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Traffic crimes can result in serious consequences

Traffic crimes may not be something everyone often thinks about or are overly familiar with. The consequences, however, for many traffic crimes can be serious. Being accused of a DUI/DWAI in Colorado is obviously a cause for concern for anyone. It can change an individual's life forever in a single instant.

There are a number of traffic offenses that can lead to serious consequences such as a DUI/DWAI, eluding, failure to report an accident or involvement in a hit-and-run accident. Leaving the scene of an accident is also serious and given modern technology and resources available to law enforcement, accountability for leaving the scene of an accident has only increased. Drug charges can also be associated with a traffic stop and, of course, are always serious criminal charges.

What do I do if I am accused of a crime?

Unfortunately, innocent individuals can be arrested and put through the criminal justice system which can sometimes result in unhappy outcomes. Several years ago, one couple in Colorado experienced being falsely accused of a crime firsthand. Out of that ordeal, the couple offered tips for individuals who find themselves in the overwhelming and alarming position of being falsely accused of a crime. It is likely that any individual accused of a crime has a number of questions about what to do.

First, it is important to insist that authorities obtain a search warrant for anything they want to search. Additionally, if you are involved in an altercation of some sort with another party, it is important to contact authorities and report the incident to authorities. It is also important to keep in mind that an individual that has been accused of a crime is not required to answer questions or offer information and has the right to remain silent. In general, it can be useful to plan for what you would do if you were accused of a crime.

Colorado authorities increase drunk driving patrols over holiday

Individuals accused of a DUI are not without options to understand and consider. Recently, over the Fourth of July holiday, 271 drivers were arrested for impaired driving in Colorado. The number of arrests for the same holiday period was down this year from last year. The holiday weekend saw law enforcement departments throughout Colorado joining forces to increase DUI enforcement. The Colorado Department of Transportation and the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) joined forces with 93 local law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement over the holiday weekend as part of the Heat it On campaign. The campaign is ongoing with additional enforcement periods planned later this year, including Labor Day.

The heightened enforcement efforts included increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints. According to a recent study, Colorado ranks as the third state where individuals can most likely expect to be arrested for DUI; with over 24,000 impaired driving arrests made in Colorado in 2014, it is the third most likely state for individuals to receive a DUI in. A breakdown of the most recent holiday arrests included 49 drivers arrests by CSP, 27 arrested by Aurora law enforcement authorities and 20 arrested by each Denver and Colorado Springs law enforcement authorities.

Arrests for some crimes up in Colorado according to report

A recent Colorado Bureau of Investigation 2014 Crime in Colorado Report revealed an overall 1.0 percent drop in crime but a 1.9 percent increase in violent crime. While the homicide rate has decreased by 12.8 percent according to the report, aggravated assaults increased by 3.9 percent and other assaults increased by 6.9 percent. In addition, reported rapes increased by 2 percent, while reported robberies decreased by 3.7 percent.

There were also changes from 2013 to 2014 concerning arrests for crimes in Colorado which also differed from some of the trends in reported crimes. For instance, the number of arrests for homicide increased 10.2 percent. Arrests for aggravated assaults were up 4.6 percent and arrests for other assaults were up 9.3 percent. Arrests for rape were up 4 percent while arrests for robberies fell by 7.1 percent.

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.

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