Monthly Archives: September 2011

Almost 2,000 Arrests in 100 Days

In a period of two weeks ending on September 7, the Colorado State Police reported that agencies across the state made 869 arrests for DUI in two weeks. Over 1900 arrests for DUI occurred in the months leading up to that, during a crackdown they called “100 Days of Heat.” Drunk driving is a serious problem on the roads today, and police are cracking down hard. However, even for those found to have offended, due process still applies, and Colorado DUI attorneys stand ready to make sure their clients’ rights are observed.

Laws regarding drunk driving in Colorado are complex, and the penalties for conviction are harsh. Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while your ability is impaired (DWAI); the news media often uses the terms interchangeably, or at least, doesn’t clarify the difference.

The difference between DUI and DWAI doesn’t even scratch the surface of the complexity of Colorado DUI laws, and it’s vital for anyone who finds themselves charged with such a crime to seek the services of a competent and qualified DUI attorney to make sure that no mistakes are made in your defense.

Remember, even if you think you may be in the wrong, you have rights. You should never, ever sacrifice these rights out of a sense of guilt or even a sense that you can defend yourself. Laws such as these are strict and the penalties for DUI arrests get more and more severe every year. As the 100 Days of Heat proves, police across the country are cracking down hard on DUI offenders, and this makes it more important than ever for those in Colorado who are arrested on […]

By |September 30th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Expanding Make My Day

Several states that already support the Castle Doctrine-a law allowing the application of deadly force to defend one’s home-have expanded that law to extend to businesses and vehicles such as cars or even bicycles, and to the defense of others. Colorado is the latest state whose legislature is considering such an expansion. Proponents of the expanded law call it “Stand Your Ground,” while detractors refer to it as “Make My Day.” Either way, those involved in a situation where self-defense results in the application of lethal force should immediately consult a Colorado criminal defense attorney, even if they are one hundred percent certain they acted within the bounds of the law.

In many cases of self-defense, even those that seem otherwise clear cut, the victim is made out to be the predator, is seen as a villain for the ghastly act of surviving a threat to their life. Without a qualified criminal law attorney you could find yourself in prison for a long time, or even convicted of a felony, when all you did was defend your own life against an attacker.

Imagine such a scenario. You’re at home, sleeping in bed, when an armed invader enters with ill intent. He may just want to steal your television, but then again, he may want to do you physical harm. You have no way of knowing, but the gun in his hand is a direct threat on your life, and you respond.

Thirty minutes later, the invader is dead and the police are there, taking a report. Would you leave the next fateful days to the whim of fate and the certain knowledge that you did the right thing, or would you rather have someone at your side […]

By |September 28th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

The Far-Reaching Effects of Criminal Conviction

Hypothetical: a sixty-year-old man in Castle Rock applies for a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Since Colorado is a “shall issue” state, he presumes he will have no troubles getting approved. Imagine his shock, when he is denied his permit! Upon further investigation by a qualified Colorado criminal attorney, the man discovers that over forty years ago, when he was eighteen, a felony conviction was entered into his record for corruption of minors.

The man swears that this information is incorrect. The conviction arose from a party the man threw at his parents’ house, wherein underage drinking occurred. When the police arrived he was arrested and charged. He insists that his criminal defense attorney pled the conviction down to a misdemeanor charge.

He appeals the decision, but it comes back the same. He contacts a new Castle Rock criminal defense lawyer who determines that while he may have pled his case down, it was filed on record incorrectly and so he is stuck with a felony charge for something he did when he was little more than a kid, a charge that not only prevents him from carrying, but from owning firearms. The man, an avid hunter, is devastated. Based on the age of the crime and that he is unlikely to repeat, it may be possible to have the conviction expunged, but such an effort could take years and cost thousands of dollars.

While this scenario may seem far-fetched, there have been identical cases that have happened all over the nation. Criminal convictions stick with you for your entire life, and should never be handled cavalierly. It’s true-something that you did forty years ago can eventually come back to bite you. So if you find […]

By |September 26th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Man Convicted of Murder Gets a Second Chance

Bill Dillon of Florida was convicted of murder in 1981 at the age of twenty-two, and sentenced to life in prison. The only problem is, he didn’t do it.

Dillon spent twenty-seven years in prison before being exonerated in 2008 of the crime that saw him face the harsh brutality of the American penal system for so long. His story, though it appears to have a happy ending, is nevertheless a sad one and Dillon no doubt has scars that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. This is exactly the sort of thing that Colorado criminal defense attorneys exist to prevent.

For twenty-seven years, Bill Dillon sat in his cell, alone, every night, singing. It was this singing, he said, that brought him some semblance of peace from the living nightmare of beatings, rape, and denigration, all over a crime he didn’t commit.

Though it would seem that the experience showed him his calling-he has just recently released his first album-it is a tragedy that he was ever accused, let alone convicted, of a crime. Unfortunately, while our criminal justice system is excellent overall, it is not perfect.

A strong criminal law attorney is necessary to ensure that episodes like this occur as infrequently as possible. Those accused of crimes should not simply count on court-appointed attorneys to represent them. In Florida or in Castle Rock, Colorado, criminal attorneys range from good to bad, and it’s much better to hire your own. While certainly discovering a gift like singing in prison, and learning a lesson to appreciate all of the little things in life, is a good thing to come out of a bad situation, it is still tragic that people like Dillon […]

By |September 23rd, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Judge Permits Challenged Evidence in Fatal DUI Case

A judge in the trial of Pittsburgh-area native Christa Logue recently suppressed a motion to deny statements made during a police interview as evidence against the woman. Judges all over the country are cracking down on drunk driving cases, and whether you live in Pittsburgh, New York, or Castle Rock, DUI laws are nothing to sneeze at. If the case were under Colorado DUI law jurisdiction, whether a Castle Rock DUI attorney would’ve gotten the evidence dismissed or not is academic; the truth is, every attorney faces victories and defeats both small and large.

On August 1, 2010, a Pittsburgh-area woman named Christa Logue was arrested and charged with the death of her own son during a DUI-related accident. Following her release from emergency medical treatment, she allegedly made detailed statements to the police regarding the alcohol she had consumed that night, recanting an earlier claim that she hadn’t drunk at all.

Laws regulating driving under the influence vary from state to state. Colorado express consent laws state that just by getting behind the wheel of a car, you consent to blood or breathalyzer tests if the officer has probable cause to believe you are under the influence. Miranda laws, on the other hand, are federal, and in this case the argument was that Logue was not in her right mind to voluntarily waive her right against self-incrimination. The judge, however, disagreed.

We have to presume that the decision was predicated upon Logue being read her rights prior to the interview; otherwise any competent criminal law attorney would have solid ground upon which to challenge her admission. As it is, the case against Logue is harsh; she is charged not only with DUI, but with homicide by […]

By |September 22nd, 2011|blog, Criminal, DUI Law|Comments Off

Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson: Another Power Couple Splits

A few weeks ago, Ryan Reynolds was on Jay Leno discussing his split with Scarlett Johansson. Though the actor, who is usually very private, spoke largely in jest about the divorce and by all reports the couple is still on friendly terms, Reynolds has still expressed pain over the divorce, saying he doesn’t ever want to get married again. Divorce is a tough process which varies by jurisdiction, and for those in Colorado without a Denver family and divorce attorney, the process can be painful on many different levels.

Reynolds and Johansson were one of Hollywood’s power couples, with reports flying weeks after their divorce that the two were looking to reunite. This sort of wishful thinking on the public’s part is a macrocosmic version of the type of drama that accompanies every divorce. Did the couple have to split? What happened to tear them apart? They had dinner last night-are they going to get back together?

The divorcees aren’t the only ones hurt, though certainly they share the bulk of the grief. Divorce ruins friendships and tears families apart, and as difficult as it may be, the only way to come out of it with as little damage as possible is to obtain, whether you are in Pennsylvania, California, or Colorado, divorce attorney services.

Attempting to go through a divorce without an attorney is unwise. The partner with whom you have spent years in trust and teamwork now stands on the other side of the line from you. Years of trust is destroyed. An attorney will ensure that both sides meet on fair and even grounds, and that the split is as equal as possible.

Whether the divorce is uncontested, or there are issues of annulment, child […]

By |September 20th, 2011|blog, Divorce Law|Comments Off

Dealing with Estate Taxes

people, however, who do not have the services of a qualified estate planning attorney can understand the intricacies of the new laws in place. When someone passes away, the last thing their loved ones want to deal with are complicated rules and procedures regarding the estate, especially since in addition to the federal tax laws, each state-Colorado included-has its own estate planning laws. People in Colorado would be wise to consult a Colorado estate planning attorney early; having your affairs in order before you pass away can save your loved ones years of added grief.

A recent article by the New York Times discusses some of these issues:

Only those who make over a certain amount of money are subject to federal estate taxes.
Those who came into inheritances in 2010 can opt out of the new tax scheme or choose to be subject to it.
Those who opt out will be subject to new and different taxes should they ever try to re-sell the inherited assets.
The deadline to choose is November 15, 2011
A major responsibility for the division of assets and the applicability of the new tax scheme will fall onto the shoulders of the estate executor.
The I.R.S. has yet to release a final version of the new tax form 8939 which includes the intricacies of the new inheritance tax scheme.

This new tax scheme is complex and could be subject to favoritism on the part of executors. If you live in Colorado, estate planning attorneys Ellman & Ellman, PC, can help navigate not only those situations in which inheritance taxes become contentious, but the common difficulties of balancing federal laws with Colorado inheritance tax laws. A little preparation in advance could save your descendants months or even […]

By |September 19th, 2011|blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off

When You Need a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are charged with a crime or a DUI in Colorado, you should never try to represent yourself in court.  Colorado criminal law, like any law, is complex and difficult for the lay person to navigate.  If you are accused of a violation of criminal law, be it a felony or a misdemeanor, attempting to defend yourself can be one of the worst decisions you can make.  A criminal law conviction will follow you for the rest of your life and can affect your ability to buy a house or car, or even get a job.  Those who have accused you of a crime will not be representing themselves.  They will have the resources of the state behind them, and a wealth of qualified attorneys to ensure that you are prosecuted.

When you find yourself in a situation where you need representation, the decision who to stand up for your rights can be the most important decision you ever make. Never make this decision lightly or assume that because you have read a lot about Colorado criminal codes that you are as capable of defending yourself as a qualified Colorado defense attorney.

It is true that attorneys can be an expensive prospect, but the hiring of an attorney is not only worth the money, it can be vital to your future.  If you are not able to afford an attorney, the state will appoint one for you, but you may wish to exercise your own judgment and choice in choosing the person who will stand up for your rights in a Colorado criminal court when you are accused of a felony, misdemeanor, or any other violation of Colarado criminal law.  A Colorado defense attorney is […]

By |September 15th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Estate Planning and Advanced Directives

In order to make sure that you and your loved ones are cared for if you get seriously ill, it can be important to speak with a Colorado estate planning attorney. A lawyer who understands Colorado estate law can help you draft important legal documents like powers of attorney, living wills or advanced directives.

If you’ve never stopped to think about what will happen if you have serious medical issues, these documents can be confusing. An advanced directive is any document that gives instructions as to your wishes in advance of your becoming ill. These documents can include:

Medical Power of Attorney: This document gives permission for another individual to make medical decisions on treatments or other care if you are incapacitated by illness or injury and unable to give informed consent to medical professionals.
Living Will: A living will sets forth your wishes regarding life-saving medical treatments and life support in the event that you are rendered unconscious or unable to give informed consent for seven consecutive days.
Resuscitation Directive: This type of legal document directly addresses your wishes regarding resuscitation techniques such as breathing tubes or CPR procedures, and it can be included in advanced directives, living wills or other legal documents.
Disposition of Last Remains: This advanced directive addresses how you would like your remains to be handled if your illness or injury is fatal. Like a CPR directive, this legal statement can be included in other documents.

While these types of wishes can be difficult to think about when we are healthy, it can be very important to include advanced directives or living wills in other estate planning documents. Many medical treatments such as breathing tubes, life support or resuscitation techniques can be expensive, and these […]

By |September 12th, 2011|blog, Estate Planning|Comments Off

Charlottesville Businessman Sentenced in DUI Manslaughter Case

What makes drinking and driving a dangerous combination is the fact that you’re not completely aware of your actions until you sober up and learn that your actions injured or killed someone. At that point you can’t undo what’s already been done, and all the apologies in the world will never be enough for the persons your actions harmed. A businessman in Charlottesville, Virginia stood in a courtroom and expressed sincere remorse for driving drunk one day in October 2010 and killing an aspiring winemaker.

The Daily Progress recently reported that the 59-year-old suspect was driving on a city highway when he lost control of his vehicle. He crossed the center line and into the path of the victim’s motorcycle, throwing him from his bike. He died at the scene. Police found an empty liquor bottle and receipt showing he had purchased the liquor from a store earlier that day. The suspect had a blood-alcohol content of 0.111, which exceeded Virginia’s legal limit of 0.08. He was arrested and later plead guilty to DUI manslaughter.

The suspect was sentenced to 11 years in jail, 8 years of which were suspended. Therefore, he will spend three years in jail. He was also put on probation and ordered to remain on good behavior for 10 years after his release. He was prohibited from driving for a year after his release and was ordered to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

In court, the suspect read a statement apologizing to the victim’s family for his actions. His wife had testified that she had no knowledge of her husband’s drinking. The suspect had no previous criminal history and a good driving record before his arrest. This suspect had no intention of harming anyone, […]

By |September 12th, 2011|blog, Criminal, DUI Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Florida Man Charged With DUI Manslaughter

DUI and manslaughter charges often results in jail time for the offender. Each offense is a serious crime with equally serious consequences, although the penalties for DUI are significantly less harsh than those for manslaughter. Driving after consuming alcohol is never a wise move, even if you’ve only had a few drinks. A few drinks may be all it takes to impair your judgment and ability to safely drive.

One such driver in Orange City, Florida drove while intoxicated and ended up killing another motorist. The Daytona Beach News Journal recently reported that the suspect was speeding along an interstate highway when he rear-ended the victim’s vehicle, killing him. A blood test determined the suspect had a blood alcohol level nearly three times’ Florida’s legal limit. According to Highway Patrol, the suspect turned himself in upon learning there was a warrant out for his arrest. He was later released from jail after posting bail. At press time, he faced charges of DUI manslaughter and DUI bodily injury.

The suspect in this case most likely faces a long prison sentence for the manslaughter charges alone, because manslaughter is a felony. The length of his jail term will not only depend on how well his criminal defense attorney argues his case, but on whether or not he is a habitual DUI offender. Jail time is certain even without any previous convictions. The fact that he took responsibility for his actions and turned himself into the authorities will be taken under consideration, but it may have very little influence on a judge’s decision when it comes to sentencing.

By |September 11th, 2011|blog, Criminal, DUI Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Man Gets 15-Years for DUI Manslaughter

When you drink and drive, you risk your life and that of other motorists on the road. If someone is injured or killed as a result of your actions, it affects more than your civilian status. A family is left to suffer through the injury or grieve the loss of a loved one. The victim will have to deal with the trauma and memory of the accident for awhile, if not the rest of his or her life.

A 41-year-old man in Pinellas County, Florida will spend the next 15 years of his life behind bars, living with remorse for a decision that cost a 22-year-old man his life, and him his freedom. A recent St. Petersburg Times story reported that the suspect was charged with DUI manslaughter and was given the maximum sentence.

The suspect, who was married with a son, tearfully apologized to the victim’s family, saying that he never intended to hurt anyone. One night in August 2009, the suspect rear-ended the victim’s vehicle on an interstate highway, killing him instantly. He had a blood alcohol content level more than twice Florida’s legal limit.

The victim’s grandmother told the suspect in court that although her son would forgive him if he were still alive, she wasn’t yet ready to forgive him. The victims parent’s were too distraught to attend the sentencing. The presiding judge in the case handed down the maximum sentence primarily because of the victim’s previous DUI convictions.

A son will have to spend the next 15 years without his father in the home because of a tragic error in judgment–one that forced a mother to bury a beloved son. Drinking and driving is simply not worth the risk. The criminal defense attorney […]

By |September 10th, 2011|blog, Criminal, DUI Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Man Get 10 Years for DUI Manslaughter

Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in all 50 states. DUI charges can mean heavy fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges and higher auto insurance premiums. Manslaughter is a felony in all 50 states, with stiffer fines and much longer jail sentences. Charges of both DUI and manslaughter is pretty much an automatic prison sentence, the length of which is determined by how well your criminal defense attorney does his job. A West Palm Beach man recently accepted a plea deal of a decade in prison for his role in a 2010 crash that killed a baby.

A recent Palm Beach Post News story reported that the suspect pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter. He was speeding down a street in suburban West Palm Beach when he crashed into two cars that were stopped at an intersection. The impact of the crash pushed in the back seat of a minivan occupied by a woman, her 8-year-old son and 3-month-old baby daughter, who was in a car seat in the back seat. The baby was killed instantly. Her mother and brother were also seriously injured but recovered. A 2-year-old girl and man in the other car were also injured but recovered.

Witnesses stated that the suspect was driving 60 mph while appearing to be looking at the sky. After the crash, witnesses saw the suspect get of out his car and go back and forth between throwing up his hands and holding his head in his hands. His eyes were reportedly bloodshot, and he appeared to be high. The suspect then walked away from the scene but was later apprehended by authorities.

The suspect was sentenced to 10 years in jail and also ordered to pay restitution […]

By |September 9th, 2011|blog, Criminal, DUI Law, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Blind Woman Charged With Reckless Driving

According to the National Federation of the Blind, a person is legally blind when they have 20/200 vision or less in the better eye with corrective lens. It is against the law to drive while legally blind, and a person who has been determined legally blind is denied a driver’s license or may lose his license once diagnosed.

A legally blind woman in Charlotte, North Carolina was recently arrested for reckless driving, according to FOX Charlotte News. On August 24, the woman had been punched in the eye during a domestic dispute. The blow caused a laceration to the eye, and the eye had swollen shut. Doctors  diagnosed her as legally blind and advised her not to drive.

Later that night around midnight, the woman attempted to drive home from the hospital. She turned off her headlights in an attempt to slip past hospital security and ended up hitting a traffic gate. She was arrested and charged with reckless driving. She was later released on bond.

The criminal defense attorney who handles this case will likely examine the woman’s home life to see if there’s a pattern of domestic abuse that may have contributed to her actions. While what she did was reckless, it was not done out of malice. She simply wanted to go home. What’s not clear is why she couldn’t wait until she had medical clearance to be released and took matters into her own hands.  Her defense attorney will insist of getting straight answers to this question if his client hopes to get her charges reduced or dismissed.

By |September 8th, 2011|blog, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Woman Charged With Vehicular Homicide

Texting and driving do not mix. Driving requires keeping your eyes on the road and both hands on the steering wheel. You can’t watch the road and handle the steering wheel when you text. A 19-year-old woman in Browersville, Michigan recently learned this lesson the hard way and now faces a year in jail.

The Fergus Falls Journal recently reported that the suspect plead guilty to criminal vehicular homicide  and misdemeanor reckless driving for her role in a crash that killed another motorist. According to court records, the woman sent 15 text messages prior to the crash. Her vehicle crossed a center line and collided with another car driven by the victim, who died from her injuries. The suspect was also seriously injured and had to be transported to the hospital.

The guilty plea was part of a plea deal that calls for a one-year prison term, a fine and 10 years probation. It also includes a four-year stay of prison time contingent upon completion of probation, and the suspect could be sent to jail if she violates probation. At press time, the plea deal was awaiting acceptance by the presiding judge.

A criminal defense attorney will always try to get his client the shortest sentence possible regardless of the crime. Of course, there are crimes that carry lengthy jail sentences even at the minimum term. Reckless driving in this case, as well as in Colorado, is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of a year in jail. In this case of this suspect, however, the reduction in sentence most likely applies to her felony charges of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a longer jail sentence than reckless driving.

By |September 7th, 2011|blog, Criminal, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

School Trustee Charged With Reckless Driving

Settling disputes always go much smoother when you keep a cool head and not let emotions overrule your better judgment. A school trustee in Brighton, Michigan recently learned that losing your temper can have serious consequences.

A recent story on reported that the suspect faced charges of felonious assault and reckless driving after deliberately ramming his vehicle into another one. According to police, the trustee is also a car sales lot owner, and his actions stemmed from a dispute over payment for a pick up truck with another car dealership in Lansing, Michigan. The suspect’s vehicle was impounded, and he was arrested and charged. He was later released on bail.

In addition to his legal woes, his future on the Brighton School Board may be in jeopardy. Michigan law prohibits convicted felons from holding a seat on school boards. The fact that the suspect deliberately rammed his car into another one with a blatant disregard for his own safety, as well as the safety of other motorists, may work against him. Had his actions been purely accidental, his criminal defense attorney would have had an easier time convincing a judge to grant a reduced sentence.

Reckless driving in Colorado is a misdemeanor. A person can be sentenced up to a year in jail for reckless driving depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. A criminal defense attorney will review police and witness statements pertaining to your case to determine if your actions constitute reckless driving and to make sure that your arrest was done according to the law.

By |September 6th, 2011|blog, Traffic Offenses|Comments Off

Burglars Flee But Don’t Get Far

Luck ran very short for two San Anselmo burglars on the morning of August 26, according to an KGO-TV new story. Around 10 AM, police received a report of a burglary in progress at a home in the 100 block of Summit Road, according to a San Anselmo police captain. The suspects had fled the scene but were spotted heading toward San Rafael.

The Dodge Charger they were driving collided with three other vehicles on Second Street. Police moved in and detained the suspects at gunpoint. Neither the burglary victim nor the occupants of the other vehicles involved in the crash were hurt. Second and Third streets had to be closed for an hour due to the police activity.

In addition to the burglary charges, these two suspects will likely face reckless driving charges as well. If they are “career criminals”, they can look forward to spending a long time in jail. The suspects face second-degree burglary charges because no one was harmed. In Colorado, second-degree burglary is a Class 2 felony punishable with jail time.

A criminal defense attorney in this case will undoubtedly advise his client of his rights and his defense options. He will advise him of the best and worst possible outcomes. He may advise a plea deal to get the shortest sentence possible under the circumstances. He will review all of the information pertaining to the case to make sure proper protocols were followed during the arrest, namely to see if there is any evidence of improprieties that could work in his client’s favor.

By |September 5th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Officer Sentenced in Car Racing Case

Car racing should be left to the pros. Even with their skills and training, professional car racers know the dangers of combining adrenaline and speed and that every race poses a risk of serious injury or worse. The risk for amateur car racers is even greater. A police officer in Aurora, Colorado was recently sentenced for participating in a car race in March.

According to the The Denver, the Aurora Sentinel recently reported that the officer accepted a plea deal that dropped more serious charges that included reckless endangerment, reckless driving, child abuse and being involved in an exhibition of speed. He was sentenced to three months’ probation and 50 hours of community service.

The officer participated in a speed contest with another driver on Castle Pines Parkway. The men had raced eastbound from Monarch Boulevard before stopping at a red light. Then both men accelerated, reaching 81 mph in a 40-mph speed zone, in less than a tenth of a mile before the other driver’s car crashed and rolled. No one was hurt in the incident

The multiple charges faced by two drivers in this case could have put 37 points on their licenses, which would have more than enough to cost them their driving privileges. The criminal defense attorney successfully prepared a defense that got his clients a lighter sentence than they would have served had they not agreed to a plea deal. The officer still faces the prospect of disciplinary action, however. According to a police spokesman, the officer is currently the subject of an internal affairs investigation.

By |September 5th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Robbery Suspect Sentenced to 20 Years

On September 11, 2008, two men forced their way into a house. One of them sprayed pepper spray into the eyes of the male occupant and then brutally beat him with a baseball beat, nearly killing him. The injury left the victim permanently disabled. It was all part of a robbery plot involving four people. All except one had already been sentenced for their roles in the crime. The remaining suspect was just recently sentenced in a district court.

A recent Billings Gazette story reported that a judge sentenced the suspect to 20 years in jail, with 14 years suspended, for aggravated burglary by accountability. The suspect was also sentenced to a five-year term with the Montana Department of Corrections for felony tampering. He was also ordered to pay more than $275,000 in restitution for the victim’s injuries.

The victim’s wife was present during the sentencing. She had tearfully testified that her husband would require 24-hour care for the rest of his life because of what the suspects had done. The robber who had beaten the victim had testified how the robbery was planned and carried out and stated that the suspect stopped him from beating the man further, possibly saving his life. The suspect briefly spoke at the hearing, stating that he wanted to take responsibility for his role in the crime. He apologized to the victim, who was present but could not make a statement.

In Colorado, this suspect would be guilty of a Class 3 felony had he actually participated in beating the victim. Because he didn’t, and actually prevented the victim from being beaten to death, it appears his defense attorney successfully got his client a reduced sentence. According to the story, the […]

By |September 4th, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Coast Guard Officer Faces Burglary Charges

A confrontation with police officers can only end one of two ways: you get arrested or you get hurt–neither of which are good.  A Coast Guard officer in Ketchikan, Alaska recently learned this lesson the hard way, according to a recent Navy Times article.

The officer was arrested on August 5 after police received reports of someone trying to break into a condominium. Police arrived on the scene to find the officer holding a broom. He  was ordered to lie on the ground, but he refused and began threatening the officer while spitting and kicking at him. He faces multiple charges, including second-degree burglary, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, harassment and assault on a police officer. He was temporarily relieved of duty and reassigned to another position.

It is never a good idea to be uncooperative with police officers. Officers are trained to use force to subdue a belligerent suspect if necessary–and sometimes that force is deadly. Things go much smoother for the suspect if he does as the officer instructs him and then get an attorney to handle the legalities. Even if the officer uses unnecessary or excessive force, the suspect is still better off not resisting arrest. He can have his attorney look into the conduct of the arresting officers and hold them accountable for any actions that constitute misconduct.

Burglary is a serious crime in any state. If this happened in Colorado, the suspect would be facing  Class 4 felony charges in addition to the other charges he faces–all of which carry long jail terms. His criminal defense attorney would have to prepare a solid, airtight defense to get him the lightest sentence possible, and that may not be enough.

By |September 3rd, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Burglary Suspect Unwittingly Targets Sheriff’s House

Some burglars simply are not cut out for it, as was the case of an unfortunate fellow in Winona, Minnesota. A recent article on reported that suspect didn’t notice the sheriff’s squad car parked outside of the house he decided to rob.

A Winona County Sheriff got a call from his wife, who told him that someone was trying to break into their house. The sheriff rushed home to find an intruder reaching through a broken glass door and attempting to unlatch the door. The sheriff wrestled the intruder to the ground and held him until police arrived.

The suspect reportedly had a breath alcohol content more than four times the legal limit for driving. According to the sheriff, the clueless suspect walked right by his squad car to enter his garage and steal a hammer to smash the glass door.

While the scenario is a bit hilarious, the crime committed is no laughing matter. Burglary and attempted burglary are offenses that carry stiff penalties. The suspect in this scenario may have been intoxicated, but he was still unlawfully breaking and entering. In Colorado, that alone is a felony. A criminal defense attorney would have to examine all the events surrounding the case to determine what class of felony the suspect would be charged with. If he was driving, he may also be charged with DUI. Unfortunately when this suspect sobers up, he’s going to have more than a  hangover to contend with. His criminal defense attorney will prepare the best defense possible under the circumstances and hope for the best.

By |September 2nd, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off

Teen’s Hoax Results in Charges

The abduction of a loved one is a devastating ordeal for both the victim and his or her family. Authorities in Aurora, Colorado are left wondering why one 15-year-old girl staged her own and led police on a 5-day search for whom they believed was an abduction victim.

The Denver Post recently reported that the teen, who had been staying at a hotel, had been missing since September 17. On that day, she called 911 and then called her mother and told her that a former drug dealer was banging on the door. When police arrived at the hotel, she was gone. A man on the scene was questioned and his vehicle impounded for evidence. The man told investigators that he was indirectly involved, but later told news reporters he barely knew the teen and was concerned about his reputation.

A police officer later spotted the teen at a fast-food restaurant and called for backup. When they arrived, the teen surrendered when she realized she was surrounded. At press time, she was in custody and being questioned. According to investigators, she faked her abduction and ran away. She had been spotted earlier the same day she was taken in, but she got away before police could apprehend her. She used a fake ID to check into the motel. Investigators declined to state how she obtained the fake ID, citing that information may have been part of the investigation into finding her accomplices.

The teen was described to be in reasonably good condition. Investigators would not divulge any further information. They did state that the teen was facing a number of criminal charges and would likely be charged as a juvenile.

Part of the criminal defense attorney’s defense strategy […]

By |September 1st, 2011|blog, Criminal|Comments Off