Friday, November 6, 2015

What are the Rights of Juveniles in Police Custody Colorado?

Like every other state in USA, Colorado has its own set of laws when it comes to juvenile delinquencies. It is not uncommon for children to commit a crime as they may become willing or unwilling participants of unruly activities. However, it is the duty of the law to see that they are corrected and instructed in the ways of the society and that they themselves learn to become responsible citizens on their own.

According to the Title 19 of CRS or Colorado Revised Statutes, the purposes of the Children's Code as set in the agreement are stated below: 

•    To make sure that each child gets his or her necessary provisions such as guidance and care, preferably within his/her own home that can best serve the interests of the child’s welfare and social interests;

•    To maintain and strengthen the family ties as and when possible along with improving the home improvement;

•    To separate a child from his or her parents’ custody only when the basic necessities of safety and welfare is endangered along with the protection of public interests; in both these instances the court has the authority to intervene and take legal decisions that is going to best serve the interests and needs of the child;

•    To make sure that any child separated from parental custody has necessary care, discipline and guidance that can help him/her to become a productive and responsible member of the society.

The Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court 

The juvenile court holds exclusive jurisdiction over the delinquency proceedings of a child. Other areas that are covered by the juvenile court include: 

•    Child support;
•    School truancy cases;
•    Determination of parentage and paternity proceedings;     
•    Relinquishment of all parental and adoption rights;
•    Consent for the purpose of enlistment, consent to marriage and employment of child when consent is needed by the law;
•    For commitment or treatment of developmentally disabled or mentally ill children;
•    Guardianship or custody of children who are otherwise kept under the jurisdiction of juvenile court

Unlike popular belief, jurisdiction of juvenile court does not come to an end in the matters discussed above when a child turns 18, but continues as long as all court orders, pending cases or statutes of limitations have come to an end. To know more about this, it is advised that a person gets into contact with a professional juvenile defense lawyer who can provide more in-depth information regarding the same.

Rights of Juveniles in Police Custody Colorado

Miranda Rights 

When a child or a juvenile is kept in custody and police wants to interrogate him/her, the following rights should be stated to the juvenile, his/her parents, guardian, physical or legal custodian responsible for the care of the child:

•    The right to remain silent;

•    Any statement that is made by the child or juvenile can be used against him/her in the court of law;

•    The juvenile has the right to the presence of an attorney during interrogation if it is so requested during the time of the interrogation. In case the person is unable to afford a lawyer, the same will be appointed by the court.

This is commonly referred to as Miranda rights or Miranda warning. After this warning has been stated, a juvenile can be only questioned by police without the presence of his/her guardian, parent, physical or legal custodian if and only if the right for such presence is waived or given up in writing  by the juvenile and the adult responsible for acting on the behalf of the child. Once such rights are waived, anything that is learnt by the police during interrogation can be used against a juvenile in the court of law, even if no guardian or parent was present during the time of questioning.

Search and Seizure; Rights Associated with Consent to Search    

The juveniles who are not yet under arrest or in custody of the police can refuse to let police search or go through their personal belongings. The presence of the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or physical or legal custodian is not mandatory for him/her to consent to search. In many cases, police have carried out searches and found incriminating evidence, but later the question arose whether they had the consent to search or not. In such situations, a police needs to provide evidence to the judge that they had the consent to search by the juveniles, and that the juveniles were not placed in any kind of coercion or duress, either expressively or in any other implied manner and that consent was specific and unequivocal which was given freely and intelligently.

After a juvenile has been arrested properly, he or she can’t refuse a search conducted by the police. Any kind of evidence that is collected by the police can then be used against a juvenile. Nevertheless, law enforcement officials should have a proper warrant or successfully establish an exception to the necessity of a warrant needed for searching the juvenile’s belongings. It is absolutely necessary to determine the ownership of an item in question before search can be conducted. This is so because it then makes it clear whose consent is needed. For example, if an item is used by a child that is actually owned by the parent, then it is the consent of a parent that is to be attained prior to searching. Even if the juvenile does not consent to a search, the police can carry out a search in case it is approved by the parent.

The Importance of a Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorney 
Juvenile crimes are needed to be dealt in a different way than adult cases, and therefore one needs to consult a proper juvenile criminal defense lawyer or attorney to assist in such cases. It is not possible for a layman to be aware of all the details associated with Colorado juvenile delinquency cases, and it is only in the best interest of the defendant that such a person be represented by an appropriate legal practitioner.  

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Colorado Speeding Laws & Need of Traffic Ticket Attorney

Like any other state in USA, Colorado has its own set of rules when it comes to vehicle speeding. A car that crosses the prescribed speed limits is not only prone to cause major damage to property and life but also carries the chance to cause damage to the self. It is important to know about the possible legal consequences of exceeding such speed limits or reckless driving, so that a person is aware of what penalties he or she might expect for breaking such laws.

Crossing speed limits by drivers in Colorado is not uncommon. Many people exceed the speed limits because of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are still others who might have a habit of speed driving. A person might also receive a speeding ticket in case he or she had been driving too slowly. In case a person has received a speeding ticket from a Colorado traffic police, then he or she should contact a Colorado speeding ticket attorney to receive the best legal support. Colorado speeding laws are unique and different from other states, and it is not always possible for a layman to be aware of all of them. So let’s take a brief look at the different speeding laws that are in practice in Colorado.

The Basic Speed Rule

According to COLO Sec. 42-4-1101(1), No person should drive a vehicle or a car at a speed that is greater than what is prudent and reasonable under the conditions existing at that given time.
Basic Speed Limits

These are the basic vehicle speeding limitations as set by the law of Colorado

•    65 MPH on interstate system
•    30 MPH for a residence district
•    25 MPH within a business district 
•    40 MPH on all open mountain highways•    55 MPH on any open highway that is not on interstate system
•    20 MPH on a narrow, winding mountain highway or a blind curve

DUI/DWAI cases

If a person had been driving a vehicle under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI), then he or she needs to get in touch with a lawyer that can assist with such cases. A DUI or DWAI related speeding case will involve additional legal penalties and trials than what is the norm for standard reckless driving or speed limit exceeding cases. The penalties and jail times needed to be served for such cases will differ based on whether a person is committing the offence for the first time or any additional number of times.

Possible defenses for speeding vehicles in Colorado

According to the laws of Colorado, a person might be able to receive any of the three possible defenses when it comes to speeding.

•    Attacking an officer’s way of determining your vehicle speed is a good way to defend oneself against an allegation of speeding. In order to do this, a person must first discover the method that an officer uses to cite the speeding case and then find out about the various ways in which he or she can attack that particular way.

•    Another way to achieve the same end is by stating that an emergency propelled the person in control of the wheels to exceed speed limits for avoiding serious injuries or damages to others and the self.

•    The other way that a person can present a defense against speeding allegation is by stating that the officer wrongly mistook the car for some other vehicle. As there are so many vehicles on the street that look quite similar, it is quite possible for a cop to see a particular speeding car but then lose the sight of it and wrongly pick up another car that was present a bit farther down that road.

Colorado Pointing System

The driving license of a person can be subjected to suspension in case he or she accumulated 18 points in 24 consecutive months or 12 points in 12 consecutive months. Provisional drivers would get their licenses suspended if they gather 12 points in any 24 consecutive months, 9 points in 12 consecutive months or 14 points starting from the time this provisional license was actually issued. For all minor drivers, there would be a suspension of license in case they accumulate 5 points in 12 consecutive months or a total of 6 points starting from the time their license was issued. Suspension of license would occur for chauffeurs in case they accumulate (during the course of their employment) 16 points in a single year, 24 points within 2 years or a total of 28 points within 4 years.

These are the points that are attributed to different types of speeding violations: 

•    Three points for driving at a speed of 5 - 9 MPH over the prudent and reasonable speed or 5 - 9 MPH over maximum lawful speeding limit of 75 MPH.

•    Four points for driving at a speed of 10 - 19 MPH over the prudent and reasonable speed or 10 - 19 MPH over maximum lawful speeding limit of 75 MPH.

•    Six points for driving at a speed of 20 - 39 MPH over the prudent and reasonable speed or 20 - 39 MPH over maximum legal speed limitation of 75 MPH.

•    Twelve points for driving at 40 MPH or more speed over prudent and reasonable speed or 40 MPH or more speed over maximum legal speeding limit of 75 MPH. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

What You Must Do After A DUI Car Accident?

DUI accidents are quite common and can be some of the most serious situations that anyone can face in his or her lifetime. You might have had a few drinks before deciding to drive your car, and this had eventually led to the accident. If someone has been hit by your car and you are still sitting behind the wheels, then there are certain things that you must do to avoid further danger.

DUI accident

Here is a list of things that you must do if you are involved in a DUI accident.  

•    In case you have accidentally hit a person with your car, never just leave the crime scene as it can lead to a felony charge of hit and run.

•    Try to see if anyone is serious injured and immediately arrange for emergency medical help, should that be necessary. In case anyone is hurt, you should also report about such injuries to the best of your ability.

•    You must call the police to report the accident. Certain states require that every accident that involves major physical injuries or property damages must be reported immediately to the police. It is always a great idea to call the police and let them know of the accident.

•    Do not make any written or oral statements to police officers or other people. Never say “I’m sorry” as this can mean in many court of laws as admission of guilt. If you are suspected of DUI, then it is necessary that you immediately get in touch with a Colorado DUI lawyer before you make any statement to the police regarding your involvement with the accident.

•    If you are asked to take the different field sobriety tests, then you have the right to refuse them. You are not entitled to take such tests if you do not want and no legal punishment can be issued against you. However, you will then be ticketed for being noncompliant and you will be further subjected to different kinds of criminal and administrative penalties for not taking a breath or chemical test.

•    Do not make any oral or written statements to victims or witnesses under any circumstances. Avoid making statements like “I’m sorry to them as they can take it as a sign of confession for your wrongdoing.

•    Try to get the names, phone numbers and addresses of all potential witnesses. If you think you are not at fault in relation to this accident, you will need the support of these witnesses to prove your innocence in the court of law. The witnesses can provide with their own accounts of testimonials that are not present in the accounts of the police reports.

•    Do not forget to take pictures of the accident scene in general and the vehicles that have been involved with the accident. You can use your mobile camera or any other kind of camera to do this.

•    Write down all the details of the accident from your own individual perspective. Make sure that you accurately note all the date and time of the accident as well as the time when you are actually writing the account. You can also mail the copies of such statements to any legal practitioner who is involved with the accident in a major way. Do not forget to write “Confidential - Attorney-Client Privileged,” on top of the statement. Also, do not show this document to anyone else except your attorney, in case you decide you have one for this case.

•    If you have accidentally hit or damaged any property, try to find out about the owners of such property. The property can be anything such as an unattended bike or vehicle, a shop or some other kind of property.

You are also advised to learn all that you can about the legal parameters associated with DUI accidents and hit and run cases in the state of Colorado. This will help you to understand what can be in store for you once you are involved in such a case. A criminal defense attorney who has sufficient experience in handling DUI cases under the state of Colorado and offer you substantial guidance in the court of law regarding cases such as these. It would be impossible for a layman like you to know everything about DUI rules and regulations in the state of Colorado. That is why it is always advisable that you get in touch with a good lawyer who can represent you in the court of law. You can look through the various online resources to find a lawyer who can offer you reliable services. The online resources can also let you know about how Colorado law works for DUI accident cases. A lawyer who is skilled at handling cases like these can also offer you sound advice in every step of the way to steer clear of unwanted legal troubles.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Domestic Violence Colorado – Must Know Facts

Domestic violence accusations are far too common that you might think. While it is true that many of these are actually made out of impulse without much forethought, once made the accusation itself cannot be taken back during the immediate or later legal proceedings. From then onwards, the situation is handled by law enforcement professionals and prosecutors.

Like any other place in USA, Colorado also has its own set of laws in regards to domestic violence. Often, these laws are very strict and inflexible on what takes place after an accusation has been made. In case you need help with such cases, do not hesitate to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney with sufficient experience in handling domestic violence cases under Colorado law. 

What is the Definition of Domestic Violence?

Any person looking for help with a domestic violence case first need to understand that under Colorado law it is not regarded as a standalone allegation and can be associated with numerous other felonies or misdemeanors that can affect the final statement or trigger other legal methods. Domestic violence cases are thus often referred to as an “aggravator” or a “sentence enhancer”. The bulk of domestic violence cases are also associated with offences like menacing, harassment, third degree assault, false imprisonment and violation of restraining orders. For instance, a domestic violence case may be filed when a harassment charge has been filed by one person against another and the two individuals have been in an “intimate relationship”. 

Domestic Violence Colorado – Must Know Facts

Critical Aspects of a Domestic Violence Case

Once a person is accused of instigating domestic violence, the individual will be required to spend some time in jail. This is particularly true if the law enforcement officials feel that a confrontation has led to domestic violence and that it can be further repeated. The police mainly make an arrest as they feel that the violence may ensue again after they have left the scene. The person imprisoned will remain in jail unless the bond is set personally by the judge. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to dismiss a domestic violence charge once it has been made unless the prosecutor announces in the court that the case cannot be proven true beyond a shadow of doubt.     

Domestic Violence Sentencing

In case a person is found guilty of domestic violence, the person will be subjected to the following sentences:

•    If convicted, a restraining order can be issued in the name of the accused preventing further contact with accuser or any other witness during the duration of such a case;
•    Counseling and treatment for domestic violence;
•    Terms of probation which might vary depending on the offence, the jurisdiction or any other aspect of the sentence 

Getting convicted for a domestic violence case can also affect the accused individual’s parental rights, ability to obtain loans and professional licensure opportunities. Furthermore, domestic violence convictions also give rise to certain federally-mandated provisions and restrictions associated with gun ownership, government employment, military service, security clearances and deportation.

Domestic Violence in Colorado: Certain legal aspects

The scope of domestic violence cases

While most people think that domestic violence cases attribute to situations where one partner is violent towards another within an intimate relationship, the scope of such cases is not only limited to that. Domestic violence can also be said to have occurred when acts of coercion, punishment, control, intimidation or revenge are involved against a partner with whom one had an intimate relationship. Damage of personal property within intimate relationships is also held as domestic violence. 

Mandatory Arrest Laws for domestic violence cases

While for most other crimes a Colorado police officer is allowed discretion as to when he or she can charge or arrest someone, in cases of domestic violence the officer must arrest the individual suspected of the crime. In fact, the legislature commands the officer to arrest the suspect then and there without any delay. 

Victims cannot simply decide to drop charges

If in case the person who has reported the crime decides that he or she does not want to press charges any more, the case will still be not dismissed under the law of Colorado. All crimes that are committed in Colorado are believed to affront to the dignity and peace of the State. Hence only the DA responsible for prosecuting the case has the requisite authority to decide whether the case should be dismissed or not. Even the judge does not have the right to dismiss the case unless in certain special occasions.

Domestic Violence cases are treated as victim's rights cases

All cases of domestic violence are seen as victim's rights cases, which means that victims has several rights such as the right to speak to the DA while addressing the bond or attending to any offers. They also have the right to express their opinions during sentencing and be notified about the time when the defendant is released. While it is true that a victim does not have the power to control a prosecution, he or she can greatly influence the way a case eventually turns out. 
Domestic violence convictions always impacts gun rights

According to the federal law, any individual convicted of domestic violence cannot carry or possess a gun or firearm. If a person previously accused of felony is further convicted for a domestic violence, then the state law also makes it a felony for the individual to possess a gun. These bans stay active for a lifetime. 
What to do when you are accused of domestic violence?

If you are accused of domestic violence under the Colorado law, it is advisable that you immediately get in touch with a professional lawyer who is adept at handling domestic violence Colorado cases. This is so because as a layman you might not be aware of all the legal aspects of such cases and unwillingly complicate your position in regards to such matters. Only a trained and experienced legal practitioner can help you to deal with all the circumstances associated with cases like these.