loud noises at night, or let a dog bark? This looks like a situation sponsored by a special "child protection" interest group.

Fast Track Domestic Violence - Slow it Down

We frequently see cases involving Domestic Violence in our practice and we've reminded you that any charge can have the DV label.  Now, we want to alert you to a trend occuring in many Colorado Courts like those in Adams County and Broomfield County, which rushes criminal cases involving Domestic Violence allegations.  The idea, called "Fast Track", is to bring people before a judge and DA quickly, before they can get a lawyer hired.  This clever attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution's 6th Amendment right to counsel is dangerous to persons charged with crimes. 

"Twilight" Marathon Ends in Domestic Violence: C.R.S. 18-6-801

A Lakewood man was recently arrested on charges of Domestic Violence "DV" (C.R.S. 18-6-801) after he became angry that his girlfriend and her children were having a "Twilight" movie marathon. The Lakewood police allege he left after becoming irritated by the movies and returned home intoxicated later when he argued with his girlfriend, grabbed her, threw her against a wall, and threatened to stab her with a knife. The man was arrested and taken to the Jefferson County jail where he will stay for the duration of the case unless he can post bail bond. He will be under a mandatory Protection Order issued in every DV case.

Violation of Protection / Restraining Orders - Denver Attorney

Violation of Protection / Restraining Orders (C.R.S. 18-6-803.5) is a crime where many people are unaware of the nature of the offense and the likely punishment upon a conviction. Violation of a Protection / Restraining Order can occur with two different types of orders: a criminal mandatory protection order (C.R.S. 18-1-1001) and a civil protection order (C.R.S. 13-14-102). In either case, the punishment for a conviction is the same in Colorado courts.

Boulder Students - Felony Drug Offense Charges: C.R.S. 18-18-405

University of Colorado police arrested two students this week after one student bought a single $5 prescription pill from the other. One of the students is being charged with the Unlawful Sale of a Controlled Substance (C.R.S. 18-18-405), while the other one is being charged with possession of a controlled substance (C.R.S. 18-18-403.5) in Boulder District Court. Both Drug Offense charges are felonies in Colorado. The pill was a tablet of Vyvanse, a stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder, but also commonly misused by students as an alertness enhancer for studying.

Colorado Criminal Impersonation - Is That Me?

Are we all guilty of this crime once in a while? I can still remember the check which came to our house and I had promised my wife I would deposit it in our account. We had bills to pay and the check needed to be deposited. Since my wife had already left for the day, I just signed her name and put the check in the bank. She was glad I made the deposit and we never had any problem. Did I commit Criminal Impersonation?

Colorado Warrants Come in All Sizes

Colorado Arrest Warrants

Arrest warrants are useful for taking someone into custody if a Police Officer or Sheriff Deputy doesn't witness a crime. Warrants of this type are issued by a judge, upon application by law enforcement in a document called Affidavit for Arrest Warrant. The officer puts together a basic Affidavit and then takes it to a judge or magistrate to sign. In most Colorado jurisdictions like Adams, Denver, and Arapahoe County, the officer tells the judge what they want the bond amount to be. You have no rights at this point and judges almost always do what the officer wants. It is not an adversarial system where you can defend yourself, but lopsided for the government.

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Case Results:

  • Sexual Assault and Rape charges related to divorce. Acquittal from jury trial. Weld County, Greeley, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Possession of Child Pornography. Acquittal from jury trial. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Arson of Nursing Home. Dismissed by Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Felony Drug Distribution. Acquittal from jury trial. Boulder County, Boulder, Colorado.
  • Rape and Sexual Assault charges involving divorce and child custody. Acquittal from jury trial. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Burglary and Felony Theft. Dismissed by District Attorney. Arapahoe County, Englewood, Colorado.
  • Theft of Drugs by Nurse. Dismissed by District Attorney. Jefferson County, Golden, Colorado.
  • Sexual Assault on a Child, Position of Trust. Acquittal from Jury Trial. Adams County, Brighton, Colorado.
  • Domestic Violence. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock, Colorado.
  • Violation of Restraining Order. Dismissed by District Attorney. Douglas County, Castle Rock.

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