Greg D. Rawlings, P.C.

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Denver Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are protective orders for domestic violence?

Because protective orders commonly arise in the context of domestic violence situations, both victims of domestic violence and those accused of domestic violence may wonder what protective orders are. In Colorado, a protective order, or restraining order, is a legal tool used to protect one individual from the harmful actions of another. Protective orders can be used to protect against physical harm and threats.

Protective orders commonly restrict the harmful actions of one individual against another and prevent one individual from approaching another. Because an individual may also have a protective order placed against them concerning their children, it is important for those accused of domestic violence to understand protective orders. Protective orders also remove the accused individual from the home and require the accused party to remain a certain distance from the home, workplace and public places commonly frequented by the party awarded the protective order.

Defending against multiple DUIs

If you have had multiple DUIs in Colorado, the consequences and penalties can be serious. The possible penalties for multiple DUI convictions increase significantly with each DUI conviction. Those convicted of multiple DUI offenses in Colorado may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle which can be both financially costly and frustrating. On top of that, additional penalties are possible if you attempt to blow into the ignition interlock device to start your vehicle and any alcohol is detected on your breath.

Drivers who have been arrested multiple times for DUI in Colorado can potentially anticipate stiff penalties. In addition to possible jail time and fines, administrative penalties can result in the loss of your license and additional frustrations. The consequences of a DUI can have a significant impact on many different aspects of your life.

A look at crime in Colorado

A crime study that took a look at crime in Colorado found that firearm-related crimes accounted for a little over 10 percent of all weapons crimes in Colorado in 2010. A little more than half of weapons-related criminal incidents resulted in an arrest. The Crime and Weapons in Colorado report studied data from the National Incident Based Reporting System when creating the report.

Overall, 36,995 weapons-related crimes were reported in Colorado in 2010. When considering violent crimes including murder, rape or sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault, the study found that aggravated assault was the crime most frequently involving a weapon. The study also revealed that a little over one percent of firearms-related crimes involved a murder.

Colorado State Patrol conducting "zero tolerance" patrol

All criminal charges have the potential to negatively impact the life of an accused individual which is why criminal defense rights are an important part of the criminal justice system. Colorado State Patrol officers have been increasing patrols with the message not to drink and drive. According to social media reports released by the CSP, five allegedly intoxicated drivers were recently arrested prior to 10:00 pm one evening. The law enforcement agency noted that throughout the enforcement weekend, zero tolerance and strict enforcement would be their policy. Over 700 CSP troopers, including every uniformed officer, were noted to be out at some point during the zero tolerance time period.

The CSP believes the efforts have led to fewer fatalities and fewer DUI arrests, presumably because fewer intoxicated drivers are on the road due to increased enforcement. Most criminal charges can result in serious penalties. Felony charges in particular carry a possible penalty of a year or greater in prison. DUI charges are also serious charges and can include prison time, fines, community service requirements and license suspension or revocation.

Domestic violence and what do I do if I am charged with it?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The month provides an opportunity to better understand the topic of domestic violence. Domestic abuse can be both physical and psychological and occurs when one intimate partner, such as a spouse or other type of intimate partner, attempts to dominate the other through physical and psychological means. Domestic violence is the name given to the abuse when it includes a physical component.

Domestic violence can occur between both straight and gay couples and across all ethnicities and economic backgrounds. Domestic violence takes place at any age and men may also be recipients of domestic abuse. It is, therefore, important for both men and women to recognize the signs of abuse. The physical component of domestic abuse is the use of force that endangers or injures an intimate partner which is committed by an intimate partner. Physical assault and battery are crimes which can lead to criminal charges and involve the police.

Man faces DUI and felony charges in Colorado after accident

The criminal law process may seem complex but understanding the ways it works to protect accused individuals can be important. Following a motor vehicle accident in a Denver suburb, a 54-year old man is facing DUI and vehicular homicide charges. The accident killed one 17-year old teenage girl and injured another 18-year old. According to authorities, the man was driving southbound when he crossed multiple lanes of traffic and collided with the northbound vehicle the two teenage girls were in. The man was arrested for driving under the influence, reckless driving, vehicular assault and vehicular homicide. According to police, the man does not have a prior arrest record in Colorado and his blood alcohol content level was twice the 0.08 legal limit in Colorado.

Both felony charges and DUI charges have significant potential to disrupt the life of an accused party in undesirable ways. By definition, felony charges, such as vehicular assault and vehicular homicide can carry severe penalties, including more than a year in prison. DUI charges can also carry serious penalties which can be both criminal and administrative in nature.

Colorado man arrested for domestic violence, faces gun charges

The right to prepare and present a criminal defense to criminal charges is an important right that is guaranteed by the criminal justice system. A man was recently arrested south of the Denver area following a standoff with police. The 37-year old man was allegedly locked in a home with a shotgun. Negotiators were able to end the standoff. The man was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence. According to authorities, the man is a convicted felon so because he was allegedly armed with a shotgun, weapons charges are also pending against him.

Illegal weapons possession charges can be serious and threaten serious consequences and potential penalties. Both federal and state gun laws exist. In Colorado, as under federal law, it is illegal for a person who has been convicted of a felony to own or possess a gun. Some weapons are considered illegal in Colorado and others may be illegal in certain circumstances, such as when the accused individual already has a felony conviction.

Understanding driving under the influence of drugs in Colorado

When considering changes to Colorado drug laws, it can be important to understand the important implications of those changes. For instance, it is not legal in Colorado to get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drive while experiencing the effects of a drug even when use of the drug is legal. Driving under the influence of drugs is illegal and can lead to criminal charges and penalties. It is important to note that driving under the influence of legal drugs, such as marijuana and prescribed medications, is illegal.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT), 23,519 drug and alcohol evaluations were collected by the Colorado Department of Human Services in 2012. Nearly 5 percent, or 1,045, of the evaluations collected involved marijuana. Also according to the Colorado DOT, of the 286 drivers tested for drugs in 2012, 35 had only cannabis in their system.

Vice President in Denver to discuss domestic violence

Domestic violence charges can carry potentially serious consequences, as domestic violence is a country-wide concern. Vice President Joe Biden was recently in Denver to discuss the topic of domestic abuse. The discussion was held on the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. Biden spoke as part of a roundtable to community leaders and those impacted by domestic violence. While Department of Justice statistics show that domestic violence is declining overall, Biden noted that there is more left to be done concerning the issue. The White House recently launched a campaign of online pledges to involve men in ending violence against women.

Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), protective orders are recognized in all jurisdictions including state, tribal and territorial; special domestic violence training for law enforcement is provided for; and funding and creation of special domestic violence units in local communities is also provided for. The VAWA applies to intimate partner violence. Intimate partners include spouses, former spouses, parties that share a child in common or parties that live together or have lived together.

What are the basics of Colorado drunk driving laws?

DUIs are, unfortunately, rather common. They are a serious concern that may cause many people to have questions about the basic DUI laws in Colorado. In Colorado, laws about driving while under the influence include provisions for both alcohol and drugs. The legal limit, or blood alcohol concentration limit, for driving while under the influence of alcohol is 0.08 percent. In addition, failure to pass a roadside sobriety test can result in an arrest for DUI. Those arrested for DUI are usually taken to a local jail.

Penalties for DUI can be serious and unpleasant. For a first DUI offense, the party's driver's license can be revoked for nine months. In addition, the driver can receive a fine ranging from $600 to $1,000, be ordered to attend alcohol education classes and complete up to 96 hours of required community service. Finally, a DUI offender can face up to a year in jail. Additional DUI offenses can carry increased penalties. After multiple DUI offenses, drivers may be required to install ignition interlock devices on their cars. Penalties can also attach for any attempts to start the car after drinking, as the ignition interlock device detects alcohol on the driver's breath.

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