Castle Rock Hate Crimes Garner More Serious Penalties
That’s because true or not, the allegations will result in the inevitable perception that the accused is bigoted. What’s more, crimes for bodily injury or property damage are stiff enough without piling on additional sanctions for a crime that is deemed to be motivated by hatred of a person for their perceived race, sexual orientation, gender, religion or some other basis.
However, that’s what is happening to a group of individuals who are accused of attacking a black, German foreign exchange student in Berthoud, just outside of Fort Collins.
The student, who is a 15-year-old junior at Berthoud High School, said she was walking home late last week when a group of young, white men reportedly began to harass her. She claims the men told her they were specifically looking for a minority, and went on to make racially intimidating comments. Then, she says, one of the men used a knife to inflict wounds on her forehead.
Law enforcement authorities are looking for the suspects, though so far no arrests have been made.
Hate crime laws are laid out in a few places in the Colorado Revised Statutes. The first is C.R.S. 18-9-121. This is sometimes referred to as a “bias motivated crime.” It essentially says that if you harass or hurt someone on the basis of prejudice, you will face stiffer penalties for whatever the crime was. Those protected categories used to be: race, color, ancestry, national origin or religion. In 2005, the code was updated to say physical or mental disability and sexual orientation.
What it all comes down to, however, is intent. Just because you may have committed a crime against someone who falls into a different racial, religious or sexual category doesn’t mean that the crime was motivated by that difference.
In order to prove a bias motivation, prosecutors must have proof. This could be statements you made prior to the incident. Keep in mind that statements that could be used in court can include text messages, e-mails and references made on social networking sites.
Castle Rock Drug Trafficking Defense Requires Skilled Team
Castle Rock drug crime attorneys know that trafficking charges require a skilled an experienced defense team.
Rather than your average Castle Rock drug crime defense, these cases can be complex, involving intelligent operations spear-headed by networks of individuals who operate underground.
Law enforcement at all levels expend a great deal of resources in trying to penetrate these networks and make arrests. It makes them look good. The penalties for these crimes are also much more serious than what you are going to see with a lower-level, possession-type offense.
That was illustrated in a recent case out of Denver, in which a federal judge sentenced the 43-year-old defendant to 22-plus years behind bars. He was suspected to be a Mexican cartel kingpin who oversaw a $1 billion cocaine-selling operation that cast a web in eight states.
The U.S. District Judge condemned the defendant by saying he was a clear and present danger to U.S. citizens.
According to authorities, the bulk of these alleged crimes occurred between 2002 and 2003. The defendant reportedly had a storage center at a ranch here in Colorado, from which he distributed large quantities of cocaine that eventually made their way to New York, Georgia, Illinois and five other states.
Ultimately, it was an anonymous tip that led to the shut-down of the operation, headed by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The main defendant and his brother were among nearly 30 others who were indicted in a Denver court way back in 2003. However, he wasn’t arrested until 2006, when authorities caught up with him in Mexico and had him extradited.
Two years ago, the kingpin’s brother was sentenced to more than two decades in prison, having been convicted of smuggling in huge quantities of the white powder from Mexico to the U.S.
Then last year, the kingpin pleaded guilty in 2011 to charges of money laundering and drug trafficking. His sentencing has only now been handed down.
Considering he was considered one of the top drug dealers in the world at the height of his operation, his sentence could have been much more severe. However, he reportedly provided a great deal of assistance to authorities will in custody, awaiting sentencing.
Castle Rock Drug Crime Penalties Could Lower With Senate Bill
Our Castle Rock drug crime attorneys applaud any measure that includes allowing drug offenders to get treatment, rather than face harsh prison sentences.
Essentially, the law would decrease the punishment for possession of 4 grams or less of certain types of drugs from a Class 6 felony to a Class 1 misdemeanor. For more than 4 grams, offenders’ penalties would be downgraded from a Class 4 felony to a Class 6 felony. Any difference in cost would be routed to a drug treatment program for the individual.
Researchers, in looking at the financial impact of the bill, estimate that in the first year, it would save $2.2 million.
It would seem to us the measure has few downsides. But of course, there will always be detractors.
In this case, police and prosecutors have spoken out against it, saying that it would cost cities and jails more money (we’re still not quite sure how, considering their high cost of incarceration will actually go down), and that it will eliminate the district’s drug court. Drug court has been a good alternative to standard court procedures for individuals facing drug felonies. The issue here would be that if cases are misdemeanors, they would have to be channeled through county court, not district court, where drug court is located.
Supporters, meanwhile, smartly point out this isn’t a new concept. In fact, 20 other states have already passed similar legislation. And this would still leave the manufacture and sale of drugs as felonies.
And while district attorneys say that stiff felony penalties are the way to go in terms of reducing recidivism, the truth is that when someone has a drug addiction, there is very little outside of treatment that will have any impact. The only thing a felony conviction does is make the person less employable, give them less options for housing and cost the state more in terms of incarceration and post-imprisonment supervision.
Opponents worry that reducing the severity of these crimes will send the wrong message to offenders. But the truth is, sometimes treatment is the only message that reaches them anyway.
Castle Rock Sex Assault Case Against Mentally Disabled Man Finally Dropped
Three years after a mentally disabled youth was arrested, requiring Castle Rock sexual assault defense, he has been cleared.
Our Castle Rock sexual assault defense attorneys believe this is an example of how law enforcement and prosecutors routinely jump to conclusions, particularly when the allegations are serious and they feel obligated to quickly make an arrest.
This young man and his family endured a terrible injustice following a shoddy police investigation that involved a 17-hour interrogation of an individual who was known to have mental disabilities.
According to local news reports, an 8-year-old girl was fondled in her Stonegate bedroom in 2009. According to her description, however, the man who assaulted her was in his 40s, had brown hair and weighed approximately 200 pounds. The suspect that police identified was 19 years-old, had red hair, weighed 130 pounds and had acne on his face.
Prosecutors say at the time of police interrogation, officers did not know about their suspect’s mental capacity. But in fact, defense attorneys had provided that information to prosecutors.
But perhaps more disturbing is that DNA evidence cleared the suspect at the very start of this investigation. Prosecutors have defended their actions by saying that while the DNA evidenced uncovered from the victim’s underwear did not belong to the suspect, they insisted it didn’t actually clear him either. It was reportedly not semen, which could have provided a positive identification.
What it did do, however, was eliminate the suspect they had in custody. And yet, astonishingly, they pressed on with the charges, insisting that police had not coerced his confession to them – the only real evidence they had.
It wasn’t until a second mental evaluation this past March, which found that the suspect could not have understood his Miranda rights, that prosecutors decided to drop the charges.
In those years proceeding, however, the suspect, now 21, had been barred from going to the town of Parker, because that is where the alleged victim lived. What’s more, he couldn’t associate with anyone under the age of 18 – which meant he couldn’t attend his girlfriend’s prom. He was also made to wear a GPS tracking device, for which his family paid more than $350 monthly.
All this illustrates the need for skilled, aggressive legal representation if you are arrested for a Castle Rock sexual offense.
Denver Perjury Charges for Jury-Dodger
Here’s a tip: If you commit a Castle Rock perjury crime, don’t go on the radio and brag about it.
As our Castle Rock criminal defense attorneys understand it, that’s exactly what one Denver woman did after finagling her way out of jury duty.
In fact, she is facing felony perjury charges related to her alleged actions. While we often think of perjury charges as pertaining to a witness up on the stand, potential jurors can also face this charge if they lie after being sworn in.
Felony perjury under Colorado Statute 18-8-502 means that you are accused of making a false statement while under oath at an official proceeding. Misdemeanor perjury falls under Colorado Statute 18-8-503, and basically covers any act of lying to a public official in an attempt to mislead him or her from doing their duty. The latter is usually outside of an official proceeding.
In other words, if you lie to a police officer about your knowledge of a crime, you could be facing a misdemeanor charge. But if you lie in open court – as this woman reportedly did – you could be facing a felony charge.
According to The Denver Post, a 57-year-old woman is accused of faking post-traumatic stress disorder in an effort to get out of jury duty. She reportedly arrived to the courthouse appearing purposely askew. She wore curlers in her hair, mismatched her shoes and wore a t-shirt with a phrase that she hoped would further support her ploy. She told a judge she suffered from post-traumatic stress, domestic violence and had lived on the streets – all of which was reportedly false.
She was excused from jury duty, and that might have been the end of the story, were it not for a radio interview she conducted several months later. On that show, she reportedly told the hosts that she had worn bright red lipstick, which she smeared, and joked about how easy it was to get out of it. She had even mentioned that she previously bragged to her hair salon clients about her actions.
Problem for her was that the judge whom she appeared before had been listening.
She is now charged with perjury and attempting to influence a public servant – both of which are Class 4 felonies.
Subsequently, she granted an interview with a local television reporter without her defense attorney present – also, not advisable.
Denver DUI Charges Dropped, Sanctions Reduced, Against Officer
Things are looking up for a police officer who was suspected of a Denver DUI in February.
Our Denver DUI defense attorneys know that anytime someone is convicted of such an offense, they’re facing penalties that can range from probation two years in jail, not to mention costly fines. However, for a law enforcement officer or someone in a position of public trust, the consequences are often more severe. That’s because a conviction – or sometimes, just an arrest – can mean sanctions from your employer, up to and including termination and difficulty finding future employment.
Partially, this has to do with the fact that if you’re a police officer, you won’t be able to conduct patrols if you’re license is suspended. Also, though, it has to do with the reputation you are sworn to uphold. For better or worse, law enforcement officers are held to a higher standard. So when an officer is found to be on the opposite side of the law, there is often very little leniency.
However, having a solid Denver DUI attorney in your corner can make all the difference.
In this case, The Denver Post reports that the detective in question was reportedly off-duty when he crashed into a pole while on his motorcycle. The 52-year-old veteran investigator reportedly lost control of his motorcycle near Atkins Court, shortly after 1 am.
He was taken to a local emergency room, where he was interviewed by a DUI investigator, who reported he smelled an especially strong odor of alcohol on his fellow law enforcement officer. The DUI investigator implored the other detective to submit to a blood test, or risk losing his driver’s license for up to a year according to state law, the detective refused.
Afterward, when the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles held a hearing on that suspension, the DUI investigator didn’t show up. He later said he never received notice that he was supposed to appear, meaning the detective who had crashed was allowed to keep his license.
Prosecutors declined to take on the case, citing a lack of evidence.
Originally, the Civil Service Commission, which oversees personnel matters involving law enforcement, handed down a 90-day suspension for the officer’s alleged actions that night. Now, however, that sentence has been reduced to two weeks.
The Civil Service Hearing Officer was quoted as saying that while the officer was likely somewhat impaired, there simply wasn’t enough evidence to show that he met the legal definition of driving under the influence.
Denver Careless Driving Charge Could Lead to 1 Year in Jail
An individual who reportedly killed two pedestrians is facing charges of careless driving resulting in death in Thornton, just outside of Denver.
Our Denver traffic defense attorneys understand that in this situation, as in so many, the individual behind the wheel had no ill intent. According to authorities, there is no evidence alcohol or drugs were even involved.
The Denver Post reports that two Brighton individuals, ages 33 and 22, were struck by the driver, who was in a pick-up truck, as they walked along the dirt shoulder of East 168th Avenue. A teen who was with them was also struck, and he remains in critical condition.
The 33-year-old driver was reportedly on his cell phone and was distracted momentarily when the accident occurred. Those who know the father-of-two have described him as hard-working, a good father and one you could rely upon in tough times. Even a Thornton police spokesman was quoted by the Post as saying “It could happen to anyone.”
On that stretch of road, the speed limit is 45 miles per hour and there are no sidewalks. While one hesitates to blame the victim of this horrible tragedy, a skilled defense attorney might point out that this was not the safest place for these individuals to be walking.
The driver reportedly stopped immediately after the crash to help the victims.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, distracted driving resulted in the deaths of approximately 5,500 people across the country in 2009. In about 18 percent of those cases, cell phone use was blamed.
Because there was no alcohol involved and the driver stopped immediately, he is charged with a misdemeanor under Colorado Statute 42-4-1402. If no one had been hurt, this would be considered a Class 2 misdemeanor. But when someone – or in this case three people – suffer serious injury or death, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Basically, this means that you will face a penalty of between 10 days and 1 year in jail, and could also be made to pay a fine of between $300 and $1,000.
In cases like this, prosecutors will often seek jail time because the families are hurting and they want to provide them some measure of solace. On the one hand, you understand that because you never meant for this to happen in the first place. On the other, you should speak to no one until you have first consulted with your Denver defense attorney.
Castle Rock Drug Crimes Net Harsh Sentences
A former Colorado sheriff has pleaded guilty to allegations that he traded drugs for sex.
Our Castle Rock defense attorneys know that no one is immune to the ravages of addiction, regardless of socio-economic status, education or career. Those addictions are often at the root of many crimes. Rather than stiff jail sentences, often what our clients need is help to overcome their substance abuse issues. We fight aggressively to limit jail sentences and increase the probability of treatment instead, particularly for first-time offenders.
In this case, former Araphoe County sheriff Patrick Sullivan, who served from 1984 through 2002, is accused of a felony for possession of methamphetamine and a misdemeanor for solicitation of prostitution. Although he has entered this plea, likely to avoid a circus-like trial, there has not been any information released as to what the sentence might entail. Defense attorneys are aiming for probation, while prosecutors are gunning for jail time.
In sentencing a drug case like this, a judge will take several factors into account. The first of those is whether you have any past criminal history. That could increase your chances of jail time. The second is the type of drug you possess. These are broken down by “schedules.” For example, a Schedule I and II drugs are considered to be the most serious. Schedule I drugs are those with a high risk of dependency and no real legitimate medical use. Some Schedule I drugs include LSD, heroin and peyote. Schedule II drugs are those that are also considered to have a high dependency risk, but might have some legitimate medical use. These would include opium and methamphetamine, like what the sheriff is accused of possessing.
If it’s your first Castle Rock drug charge, possession of one of these substances is considered a Class 3 felony. That means you could be facing between 4 to 12 years in prison, and up to a $750,000 fine. For a second offense, you could be facing up to 24 years in prison, with a fine of up to $1 million.
The individual who was accused of dealing the drug to the former sheriff, was sentenced to three years behind bars.