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February 2017 Archives

Driving While High: Always Illegal in Colorado

Over the last few years, new laws regarding the legalization of marijuana in Colorado have brought many new factors into question. One of these issues regards the combination of marijuana use and driving, which, like alcohol use and driving is still illegal, despite Colorado's new marijuana laws.

Young girl may have died from domestic violence

Domestic violence is always heartbreaking, but it is even more so when its victims are innocent children. Recently, a 2-year-old girl from Westminster died, and authorities suspect domestic violence played a part after finding that the young girl suffered head trauma.

Can your broken headlight lead to DUI charges?

Whether you are the proud owner of a brand new, high-power turbo sports car, or you are happy driving the same old pre-owned vehicle you got a great deal on at the used car lot, car maintenance is a necessary part of keeping your car on the road. Regularly checking air pressure in tires, transmission fluid and all head, brake and tail lights for proper levels and functioning is a good habit most conscientious car owners have.

What is vehicular manslaughter?

If you've been involved in a car accident, there's a chance you could be accused of vehicular homicide or manslaughter. There is a particularly high chance of this if you've been charged with a DUI for driving with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent or if it appears that you intended to cause harm to another person or that person's property.

Think carefully when you are pulled over for drunk driving

In a recent blog post, we discussed a case of a man who was sent to prison for his ninth DUI conviction. While this is a fairly extreme case of felony DUI, it is a stark reminder that drunk driving is a very serious crime.

Repeat DUI offender gets 10 years

Nearly a year ago, in February of 2016, a man crashed his vehicle into the patrol car of an Adams County deputy, leaving the deputy gravely injured. The victim suffered two fractured vertebrae, while the driver has now been sentenced to 10 years in prison following his conviction of driving under the influence and vehicular assault.

Why do felony DUI penalties vary so much?

When laws change, it can be for the better or worse. In the case of those facing a felony conviction in Colorado for driving under the influence, it can actually work to your benefit. In fact, because the guidelines are so loose, it's possible to receive no incarceration at all, even on a fourth offense.

Ninth DUI leads to felony conviction for Colorado man

Colorado's recent felony DUI expansion was brought to bear in a very real way recently, during the sentencing of a man who had numerous prior DUI convictions across several states. The defendant was appearing to face his ninth DUI charge in Colorado.

The location of alleged crimes can impact charges

People who are facing criminal charges have likely heard that there are specific protections they have as they go through the court system. The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution protects defendants from double jeopardy. This means that you can't be charged with the same crime twice; however, there are some caveats that you should know about if you are facing criminal charges.

Felony DUI laws lead to rising prison population

Laws that get tough on crimes that the public loves to hate are often relatively easy to get passed and build plenty of political goodwill for the public servants who author and support them. However, these types of laws can have unanticipated consequences that demand they be reconsidered. Here in Colorado, just such a law has reversed our statewide decline in prison occupancy.

What are teen driving bans in Colorado?

Teens have many driving restrictions imposed on them, and many of those restrictions are for good reason. For instance, did you know that teens in Colorado have a passenger limit? For the first six months of a teen's license, there can be no passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle unless an adult driver who is also licensed is in the car. The following six months allow for just one passenger under the age of 21. There are exceptions to know, though. For instance, if you are 17, just obtained your license and have a friend who is hurt, you can take your friend to the hospital even though you're still within the six-month exclusion period. If you need to pick up siblings, they are also exceptions to the rule.

The sex offender registry includes specific information

People who are facing sex-related charges often have several things that they are worried about. Incarceration might be at the top of the list. Another big issue that they face is the sex offender registry. Having to register as a sex offender is something that can have a negative impact on your life and it is one reason why some people fight against sex-related charges.

What kinds of field sobriety tests are there?

There are a few different field sobriety tests that you can be asked to take if you're stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving. These roadside tests include things like portable Breathalyzer tests and also performance-based activities like walking in a straight line or touching your nose with your finger. Many of these tests seem easy when you're not intoxicated, but when under the influence, it can be difficult to complete them accurately.

New program seeks to end domestic violence fatalities

Just south of Denver, officials in Douglas County are rolling out some new efforts to reduce fatalities due to domestic violence. Using a number of targeted questions when responding to domestic violence calls, officers hope to be able to identify situations that may go from dangerous to deadly before a tragedy occurs.

How has Colorado benefited from legalizing marijuana?

Marijuana is a drug talked about often in the news; many states have approved it for legal use, while others have made it a point to ban it. While still federally banned, Colorado made headlines when it legalized the drug several years ago.

Understand witness testimony in a criminal trial

When a person goes on trial for a crime, he or she must present a case that introduces doubt into the mind of each jury member. Some of how this is done involves calling witnesses. It is important for each witness to understand certain points about giving testimony in criminal cases, such as sex crime cases.

Does Colorado have an implied consent law?

What is implied consent? Does it apply in Colorado? If you ever ask yourself these questions, then you're probably wondering if a police officer can force you to take a Breathalyzer test. The truth is that in Colorado, the implied consent law gives police permission to take your blood alcohol concentration to check your intoxication levels through a breath test or blood test without a warrant. The officer can also ask you to perform field sobriety tests.

Various tools might help prevent drunk driving

Law enforcement officials have various tools in their arsenal to try to prevent drunk driving. Some people push against these tools because they don't think they are effective or feel they place too big of a burden on the people who are subjected to them.

You can fight drug paraphernalia charges

You might be shocked to hear you're being charged with a drug paraphernalia charge after a traffic stop. What does a spoon have to do with drugs, after all? In some cases it may mean nothing, and in others, the police may believe you're using illegal drugs. Simply possessing some prohibited items can lead to a charge, but the line is blurred.

Am I liable for my teenager's drinking behavior?

Underage drinking may seem like something that everybody does and no one cares as long as it's in a relatively safe environment, but the law does not always see it that way. It is true that very few individuals actually wait until they are 21 years of age to taste alcohol for the first time, and for most people, the first experiments with drinking occur while hanging out with teenage peers, often at one friend's house. On one hand, it is objectively better for these experiments to happen in a home, but that does not remove a liable parent's responsibility in the eyes of the law -- especially if harm comes to someone because of drinking that happened in his or her house.