A Criminal Defense Attorney: Defending Against Traffic Violations

There aren’t many things out there that are as annoying to a driver as getting an undeserved traffic ticket.  The majority of drivers will simply cart the ticket home and send in a check to pay the fine without really considering showing up to court to defend themselves against traffic violations, but in many cases this can be a serious mistake.

A traffic ticket can result in more than just that seemingly simple fine. In states that use a driver’s license point system, a traffic ticket can result in points on your driver’s license that will potentially affect your car insurance premiums for the foreseeable future. Usually, accruing too many points on your license can also result in a suspended license or other restrictions on your driving privileges. When you consider other legal penalties associated with traffic tickets, fines may seem like a small price to pay. Paying a fifty, seventy five or one hundred dollar fine might seem reasonable to make a minor headache go away, but drivers need to realize that the admission of guilt in traffic court can cause unforeseen legal problems.

If you’ve been cited for a traffic or moving violation and don’t feel as though the charges are just, you shouldn’t just blindly pay the fine and move on. To address any kind of traffic offense, you should reach out to a qualified defense attorney to fight the charges. Based on the information available, a good defense attorney may be able to work with prosecutors to get your charges dropped or possibly even dismissed, which could save you quite a bit of grief and money moving forward. An experienced defense attorney will act in your best interests to minimize the possible points that will be applied to your driver’s license and lower the fines attached to the traffic charge to a more manageable level.

In order to properly defend yourself against traffic tickets and moving violations, you need to have a deep understanding of the traffic laws and the procedures of traffic court.  A defense attorney will have this understanding and be able to help you, and an attorney can also use his or her knowledge of traffic stop procedures to defend you in court. Attorneys who have experience in traffic court will be able to reconstruct the accident or traffic stop that led to your charges. If you’ve been charged with a serious traffic offense, don’t blindly pay the fine and admit guilt, reach out to an experienced defense attorney for a consultation.

Financial Hardship and Domestic Abuse

Lately, journalists—and really, the media in general—have focused on the struggling state of the economy to the degree that even the most uninformed in the realm of current events understands that financial woes are facing many parts of the population.  Multiple stories featured in newspapers and television programs every day suggest that families have been struggling with their finances and consequently, struggling with their personal lives.

Sadly, many people allow difficult times to get the best of them, and as a result, they inadvertently start neglecting hugely important responsibilities.  For instance, late last October, law enforcement officials arrested an Aurora woman on felony child-abuse and neglect resulting in the death of her two children.  This mother of a two and three year old left her children alone in her apartment, and unfortunately, during her absence, the apartment caught fire causing the apartment to fill with smoke and suffocate the occupants inside.

While this instance may seem like a rather extreme case of neglect resulting in an absolute worst-case scenario, people tend to make irrational, careless decisions when faced with overwhelmingly stressful situations.  For instance, in a desperate attempt to make ends meet, parents with little to no money allow their children to stay at home unattended without a sitter.  As a result, instances of neglect abuse, and domestic violence come have a greater chance of entering into the picture than they might have prior to financial hardships—which can lead to these nightmare scenarios such as the one faced by the woman in Aurora.

If you’ve been hit particularly hard by the economy, you may have found yourself in an unfortunate situation that involves domestic violence charges or charges of abuse or neglect.  Should you find yourself facing such charges, you should do everything within your power to consult a Colorado criminal defense attorney immediately. By consulting with a professional you can be sure you have all the legal resources—as well as the legal experience—necessary to defend yourself in a court of law.  Failure to contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney immediately could result in you receiving the maximum penalty for a crime or worse yet—receiving the maximum penalty for a crime you didn’t commit!

Pleading Down DUI Charges with an Experienced Defense Attorney

Getting arrested for suspicion of DUI or DWI is a very serious situation. Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in very serious penalties, including jail time, a suspended driver’s license and heavy fines. These penalties get worse if there are other traffic violations associated with a DUI charge. If you were involved in an accident that caused property damage or injury in addition to being suspected of DUI, the possible legal penalties you’ll face could be much more severe.

When you’ve been arrested for suspicion of DUI, the best step to take to ensure a fair trial with a livable outcome is to enlist the help of an experienced defense attorney. Many people think that they can get through a DUI case without an attorney, but a defense lawyer can mean the difference between spending time in jail and simply paying a fine. A good defense attorney who has experience in dealing with these types of cases is critical to establishing a solid defense when fighting charges like DWI, aggravated DWI or vehicular assault.

A defense attorney will scrutinize the available evidence to find bits and pieces of information that can be used to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. Often, defense attorneys with experience in major traffic offenses like vehicular assault or Driving Under the Influence can reconstruct the accident or the conditions that led to your traffic stop in order to prove your innocence. A defense lawyer can also bring up mitigating circumstances in your defense. If you’ve got a clean driving and criminal record, your defense attorney will be able to highlight that information in an effort to reduce the possible penalties that you’ll face.

In many DWI cases there is just too much in the way of solid evidence for the court system to ignore. In these cases, a good defense attorney can be a critical asset if the evidence is strong. If your defense attorney feels as though a DUI conviction is imminent, he or she may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution in order to get the penalties you’ll face reduced.  An experienced DUI attorney will have relationships with local prosecutors and judges that will allow you to make a favorable deal.

A DUI conviction in which you face the stiffest possible penalties could affect you for years to come in many different ways. If you’ve been arrested for DUI and feel as though the prosecution has a good case against you, reach out to a qualified defense attorney for a consultation immediately.

 

Fighting to Retain Driving Privileges with a DUI Attorney

When it comes to driving under the influence, there are two separate charges involved: the criminal charges for breaking laws against driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and the traffic charges in order to suspend a driver’s license. While the criminal charges for DUI are heard in criminal court, license suspension charges are heard by traffic court in a DMV hearing. Some drivers get so overly absorbed in the possibility of the penalties they’ll face during their criminal hearing from a drunk driving arrest that they tend to completely look past the license suspension hearing process. Though this hearing has no bearing on the potential fines that you’ll face from a DUI conviction or the possible time behind bars that you’ll be required to spend, it is an integral part of the process for retaining your driving privileges.

In most states, if you don’t schedule your DMV hearing in a timely manner following your arrest for drunk driving, the initial revocation of your driving privileges will very likely be upheld, and you won’t have much recourse when it comes to trying to get back on the road. This is why hiring a qualified DUI attorney is a very wise move following an arrest for DUI, DWI, DWAI or another drunk driving violation.

A defense attorney with experience in drunk driving cases will not only get your license suspension hearing scheduled prior to the deadline, but they’ll be able to formulate the best possible strategy for your specific situation. An experienced DUI attorney will have helped countless clients in your situation and will know exactly what information is important to present in the venue of the DMV hearing in order to get your license suspension reduced or possible even lifted.

An experienced DUI attorney knows just how important the DMV hearing is to reinstating your driver’s license and maintaining some semblance of order in your lifestyle.  Getting your driver’s license back, even in a limited capacity, is critical if you hope to be able to get to and from work and other obligations following a drunk driving arrest. Once you’ve had an experienced defense attorney with experience in drunk driving cases help you navigate the difficult DMV hearing, you’ll be able to clearly focus on the criminal portion of your hearing with their help as well. Having a good DUI defense lawyer by your side is crucial to fighting a conviction at every step in order to realize the best results possible from your DUI case.

 

Minimizing the Stress of a DUI with a Qualified DUI Attorney

There are few things that can cause stress to a driver more than being pulled over after having had a few drinks and failing to perform well on the sobriety field test. Most drivers know just how much a DUI or DWI conviction can affect their lives, and no one wants to be subjected to the very severe punishments often associated with a drunk driving conviction. If you try to face your drunk driving charges alone, you can be subjecting yourself to months of stress and headaches.

Depending upon your location and the perceived severity of your drunk driving related crime, you could be in for a battery of unfavorable punishments if you get convicted. You could face very steep fines, lengthy jail terms and possibly have your driving privileges revoked for the foreseeable future. The personal, professional and financial parts of your life could all suffer greatly from a drunk driving conviction, which is why it is imperative that you reach out to a qualified DUI attorney at your earliest convenience following an arrest for drunk driving.

A good DUI attorney will be able to guide you through every step of the potentially confusing drunk driving court process to ensure that all the necessary steps of legal procedure are adhered to, which can be very difficult to do on your own. For example, most people don’t know that a drunk driving charge will be tried in criminal court, but that they will also have to have a hearing at their state department of motor vehicles about whether or not their driver’s license will be suspended. With an attorney, you’ll get help scheduling your DMV hearing and help developing the strongest possible defense for both your DMV and your criminal hearing in an effort to minimize the potential penalties that you’ll face.

An experienced DUI attorney will be able to quickly identify the presence of evidence that could be beneficial to your defense and use their expert knowledge to highlight those key facts during the trial in criminal court. If there are discrepancies in testimony, errors on the police report or any inconsistencies shown during the investigation, your DUI attorney will be able to find them and use them to build a powerful and effective defense strategy. Going through the experience of a DUI on your own can be very intimidating, but having a qualified DUI attorney by your side can make the process much smoother and easier.

 

Marijuana Possession and Potential Consequences

Many states now allow the medicinal-use of controlled substances such as marijuana for the purpose of alleviating the symptoms of debilitating diseases such as cancer glaucoma, HIV, and AIDS.  While the new laws governing the controlled substances permit individuals suffering from such diseases to possess and even grow specified quantities, the new laws by no means imply that those individuals who wish to use these substances for strictly recreational purposes—who do not have approval from their doctors or state agencies—can possess these controlled substances.

In the case of marijuana, depending on the amount of the substance you’ve been alleged to possess, law enforcement officers could charge you with a petty offense, a misdemeanor, or even a felony.  Furthermore, the consequences associated with each of these offenses vary according to whether or not should officers charge you with possession, sale, or cultivation.  While simple possession conviction may land you a petty offense or a misdemeanor offense, sale or cultivation convictions are both felony offenses, and as such you’ll almost certainly spend time in prison while paying thousands of dollars in fines.

While those suffering from debilitating diseases have the right to possess and use specified quantities of marijuana, those individuals should still take precaution when procuring their medication as not doing so can result in serious consequences—including loss of access to their medication.  For instance, an individual who possesses or uses marijuana and who does not go through the registry to procure their medication can face the same charges as those individuals possessing and using the substance purely for recreational purposes.  Individuals who’ve been approved for the medicinal use of marijuana must also take measures to ensure no one takes advantage of their access to the controlled substance.  For instance, you could face criminal charges or simply removal from the registry should someone you know admit that he or she procured the drug from your home.

By not following the proper procedures or ignoring many of the strict regulations governing the registry and its procedures, you could easily wind-up among the many others within the state of Colorado who’ve been charged with possession of marijuana.  As a precaution, should you or anyone you know decide to procure a controlled substance for medicinal purposes, you should make sure you contact a qualified Colorado criminal defense attorney.  Doing so will ensure you have done everything within your power to protect yourself should a worst case scenario arise.

Reasonable Suspicion and DUIs

Very often, law enforcement officials use saturation checkpoints or other types of periodic, roadside sobriety checkpoints to charge suspected drivers with DUIs or DWAIs.  These checkpoints play an important role in officials’ efforts to maintain safe roadways and prevent life-threatening automobile wrecks.  Checkpoints aside though, law enforcement officials have other means of keeping roadways clear of intoxicated drivers.

While DUI saturation and sobriety checkpoints serve as a common and effective way of identifying which drivers pose a threat to the safety of others, the checkpoints have drawbacks, and as such, they’re not the only tool available to law enforcement officials have at their disposal for keeping roadways clear of dangerous drivers.  Law enforcement officials can also pull-over intoxicated drivers if the officers have reasonable suspicion that the drivers’ judgment or abilities have been impaired due to alcohol or drugs.

Unfortunately, for those drivers who’ve been wrongfully charged with DUIs or DWAIs, a wide-range of behaviors fall into the category of those driving behaviors that officers associate with suspected DUI offenders.  To explain, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides a list of behaviors or “symptoms” that officers have cited for pulling over drivers which they reasonably suspect have been driving under the influence.  While the connection between some of these behaviors and intoxication—in many cases—appears painfully obvious, in other cases, the connection might not seem apparent.

Driving Behaviors or “Symptoms” that Provide Officers with Reasonable Suspicion

  • Turning with wide radius
  • Straddling center or lane marker
  • Appearing to be drunk
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle
  • Weaving
  • Driving on other than designated roadway
  • Swerving
  • Slow Speed
  • Stopping (without cause) in traffic lane
  • Drifting
  • Following too closely
  • Tires on center or land marker
  • Braking erratically
  • Driving into opposing or oncoming traffic
  • Inappropriate stopping
  • Inconsistent signaling
  • Headlights off
  • Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
  • Turning abruptly or illegally

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DUI (driving under the influence) or a DWAI (driving while ability impaired) then you should contact a DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Because the types of behaviors associated with DUI charges covers a rather tremendous spectrum of driving behaviors—and is therefore, a likely inaccurate gauge at times—you should make sure you have a seasoned DUI criminal defense attorney to ensure you don’t end up with a conviction you don’t deserve.

An Attorney can Help with DUI Charges

Being arrested for driving under the influence is certainly no laughing matter. Depending upon the exact details of the arrest, even a first time DUI conviction can have serious repercussions on a number of areas of your life. The heavy fines that you could face from a DUI conviction could cause financial distress, and the loss of driving privileges could affect your personal life and your career. The possible jail time you might face for a drunk driving conviction can also affect your freedom and your future. When faced with drunk driving charge, many people can’t see past these legal repercussions, and they don’t realize that they can get help from an attorney in their drunk driving case.

Walking away from a DUI charge of any kind with a favorable outcome is never easy, but having a defense attorney with experience in drunk driving cases on your side can result in a much better outcome to your case than would have resulted if you had defended yourself. The laws and courts in most states are generally not lenient on drunk drivers, so you should not face the judge alone. The drunk driving laws in just about all states are constantly changing, and law enforcement officials are always looking to hand down more severe punishments for DUI or DWI convictions. An attorney who specializes in drunk driving defense understands the nuances of traffic laws, and can challenge law enforcement evidence against you.

In order to come away from your criminal hearing without suffering to the fullest extent of the law, you need an experienced professional to help you construct your defense. An experienced DUI attorney will be completely aware of any recent changes regarding the drunk driving laws in your state and will know exactly how the prosecution plans to pursue a conviction. Your defense attorney will be able to use the available evidence in conjunction with an in depth knowledge of every facet of DUI law to construct the most effective and plausible defense for your particular case.

Having the right defense lawyer at your criminal hearing for a drunk driving charge is the best possible way to reduce or eliminate some of the very severe punishments you could have faced from a conviction. A first time DUI doesn’t have to come with a lifetime of issues, problems and baggage from a conviction, but in order to get the outcome that you want, you’ll need an experienced DUI attorney to properly build your defense.

 

Didn’t Start the Fight? Assault May Still Apply

While many people take precautions against the possibility of an assault by taking self-defense classes or carrying around pepper-spray with them, these same people don’t take the necessarily precautions with respect to the law.  What potential victims don’t know is that they themselves could face assault and battery charges should they fight-off an attacker or other threatening person.  For instance, how would you protect yourself if, after fending-off and attacker, police arrived on the scene decided to arrest both the attacker and you.  Worse yet, what if the attacker then accused you of assault and battery and because you had no witnesses present, you suddenly faced criminal charges and all the consequences associated with that conviction?

While the above example may seem like a worst-case scenario, assault and battery charges can apply to anyone involved in many common altercations that erupt into violence such as bar fights or even the consensual after-school fights of high-school children.  In such cases, law enforcement officers may charge both—or all—parties involved with assault and battery regardless of who instigated the conflict.

Depending on the particular circumstances surrounding a conflict, the consequences of an assault and battery conviction can utterly ruin your life.  Anyone charged with assault and battery in the state of Colorado should contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to protect him or herself from hefty fines and considerable prison sentences.

First Degree Assault (often considered class 3 Felony carrying 8 – 24 years in prison)

1. Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to someone with a deadly weapon,

2.  Knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another and resulted in injury,

3.  Intentionally destroyed, disfigured, or amputated the member of another person,

4.  Threatened a police officer or firefighter with a deadly weapon with the intent of

causing serious bodily injury.

Second Degree Assault (often considered class 4 felony carrying 4 – 12 years in prison)

1.  Intentionally or recklessly caused injury to someone using a deadly weapon,

2.  Intentionally caused mental impairment or injury to someone with the use of a drug or substance, or

3.  Caused injury while attempting to prevent a police officer or firefighter from doing their job.

Third Degree Assault (misdemeanor offense carrying up to 3 years in prison)

1.  Knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to someone.

“’Taking It Up a Notch’: How Holidays Can Have Serious Consequences”

While billboards the size of houses and both humorous and engaging television commercials constantly remind consumers to avoid drinking and driving by suggesting they “drink sensibly” or “drink responsibly,” the underlying message of these types of advertisements seems to center around the notion that drinking alcohol will take any celebration or any relaxing activity up a notch.  Indeed, Americans recognize the enjoyment that comes from consuming alcohol moderately and in safe circumstances; however, the very existence of these “sensible” messages in advertisements for alcoholic beverages suggests the degree to which some segments of Americans society have a tendency to overdue it when it comes to alcohol.  Even holidays we celebrate on an annual basis support this idea, as Americans’ have notoriously used holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Saint Patrick’s Day as catalysts for serious binge drinking.

While in most cases, the presence of alcohol at these holiday gatherings does not cause any harm to those celebrating; however, in enough cases to warrant concern, some of those celebrating over-indulge and consequently, they make poor decisions which lead to disastrous consequences.  For instance, in 2009, law enforcement officers in Savannah, Georgia arrested over 20 individuals during the St Patrick’s Day parade for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The police operation, dubbed “Operation Thunderstorm,” resulted in nearly 60 arrests—many of which related to alcohol.  Those arrested and charged with DWIs faced consequences that reached far-beyond simply ruining their evenings.  As a result of their alleged charges, these individuals now face suspension and revocation of their licenses as well as time in jail, community service, alcohol education/rehabilitation classes, and some considerable fines.

Anyone finding him or herself facing charges for driving under the influence should not take such charges lightly.  Indeed, if law enforcement has charged you for the suspected offense, you should seek out the advice and counsel of a qualified DUI criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Any delay could cost you more than you might think, such as your chance to submit a request to the DMV for a hearing to prevent you from having your license suspended or revoked.  Don’t just accept the consequences and penalties for offenses you didn’t commit; contact a qualified DUI criminal defense attorney to obtain the best defense possible.