Castle Rock Sex Crimes Defense: Educate Yourself on Teen Sexting
Normally, our Castle Rock sex crimes attorneys wouldn’t advise our clients to heed the advise of detectives.
However in this case, we believe teens can avoid a Castle Rock sex crimes charge stemming from a youthful indiscretion.
It involves the issue of “sexting.”
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office detectives made rounds late last month at local schools, advising parents and teens on how to avoid criminal charges from “sexting” their boyfriends and girlfriends – or forwarding those messages to others.
It seems a grave injustice, but as the law currently stands, a teenager who takes or shares explicit photos of themselves can be charged with dissemination of child pornography. Not to mention, of course, that when those images are passed on, the teens become exposed to a greater likelihood of real victimization.
Most teens don’t see the issue as being all that serious. But in fact, it wasn’t long ago when a handful of students at Chaparral High School were forced to hand over their phones amid allegations of sexting. Although police didn’t end up filing any charges in that case, it resulted in an expanded discussion of what these kinds of charges could mean for a teen’s future.
And this is not an uncommon phenomenon.
A study conducted two years ago by the FBI showed that an estimated 20 percent of teens sent nude or scantily-clad photos of themselves either over the Internet or on their cell phones. Another study indicated that one-sixth of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 who own phones have received such photos from someone they know.
And even just possessing those photos can leave a teen vulnerable to criminal charges.
This is unfortunate because although these may be acts committed between two consenting minors, they may still face criminal charges and forever be stamped as a sex offender. Of course, what these teens really need is perhaps some counseling. However, the law doesn’t appear to be headed for change anytime soon.
This is why it’s so critical to hire an experienced Castle Rock sex crimes defense attorney.
If you are interested in attending a sexting education class, the next one is being held by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on May 31st at 6 p.m. at the Parker Library on S. Crossroads Drive.
However, if you have questions about sexting charges involving your teen, contact an experienced Castle Rock sex crimes defense attorney to discuss your case.
Castle Rock Marijuana DUI Bill Defeated
It’s rare that our Castle Rock criminal defense attorneys have great news to share.
There is, however, very good news for those who may be arrested for Castle Rock marijuana DUI.
According to The Denver Post, a bill that would have created legal limits on marijuana intoxication while driving has been defeated by the state Senate.
We reported on this issue recently in our Castle Rock Criminal Defense Lawyers Blog. Essentially, the main issue with HB12S-1005 would have made it a crime to drive with a THC level that exceeded 5 nanograms per mililiter of blood.
Now, it’s important to note that it’s not that we sanction driving while under the influence of marijuana. But first of all, that’s illegal anyway, according to state laws that already prohibit driving under the influence of any substance that might impair you.
At issue in this case was whether the 5 nanogram measurement was unfair. And in truth, it was absolutely unfair.
Here’s the thing with marijuana: It stays in your system for a long time, unlike alcohol.
So when an officer pulls someone over whom the suspect of drunk driving, they may have that person take a breathalyzer test. If that person blows a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, they are considered intoxicated. And with that measurement, one can be fairly sure that the driver has consumed alcohol within the last few hours, because it is in and out of your system quickly.
With marijuana, however, the drug may remain in one’s system for days or weeks after consumption. For those who use marijuana for medical purposes, as allowed under state law, may wake up in the morning with 5 nanograms of THC in their system. That does not, however, mean that person is under the influence.
It would have further taken the discretion away from police officers because even if there were no other signs of intoxication, if the person blew higher than 5 nanograms, they would legally be considered under the influence and would have to be arrested.
This measure would have essentially kept those who legally use marijuana home-bound.
Our Castle Rock marijuana DUI defense attorneys certainly understand the need to keep our roads safe. This, however, was not the measure to do it, and we’re encouraged that the legislature recognized this.
Castle Rock Theft from Employer Can Lead To Prison
A Castle Rock embezzlement case has resulted in a 12-year prison sentence for the former bookkeeper of a veteran-owned and run engineering firm.
Castle Rock defense attorneys know that, depending on the amount alleged to have been stolen, embezzlement can be considered a Class 4 felony or a Class 3 felony, which can result in up to 12 years in prison per charge.
In this case, the defendant received the maximum after being convicted of stealing approximately $620,000 over the course of 11 years.
Of course, it probably didn’t seem like that much at the time, as the theft apparently occurred over the course of some 1,900 transactions. That’s an average of about $326 per transaction.
Prosecutors say that money went to a variety of sources, including horses, homes, hobbies and education for the defendant’s children. The defendant’s husband said she had made a mistake, and the couple had been struggling to keep their home. She did it, he says, out of desperation.
Originally, she had been charged with nearly 40 counts of white collar crimes in Castle Rock, namely forgery, theft and embezzlement. In the end, her Castle Rock criminal defense attorneys negotiated a deal whereby she would plead guilty to three felony charges.
The organization she worked for reportedly paid her a salary of between $40,000 to $55,000.
In weighing what the sentence should be, the judge likely weighed the fact that because of the theft, which was discovered by an audit in 2009, the organization was forced to lay off a number of employees – going from a staff of 25 to a staff of six.
The defendant later told her attorney that it was somewhat of a relief that she was caught. She the secret of her actions had become an immense burden, and she wanted to confess.
That is how a lot of individuals who have committed embezzlement feel. They may have engaged in one act out of desperation, but then continue to do it because it’s easy or because it becomes a habit.
While there may be temptation to come clean on your own, you should never do so without consulting a Castle Rock embezzlement defense attorney. He or she can help you explore the potential consequences and how to best move forward.
Castle Rock Identity Theft: Mounting a Defense
Identity theft in Castle Rock is gaining a great deal of attention lately – especially as media agencies are harping on the fact that a growing number of targets in these cases are children.
Castle Rock identity theft defense attorneys know that there isn’t actually one law that encompasses all forms of identity theft. In fact, the statutes are numerous – from forgery in Colorado Statute 18-5-102 to fraud by check in Colorado Statute 18-5-205 to unlawful acts involving identification cards, as found in Colorado Statute 42-2-309.
There are also civil issues that can arise as well. For our purposes, we’re just going to focus on the criminal aspects.
In a lot of these cases, law enforcement will stack up the charges miles high, in an effort to get them to a good starting point for plea negotiations between your Castle Rock defense attorney and the prosecutor. What a good defense attorney can do is work to help consolidate those charges and have them reduced to lower offenses.
Of course, how successful he or she will be is going to depend on the individual circumstances of your case, as well as the skill level of your Castle Rock criminal defense attorney. That’s why you can’t take your chances with a public defender. He or she might be talented, but also probably underpaid and overworked – particularly considering that a recent study found that of 27,000 children, some 10 percent had Social Security numbers that were in some way linked to credit cards, mortgage loans and vehicle registrations.
In some cases, illegal immigrants are using children’s identification numbers to be able to work. That was the case recently with a 16-year-old whose identity had been stolen on three different occasions – once by a worker in Castle Rock, who has yet to be found.
That means law enforcement and prosecutors are busy trying to file these cases, which can be complicated and require a special degree of knowledge.
A lot of these cases involve what’s called “friendly fraud.” This may be a situation where a relative, friend or maybe even parent of the child has fallen on hard times, and resorts to using the child’s identity in an effort to gain credit or some service.
Aurora Red Light Running With Injury Can Result in Severe Penalties
An Aurora red-light runner reportedly caused the serious injury of a motorcyclist late last month.
Our Aurora traffic ticket defense attorneys understand that the 20-year-old driver in the case was deemed at-fault, and charges of red-light running and careless driving resulting in injury are pending against her.
Of course, no one ever intends to walk out their door and get in an accident. Sometimes, car accidents result from various distractions. Other times, though, even when officers find you at fault, the course of events may have been completely outside your control.
It’s really important in these cases to hire an attorney with experience in Aurora traffic defense because tickets aren’t just minor inconveniences – they can mean points on your license, increased insurance rates, heavy fines and in some cases, jail time.
In this case, the motorcyclist was reportedly moving through the intersection, for which he had a green light. He reportedly didn’t even see the car that was moving to cross his path at the same time. The driver of the car, reportedly, was supposed to have stopped at the red light at the intersection. The light had reportedly been red for nearly 10 seconds.
The motorcyclist was allegedly tossed into the air. When he landed, investigators say he suffered a broken leg, a fractured ankle, chipped teeth and a cut on his lip that required stitches. He is reportedly still in the hospital and has undergone surgery.
The incident was captured on video. Aurora, like many municipalities, has equipped multiple intersections with red light cameras. While this may leave little room for Aurora traffic attorneys to dispute exactly what happened, they can still argue for lowered penalties based on past driving history, a fairly clean criminal record, etc.
According to the Aurora Police Department, the agency issues approximately 3,000 red light tickets the following month at the 14 intersections at which the red light cameras are affixed.
According to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles, the following is the point scale for certain traffic offenses:
Leaving the scene of an accident – 12 points
DUI – 12 points
Driving while ability is impaired by alcohol – 8 points
Speed contests – 12 points
Eluding or attempting to elude an officer – 12 points
Reckless driving – 8 points
Careless driving – 4 points
Failure to yield to the right of way – 3 points.
It’s important to note that drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 need only amass 6 points before their license is suspended for a year. For drivers between 18 and 20, it’s 9 points. For adult drivers, it’s 12 points.
Castle Rock Burglary Suspects Sought
Police are searching for a Castle Rock burglary suspects who eluded them in a high-speed chase late last month.
Our Castle Rock burglary defense attorneys have been following the news reported by The Castle Rock News Press, indicating that two individuals may be responsible for as many as 30 burglaries since late 2011.
According to Colorado Statute 4-2:01, prosecutors in a first-degree Colorado burglary case have to prove that the accused knowingly and unlawfully entered a building or occupied structure with the intent of committing a crime, usually theft, and that you assaulted or menaced a person while inside. It’s considered a Class 3 felony, which is punishable by between four and 12 years in prison. Second and third-degree burglary charges are similar, except they don’t require the element of assault. If you enter into a structure with the intent to steal a controlled substance, the penalties are increased.
According to the newspaper, police issued a warning following an April 25 high-speed chase on I-25. That chase reportedly exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour. It happened after a resident in The Meadows reported suspicious activity at a neighboring house.
Following the chase, police said there had been five burglaries or attempted burglaries in a single week in The Meadows, Crystal Valley Ranch and Plum Creek.
The typical modus operandi of the suspects involves the simple act of knocking on the door. If someone answers, the suspects reportedly leave. If no one answers, the suspects make their way inside.
Often, the Castle Rock burglaries are happening during the day, and often at homes in which the door is not locked. When the door is locked, the suspects reportedly break in.
According to police, there have been about 30 burglaries during the daylight hours in Douglas County over the last several months.
Police officials are warning residents to be watchful of potentially suspicious activity, lock their homes and garage doors and keep a record of any valuable within your home.
If you are arrested on Castle Rock burglary charges, it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible following your arrest – and avoid making any potentially incriminating statements to investigators. Wait until your attorney is present before you answer any questions from police.
Castle Rock Juvenile Defense Lawyers: Gov. Signs Adult-File Restrictions Law
Our Castle Rock juvenile defense attorneys were encouraged to hear that Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill that impacts prosecutors’ ability to punish Castle Rock juvenile offenders as adults.
According to The Denver Post, House Bill 12-1271 is going to significantly decrease the number of juveniles who are facing adult charges in Colorado.
It was a bill that was bitterly contested on both sides of the political aisle (with prosecutors and police voicing the loudest opposition), though ultimately, justice won out.
Under the old legislation, juveniles were being sentenced to decades behind bars for non-homicide crimes. Not only was this extremely costly to the taxpayers of Colorado, it was inherently unfair to juveniles who enter a system that promised reform, only to imprison them for decades.
Hickenlooper had struggled with whether to sign the bill, but said ultimately the bipartisan support of it was what swayed him.
Basically, here’s what the measure does: Under the old system, it was up to prosecutors to decide whether a youth should be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Now, there is a judicial review process that must first occur in order for that to happen.
Additionally, it prohibits prosecutors from filing adult charges against juveniles for a large number of low and mid-level felonies. It also increases the age at which a juvenile can be charged as an adult – period – from 14 years-old to 16-years-old.
The law still will give prosecutors some leeway when it comes to the most serious of crimes, such as homicide, violent sex crimes, kidnapping and vicious assaults. However, even these defendants would be given the opportunity to appeal to a judge, who will ultimately get the last word on whether the youth should go through the juvenile or adult system.
While there have been many arguments made against reducing prosecutorial authority in this realm, the flip side is that district attorneys have blatantly overused their authority here. The result is that teens who had a youthful indiscretion are forever branded in such a way that it affects not only their freedom, but also their future educational opportunities, employment and housing prospects and more. Plus, minority teens more often than not received the brunt of those harsh sentences.
Castle Rock Criminal Defense: Police to be Better-Equipped
The Castle Rock Police Department, in using a $200,00 grant, have amassed a wide array of new technology and equipment. That equipment includes: brand new Tasers for street officers, mountain bikes, new uniforms and patches, exercise equipment, in-car camera systems and reality-based training tools.
Castle Rock Police Chief Jack Cauley said that the expenses were intended to help improve response times, up training standards and improve relationships between the police department and the community.
Of course, these are good goals to have, and some of those measures may be helpful to that end.
But here’s what it means for you:
1. New Tasers are likely going to mean a higher level of force used in Castle Rock arrests than previously. Police will say that they are safer for use than guns. This may be true. However, it would seem that this may open itself up to issues of excessive force during arrests, and the use of Tasers when they really aren’t necessary.
2. New exercise equipment and training. Presumably, this means the officers you are going to come across will be stronger, more on point. Many in the public will see this as a good thing. Our Castle Rock criminal defense attorneys would only want to make that point that fleeing from a crime scene (which is usually not a good idea in the first place, regardless of whether you have actually done anything wrong) could result in more severe physical consequences for you once they catch up – and of course, they’ll be more likely to catch up now.
3. In-car cameras. This is a two-sided coin. On one hand, it will reduce the instances of officers fudging the facts. Videos tend not to lie. The problem for you? Videos tend not to lie. For example, in a Castle Rock DUI case, field sobriety tests are often highly subjective, and the courts rely heavily on officer observations. That’s one point that a Castle Rock DUI defense attorney can attack. However, if there is video to back up those observations, it creates greater challenges for your defense.
However, none of this means you don’t have any options following a Castle Rock arrest. Consulting with an experienced Castle Rock defense attorney as soon as possible following the incident is the best way to learn what those options are.