DUI Criminal Defense Blog Colorado - The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Colorado Springs criminal defense and DUI attorney James Newby provides this blog to help you get informed if you are facing criminal charges in Colorado.

If you were convicted or pled guilty to a crime in Colorado, the last thing you want to do after you’ve served your time, paid your penalties, or otherwise met your responsibilities is to wind up right back in court facing even more consequences. But if you violate any of the terms of your probation, the ordeal that you were trying to put behind you can keep costing you and lead you right to jail.

No Colorado Springs parent wants to get a call from their child or from a police officer advising them that their child has been arrested and charged with drug possession. Whether an error in judgment or being in the wrong place at the wrong time led to that call, it is important that a minor facing criminal charges and his or her parents take immediate steps to minimize the damage that could be caused to the child’s future. Contacting a Colorado juvenile crimes defense attorney as soon as possible is a critical first step.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

What is Child Abuse in Colorado?

Child abuse in Colorado is not what you think it is. Actually, it is far more than what you may think it is. While physical violence or injury to a child can certainly constitute criminal child abuse that can lead to jail time and other severe consequences, Colorado law is much more expansive when it comes to the kinds of conduct that can result in criminal charges and conviction. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Child Abuse Charges in Colorado

Kids require care, protection, and safety, and they should certainly not be subject to violence, abuse, or neglect. Almost all parents know this, and so does the law. That’s why Colorado law and Colorado prosecutors treat child abuse charges so seriously. Prosecutors will aggressively seek convictions for child abuse, and due to the severity of the crime, law enforcement will often err on the side of caution, arresting a parent or other adult in situations where no abuse has occurred or a situation has been misconstrued. If you’ve been charged with child abuse, the consequences and stigma can of such charges can put your family, freedom, and future at risk.

It will come as no surprise that driving under the influence (DUI), is the most serious criminal charge you can face for your conduct while behind the wheel in Colorado, especially if someone ends up getting hurt or killed. For many criminal charges, it is often the most prudent strategy to try to get prosecutors to reduce the charges to a lesser offense with less harsh penalties upon conviction. But can that be done with DUI charges? Can you reduce your DUI to a charge of reckless driving?

Long after fines have been paid, jail sentences served, or license suspensions ended, a Colorado Springs DUI conviction can haunt you for a long, long time. That is because your DUI arrest and conviction will become part of your criminal record. Employers, schools, lenders, insurance companies, and others will see that DUI on your record. You could lose out on or be denied opportunity after opportunity, all because of the stain on your history that shows up on your criminal record. But will that DUI be on your record forever? Is there a way to get your Colorado Springs DUI expunged or sealed?

Of the many things that go through folks minds after being arrested, charged, or convicted for a Colorado Springs DUI, worries about the impact it will have on their job, career, and future employment prospects are among the biggest. The harsh reality is that a DUI conviction can create serious challenges when it comes to employment. It is a stain on your record that can get you fired, can keep certain jobs out of reach, or increase the chances that your resume will wind up in the trash.

There is no getting around it: a conviction for DUI in Colorado is a bad thing. Anyone who tells you otherwise - whether it be your next-door neighbor or a criminal defense attorney – is not being straight with you. If you’ve been charged with a Colorado Springs DUI, you will want to do everything possible to avoid a conviction, starting with hiring an experienced DUI defense attorney who can aggressively fight the charges or work with prosecutors to minimize the consequences or penalties.
But how “bad” your DUI is in terms of its ongoing impact on your life depends on a lot of factors. Your DUI can wind up being a footnote in the story of your life or a whole chapter.

When a child in Colorado Springs gets into trouble with the law, it can be a frightening experience for both the child and his or her family. Questions abound about what will happen next, what the consequences could be, and how an arrest or conviction will impact the child’s future.

Much of the anxiety that parents experience after their child has been arrested comes from simply not knowing what Colorado’s juvenile justice system is and how it works. Often, the misconceptions about juvenile crimes are worse than the reality. That is not to say that juvenile crimes should be taken lightly. A juvenile arrest is a serious matter that requires the assistance of an experienced juvenile crimes defense attorney in order to minimize the impact that the ordeal has on a child.

But there are three common misconceptions that parents and their kids should be aware of if they find themselves dealing with our state’s juvenile justice system:

If you’re like most of us here in Colorado Springs, you spend a lot of time behind the wheel. You probably drive almost every single day to work, school, the grocery store, the mountains. When you spend that much time on the road, even if you’re the safest driver you know, the odds are pretty good that you will get a traffic ticket at some point. When that officer gives you your license back along with your new traffic citation, you have choices to make on how you deal with that ticket. 

To make the right decision, you need to understand how a traffic ticket can affect you. In the grand scheme of things, a traffic violation may not seem like all that big a deal. The reality, however, is that a ticket can cost you a great deal - hefty fines, a big jump in your car insurance premiums, and in some cases, loss of your driving privileges and even jail time.

If you’ve been arrested in Colorado Springs and think you can wait until later to hire a criminal defense attorney, or maybe are thinking you can represent yourself at your first court appearance or arraignment, you could be making a huge mistake that can cost you thousands of dollars and months or years in jail.

“You have the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you…” 

You’ve probably heard those words spoken by police officers in countless movies and TV shows as they put the handcuffs on a suspect. That part of the Miranda warning which must be read when police make an arrest is based on the constitutional right to counsel established in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

This means that if you are arrested and charged with a crime in Colorado Springs, a lawyer from Colorado’s Office of the State Public Defender will be assigned to represent you if you can’t afford to get one on your own. 

A free lawyer? Who would turn that down?

You should.

The reality is that relying on a public defender if there is any chance you could hire a committed private Colorado Springs defense lawyer is a risky proposition. 

Not because the attorneys who work at the public defender’s office are bad lawyers, don’t have your best interests at heart, or won’t work hard to protect your rights – they aren’t, they do, and they will. But the reality is you may not qualify for a public defender due to your income, and even if you do, they simply may not be able to adequately protect you from the consequences of a conviction.

Here are three reasons not to use a public defender if at all possible:

If you’re anything like me, you take a lot of pride in your “do-it-yourself” attitude. When it comes to things like home improvements, car repairs, or other jobs, you’d rather learn how to take care of it than pay someone to take care of it for you. With so much information available on the internet, you can pretty much figure out how to do anything yourself now.

After all, if your noble efforts fail, you can always call an electrician, plumber, or mechanic to finish the job. 

But what if the consequences of a bad “DIY” project included losing your job, spending years of your life behind bars, being separated from your family, and having a future hobbled by a criminal record you can never shake? You might think twice about trying to save a few bucks by taking on the project yourself. 

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in Colorado Springs, representing yourself can be one of the worst and riskiest decisions you could ever make. This is not the time to try to make things up as you go along. Here are just three reasons why you need to retain a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney rather than try to defend yourself:

Alcohol is legal in Colorado, but as you know, driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) in Colorado is not.

The same goes for marijuana. While recreational pot is now legal in Colorado, driving under the influence of marijuana in Colorado is not and can be charged as a DUI. An arrest and conviction for driving with pot in your system can lead to the same penalties and consequences you’d face for drunk driving.

You’ve worked hard to build a life for yourself and your family here in Colorado after immigrating to the United States. You know how challenging the immigration process is and how confusing immigration law can be. But you’ve followed the rules, obtained your coveted green card, and your future here looks bright. You may even be on the verge of becoming a U.S. citizen.

And then you get charged with DUI. Now, everything hangs in the balance.

A Colorado Springs DUI conviction can have wide-ranging and profound impacts on your immigration status, including your ability to become a naturalized citizen as well as the risk of deportation.

If you’re a non-citizen residing in or around Colorado Springs, you face all of the same consequences of a DUI conviction that US citizens do: jail time, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges and more.

You blew it. You were pulled over, given a field sobriety test, and then blew above the legal limit for alcohol on a breath test administered by the officer.

You failed. You were arrested for DUI and taken to the police station where they took a blood test that confirmed the results of the breath test and showed that the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream exceeded .08.

You’re out of luck. With those test results in hand showing that you were driving while intoxicated, Colorado Springs prosecutors have all they need to convict you for DUI and there’s nothing you can do about it.

That is just not true.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a Colorado Springs DUI, you have rights. You have defenses. You have the ability to challenge the legality of your traffic stop, the constitutionality of your arrest, the validity of the test results, and admissibility of other evidence that form the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case against you.

But it can be complicated. Challenging DUI evidence and getting DUI evidence dismissed requires a thorough knowledge of the law as well as a deep understanding of the science behind the breath, blood, and other testing used by law enforcement to prosecute DUI cases.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime in Colorado Springs, you have a lot of choices to make. Do you speak with the police? What plea do you enter? Should you negotiate with the prosecutors?

Every decision is important when you are caught up in the criminal justice system. But there is one decision above all others that can make the difference between a future burdened by jail time, a criminal record, and a tarnished reputation and one in which your current ordeal is resolved in a way that allows you to move forward with your life: your choice of a criminal defense attorney.

There is no shortage of criminal defense lawyers in Colorado and the Front Range. So how do you find the Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney who is right for you? What qualities should you be looking for in a lawyer who will hold your future and your freedom in his or her hands?

I am constantly in Court. Almost every day I am in court on various types of criminal offenses, from speeding tickets to DUI’s, from harassment to felony level assault.

An interesting and unique part of appearing in court is appearing in front of various types of judges. Usually around election time, someone will ask me how I feel about the judges in El Paso County and Teller County. People want to know if our judges are honest and trustworthy. They want to know if they do a good job.

top attorneys 2018 framed optimizedColorado Springs Style is a magazine dedicated to Colorado Springs events, local businesses, and all things Colorado Springs.

Every year the magazine surveys over a thousand licensed attorneys located in El Paso County. The purpose of this survey is to determine whom Colorado Springs lawyers consider to be among the "top" attorneys in Colorado Springs.

The survey is a peer-to-peer review that takes advantage of the knowledge of people in the law industry to provide a list of highly recommended attorneys for whatever trouble you may find yourself in, from criminal law to bankruptcy.

Any attorneys, in good standing with the El Paso County Bar Association, were eligible for selection and the votes were polled in an unbiased manner.

It is an honor to be selected among the Top Attorneys for Colorado Springs consistently since 2016 because it represents a mutual respect and appreciation among my peers. I appreciate being selected for this award and am grateful to all of my colleagues for their vote of confidence.

One of the most common citations issued by law enforcement is speeding and driving violations.

On any given day in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities, I would not be surprised if law enforcement issues hundreds of driving citations.

The charges range from simply speeding, careless driving, reckless driving, driving under restraint, no proof of insurance and no registration. More serious and gratefully less common are driving cases such as DWAI, DUI, vehicular assault, and vehicular homicide. The consequences of violating the law range from a small fine and no points, to massive fines, supervised probation, and even large amounts of prison time.

Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney James NewbyCall us (719) 578-3322

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James Newby Law
102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 1100
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Hours: M-F 8:30am - 5:00pm