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How strict is Colorado concerning DUIs?

As this blog recently discussed, there have been some recent changes to Colorado DUI law that will soon take effect. Some Colorado residents may wonder about DUI penalties in Colorado, how they compare to other states and when they may be able to expect changes. One study ranked Colorado, prior to the new felony DUI law, as the seventeenth strictest state in the United States concerning drunk driving.

The new felony DUI law will go into effect on August 5, 2015, and makes an accused individual's fourth DUI conviction a felony which can be punished by up to six years in prison. Currently, the first DUI conviction in Colorado carries a minimum of 5 days in jail and a second DUI conviction carries a minimum of 10 days in jail. Presently, there is no felony DUI law but a fourth DUI conviction will be considered a felony after August 5, 2015, and can lead to up to 6 years in prison for an accused individual.

Options to respond to drug distribution charges in Colorado

Drug distribution is taken seriously in Colorado and alleged drug distributors may be aggressively investigated and prosecuted. Alleged drug distributors may be investigated by both state and federal authorities. It is important for an accused individual to understand the steps to take when facing drug distribution charges.

In some situations an individual may be charged with possession with intent to distribute drugs because of the evidence allegedly collected against the accused party. When drugs are allegedly found with drug paraphernalia or large amounts of cash, drug distribution charges may be alleged. Likewise, if an accused individual has a large amount of drugs for personal use, serious drug distribution charges may be alleged.

What does a probation sentence in Colorado involve?

Many individuals may or may not be aware that a defining aspect of a felony criminal charge is that it can be punished, following conviction, with a year or greater in jail. Other crimes, including misdemeanor convictions, may be punishable by a jail sentence of less than a year. The same individuals may wonder, however, what are the other types of penalties and consequences an individual facing a criminal charge may receive?

Many serious criminal charges can result in incarceration, fines, probation or additional penalties and consequences. While familiarity with incarceration and fines may be high, an understanding of probation may not be as common. Following a conviction for a criminal offense, an individual can be placed on probation. Terms and conditions of probation will be set by the court as part of a probation sentence. Terms and condition can be general but can also be specific to the individual and the criminal accusations the individual is facing. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised and the goal is the completion of the terms and conditions. If the terms and conditions of probation are violated, probation can be revoked which can result in a jail or prison sentence.

Owner of Broncos son arrested for domestic violence charges

Domestic violence charges are significant criminal charges worthy of well considered criminal defense response. The son of the owner of the Denver Broncos, John Bowlen Jr., was recently arrested in Colorado for domestic violence charges. The 29-year old man was being held in a local jail for 3rd degree assault and harassment. The woman the Bowlen had been dating for approximately 10 months reported to authorities that he was under the influence of alcohol and nitrous oxide. She said that he began acting weird and shoved her against the wall. The woman also reported that she had been drinking earlier in the evening.

Bowlen was taken into custody by police for domestic violence harassment and other allegations and was held without bail. Domestic violence situations can be complex and the potential penalties an individual accused of domestic violence may face can be both serious and significant. Domestic violence can include a variety of alleged behaviors such as assault, battery, stalking, harassment and violations of restraining orders. Harassment can include harassment via phone, text or social media.

What are the violent crime arrest statistics in Colorado?

An arrest for any crime, including a violent crime, can impact an accused individual in a number of ways and for a significant period of time in most situations. Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) records from 2012 and 2013 reveal that a significant number of arrests were made for crimes ranging from assault to robbery, rape and homicide. The CBI data represents statewide arrests for violent crimes.

In 2012, there were a total of 14,423 arrests for assault and in 2013 there were a total of 15,596 arrests for assault. In addition, in 2012, 4,245 arrests were made for aggravated assault and 4,273 were made in for aggravated assault in 2013. The number of robbery arrests in 2012 totaled 908 which increased to 1,017 total robbery arrests in 2013. The total number of rape arrests in 2012 was 310 which increased to 501 total arrests for rape in 2013. Lastly, the total number of homicide arrests was 115 in 2012 which increased to 118 total homicide arrests in 2013.

Measuring the impact and cost of domestic violence is important

In the past few years, after several high-profile incidents involving sports stars and other celebrities, Americans began having a renewed national discussion concerning domestic violence. Although most people seem to agree that domestic violence is a substantial public health concern in the United States, some contend that the magnitude of domestic violence is underestimated, while others contend that it is exaggerated.

In one 2013 study, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a , sifted through mountains of data to reach the conclusion that there are nearly 2 million injuries every year due to what it termed "intimate partner violence." However, the CDC noted that actually getting hard data on domestic violence is very difficult. Different organizations have different definitions of domestic violence and many incidents go unreported to the authorities or unacknowledged as domestic violence.

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.

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