5 Oddest Laws

Ever thought about what weird laws are out there, or what laws are still on the books and haven’t been repealed since they were established way back when? You might be surprised to find that tons of weird and crazy laws still exist and are still enforced in certain states and cities’. Each state has it’s own strange laws that make you wonder how they came to be, but some of the most interesting ones seem to come from the southern states.

This first one is from Mississippi, “One may be fined up to $100 for using ‘profane language’ in public places.” This seems reasonable right, or polite at least, right? No one wants to be out with their family or loved one and hear nothing but a ton of swearing from strangers in public right? Although this law seems silly, or a bit overbearing, the full text of the law makes it easier to understand. In the full text it’s understood to include being drunk in public or using vulgar language in public. Being drunk in public is an offense in most places anyways.

Texas has always been known for being a state that does what it wants, or has a mind of it’s own. Well now Texas is attempting to take that a step further, they want to control the weather! Really? This isn’t a joke; § 20.003. Weather Modification and Control Grant Program. As strange as this sounds there is actually some science behind it, they could potentially eliminate dangerous weather.

Ever been to Arizona and seen all the gorgeous cacti that populate the Grand Canyon State? Well you can definitely look and take in their beauty, but don’t you dare cut one down! There is a law to protect, specifically, the Saguaro Cactus from being cut down. Damaging native plants in Arizona is no joke, and could slap you with a felony charge!

Here’s an interesting one, in South Carolina, “If a man promises to marry an unmarried woman, the marriage must take place.” This one seems like it may be favored more by one gender than the other; Women clearly have the upper hand here, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to hold a man to his word? No cold feet here, or you can be slapped with a fine, or even some jail time!

The last wacky law is a fun one, in Washington they have an ordinance for “Undiscovered Species Protection Act,” guess who this is for? Bigfoot! In Washington they take Bigfoot seriously, so don’t go here expecting to grab all your gear and take off hunting for him. You could end up with a very hefty fine, or spending some time in jail for harassing this undiscovered being.

Regardless of what state you live in or aspire to live in, there will always be some crazy laws that might throw you for a loop. Do your research on where you live and you might find some entertaining laws that make you wonder how they came about, or just give you a good laugh.

5 Tips to Hiring the Best Lawyer

Sometimes life isn’t always flowers and roses, sometimes you get in a situation and you need to hire someone to help yourself get out of it; you need a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer might seem like a simple process, on TV they always say, “you’ll be hearing from my lawyer,” but does everyone just “have” a lawyer? Where do they get one and how do you find a good one, or one that can be an expert on the kind of help you need. Here are some tips to ensure you get the lawyer, and help you need.

The very first thing you want to do is ask your inner circle. Starts by asking relatives, friends, coworkers, and even neighbors, who they have used or if they know of a good lawyer. When you need to hire a lawyer you will be giving them private and even potentially harmful information about yourself, you want to make sure this is someone you can trust. Your inner circle are the people you typically trust the most, so why not see who they are trusting for legal help?

Another great way to find a lawyer is to hit up Google. Start doing some research, in this digital world we live in, everything will be online. You can look through reviews, see complaints, even see a physical picture of the potential lawyer you want to hire. The internet will give you a decent sense on who the person is and if they are someone you could see yourself trusting for legal help. Keep in mind, not everything you see on the internet is true!

Once you’ve asked your friends and family, done some research on the internet, now it’s time to make some phone calls. Instead of calling potential lawyers first, call the bar association for the region in which these lawyers are located. Although the bar association won’t give you a lot of information, they can tell you whether or not this person has ever been disbarred and the status of their license to practice.

Now you’re at the point where you are ready to set up some interviews with potential lawyers you want to hire; ask questions! When you meet with each candidate you want to make sure you ask enough questions and that you understand how to relationship works. Ask questions about: their past cases, their track record, how they charge for their services, how will you stay in the loop about your case, etc. Try to gather as much information in that first meeting as possible. Make sure you understand that they are working for you!

After gathering all this information and research, sit down and evaluate. Think about what you’re in need of, how much are you willing to spend, and listen to your gut. At the end of the day you are the one who is hiring a lawyer to work for you, and your gut feeling about this person matters. When you met with them did you feel a sense of trust? Would you feel comfortable giving this person private information and paying them very well to have that information? Look out for yourself and find the DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs who you believe has your best interest in mind.

Liberty Law Center Expands Practice Into Family Law

Liberty Law Center is pleased to announce two exciting additions to our law practice that will allow us to provide new services to our clients. First, we will be available to represent clients in all aspects of family law – dissolution of marriage, parental responsibility and parenting time, child support and post-decree modification. Family law continues to be a complicated, emotional and changing field in Colorado that is filled with hidden obstacles for people trying to represent themselves. At Liberty Law Center, we offer over two decades of experience handling family law matters.

Second, we will be representing defendants who have been charged with felony DUI. Effective August 5th, Colorado has made it a class 4 felony to be charged with DUI when the accused has 3 prior DUI convictions. A felony DUI conviction carries a possible prison sentence of 2-6 years.

Dealing with major legal problems can be very stressful. Having an experienced attorney is important to obtaining a successful resolution of your case. Should you, members of your family, friends or co-workers have the need for legal representation in a DUI, criminal or family law case, we hope you will contact us to discuss your case. We will continue to offer a free half-hour consultation

Felony DUI Law Goes Into Effect Aug 5, 2015

Colorado’s felony DUI law takes effect today.  If you are charged with a DUI that occurred on or after August 5, 2015 and you have 3 prior convictions for DUI or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI),  you could be charged with a Class 4 felony.  This carries a presumptive Department of Corrections (DOC) sentence of 2 to 6 years.  Before the court can sentence to DOC, it must determine that incarceration “is the most suitable option given the facts and circumstances of the case, including the Defendant’s willingness to participate in treatment.”  The court is also to consider whether all other reasonable and appropriate sanctions that are available to the court have been exhausted, do not appear likely to be successful or present an unacceptable risk to public safety.  It does not matter how long ago the prior convictions occurred.

Should I request the officer for the DMV hearing?

Clients will ask us if they should request the officer for the DMV Express Consent hearing.  We usually tell them to say no, unless the arresting officer was from the Colorado State Patrol.  This way, we can review the police reports that DMV sends to the client about two weeks after the DMV hearing has been requested. After reviewing the reports we can then decide whether to subpoena the officers for the hearing.

We recently won an Express Consent hearing when the arresting agency sent DMV the police reports for the wrong person.  The only document in the packet that pertained to our client was the Notice of Revocation.  There was insufficient information in the packet to support revoking the client’s license.  Had the client requested the officer for the hearing, he could have testified about the stop and subsequent chemical test and filled in the missing information.

If you have received a Notice of Revocation, you have a very short time to request a hearing.  You will have to make some decisions before you have seen the reports the arresting officer has submitted to DMV.  This is one reason why it is important to talk with an experienced DUI lawyer right away,

DUI Arrests for Super Bowl Weekend

DUI arrests in Colorado over Super Bowl weekend were made on 321 drivers according to information released by the Colorado Department of Transportation. About 100 law enforcement agencies were involved in “The Heat is On” enforcement for the reporting period of January 31 to February 3, 2014.  On Super Bowl Sunday, 149 people were arrested statewide. The total number for the weekend is 100 arrests lower than for the same period in 2013.

Locally, agencies in the Colorado Springs region reported 36 DUI arrests. The statistics  from local agencies are: Colorado Springs Police – 21; El Paso County Sheriff – 6; State Patrol – 5; Woodland Park Police – 2; Fountain Police – 1 and Cripple Creek -1;

CDOT is reporting that the next “The Heat Is On” enforcement will occur over St Patrick’s Day – March 14 through March 17.

If you were arrested recently for a DUI, call us at Daniel, Thom and Katzman, PC for a free consultation

DUI Drivers Will Have Longer Interlock Requirements

A DUI driver whose license is revoked in Colorado for a blood or breath test of .15 or higher will have longer interlock requirements starting January 1st. Colorado law currently classifies someone as a “persistent drunk driver” if the driver has a BAC of .17 or higher. Under the new law passed earlier this year, the Colorado legislature expanded the use of ignition interlock devices by reducing the persistent drunk driver BAC level to .15.
The change going into effect on January 1st will require a driver whose license is revoked for having an excess alcohol content with a BAC of .15 or higher to have an interlock in their car for 2 years and be enrolled in and complete a level II alcohol and drug education program as a condition to reinstating driving privileges. Drivers revoked for the first time will still be able to reinstate after not driving for 1 month.
The lower BAC level will mean that more people will have to have the interlock in their car for a longer period. This change was part of a wide-spread expansion of the interlock program that will also allow drivers who were revoked for refusing a chemical test or for having multiple DUI convictions to reinstate earlier than currently allowed provided they have an interlock device in their car. If you are wondering how you will be affected by these changes, please call Daniel, Thom & Katzman, PC at 719-578-1183 for a free consultation.

Refusing The Chemical Test In Colorado?

We are often asked about refusing the chemical test in Colorado and “what happens if I refuse the chemical test?’ The answers to these important questions, may be different now after the Colorado legislature’s recent expansion of the ignition interlock program.

For many years, a driver who refused a blood or breath test was subject to a 1 year loss of his driver’s license. There were no provisions for an early reinstatement or a restricted license to drive to work, to therapy appointments or to take kids to school. In Colorado, where public transportation is not frequently accessible, not being able to drive for 1 year could be an extremely harsh penalty. That will be changing on January 1, 2014 with the passage of HB 1240 earlier this year.

HB 1240 allows a person whose license has been revoked for 1 year or more because of a refusal to apply for early reinstatement after not driving for 2 months if the driver installs an ignition interlock system in his car. Since this early reinstatement provision allows DMV to grant an ignition interlock license on January 1st, a driver who was revoked for a refusal before November 2013 will be eligible to reinstate when the law takes effect.

HB1240 will also allow a driver who is revoked for a year or more for a DUI/DWAI conviction or an excess BAC to reinstate after 1 month of not driving if the driver installs the interlock. Previously, a driver with 2 DUI/DWAI convictions in 5 years or a second Express Consent revocation was revoked for 1 year and not allowed to drive for any reason during the revocation.

It is obvious that the Colorado Legislature is expanding the interlock program. If you have had DMV revoke your license for a year or more because of a DUI, you might consider consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible to see how the changes in the law may apply to you.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH DECIDES NOT TO RESUME BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTING

We recently learned that the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has decided not to resume blood alcohol testing in DUI cases. CDPHE suspended testing on July 3, 2013 pending a review by an outside independent lab. After CDPHE suspended testing this summer, most law enforcement agencies began to send their blood samples to private labs for analysis. Apparently CDPHE decided that there was no public health need to justify doing DUI testing and that private labs have filled the void. In general, the private labs have been charging more for testing than CDPHE and we expect that those costs will be passed on to defendants who are charged and convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

FIREARMS POSSESSION PROHIBITED FOR THOSE CHARGED WITH DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

A NEW LAW GOES INTO EFFECT PREVENTING PEOPLE WHO HAVE A PROTECTION ORDER FOR ACTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FROM POSSESSING A WEAPON OR AMMUNITION

SB 13-197 recently went into effect which will prohibit the possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who are charged with or convicted of acts of domestic violence. A person will have 24 hours after he or she has been served in court with a mandatory protection order to relinquish any firearm or ammunition or 48 hours if the protection order is served outside of court. A person may sell or transfer the firearm or ammunition to a federally licensed firearms dealer or arrange for storage with a law enforcement agency or sell or transfer the firearm or ammunition to a private party who is permitted to possess a firearm. If the transfer is to a firearms dealer or private party, a written receipt acknowledging the transfer must be obtained and filed with the court within 3 days of the transfer. The failure to file the receipt in time is a new violation. When the order ends, the firearms dealer will have to perform a successful background check before returning the firearm or ammunition. It is our understanding that most police agencies are not storing weapons or ammunition for people who fall under the provisions of this law.