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Denver Criminal Defense Law Blog

Felony DUI law is expected to be signed into law in Colorado

The possibility of receiving a felony DUI in Colorado will soon be a reality. A bill was recently sent to the governor for signing that will make repeat drunk driving a felony charge in Colorado. A felony drunk driving law has been a source of debate among lawmakers for a number of years. The current bill, however, making repeat DUIs a felony has been passed and the governor as indicated he intends to sign it. Critics of the bill have expressed concern that a felony DUI law will overwhelm the court system and prisons.

The new law provides that a driver convicted of a second DUI will be required to install an ignition interlock device in the driver's car for up to five years and blow into the breathalyzer to start the car. Under the new law, a driver convicted of a third DUI will receive community corrections. A fourth DUI is considered a felony DUI and will result in a prison sentence between two and six years. As a result of the new law, Colorado is joining 46 other states with felony DUI laws.

Navigating domestic violence charges

Domestic violence criminal charges are serious, and penalties can be harsh, however, consequences and penalties can vary based on the nature of the charges and alleged incident which is why understanding defense options is important for any individual accused of a domestic violence crime.

The potential consequences and penalties of domestic violence charges and a domestic violence conviction can include jail time, domestic violence classes and therapy and a criminal record in addition to the stress that comes with these potential consequences and penalties. In addition, an arrest for domestic violence can also present complications for the future of the accused party. Domestic violence accusations, charges and convictions can impact an accused individual's opportunities for employment and education, as well as the individual's ability to own a firearm.

Drugged driving carries serious penalties for Colorado drivers

In Colorado, driving while impaired by drugs, including legal prescription drugs and marijuana, is considered as serious as driving while drunk. Currently, Colorado is working to educate drivers concerning drugged driving and is also increasing enforcement. Driving while impaired by drugs can threaten serious consequences for an accused driver.

Colorado employs Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) with special training to detect the physical signs of drug impairment. DREs also conduct chemical tests for drugs. Colorado's implied consent law applies equally to driving under influence of alcohol as it does to driving under the influence of drugs. Drivers are required to consent to a chemical test if a police officer, or DRE, has reasonable grounds to believe the driver is driving under the influence of alcohol of drugs.

Denver City Council candidate faces domestic violence in his past

A domestic violence arrest or conviction, and subsequent criminal record, has the potential to haunt an individual far into the future. It was recently reported that a candidate for Denver City Council spent a year on probation and was required to attend domestic violence counseling 10 years ago for assault in a domestic violence case. The domestic violence incident involved the man's wife at the time. The 39-year old man is one of nine candidates running for City Council. The candidate said he was hopeful for understanding concerning his misdemeanor criminal record stemming from the incident.

Nearly ten years ago, there was a period when there were multiple arrests involving the candidate's wife and candidate. The candidate's wife was also arrested for domestic violence charges in two cases which resulted in dismissal and a diversion program. Protective orders were issued for both the candidate and the candidate's then wife by the courts.

Can alcohol classes be required in Colorado following a DUI?

Facing a DUI charge can begin a period of uncertainty that may be overwhelming for any individual accused of driving under the influence. Individuals facing a DUI charge may wonder what potential penalties and consequences they face.

One of the potential consequences of a DUI may be mandatory alcohol classes. An accused individual may be required as part of a plea bargain or deferred sentence to complete alcohol education classes. In some circumstances, the court may not require alcohol classes but Colorado law may require alcohol classes as a requirement to have the accused individual's driver's license reinstated. It is important to keep in mind that an alcohol education program can be required by the court as a consequence of a DUI or may be required to reinstate a driver's license which are two different ways in which alcohol education classes may be assigned.

Understanding mandatory arrests in domestic violence situations

Colorado law provides for mandatory arrests in domestic violence situations. While different states have different policies related to arrests in alleged domestic violence situations, Colorado law provides for mandatory arrests in certain circumstances. Individuals involved in alleged domestic violence situations may believe that someone other than the authorities must pursue the charges against them, however, that is not the case. Colorado law provides for a mandatory arrest policy when an alleged domestic violence incident has occurred.

According to the mandatory arrest law in Colorado, if the police officer responding to the alleged domestic violence incident has probable cause to believe that a crime related to domestic violence has occurred, the police officer is required to arrest the individual who is accused of committing the domestic violence offense. Police officers in Colorado, however, are not required to arrest both parties if both are making claims of domestic violence unless the police officer has probable cause to believe both have committed a domestic violence crime or offense.

The serious consequences of driving under the influence of drugs

In Colorado, it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs, including marijuana or prescription drugs. Penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in Colorado can be harsh and if police suspect an individual is driving under the influence of drugs, they can request that the individual submit to blood or urine tests. Individuals can also, of course, face charges for DUID for accusations of driving while under the influence of illegal drugs.

If an individual is convicted of DUID, they may face the loss of their driver's license, jail or prison time and the possibility of costly fines. In addition, those convicted of DUID may find future employment, housing and educational opportunities threatened by a DUID conviction.

Front Range city worker accused of domestic violence

Because of their serious nature, it is important to promptly address domestic violence allegations and accusations. In a Front Range community a little over an hour north of Denver, the director of the community's Human Services Department was recently arrested and jail for domestic violence. The 45-year old man is facing domestic violence charges. The man has been charged with misdemeanor assault for an assault and battery on a minor.

The alleged incident involves a teenage boy that allegedly used to live with the man accused of domestic violence. At his arraignment, the man pleaded not guilty to the charges. The man is facing the possibility of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. DHS is also reviewing the implications of the charges on the man's employment.

How often does violent crime occur in Denver?

Data collected according to Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) standards revealed that during the first two months of the year, there were 11 homicides in Denver. In addition, there were 143 rapes. Also during the first two months of the year, there were 333 robberies in Denver. In total, there were 717 aggravated assaults in Denver during the first two months of the year.

UCR is a standardized crime data collection system used by the FBI. When recording crime statistics, UCR only counts the highest crime category, or most serious crime category, per incident. UCR records crime statistics for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, auto theft and arson.

A closer look at domestic violence in the U.S.

This blog has recently discussed the potential prevalence of domestic violence in policing communities, however, domestic violence can exist in any environment or community. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that family and intimate partner violence is a common concern in American communities.

According to the CDC, one out of three women has been slapped, pushed or shoved by an intimate partner during their lifetime. In addition, almost one out of four women has experienced violence that is considered severe at the hands of an intimate partner. Severe violence includes being beaten, burned, choked, slammed against and object or hit with a fist. Among men, nearly 14 percent, during their lifetimes, experience severe intimate partner violence.

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