Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer
We have literally dealt with thousands of criminal cases in our careers, and so we know how you feel right now if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. It is a horrible form of anxiety that is all-consuming.
One thing we can tell you for sure is that your life is not ruined and that you do have options. There are things that can be done to get you through this. If you would like to know about the plan of attack we propose for your specific situation, please take a time out from reading to give us a call at 719-381-1707. It’s free to speak to us.
The charges leveled against you have brought you into a very unfair system. The criminal justice system in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Teller County, and El Paso County is brutal. We’re not trying to scare you; we just feel that it is our responsibility to be completely honest with you so that you can get through this nightmare as painlessly as possible.
The Pikes Peak region is especially unfair in the way that it deals with criminal cases. It is important to know this going in. It is also important to know that you simply must have a good criminal defense lawyer handle the case for you instead of trying to handle it yourself. It is generally known that “the person who represents himself in a criminal case has a fool for an attorney.” This is especially true in Colorado Springs and the surrounding cities because the judges and prosecutors do not help out people without lawyers. In fact, they take advantage of these people by treating them more harshly than people without lawyers.
For example, in court the other day, the judge asked an unrepresented defendant whether he would like a trial in front of a jury, or “just in front of a judge to make it easier.” Well, of course the defendant chose the judge because he was talked into it. What the unrepresented defendant did not know was that he is approximately four times more likely to be convicted in a trial to a judge than to a jury. This is just one example, but there are many, many more.
The good news is that a good criminal defense lawyer can make the case go much more smoothly for you than you may expect. The other piece of good news is that the court has to appoint a lawyer for you if you cannot afford one. It is so important that you have a lawyer that the government will give you public defender. Now, of course many public defenders are overworked and right out of law school, but even a public defender will make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
This is not a sales pitch. We are happy to represent you, but we are also not offended if you choose another lawyer. We just hate to see people getting screwed by the system, and a lawyer, even if it is the public defender, will help reduce the chances of this greatly.
Common Criminal Charges
Fights do happen. The tragically unfair nature of these charges is that generally, the police will simply charge the winner of a fight and not the actual instigator. This comes up a great deal with our military clients who are in shape and good at fighting. When someone who is not in good shape and is not good at fighting starts a fight, the military member ends it swiftly, which results in criminal charges.
This is where the legal doctrine of self-defense comes in. For this defense to succeed, the jury has to be convinced that the person charged was not actually the instigator. It is also necessary to prove that the force used to fend off the attacker was reasonable and not excessive.
Theft and Shoplifting
We specialize in defending and minimizing charges that involve some type of theft or shoplift. Many times, there is an explanation for how the theft took place or there is a bigger story that needs to be communicated to the prosecutor. These cases are often good for plea bargaining. The reason is that if there is some way to make sure that the property or money is reimbursed to the victim, there is room to protect your criminal record through the plea bargaining system.
Criminal Mischief is the alleged destruction of someone else’s property. It ranges from a simple misdemeanor to a serious felony, depending upon the value of the property. These cases are also sometimes good for plea bargaining because if the victim is made whole somehow, the prosecutor will be more reasonable in cutting you a break.
Drug Possession and Distribution
The laws in Colorado are not very enlightened, and they treat those struggling with addiction issues as criminals. The war against drugs often takes those who are not hardcore criminals and attempts to treat those individuals harshly when they do not deserve it. A good criminal defense attorney can push back on this unfair treatment and pursue a solution that is more appropriate for the situation.
The criminal justice system is not equipped to handle those who are struggling with addiction and tends to be counterproductive for those individuals. The lesser involvement of the criminal justice system in these situations, the better for those individuals. We have helped many people minimize the burden of criminal charges so that they and their families can focus on what is really important in moving forward.
These charges are a mixture of misdemeanors and felonies. Usually, charges like Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) are misdemeanors. Colorado now has a felony DUI statute, where the charge turns into a felony if there are three previous convictions for any drunk driving violations.
The new felony DUI law joins other laws that make drunk driving a felony, such as Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Assault, and Aggravated Driving After Revocation Prohibited. Vehicular Homicide is a class 3 Felony that is charged when someone dies because of a drunk driving accident. Vehicular Assault is a Class 4 Felony that is charged when someone is seriously injured due to a drunk driving accident. Aggravated Driving After Revocation Prohibited is a Class 6 Felony that is charged when someone is driving drunk and has a driver’s license revocation in effect.
The strategy for attacking these charges is different from other charges. First, these charges get the Department of Motor Vehicles involved in your case, as well as the courts. The DMV tries to add more penalties against your driving privileges outside of the normal court proceedings. There is action you must take within 7 days of your ticket to increase your chances of success in these cases depending on your individual case, so please call for free to speak to us so that you do not miss this deadline.
We have more information about the specifics of these types of cases here.
Domestic Violence charges occur when there is a complaint of some criminal activity, and the alleged victim of the crime and the person charged had some romantic or intimate relationship in the past. The most commonly charged offenses are misdemeanors such as Third Degree Assault, Harassment, Obstruction of Telephone Service, False Imprisonment, and Violation of a Protection Order. Also common is a misdemeanor version of Criminal Mischief, which alleges some kind of minor property destruction.
Domestic Violence charges are also sometimes felonies, and these charges are usually incredibly serious. For more violent allegations of assault, the police and prosecutor will level domestic violence charges like Second Degree Assault and First Degree Assault, which both carry mandatory prison time if convicted. There are even charges like Felony Trespass or Felony Criminal Mischief.
We have more information about the specifics of domestic violence charges here.
We are expert in fending off charges brought against juveniles. The nature and substance of juvenile charges are the same as for adults. The main difference is that these charges are prosecuted differently and punished differently by judges. You can read more specifics about how to fight juvenile charges here.
Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records
Even if you beat your criminal case or get it dismissed, it is still possible for the charges to show up on a background check. Fortunately, there is a process under Colorado law whereby you can keep the charges from showing up on a background check.
What you have to do is file an entirely new case that petitions the court to allow the sealing or expungement. The prosecutor or District Attorney’s office will fight against your case and argue that the charges should not be protected from public viewing. After a hearing in court where the arguments for and against are presented, the judge makes a decision and enters an order that keeps the charges off your background check. For the specifics of how to pursue this process, please click here.
What You Can Do Now
The individual circumstances of your case determine what the most effective way to fight your charges will be. If you would like to speak to someone for free about that strategy, please call Laybourne Law Firm at 719-381-1707.