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