How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109

H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109. Takes Effect – As of August 2017, one statute controls the right of a Colorado county court inmate to certain awards for good time. Before this law was enacted Colorado’s county sheriffs were not uniform in how they calculated earned and good time sentence reductions.

This law, which replaces all other laws addressing this issue (good time in Colorado county jails) essentially provides that ALL persons serving jail time as a condition of probation or “straight time” are eligible for good time credit under the provisions of this section.

It is not within the power of a Colorado Judge to impose a sentence which denies to one imprisoned in the county jail the benefits of this section…period.

Here Is A Summary Of The New Legislation – Good Time

First, as noted, the new law consolidates the various statutes governing deductions of time for county jail inmates.

Second, the law clarifies that an inmate may earn a deduction from the time of his or her sentence in the following ways.

The inmate can earn:

• 1 day for each 15 days of the sentence for faithfully performing the duties assigned him or her; plus

• 10 days for each 30 days of the sentence for completing or demonstrating outstanding progress in a designated program or educational activity within the jail; plus

• 13 days for each 30 days of the sentence on his or her sentence for being designated by the county sheriff as a trusty prisoner, performing work within or outside the jail in a creditable manner, and conducting him- or herself by the rules; and

• 13 days for each 30 days of the sentence if the inmate is sentenced to jail as a direct sentence or as a condition of probation and is permitted to participate in work, educational programming outside the jail, medical release, home detention, or day reporting programs.

CAVEAT – It must be clear to the reader – regardless of how many programs an inmate participates in, he or she may not receive a deduction of more than 15 days in any 30-day period.

Three Day Additional Deduction May Be Permitted In Extraordinary Cases

In addition to the deductions described above, an inmate may also receive a three-day maximum deduction when the inmate takes an unusual or extraordinary action, as determined by the county sheriff.

The effective date of this new law was August 9, 2017.

§ 17-26-109. Deductions of Time

(1) Every person who is sentenced to and imprisoned in any county jail of this state or sentenced to pay a fine and costs or either or all thereof and who performs faithfully the duties assigned to him or her during his or her imprisonment therein earns deductions from the time of his or her sentence as follows:

(a) An inmate receives a one-day deduction for each fifteen days on his or her sentence;

(b) In addition to the deduction described in subsection (1)(a) of this section, an inmate may receive a ten-day deduction for each thirty days on his or her sentence if he or she:

(I) Successfully completes a designated program or educational activity within the jail; or

(II) Demonstrates outstanding progress in any designated program or educational activity within the jail;

(c) In addition to the deduction described in subsection (1)(a) of this section, an inmate may receive a thirteen-day deduction for each thirty days on his or her sentence if the inmate:

(I) Is designated by the county sheriff as a trusty prisoner;

(II) Is engaged in work within or outside the walls of the jail;

(III) Performs his or her work in a creditable manner;

(IV) Conducts himself or herself in accordance with the rules of the jail; and

(V) Is approved by the sheriff to receive a deduction pursuant to this subsection (1)(c);

(d) An inmate may receive a deduction of up to thirteen days for each thirty days on his or her sentence if the inmate:

(I) Is sentenced to the county jail as a direct sentence or as a condition of probation; and

(II) Is permitted to participate in work, educational programming outside the jail, medical release, home detention, or day reporting programs pursuant to section 18-1.3-106(1) ;

[HMS – Section(e) Places a CAP on the number of days – TOTAL –  that can be awarded in this law.]

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an inmate may not receive a deduction of more than fifteen days in any thirty-day period, regardless of how many programs the inmate participates in, whether the inmate is designated a trusty prisoner or is sentenced as described in subsection (1)(d) of this section;

(f) (I) In addition to the deductions described in subsections (1)(a), (1)(b), (1)(c), and (1)(d) of this section, an inmate may receive a three-day maximum deduction when the inmate takes an unusual or extraordinary action, as determined by the county sheriff. This deduction may be granted on an incident-by-incident basis and is not subject to the deduction cap described in subsection (1)(e) of this section.

(II) If a county sheriff awards a deduction pursuant to this subsection (1)(f), he or she shall notify the chief judge of the judicial district of such fact not later than three business days after the deduction is awarded. In providing such notice, the sheriff shall indicate how many days were deducted and the nature of the unusual or extraordinary action taken by the inmate.

(2) Each county sheriff shall develop and implement a program and schedule for administering reductions of inmates’ sentences in his or her county jail, as described in this section and in accordance with the expectations and standards of the community in which he or she serves. Each county jail shall keep a record of each inmate’s deductions of time and changes in deductions of time as a result of policy violations by the inmate.

[HMS – Section (3)(1) Takes away deductions for willful violations of the rules and regulations of the jail.]

(3) (a) If an inmate is found to have committed a willful violation of any of the rules or regulations of the jail, he or she may forfeit some or all of the deductions from his or her sentence that he or she received up to the time of the violation, as determined by the sheriff of the county in which the jail is situated.

(b) If an inmate escapes or attempts to escape from a jail or an alternative sentence program, he or she forfeits all deductions from his or her sentence that he or she received up to the time of the escape or attempted escape.

(4) An inmate who is sentenced to any alternative sentence pursuant to section 18-1.3-106 arising out of a sentence pursuant to section 42-4-1307(5)(a)(I), (5)(b), or (6)(a)(I) may receive a sentence deduction pursuant to this section only after serving any mandatory period of time pursuant to those sections.

(5) As used in this section, “day” means a twenty-four-hour calendar day.

How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109

If you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

The contents of this article are based upon my research, my personal experience and my personal analysis and opinions developed from my thirty six years (as of 2017) of criminal trial experience from both sides of the courtroom – as a former career prosecutor for Arapahoe and Douglas Counties (13 years) and as the owner of my own Criminal Defense Law Firm since 1999 (18 years).

The reader is also admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael will be at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case. H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at:

hmsteinberg@hotmail.com

A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – please call 720-220-2277.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer. We encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 36 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice.

Putting more than 36 years of Colorado criminal defense experience to work for you.

H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – How Much Actual Time Will You Do In Colorado County Jail? – A New Law 17-26-109.

Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases

Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases –While not limited to Colorado Domestic Violence cases, witnesses agreeing to not testify or testify falsely at trial is a significant and dangerous problem as the witness exposes him or herself to possible prosecution for Bribery under CRS 18-8-603.

This bribery law 18-8-603 CRS covers the witness that accepts a bribe – not the person who offers the bribe.

While I have written on this issue before – the possible pitfalls in this area justify several good reasons to revisit these issues in another article.

Always Start With The Law – 18-8-603 CRS – Bribe – Receiving By A Witness

Here is the Colorado law (2016) that applies when a witness accepts a bribe not to testify or to testify falsely. The law is very broadly written – especially the use of the term “benefit.”

18-8-603  Bribe – Receiving By A Witness

(1) A witness or a person believing he is to be called as a witness in any official proceeding commits a class 4 felony if he intentionally solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit upon an agreement or understanding that:

(a) He will testify falsely or unlawfully withhold testimony; or

(b) He will attempt to avoid legal process summoning him to testify; or

(c) He will attempt to absent himself from an official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned.

The Colorado Jury Instruction On This Law – Breaks Out The Crime Into It’s Component Parts

8-6:01 Bribe-receiving by a Witness (False or Withheld Testimony)

The elements of the crime of witness bribery (false or withheld testimony) are:

1. That the defendant,

2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

3. was a witness or believed that he [she] was to be called as a witness in any official proceeding, and

4. intentionally,

5. solicited, accepted, agreed to accept,

6. any benefit,

7. upon an agreement or understanding that he [she] would testify falsely or unlawfully withhold testimony.

[8. and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

Key Definitions Of Critical Words Used In The Law Are:

“Benefit” means any gain or advantage to the beneficiary, including any gain or advantage to a third person pursuant to the desire or consent of the beneficiary.

A person acts “intentionally” or “with intent” when his [her] conscious objective is to cause the specific result proscribed by the statute defining the offense. It is immaterial to the issue of specific intent whether or not the result actually occurred.

“Official proceeding” means a proceeding heard before any legislative, judicial, administrative, or other governmental agency, or official authorized to hear evidence under oath, including any magistrate, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary, or other person taking testimony or depositions in any such proceedings.

“Testimony” includes oral or written statements, documents, or any other evidence that may be offered by or through a witness in an official proceeding.

Are There Any Defenses Under Colorado Law To A Witness Charged With Accepting A Bribe?

There are defenses to bribery charges in this context.

This is not an exhaustive list – but some possible examples of some possible defenses:

  • There was no specific intent to commit the crime.
  • Entrapment was used to coerce the witness Defendant into accepting the bribe. – (1) A law enforcement person induced the accused to accept a bribe and (2) the accused was not predisposed to accepting a bribe.
  • Other methods of coercion such as duress or threats were used.
  • The accused was too intoxicated to understand the nature of the crime he or she had committed.
  • The bribe never happened.
  • If some benefit was accepted there was no value to the benefit so it could not be construed as a bribe or the accused did not accept the benefit (if there was one) in exchange for testimony.

The Colorado Penalties For A Conviction Of The Crime Of Bribery Of A Witness 18-8-603 CRS

The crime of Bribery Of A Witness 18-8-603 is a Class 4 felony, and is punishable by a prison sentence to the Department of Corrections – see chart below.

Understanding How Easily You Could Be Caught Up In A Colorado Bribery Of A Witness Case

While the most common example of the corruption of a trial for this crime is the payment of cash or some other benefit to “miss the trial”

The more ambiguous situation may be where a friend or family member of a Defendant starts a conversation with a witness to the criminal case in an effort to “help” the Defendant by offering some benefit for changing the witnesses’s testimony or avoiding a subpoena or refusing to cooperate with the prosecution.

A bribe, in this context can be anything of present or future value or advantage – it can be a promise to give a thing, or a promise to omit from doing a thing.

There are no “magic” or specific words or behavior that are required to be used where the intent is clear enough that the witness had agreed for example not to attend a trial and/or judicial proceeding or otherwise alter their testimony on behalf of a party to the case.. The crime is complete when the bribe is solicited, accepted or there is an agreement to accept the bribe.

….

(1) A witness or a person believing he is to be called as a witness in any official proceeding commits a class 4 felony if he intentionally solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any benefit upon an agreement or understanding that:

(a) He will testify falsely or unlawfully withhold testimony; or

(b) He will attempt to avoid legal process summoning him to testify; or

(c) He will attempt to absent himself from an official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned.

The benefit offered need not actually be given, it may not even exist at the time it is offered.

“Benefit” means any gain or advantage to the beneficiary, including any gain or advantage to a third person pursuant to the desire or consent of the beneficiary.

The witness need only be encouraged to avoid the service of a summons or subpoena – this is VERY VERY COMMON in Colorado domestic violence cases!

Several Laws Are Designed To Protect The Integrity Of The Colorado Criminal Trial Process

While Bribery – Receiving by a Witness – is one of the crimes in the category of crimes designed to protect the Colorado criminal justice system, there are others.

Bribing a Witness, under C.R.S pm5mbbo. 18-8-703, is nearly identical the 18-8-603 and the law includes efforts to bribe a family member, close friend, or household member of the prospective witness. It is also a class 4 felony.

18-8-703. Bribing a witness or victim

(1) A person commits bribing a witness or victim if he or she offers, confers, or agrees to confer any benefit upon a witness, or a victim, or a person he or she believes is to be called to testify as a witness or victim in any official proceeding, or upon a member of the witness’ family, a member of the victim’s family, a person in close relationship to the witness or victim, or a person residing in the same household as the witness or victim with intent to:

(a) Influence the witness or victim to testify falsely or unlawfully withhold any testimony; or

(b) Induce the witness or victim to avoid legal process summoning him to testify; or

(c) Induce the witness or victim to absent himself or herself from an official proceeding.

(2) Bribing a witness or victim is a class 4 felony.

Tampering With A Witness – or – Victim 18-8-707 –

Tampering is a Class 4 Felony that does not require a bribe or threat but rather includes ANY act that impacts a witnesses’ testimony:

§ 18-8-707. Tampering with a witness or victim

(1) A person commits tampering with a witness or victim if he intentionally attempts without bribery or threats to induce a witness or victim or a person he believes is to be called to testify as a witness or victim in any official proceeding or who may be called to testify as a witness to or victim of any crime to:

(a) Testify falsely or unlawfully withhold any testimony; or

(b) Absent himself from any official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned; or

(c) Avoid legal process summoning him to testify.

(2) Tampering with a witness or victim is a class 4 felony.

Tampering with physical evidence, C.R.S. § 18-8-610, – a class 6 felony. This crime involves the destruction or alteration of physical evidence with the intent to impair its verity or availability in some official proceeding.

Intimidating a witness or victim, C.R.S. § 18-8-704, a Class 4 felony.

This version of criminal procedural protections involves the use of a threat or harassment or any act of harm to person or property, against a witness or victim or member of the family of the witness or victim, with the intent to alter testimony or induce the witness or victim not to testify. It becomes “Aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim, C.R.S. § 18-8-705, when the crime of intimidating a witness, involves the use of a deadly weapon or results in any injury or fear as the result of the use of a deadly weapon.

The crime is then enhanced to a Class 3 Felony.

18-8-704. Intimidating a witness or victim

(1) A person commits intimidating a witness or victim if, by use of a threat, act of harassment as defined in section 18-9-111, or act of harm or injury to any person or property directed to or committed upon a witness or a victim to any crime, a person he or she believes has been or is to be called or who would have been called to testify as a witness or a victim, a member of the witness’ family, a member of the victim’s family, a person in close relationship to the witness or victim, a person residing in the same household with the witness or victim, or any person who has reported a crime or who may be called to testify as a witness to or victim of any crime, he or she intentionally attempts to or does:

(a) Influence the witness or victim to testify falsely or unlawfully withhold any testimony; or

(b) Induce the witness or victim to avoid legal process summoning him to testify; or

(c) Induce the witness or victim to absent himself or herself from an official proceeding; or

(d) Inflict such harm or injury prior to such testimony or expected testimony.

(2) Intimidating a witness or victim is a class 4 felony.

Finally The Colorado Retaliation Against A Witness Or Victim – 18-8-706.

Here the threat or act of harassment follows the criminal trial or hearing.

§ 18-8-706. Retaliation against a witness or victim

(1) An individual commits retaliation against a witness or victim if such person uses a threat, act of harassment as defined in section 18-9-111, or act of harm or injury upon any person or property, which action is directed to or committed upon a witness or a victim to any crime, an individual whom the person believes has been or would have been called to testify as a witness or victim, a member of the witness’ family, a member of the victim’s family, an individual in close relationship to the witness or victim, an individual residing in the same household with the witness or victim, as retaliation or retribution against such witness or victim.

(2) Retaliation against a witness or victim is a Class 3 Felony.

Summary – Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases

The primary focus in this article is to educate the potential witness who believes they may be doing “the right thing” for their friend or family member by helping another – such as a friend or family member who is also a witness – to avoid testifying or even going so far as to testify falsely. This is a trap for the unwary.. for by agreeing to this kind of conduct – the Defendant in the original proceeding may go free, but the witness who has accepted the bribe then replaces that person in the Defendant’s chair -now charged with a very serious felony.

Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases

If you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

The reader is admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael will be at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case. H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case

H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer - 30 years experienceABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – please call 720-220-2277.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer. We encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – Colorado Criminal Law – Taking A Bribe To Refuse To Testify As A Witness 18-8-603 – A Pitfall For The Unwary In Domestic Violence Cases.

 

2016 US Supreme Court Case Expands Gun Ban In Colorado Domestic Violence Assault Cases

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

2016 US Supreme Court Case Expands Gun Ban In Colorado Domestic Violence Assault Cases – The loss of a person’s second amendment right to bear arms is critically important to many many people in our country. The United States Supreme Court, in a case called Voisine v. United States, decided on June 27, 2016, dealt another blow to that right in the context of misdemeanor domestic violence convictions.

In this case, the High Court closed a “loophole” in the already restrictive domestic violence based gun control laws by extending the federal prohibition on firearms possession by convicted felons to persons convicted of a lower form of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence.

In a nutshell – the new case adds “reckless assaults” to a list of violent misdemeanors that already includes “knowing or intentional assaults” of domestic violence. After Voisine, a reckless domestic assault qualifies as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.”

The new decision stands for the proposition that, after this case, all that is required to lose the right to bear arms after a misdemeanor domestic violence assault conviction is the “use of physical force” – there is no requirement that the use of violence include an “intentional” act.

After this case, the required element of the “use of force only requires some “volitional action.”

The Mental State Or Mens Rea Requirement To Commit A Crime

Crimes require at least two elements – a mental state (the mens rea) and a volitional act ( the actus reus). A fundamental principle of Criminal Law is that a crime must consists of both a mental and a physical element.

The mens rea of a crime reflects a person’s awareness of the fact that his or her conduct is criminal, it  is the mental element. The actus reus, the act itself, is the physical element.

Here is a list in the order of the most aware to the least aware mental states:

Acting:

Intentionally – or specific intent (premeditated)

Knowingly

Recklessly

Negligently.

Strict Liability (no mental state is necessary in this rare exception to the rule.)

The importance of Voisine is that now a Colorado misdemeanor assault conviction with a mens rea of recklessness will qualify as a misdemeanor crime of violence under § 922(g)(9).

Federal Gun Law – §922(g)(9) – The Lautenberg Amendment Of 1996,

The Lautenberg Amendment is a federal law which prohibits a person who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime from owning a firearm.

USC §922(g)(9) provides (which law prohibits the ownership of guns in relevant part) as follows:

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(1) who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

(2) who is a fugitive from justice;

(3) who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;

(5) who, being an alien—

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or

(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 (a)(26)));

(6) who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship;

(8) who is subject to a court order that—

(9) who has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

A conviction qualifying under this law mandates a federal lifetime ban on gun ownership.

Colorado Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Assaults

Colorado, as is the case in most states – defines misdemeanor assaults based on the model penal code which includes reckless conduct which results in physical violence. Now reckless assaults has been swept into Section 922 (g)(9).

Colorado’s Most Common Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Convictions – § 18-9-111 Harassment and § 18-3-204 Assault in the Third Degree

What follows are the two most common forms of misdemeanor assault type charges in Colorado Domestic Violence cases:

§ 18-9-111 Harassment

(1) A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:

(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or

§ 18-3-204 Assault in the third degree

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

(a) The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence the person causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(b) The person, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be a peace officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, or an emergency medical service provider, causes the other person to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including throwing, tossing, or expelling the fluid or material.

(3) Assault in the third degree is a class 1 misdemeanor and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501(3).

The Supreme Court’s Reasoning In Voisine

Voisine stands for the proposition that, unlike accidental conduct, reckless conduct is not an accident and involves a deliberate decision.

“To commit an assault recklessly is to take that action with a certain state of mind (or mens rea) – in the dominant formulation, to ‘consciously disregard’ a substantial risk that the conduct will cause harm to another.”

The word “use,” in the phrase “use of force” means merely a volitional act whether that act is performed intentional, knowing, or reckless.

Therefore a “person [who] throws a plate in anger against the wall near where his wife is standing,” which can be “reckless” if he “recognized a substantial risk that a shard from the plate would [or more properly, could] ricochet and injure his wife.”

Still Does NOT Reach Or Include Accidental Conduct

Most of the Colorado convictions for domestic-violence offenders are by plea bargain and involve misdemeanors, not felonies. Importantly, when people engage in conduct that could be perceived as violent but the acts of those people in injuring one another are accidental this is NOT the kind of crime that falls within the Voisine decision.

This bears repeating, this new case extends the ban on the possessing weapons to domestic-violence assault misdemeanors ONLY if their acts “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” cause offensive physical contact.

Accidents including what the Model Penal Code might term “negligence” are not encompassed, but a “reckless” use of force – that is, a forceful act “undertaken with awareness of their substantial risk of causing injury” – is criminally condemned precisely because it is “the result of a deliberate decision to endanger others.”

2016 US Supreme Court Case Expands Gun Ban In Colorado Domestic Violence Assault Cases

If you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case.

H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer - 30 years experienceABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – and we encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – 2016 US Supreme Court Case Expands Gun Ban In Colorado Domestic Violence Assault Cases.

 

How To Lift A Colorado Criminal Domestic Violence No Contact Order by Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

How To Lift A Colorado Criminal Domestic Violence No Contact Order by Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

 A Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Lifting the Domestic Violence No Contact Order

by Denver Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Attorney H. Michael Steinberg

Some Questions and Answers About DV No Contact Restraining Orders

Lifting Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Orders
Colorado Domestic Violence Defense

Why Do I Have a Domestic Violence No Contact Order?

In most Colorado criminal domestic violence cases – (there are few exceptions -Denver Municipal Court for example) the judge the judge will place a Domestic Violence No Contact Order in place in connection with a defendant’s release from jail – usually as a condition of bond – even a personal (PR) recognizance bond.

This order is punishable by BOTH contempt of court proceedings and an additional charge – separately brought in a new case – known to defense lawyers as a “VOR” – Violation of Restraining Order.

The Order prohibits any contact with the alleged victim by any means, either direct or indirect (such as through a third party). This is the automatic imposition of a no-contact order in criminal and juvenile cases. No contact orders are imposed at the first advisement (also called erroneously an arraignment) or first court appearance and remain in effect until final case disposition. The order restrains the accused “from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts.”

Sometimes, the Court places the  “No Contact” order between the parties because the victim states that he or she is still in fear of the accused. Sometimes the Court places the order of “No Contact” based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the crimes charged….In every case the” DV tag” – that is the naming of the victim as someone with whom the accused has had an intimate relationship – is the basis for the no contact order under Colorado law.

These orders are often placed even when there has been no direct feedback or specific request from the alleged victim in the case.

What are the Colorado Penalties for Violating the No Contact Order?

As alluded to above – Colorado Judges take a domestic violence No Contact order very seriously. Violating a court order is seen as contempt of court – an affront to the dignity of the court and the Judge’s authority and to the authority of the criminal justice system. If a judge or a DA learn that a “No Contact” order has been violated, it may cause the accused to lose their freedom – their right to be on bond, called a revocation of bail.

A warrant is then issued for their arrest – sometimes accompanied with what is known as a “No Bond Hold.”  This bond status indicates that release from the jail on a bond is impossible. Protective order violations also provide the basis for several other related penalties, such as bail forfeiture; bail, pretrial release, or probation revocation; imposition of supervision; and incarceration.

The Colorado crime of Violation of a Restraining Order reads as follows:

C.R.S. 18-6-803.5 Crime of Violation of a Protection Order – Penalty – Peace Officers’ Duties

(2) (a) Violation of a protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor; except that, if the restrained person has previously been convicted of violating this section or a former version of this section or an analogous municipal ordinance, or if the protection order is issued pursuant to section 18-1-1001, the violation is a class 1 misdemeanor.

(a.5) A second or subsequent violation of a protection order is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501 (3).

Link to Colorado Criminal Penalties Chart

18-6-803.5. Crime of Violation of a Protection Order – Penalty – Peace Officers’ Duties

(3) (a) Whenever a protection order is issued, the protected person shall be provided with a copy of such order. A peace officer shall use every reasonable means to enforce a protection order. (b) A peace officer shall arrest, or, if an arrest would be impractical under the circumstances, seek a warrant for the arrest of a restrained person when the peace officer has information amounting to probable cause that:

(I) The restrained person has violated or attempted to violate any provision of a protection order;

and

(II) The restrained person has been properly served with a copy of the protection order or the restrained person has received actual notice of the existence and substance of such order. (c) In making the probable cause determination described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), a peace officer shall assume that the information received from the registry is accurate. A peace officer shall enforce a valid protection order whether or not there is a record of the protection order in the registry.

(d) The arrest and detention of a restrained person is governed by applicable constitutional and applicable state rules of criminal procedure. The arrested person shall be removed from the scene of the arrest and shall be taken to the peace officer’s station for booking,

Summary

A violation of the “No Contact” order therefore constitutes a new and separate criminal charge of “Violation of a Protection Order.” As a result, the prosecutor can add an additional criminal count to the already pending domestic violence case or more likely – charge the accused in an entirely new case.

How Will They Even Know If I Violate the Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order?

The violation of a Colorado No Contact order can come to the judge’s attention in multiple and varied ways. The most common way is when an alleged victim makes a complaint directly to the victim’s  advocate, the police, the judge, or the DA’s Office – alleging that they were contacted by a defendant who has a “No Contact” order in place as part of a condition of their bond release.

Evidence may consist of text messages, emails, or voice mails from the defendant. Sometimes – unbelievably – alleged victim voluntarily initiates contact with the accused and arranges to meet them. The police are then called!

Another method to trap the accused happens when a family member or friend who disapproves of the relationship can “rat out the couple,” … Thus – even though the defendant and the alleged victim want contact and are communicating amicably with each other by agreement, the defendant – not the alleged victim – is in violation of the Court order and are therefore subject to arrest.

There are obviously a number of ways to find yourself in violation of the Colorado Domestic Violence “No Contact” order which may end in very serious consequences. So how do you get the “No Contact” order lifted … so the couple can communicate and start torepair their relationship.

Lifting a Domestic Violence No Contact Order In Colorado – Under Colorado Law – “Coming Home”

Going Back To Court

Various cities and counties in Colorado have different methods of lifting the no contact order and the reader is directed to contact the DA or prosecutor’s office or the Court itself to learn which procedure applies to your case.   However, if you have retained a Colorado criminal defense lawyer – that lawyer can file a motion on behalf of either the defendant or the victim or both – to have the no contact order rescinded … that is .. removed or lifted!

If you have a no contact order in place in your Colorado domestic violence case, H. Michel Steinberg can go to court on your behalf and request to have the order modified. If the “motion to modify conditions of release” is granted, you will be allowed to once again have lawful contact with the alleged victim.

Getting the order modified is essential in avoiding a subsequent arrest for violating the “no contact” provision.  It may also be viewed as a first step toward reconciliation between the parties.

An Experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Knows How To Take The Proper Steps to Remove the “No Contact” Order

Our law firm will:

(1) Draft and then file in court a motion to modify the conditions of bond and to modify the restraining order.

(2) Schedule a “forthwith” or immediate hearing before the Colorado Court Judge responsible for the case.

The hearing takes place in the county courtroom assigned to the case.

Under Colorado’s Victim Bill of Rights

…. a Notice of the hearing must be sent to the alleged victim in your case. We will attend the hearing with you and request that the Judge modify your original conditions of release to delete the “No Contact” provision.

The Issues For the Hearing To Lift the No Contact Order

Factors that will be taken into consideration during the hearing for granting or denying the motion may include but are not limited to the following:

Has the no-contact order has been violated?

Have there been new law violations?

Has the defendant started Domestic Violence or other Anger Management related therapy?

If the motion comes AFTER sentencing – what was the Defendant’s compliance with sentencing conditions?

What are the status and nature of the criminal charges that are pending?

Does the protected person have a safety plan in place?

Will The Defendant Be Allowed To Move Back Home? – Interim Measures

Sometimes the Judge will take “interim measures” something less than fully lifting the no contact order. In these cases the Judge will consider options that allow contact under limited conditions in cases where domestic violence “risk factors” suggest minimal risk, where the alleged victim has requested contact and where there has been no evidence of coercion or intimidation

Here a Judge may:

• Limit the type of contact e.g. communication could be limited to email, letters or phone calls (subject to recording if possible) or to public places.

• Limit the topics of communication, e.g., discussions about children.

• Prohibit firearms possession.

• Request random drug testing when abuse is indicated.

• Request compliance with drug treatment and/or alcohol treatment programs.

• Or allow contact but exclude defendant from victim’s residence

If the Judge grants the defense lawyer’s motion “in toto” – the order will most likely permit full and unrestricted “lawful” contact. This means that the defendant would be allowed to move back in the residence you previously shared with the other party. It will still require no violation of the so called “standard” restraining order entered in all Colorado criminal cases.

Having My Lawyer Quickly Schedule a “Forthwith” Court Hearing

Our firm contacts the Judge assigned to the domestic violence division and request an expedited hearing be set immediately on the motion for contact. At the motion to lift the no contact order, we will provide the judge with information that supports the motion – such as testimony fromt he alleged victim that addresses the Judge’s concerns for his or her safety and the clear and unavoidable weaknesses in the DA’s case…. if that becomes appropriate.

Is the victim voluntarily appearing in court or are they being pressured by someone to support the motion to modify?

Please call our law firm if you have questions about ..

How To Lift A Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order

H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the First 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior  prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.

In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations.  Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2222.

If you have questions about How To Lift A Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and to provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.

In the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.

 

Who Are You Really Hiring as Your Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer?

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Email The Author hmsteinberg@hotmail.com

Who Are You Really Hiring as Your Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer? – If you retain my law firm – you retain me and only me not a young associate lawyer – not another lawyer with no experience in the area of law that your case requires.

However – a practice that has grown in recent years across Colorado and the United States – is to have a primary partner in a law firm sell the client on the firm – then – when the time comes to actually handle the defense of the case – a second, and sometimes even a third lawyer, actually conducts the defense… leaving the client not only surprised but without a legal leg to stand on in court.

The reason is this – the “name” on the door is NOT necessarily the lawyer you are retaining – (although you might think so)…These firms will never tell you this fact at the time of your retaining of “the firm.”

A recent (2014) Colorado Court of Appeals case provides the backdrop for this short lesson in “let the buyer beware.”

The Facts – The Wrong Lawyer Shows Up

In the case at issue – the defendant waited at the sentencing hearing for the lawyer he had personally hired from the start. This was a high profile lawyer well known in the media. However, the lawyer that actually arrived for the hearing was another associate of the “firm.” The Defendant then asked for a continuance based on his objection to the fact that the wrong lawyer showed up and that the associate from the firm who tried to move forward with the defense case – was not the lawyer the Defendant had hired.

The Defendant could not prove that he hired the “name: lawyer and therefore the judge denied the Defendant’s request for a continuance.

A Violation of The Sixth Amendment Right To Counsel Of Your Choice?

The Defendant argued that the judge’s refusal to grant his request for a continuance violated his Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The judge’s questioning of the Defendant made it obvious to all that it weas not clear just WHO the Defendant had hired… the “name” lawyer – or the “firm.”

One thing was clear however to the judge, and that was – if the Defendant could prove that he had retained only the specific lawyer who failed to appear – only THAT lawyer could represent him in court on that day.

Some Foundational Issues

Did the Defendant hire this lawyer or the firm? The Colorado Court of Appeals held that if the Defendant had not agreed to be represented by anyone else from the firm and that he had not agreed to be represented by anyone other than the one lawyer at the sentencing hearing – then – he was entitled to a continuance of the sentencing hearing to get that lawyer into the courtroom.

Questions Raised By The Court – The Factors:

  • Was there a formal entry of appearance on behalf of the Defendant that established that the firm had entered as the Defendant’s lawyer and not an individual attorney within the firm?
  • If it was the firm – was this a bona fide associate of the firm?
  • Is or was there any evidence that supports the proposition that the Defendant’s belief that he was hiring THIS lawyer, and not all of the firm’s attorneys, was based in fact?

The Sixth Amendment’s Right To Counsel “Of Choice” – The Court’s Analysis Of Law

The Colorado Court Of Appeals reviewed some well established principles of law in this area:

  1. The Sixth Amendment provides that a defendant in a criminal prosecution has the right to the assistance of counsel. U.S. Const. amend. VI. This right exists at a sentencing hearing.
  2. A Defendant who does not request a court appointed lawyer has the right to choose who will represent him in court.
  3. The Sixth amendment (constitutional) right exists to preserve the defendant’s ability to choose a lawyer who he wants and trusts regardless of how effective that lawyer may be.
  4. A violation of a defendant’s right to counsel of choice does not require a showing of prejudice to the Defendant’s case
  5. But a defendant’s right to non-appointed counsel of choice is not absolute.
  6. Instead, a court must balance this right against “the public’s interest in maintaining the integrity of the judicial process,” among other things click here to read.

Further Analysis

The DA Argued that a Defendant’s dissatisfaction with a delegation from a senior lawyer to a junior lawyer is “an attorney-client matter” and not a Sixth Amendment issue and that the retention of an individual attorney necessarily constitutes retention of the attorney’s law firm.

The State argued further that “a defendant has no basis to complain if any attorney from the firm appears on his behalf.”

The Court rejected that argument:

“We recognize that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel of choice is most often implicated when a defendant hires an individual attorney or firm and later seeks to retain a different attorney or firm. However, the scope of the right is not limited to this most common circumstance. The Sixth Amendment right is more broadly described as providing a defendant “a fair opportunity to secure counsel of his own choice.”

“Accordingly, the right is also implicated when a defendant has hired a law firm and then wants to be represented by only a particular attorney within that firm. In both circumstances, the defendant asserts his choice of the specific retained lawyer he wants and trusts to represent him.”

The Brown Factors – Should The Judge Grant A Continuance To Get The Lawyer “Of Choice?”

In another recent case – the Colorado Supreme Court listed 11 factors that courts must consider when determining whether to grant a motion to continue so that a defendant may change attorneys:

Here they are:

1. the defendant’s actions surrounding the request and apparent motive for making the request;

2. the availability of chosen counsel;

3. the length of continuance necessary to accommodate chosen counsel;

4. the potential prejudice of a delay to the prosecution beyond mere inconvenience;

5. the inconvenience to witnesses;

6. the age of the case, both in the judicial system and from the date of the offense;

7. the number of continuances already granted in the case;

8. the timing of the request to continue;

9. the impact of the continuance on the court’s docket;

10. the victim’s position, if the victims’ rights act applies; and

11. any other case-specific factors necessitating or weighing against further delay.

The Brown factors are applied to determine the correct “balance” of the court’s interest in the efficiency and integrity of the judicial process against the defendant’s right to exercise his Sixth Amendment right to change counsel.

Reasoning to the “counsel of choice:” issue – the Court analogized to a lawyer who fails to appear, through no fault of the defendant. Under these circumstances it is clear that the Court must reset the case so that the Defendant may be represented by his chosen retained counsel. It was not clear where, as in this case, another lawyer does appear to handle the case.

Finally the Court of Appeals – in a footnote stated that the case before the court never addressed the issue where there have been “repeated failures to appear by counsel, or a failure to appear in addition to other behavior by the defendant or counsel, which may require the court to exercise its discretion to limit defendant’s counsel of choice.”

The Court’s Decision Under These Facts

If a Defendant can prove that he hired a certain lawyer personally a court must grant a Defendant’s motion to continue – BUT IF the Defendant cannot prove this to the satisfaction of the court – THEN ed the firm, then the court should apply the Brown factors to determine whether it should grant the Defendant’s request for a continuance.

Conclusion – Be Clear and Be Aware

At the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – H. Michael and only H. Michael represents you in and out of court. On that you can rely.


If you found any information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 button below so that others may also find it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at  hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article –Who Are You Really Hiring as Your Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer?-  please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg regularly appears and provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the courts of:

Adams County (Adams County criminal defense lawyer), Arapahoe County (Arapahoe County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Boulder (Boulder County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Broomfield (Broomfield County criminal defense lawyer), City and County of Denver (Denver criminal defense lawyer), Douglas County (Douglas County criminal defense lawyer), El Paso County – Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer), Gilpin County (Gilpin County criminal defense lawyer), Jefferson County (Jefferson County criminal defense lawyer), Larimer County, and Weld County ( Larimer and Weld County criminal defense lawyer,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – Who Are You Really Hiring as Your Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Colorado Domestic Violence Bail Bond Issues – No Difference Between States

 

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence cases in Massachusetts follow the same kind of knee jerk response to high profile cases in Colorado As a result of the conviction for murder of Jared Remy – the son of red Sox player Jerry Remy, ALL defendant’s in Massachusetts’ domestic violence cases will face extreme scrutiny before bail is set in their cases.

In August of 2014 Jared Remy was accused arrested and accused of assaulting his wife – Jennifer Martel. Upon his release without the setting of bail – the worst happened and he returned to beat her to death. Because of Remy’s actions – the DA instituted the kind of bail policies that have been a part of the Colorado domestic violence system for decades.

A More Aggressive Approach To Setting Bail In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases

There is no excuse for Remy’s attack on his wife – but to make every man accused domestic violence pay for Remy’s crime – is just unfair. Each case should turn on the facts of that case.

As a result of Remy’s acts – every domestic abuse case is treated differently from ever other criminal case on the issue of setting bond. Each case is rigorously screened – every police report is reviewed – every prior criminal conviction is reviewed – and a supervisor personally reviews every bail recommendation. All this takes a great deal of time.

Victim/witness advocates will call the alleged victim, and will have local police track them down if they cannot be found Web Site.

High Bails Are Now Set – Alleged Domestic Violence Victims’ Wishes Ignored

The result of one man’s actions has meant extremely high bails, or, in some cases, recommendations of no bail where the DA feels the accused poses a danger. This is true even where the domestic violence evidence is weak and the likelihood of success at trial is small.

Even where the alleged victim herself appears in the courtroom and testifies that they not only do not fear their significant other, they are literally begging the Court to release their significant others to come home, their pleas fall on deaf ears.

In cases where the recommendation is for no bail – the defendant is held without bail for up to three days. Known as “58A dangerousness detention” these defendants are held even where the prosecutor knows his or her chances of winning the case is minimal.

A Judge Speaks Out – DA Lacks Credibility

One judge sees this political grandstanding for what it is. Understanding the evidence was weak in a specific domestic violence case she cautioned the DA at his bail request and made the remarked that the bail request made her take all of the DA’s requests for bail and bail conditions “less serious.”

If Colorado’s Victim’s Rights Law Is To Mean Anything…

If Colorado’s victim’s rights law is to mean anything… it must mean that the wishes of alleged victims will be taken seriously in EVERY case. The fear of these alleged victims in most cases which involve very minor crimes – is not of the accused defendant – it is the loss of the defendant’s employment, the loss of the family home, the loss of their savings to fight the case, the creation of a criminal history that closes many doors for the accused, the loss of contact with the children of the accused and the dozens of collateral impacts on the life of the family as a result of “taking a hard line.”

Remy will spend the rest of his life in prison – fine – but the prison he has created for the thousands of domestic violence defendant’s in Massachusetts should not be his legacy to the state.

Alleged Victims Of Colorado Domestic Violence Entitled To Major Benefits Under State and Federal Law

 

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer Email the Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com

Alleged Victims Of Colorado Domestic Violence Entitled To Major Benefits Under State and Federal Law – The “presumption of guilt” that follows a charge of a crime of domestic violence in Colorado and across the nation is unlike any other criminal charge in the criminal justice system.

Well before any kind of finding of guilt or innocence in these cases, an entire host of laws and services – commonly called “resources” kicks in for the “victims” of alleged domestic violence even before they are formally adjudicated AS VICTIMS.

The system presumes the accused is guilty and the alleged victim is – of course – telling the truth.

In a recent article I located from a group of researches in Canada – I found  what I consider to be the most coherent analysis of what has happened in the area of what I will call “domestic violence law.”

The Feminist Ideology of Domestic Violence And The Laws That Follow It

The view that is responsible for many of the laws protecting alleged victims of domestic violence is so one sided as to call into question the fundamental fairness of the treatment of tens of thousands of men across the country simply accursed of domestic violence.

Here is a LINK to – The Gender Paradigm in Domestic Violence Research and Theory: Part 1—the Conflict of Theory and Data – an important study about this issue the study and some excerpts from it:

Male violence in this country is always attributed to a broader social agenda.

As a result of this perspective, feminists tend to generalize about violent men, about men in general, and to ignore female pathology. As Dobash and Dobash (1979) put it, “Men who assault their wives are actually living up to cultural prescriptions that are cherished in Western society–aggressiveness, male dominance and female subordination–and they are using physical force as a means to enforce that dominance” (p. 24). Bograd (1988) defined feminist researchers as asking the fundamental question “Why do men beat their wives….

Feminists seek to understand why men in general use physical force against their partners and what functions this serves in a given historical context”.

In fact, the data demonstrate that while feminists are accurate in portraying abuse in intimate relationships as rampant, the reality is that most often both parties engage in aggression (Stets & Straus, 1992a, 1992b; Kessler et al., 2001, Nicholls & Dutton, 2001).

Feminism favors strong arrest policies and “intervention” rather than treatment (since treatment implies that society is less to blame) (Pence & Paymar, 1993). It is not clear how men are held individually responsible by feminism when patriarchy is to blame, nor how feminists account for differences in male populations in attitudes and acceptance of violence.

Among The Laws That Give The Alleged Victims of Domestic Violence An Overwhelming Presumption Of Truthfulness.

Alleged Victims of Domestic Violence Are Given Time Off From Work:

Time to testify at trial C.R.S. 24-4.1-303.

Time to seek a protection order, receive medical, mental health, or legal assistance, or secure your home C.R.S. 24-34-402.7.

If you feel you must leave your job because of safety concerns C.R.S. 8-73-108.

Alleged Victims of Domestic Violence Are Freely and Liberally Awarded Various Protection Orders

Mandatory protective order in criminal cases, including no contact orders C.R.S. 18-1-1001

Civil Protection Orders C.R.S. Title 13, Article 14

Employers obtaining protection orders C.R.S. 13-14-104.5 and C.R.S. 13-14-105 (1)(f).

Alleged Victims of Domestic Violence Are Entitled To Unemployment Benefits  

Unemployment benefits resulting from job termination due to domestic violence.) C.R.S. 8-73-108 (4)(r).

Domestic Abuse Discrimination in Health Care

Discrimination against domestic violence victims is prohibited (including by health insurance companies). C.R.S. 10-3-1104.8.

Domestic Violence Falls Under The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OSHA)

Provision of a workplace free from recognized hazards 29 U.S.C. §654 (a)(1).

Required reporting by employers to OSHA regarding family member assault. 29 C.F.R. §1904.5.

Various Laws “Protect” Alleged Victims From “Sexual Harassment”

Acts of violence against men and women may violate state and/or federal anti-discrimination laws. 42 U.S.C. §2000e-3a.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (The ADA) Has Liberal Provisions Protecting Alleged Victims of Domestic Violence

Victims with injuries from domestic violence may fall within the parameters of the ADA. The ADA applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. 42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq.

So Does The Family Medical Leave Act

Requires up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for an employee to deal with own medical matters or those of a spouse, parent, or child’s serious medical condition. This applies to employers with 50 or more employees. 29 U.S.C. §2612 (a)(1).

And Of Course There Is The Ever Present Hand Of The Federal Government – The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

The protections of the VAWA – which was re-authorized 2013.  Click here to view the Complete Act

Alleged Victims Of Colorado Domestic Violence Entitled To Major Benefits Under State and Federal Law

If you found any information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 button below so that others may also find it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael SteinbergEmail The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the topic of this article –Alleged Victims Of Colorado Domestic Violence Entitled To Major Benefits Under State and Federal Law, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving the subject of this article – Alleged Victims Of Colorado Domestic Violence Entitled To Major Benefits Under State and Federal Law.

Aggravated Harassment Law Struck Down

by H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Harassment Criminal Defense Lawyer – Email the Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com 5 mg levitra enough

New York’s Appellate Courts struck a blow for justice yesterday when they struck down a New York Harassment law called “aggravated harassment.” The Court held that speech that is merely annoying or alarming is not illegal – the Court ruled that the law was unconstitutionally vague and over broad on its face.

The law read that it was a felony to communicate with someone “in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.”

In striking down the law – the higher court ruled that “any proscription of pure speech must be sharply limited to words which, by their utterance alone, inflict injury or tend naturally to evoke immediate violence.”

Colorado’s Harassment Law Is Often Charged In Weak Domestic Violence Cases

A common practice during arguments between married or committed individuals is to argue – to shout – to use epithets – to call or text ugly words. These common practices can become fodder for arrests by police officers compelled to decide if they violate Colorado’s Harassment Laws under 18-9-111.

…I have watched as harassment is routinely charged in the weakest, most vague and otherwise unchargeable cases. This charged is routinely called a “kitchen sink” crime like careless driving in the area of traffic cases. It is charged when there just isn’t anything else that you could be charged with. But the truth is this – if harassment is charged as “an act of domestic violence” what follows after the mandatory arrest – can be life changing -restraining orders, domestic violence treatment, probation, and the loss of second amendment rights.

Colorado Harassment Law – 18-9-111

In Colorado, harassment is charged when the police and the DA believe one of the following sections has been violated:

A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:

(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or

(b) In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; or

(c) Follows a person in or about a public place; or

(e) Initiates communication with a person, anonymously or otherwise by telephone, computer, computer network, or computer system in a manner intended to harass or threaten bodily injury or property damage, or makes any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal by telephone, computer, computer network, or computer system that is obscene; or

(f) Makes a telephone call or causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate conversation; or

(g) Makes repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade the privacy of another and interfere in the use and enjoyment of another’s home or private residence or other private property; or

(h) Repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to, another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response.

(1.5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “obscene” means a patently offensive description of ultimate sexual acts or solicitation to commit ultimate sexual acts, whether or not said ultimate sexual acts are normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or excretory functions.

Colorado Domestic Violence Defense – Unveiling The ‘Real Abusers” and the “Real Victims”

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Please Email the Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com

Colorado Domestic Violence Defense – Unveiling The ‘Real Abusers” and the “Real Victims” – All experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers understand that our legal system’s treatment of abuse is absurd. Law enforcement officers called to the scene of alleged domestic violence are poorly trained to fully understand the depth and character of the deep seated psychological problems and issues that underlie even the most outwardly simple acts of domestic violence.

Sometimes things are not as they seem. If you are a patrol officer dispatched to the scene of an alleged act of domestic violence, you may not understand that the “striking person” may NOT the “real abuser” in the relationship.  If a psychologist was with you  (obviously not possible) he or she might tell you that the real abuser is the person that has the real control in the relationship … that person we would call the “psychological abuser.”

The Psychological Abuser

The “psychological abuser” is usually polite, stable, manipulative and non-aggressive outwardly. They are much better at maintaining control in all instances. when the response from the less capable of the two – the “striking abuser” loses control – the “psychological abuser” is in control. .

The outwardly aggressive abuser- the one the police arrest – is made by society and the courts – to believe that since they are the “attacker,” they are the real abuser in the relationship. It is true that the person arrested for domestic violence is usually the person who has lost control over their emotions (usually the man) and may in fact be the attacker outwardly. But – in some cases – the  act of domestic violence – that striking out – may NOT be about control over the other person – on the contrary it may be about frustration – from a lack of or a loss of control.

Domestic Violence “Science” Is Sometimes Simplistic AT Times And May Be Mistaken About Outward Aggression and Abusive Control

When you read the so called “research” about domestic violence research, we are told know that domestic abuse is fundamentally about control. In abusive relationships, violence is supposed to be a manifestation of control. It is used by the aggressor to established and maintain control.

Such a reading is driven by a gender bias against men. The assumption is that the attacker is always the “abuser,” – he is the one who holds greater power and control in the relationship. This is the kind of simplistic analysis that drives the cottage industry of domestic violence therapeutic interventions.

The existing control theory fails to take into account the etiology of the aggressor’s violence.

While it is true that some “abusers” (outward aggressors) strike to regain control…they are not always the “controlling party” in the relationship. While their actions may, on the surface, appear violent, inappropriate and outwardly abusive, their behavioral actions may be reflexive in nature.

Many “outward aggressors” mindlessly seek a level playing field in their intimate relationships. At the core, these individuals remain under the psychological control of their partners and the violence they display is the result of inadequate conflict resolution skills, rather than a pathological addiction to control.

Which Is The Real Abuse – A Slap, A Push, or Constant Mental and Psychological Abuse?

An abusive relationship may have one party as the verbal aggressor while the other is psychologically controlling. Both individuals are abusers and both are victims in their abusive relationship.

A successful approach to any domestic violence prosecution -if the prosecution is truly seeking justice – must act with sensitivity to the complexities in almost all intimate relationships. Labeling the outwardly violence partner as “the abuser” ignores the true dynamics in play here.

Justice Must Be Blind – Domestic Violence “Abuse” Dynamics Are Never Simple

The prosecutions of Colorado domestic violence cases often reveal what turn out to be mutually abusive relationships. Our system of justice must be gender neutral and not simplistic or reductionistic in it’s approach these cases.

Stakeholders in domestic violence cases – the alleged victim – the defendant – eyewitnesses – family members or friends – must all approach any domestic violence criminal case with honesty and sincerity if our system of justice is ever to truly bring an end to the huge numbers of these cases crushing our courthouses in Colorado and across the country.

Colorado Domestic Violence Gun Ban Law Under Federal Law Strengthened By New Case

Colorado Domestic Violence Gun Ban Law

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer – Attorney

Colorado Domestic Violence Gun Ban Law

Colorado Domestic Violence Gun Ban Law

Colorado Domestic Violence Gun Ban Law Under Federal Law Strengthened By New Case – A San Diego man, Daniel Chovan, was angry that a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction from 1996 deprived him of his second amendment right to bear arms.  He filed suit in the ninth circuit federal court challenging the constitutionality of a federal law making it illegal for a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence to ever bear arms under the second amendment again for life.

The law in question and under constitutional attack was (and still is) United States Code 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9). The federal law, passed by Congress in 1996 to “combat” domestic gun violence has resulted in millions of citizens losing their right to bear arms.

United States Code 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)

Under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes are barredfrom possessing any firearm for life. Section 922(g)(9) establishes two exceptions under which the statute will no longer apply:

(1) “if the conviction has been expunged or set aside”;

or

(2) if the offender “has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the applicable jurisdiction provides for the loss of civil rights under such an offense).” 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33)(B)(ii).

History of United States Code 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9)

Originally passed to bar gun possession ONLY by those convicted of violent felonies, the law was amended and extended in 1996 to cover misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence.

Unlike Colorado, which has no method to seal – expunge a misdemeanor state conviction for a domestic violence “tagged” crime, Californians can get their convictions erased after they have completed their sentences AND persuaded the courts that they have “lived an honest and upright life” for a sufficient period of time.

The Facts of Chovan Are Simple and Familiar

The federal domestic violence gun ban was challenged by a San Diego man, Daniel Chovan, who was convicted in 1996 of assaulting his girlfriend in their mutual home. After more than a decade he attempted to buy a gun and was denied the right. Later, a new dv “complaint” was filed against him, the police went to investigate and they found several guns which they seized from his home.  He appealed.

Another case, decided in a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, held that “law-abiding, responsible citizens” have a constitutional right to possess and use guns in the home for self-defense. In that case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects a responsible, law-abiding citizen’s right to possess an operable handgun in the home for self-defense.

The Holding Of Chovan And The Damage It Has Done To Second (2d) Amendment Rights

In a lengthy and complex decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held, post Heller, that even a one-time perpetrator of domestic violence may no longer be considered the type of “law-abiding, responsible citizen” entitled to possess guns, based on evidence presented by the government.

The Court relied on “studies” showing that those who are considered “domestic abusers” have high rates of re-offending and often use firearms when committing their crimes and that if an invidual has been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence assault, he or she is” likely to commit acts of domestic violence again and that, if they do so with a gun, the risk of death to the victim is significantly increased.’

A Colorado Criminal Lawyer’s View – H. Michael’s Take

Criminal attorneys in Denver, Colorado, have been criticizing the decision. This criminal lawyer in Denver believes that a federal lifetime ban on gun ownership for domestic violence misdemeanants violates the Second Amendment and that the Chovan court’s decision flies in the face of the Heller decision.

It is well known to experienced criminal attorney’s in Colorado and across the nation that when estranged wives and girlfriends call the police alleging threats of domestic violence- they are many tines false and motivated solely for reasons of vindictiveness.

Section 922(g)(9) was passed with good intentions… that guns were be kept away from domestic abusers, but the Court’s holding that the government interest extending the law to lifetime convictions – (and ignoring Heller). thus denying the right to prove an individual convicted of domestic violence can change and attain rehabilitation, is just wrong.

The important government interest of preventing domestic gun violence is not served by denying good citizens the right to bear arms, in Chovan’s case, more than 15 years after a misdemeanor conviction for dv.

The Restoration Of Gun Rights And Colorado Domestic Violence Cases

As noted above, Colorado does not have a method to restore gun rights in domestic violence convictions unless the conviction was for a municipal code domestic violence conviction.

The civil rights restoration exception under § 922(g)(9) provides legal mechanisms for which both misdemeanants and felons can qualify for restoration of their gun rights. These include pardon, expungement, and the setting aside of convictions.” In California, not Colorado, there exists a state based restoration process of civil rights that meets the requirements of the federal ban under 922(g)(9) and that process has been upheld by the Supreme Court as constitutional

In short, the fastest way to restore gun rights under federal law – would be to enact legislation in Colorado to give Colorado citizens the right to try to seal – expunge domestic violence and all other misdemeanor and felony convictions for that matter through a procedure that places in the hands of competent and elected officials the right to reverse and seal ALL misdemeanor and felony convictions more than 10 years old. Contrary to the Chovan court.

What Women Want – Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed In Favor Of Evaluation And Fair Treatment Modalities

Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer – Attorney

Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed
Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed

Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed  – Experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers who practice in the courts of Colorado are only too well aware of the problems that have arisen out of the “one size fits all” approach of Colorado Domestic Violence Laws.

When a woman (or a man – in the minority of cases) has been the alleged victim of an assault or some form of harassment, they will call the police for help. What they receive, because of a lack of education, is not help – but the destruction of their family or their relationships.

Mandatory Arrest Laws Make No Sense

Restoring the discretion of the police to separate serious acts of domestic violence from the spat that often accompanies difficult marriages or relationships, is what the police used to do when I first started as a young Colorado county prosecutor in the early1980s, Colorado domestic violence cases were treated no differently than all other misdemeanor and felony prosecutions.

What a married couple or anyone in a long term relationship well knows – the police are most often called to “settle” threats to: abscond with the children – resolve accusations of infidelity, mediate issues related to financial pressures and the resulting frustration.

But when the police or other authorities are called to break up the typical “family fight” in Colorado  – “someone is going to jail” and the alleged assailant is mindlessly arrested on an what is typically an assault or harassment charge.

No Room For “Making Up”

Every case today requires an arrest and a “no bond” hold until a judge can enter a restraining order in open court – even if the victim wants to drop the charges. For the last twenty plus years couples in Colorado are given no opportunity to just cool off and  “make up” without the impact of an immediate and mandatory arrest. Later, the alleged victims are forcefully “counseled” by both the police or the DA “victim” advocate – to obtain permanent civil restraining orders that prevent all future contact. This makes no sense.

Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed – Mandatory Arrest And Prosecution – Destroys Relationships – Mediation Is Key

One of the chief rationales for mandatory arrests and no contact restraining orders  – is that these procedures “take the burden off” victims. The idea is”pro-prosecution” approaches  “remove responsibility” from the alleged victims for the decision to move forward. The truth is – by taking ALL control away from women in the criminal justice system, women then suffer the social or economic consequences of the impact of jail on their significant other and the ultimate destruction of the fabric of the entire social lives with little to show for it.

A judge in one of New York’s largest counties put it best:What these women want most is for their men to get help with their problems.”

That help, in my opinion after 30 years in Colorado courts on BOTH sides of the issue as a prosecutor and as a defense lawyer  –  is mediation and counseling, not prosecution.

What Ultimately Happens To The “Victims” – ‘Coerced Prosecution’

Forcing a woman victim of a relatively minor domestic violence “argument” into a “coerced prosecution” makes her a hostile witness. It also doubles the sheer number of cases of domestic violence that cannot be resolved without a trial. It is a meat hook approach to a delicate set of issues.

The Danger Of “Unintended Consequences”

Often what started as a small disagreement in a strained relationship – with some mutual pushing and shoving – following the impact of the Colorado domestic violence machine – leads to enhanced violence when the process has finally ended. When mostly men – humiliated and harassed by an unthinking and unfeeling system are finally released from jail – a major study of domestic violence finds them much angrier and less in control of their emotions than before the arrest…leading of course to either the destruction of their family or relationship – or further disharmony and violence.

Many studies have shown that the loss of employment – often the result of the mandatory jail sentence in these “fast tracked” cases, leads to significantly MORE violence later in time and calls into question the “wisdom” among criminologists, that arresting the alleged abusers is really the best way to protect women from future disputes with their significant others.

The evidence forces us to confront the fact that mandatory arrests in domestic violence cases may cause more violence against women in the long run,” said Lawrence W. Sherman, a criminologist at the University of Maryland

“In communities with high unemployment, the net effect of an arrest policy is more violence,”

Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed – H. Michael’s Take

Taking away police discretion and flexibility – while politically attractive in Colorado – is a mistake. The police are on the scene and the have the best vantage point to”make the call” give them back their right to decide when to “cool off” the parties and when an arrest and prosecution is really necessary.. trust their judgement as we do in all other spheres of criminal investigation and prosecution. Why Colorado Domestic Cases Should Be Dismissed – because other avenues of mediation and treatment “heal” not destroy families and relationships.

When Police Officers Lie About Domestic Violence – False Allegations in Colorado Springs

By Denver Colorado Domestic Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg

When alleged domestic violence victims lie to obtain revenge on a former boyfriend that is a tragedy of enormous proportions. When that person – the alleged domestic violence victim – is a police officer using her office to persuade authorities that her boyfriend attacked her – that is a felony deserving of prison.

Domestic Violence - False Allegations

Domestic Violence – False Allegations

As a result of the lies of Colorado Springs police officer Sydney Huffman’s against her former boyfriend Jarrott Martinez – Martinez would sustain more than six months in jail, two jury trials ending in two acquittals and the loss of his job as a Manitou Springs police officer.

The Facts – False Allegations in Colorado Springs

In June of 2010 – Huffman told the police that Martinez – while driving – caught up to her in her vehicle, drove her off the road and then attacked and choked her. In the absence of excellent criminal defense work – which proactive investigation proved that that was a lie – this case may have ended very differently for Martinez.

Surveillance video located as a result of further investigation – proved that Martinez was at a local mall at the time of the alleged assault.

As a result of a plea agreement – Judge Larry Schwartz sentenced Huffman to 90 days of house arrest, 200 hours of community service and four-years of supervised probation. He also ordered  a mental health evaluation

Huffman was originally charged with six counts of attempting to influence a public official –18-8-306 – as a result of lying to the police in multiple attempts to obtain arrestwarrants against Martinez. The plea deal was for a guilty plea to only one count.

Under Colorado Law the crime of a attempting to influence a public official 18-8-306 is a class 4 felony punishable by two to six years in prison.

A Civil Settlement For Damages

As a result of almost two years of litigation – the City of Colorado Springs agreed to pay $480,000 to Martinez for the city’s role in the prosecution of this case.

Two Different Trials – Not Guilty Verdicts

Even after Mr. Martinez was acquitted of domestic violence charges by Huffman’s – the police sought yet another arrest warrant based on new allegations that he sexually assaulted her. These new charges were later dropped by prosecutors and a third trial was averted.

An Unbelievable Last Attempt To Withdraw From The Plea Agreement

Just before she was sentenced – Huffman tried to withdraw from her plea agreement claiming she pled guilty because she learned she was pregnant and could not go to trial. Another lie – the prosecutor had agreed to delay the trial until after Huffman had given birth.

As you might expect – Huffman, it was reported, showed no emotion in court on the day she pled guilty.

Domestic Violence – False Allegations – H. Michael’s Take

This case examines the disastrous consequences of false allegations in a Colorado domestic violence case and the result of a system that always sides with the alleged victim in the case and does not carefully scrutinize her credibility as would be the case in almost every other Colorado criminal charge.

New Push In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases To Obtain Permanent Restraining Orders – Take These Orders Very Seriously

By Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg

The impact of a domestic violence restraining order cannot be understated – this article attempts to educate you – the Colorado citizen – on the issues pressing on the target of such an order

False allegations of domestic violence are common in divorce, legal separation and child custody cases. The strategy of seeking a permanent restraining order is so commonplace today – it is almost expected as standard warfare.

New Push In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases To Obtain Permanent Restraining <a style=alcoholism Orders – Take These Orders Very Seriously” width=”150″ height=”150″ />The Consequences of A Colorado Based Allegation Of  Domestic Violence Are Widespread

False allegations of domestic have BOTH civil and criminal consequences.

The violation of so called  “Protective Orders” in criminal cases often involve incarceration or heavy fines, “no contact” orders entered which may force the alleged perpetrator to vacate the family residence and to have “no contact” with their children.

In Divorce – Dissolution – Child Custody Cases – the “civil” context consequences can be:

  1. A “Presumption” for Custody – If an act of domestic abuse has occurred, the perpetrator may  not win physical placement or physical custody.
  2. There May NOT Be A Mediation of Disputes –  In the context of such allegations – mediation is often suspended and family law disputes are taken out of the civil system.
  3. No Contact Orders – If an act of domestic abuse has been found have occurred, a Judge will enter a civil restraining order prohibiting the target of the order from contacting the alleged victim directly or indirectly, whether through letters, e-mail, phone calls or messages through third parties. In Colorado – a violation of those restraining provisions, irrespective of who initiated the contact is a criminal violation known as a Violation Of A Protective Order (VPO) which can result in jail.
  4. Eviction From The Family Home – The no contact provisions of a domestic abuse restraining order, will evict the target of the order from the family residence. A “civil assist” may be allowed for the target of the order to have the supervised removal of some personal belongings.
  5. Parenting Time Restrictions – A Colorado domestic abuse restraining order will restrict the target’s contact with his own children. This results in limited or the completed cessation of parenting time or it may compel humiliating “supervised” parenting time.
  6. Anger Management Classes May Be Ordered – A Divorce Court may require the target of a permanent restraining order to take anger management classes or other kinds of therapies as a condition of “normalizing contact” with his or her own children.
  7. A Restriction of Civil Liberties Such As Gun – Second Amendment Rights  – The entry of a domestic violence based permanent restraining order is precluded from owning or possessing a firearm for any purpose.

As you can ee – if false allegations of Colorado domestic violence are made, the stakes are very high but getting a permanent restraining order – has never been easier.

Closely Examining And Understanding The Colorado Permanent Restraining Order Process

Although the stakes are high – the actual burden on proving the case in court  – that is – the low burden of proof necessary for obtaining a civil restraining order involving allegations of domestic abuse and the fast track methods used to obtain the order itself -are a scandal in Colorado.

The Low Burden Of Proof For Winning A Permanent Restraining Order

The person seeking a Colorado Permanent Restraining Order need only prove their claim by  a “preponderance of the evidence.” A “preponderance” means that the petitioner must ONLY PROVE that it is “more likely than not” that the type of abuse alleged occurred.

This is the lowest legal standard of proof in the court system.

Judges will often will issue a permanent restraining order very weak and questionable evidence. They will err on the side of caution because of the fear of unwanted attention to their decision should actual violence follow a decision NOT to issue the order.

No Time To Prepare For The Final – Permanent – Restraining Order Hearing

After the temporary restraining order is issued and served – the permanent restraining order hearing is set within 14 days. There is little or no time to prepare. This is true especially for someone who has never been in court. Crowded court dockets require inexperienced respondents to these hearings little time to prepare a solid and just response to false allegations of abuse.

Unfair Limits On The Court Time Allowed To Conduct The Permanent Restraining Order Hearing

Even when the hearing is held, the judge – often with a dozen hearings to conduct – will limit the introduction of testimony and the evidence to help fit all of the pending cases into the Judge’s  busy court schedule. The legal ramifications of the entry of this permanent order may be a lifetime of complications – but the time afforded the defense of false allegations is often less than an hour or two to present the case and since the defendant presents his case after the petitioner presents her case – the time nay be limited even more so.

The Ex Parte Process Imposing A Temporary Order On Little To No Evidence

In Colorado – the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order – is ex-parte.. that means only the person seeking the temporary restraining order is present in court.

The ex parte restraining order is usually entered with the assistance of a so called “battered woman’s shelter advocate.” Although ex parte relief is supposed to be emergency relief  – the allegations made in court are often gross exaggerations or even outright lies. They are singularly one sided without and without testing or rebuttal by the person who is the accused.

As a result of this one sided submission, most judges issue a temporary restraining order that wreaks havoc on the target’s life. It removes him from the family home, ends contact with his children, and compels the setting of a permanent order or final order hearing in two weeks time.

Your Options At The Final – Permanent Restraining Orders Hearing – What The Judge Will Ask You

At the “return hearing,” the judge will call the case – advise you of the issues to be decided and give you the following options:

(1) Agree to the Restraining Order but with no factual findings that abuse has occurred or

(2) Proceed to final – contested evidentiary hearing to defend against the allegations in the temporary order.

Remember:

(1) In Colorado – unlike many other states – a permanent restraining order is just that – PERMANENT – unless it is later modified by a subsequent court order – and that is VERY difficult.

(2) ANY violation of the restraining order results in a new criminal charges for domestic violence no matter how insignificant the violation. That means mandatory arrest, no bond holds, and can be used in divorce court in later civil proceedings. 

If You Can Afford One – Get A Lawyer Experienced In Defending These Cases

Yes it is expensive but so is the impact on your life if you lose. If you cannot afford a good lawyer then contest the allegations in court and present an aggressive defense. Anyone can be the victim of false allegations of domestic violence in Colorado.

The weak laws defining what abuse is – it is what the judge says it is – and the low burden of proof at the hearings and standards of proof set out in Colorado law – place the target of the restraining order at a considerable disadvantage.  You must be “aggressively proactive” in fighting the charges – do NOT give up and concede defeat.

Denver Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author  hmichaelsteinberg@hmichaelsteinberg.com or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-227-7777.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

2013 Colorado State Law Impacts Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence And Other Colorado Cases – CRS § 16-7-301

Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence and Other Colorado Cases

By Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg

Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence and Other Colorado Cases has occurred for decades.. A little known statute – CRS § 16-7-301 – provided not only the opportunity – but the obligation – of Colorado District Attorneys to plea bargain directly with defenseless and confused unrepresented persons just arrested and most of the time held overnight.

 Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence And Other Colorado Cases

Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence And Other Colorado Cases

These individuals have been denied the right to have lawyers present when they are making some of the most important decisions of their lives. The new law – Colorado House Bill 13-1210 – stops this unfair practice. It is effective on January 1, 2014.

The United States Supreme Court Sends A Message To The State Of Colorado – “Stop This Practice”

House Bill 13-1210 makes Colorado criminal law consistent with recent U.S. supreme court decisions (Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, (U.S. 2012)). These decisions have reinforced the 6th Amendment right to counsel during the critical stages of plea bargaining. The new law repeals subsection 4 of CRS § 16-7-301 and provides the right for a person charged with a misdemeanor, petty offense, or motor vehicle or traffic offense to obtain counsel before plea bargaining with the prosecuting attorney.

Remember the Sixth Amendment provides that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to . . . the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Three distinct threshold limitations must be satisfied for the right to a lawyer under the Sixth Amendment:

First, the right to counsel must have attached;

Second, the stage during which the alleged harm to the defendant occurred must be deemed a “critical” stage;

and

Third, the defendant must able to be sentenced to actual incarceration following his trial or plea.

The OLD Colorado Plea Bargaining Law – Unfairness And Unjust Unequal Negotiations

The old law – to be changed in January of 2014 – provided that an initial appearance under Colorado Rule 5 was insufficient to trigger the attachment of the right to counsel. During the initial appearance in Colorado, referred to as a Rule 5 Advisement – (“the Crim. P. 5 proceeding,”) – the defendant is advised of the nature of the charges against him. These rights, including the right to counsel, to a jury, and the right against self-incrimination—and the terms of his bail, if he is bailable, are set at that time.

Under the Old Law – for misdemeanors, petty offenses, or offenses under title 42, C.R.S. [traffic offenses], the prosecuting attorney is obligated to tell the unrepresented defendant any plea offer at the first appearance in court that is based on the facts as known by the prosecuting attorney at that time.

These plea discussions are actually required to occur before the appointment of a lawyer.

The law states that:

“[t]he application for appointment of counsel and the payment of the application fee shall be deferred until after the prosecuting attorney has spoken with the defendant” about potential plea offers.

Here’s the trick that had thousands to plead guilty before consulting a lawyer.

The person detained in jail is led to believe that his immediate release will be based on a guilty plea – and – if he or she – asserts his or her right to counsel, the prosecutor informs that person that – if they cannot post bail – ( sometimes this is NOT explained by the DA) – they may have to remain incarcerated until the second appearance. Many defendants cannot stand another night in jail. Colorado’s system of requiring misdemeanor defendants to talk with prosecutors about possible plea options before the appointment of counsel is wrong at many levels.

Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence and Other Colorado Cases – The Procedure – An Example In The Denver County Courts

1. The First Advisement

In Denver’s county courts – the plea bargaining process starts with the accused viewing a standardized set of recorded warnings. All defendants watch a video advisement, listen to an audio advisement, or read a written advisement of their rights before speaking to the district attorney.

The advisement contains an explanation of the initial appearance and provides an overview of the individual constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to counsel, to which each defendant is entitled. These other rights as described in the advisement include the right to bail, the right to a jury trial, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to remain silent.

2, The Meeting With The DA

Following the advisement, and before the judge comes out to conduct the hearing, a district attorney speaks directly with each defendant in the manner that is presently (again to be changed on Jan 1 2014) required by CRS § 16-7-301.

The plea offer occurs just before the judge comes out and is told to the defendant in the courtroom in the immediate minutes immediately prior the formal advisement an arraignment on the complaint.

3. If The Plea Bargain Is Accepted

If the unrepresented defendant accepts the plea offer – the defendant is given a written advisement of their constitutional rights known as the “Rule 11” advisement form. This form explains the enumerated constitutional and statutory rights the defendant waives by pleading guilty as well as the possible penalties for the criminal conviction agreed to.

After the defendant signs the “Rule 11 form,” the district attorney informs the court of the proposed plea bargain which includes the agreed upon penalty, and then the form is given to the judge.

The judge then gives an oral advisement of the same Rule 11 rights and makes the ironic finding on the record that the defendant’s plea was entered knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently; and that there is a factual basis, or valid waiver of the establishment of a factual basis, for the plea.

The NEW Colorado Plea Bargaining Law – Welcome Changes To The Unfairness Of The OLD Colorado Plea Bargaining Law

New Constitutional Cases decided this year – 2013 – have held that “the right to counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment applies at the first appearance before a judicial officer at which a defendant is told of the formal accusation against him and restrictions are imposed on his liberty.”

The initial appearance of the defendant, where the defendant is informed of the “formal accusation” against him, triggers the attachment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

The OLD Colorado law does not provide for the appointment of counsel at the defendant’s first appearance even in cases where the defendant has a right to counsel.

These new cases held – what we – in the criminal justice know only too well – “[p]lea bargaining is [a] critical stage, not only because it is ‘an essential component of the administration of justice,’ but also because ninety-five percent of convictions end in plea bargains.”

The NEW Law Strikes The Language (Section 4) In The OLD Statute (CRS § 16-7-301) That Permitted the Unjust Procedure Outlined Above

The striking of the language of Section 4 of CRS § 16-7-301 means – in Colorado – that the Sixth Amendment now applies to the critical stage of any criminal case – the process of evaluating a plea offer AND therefore – the appointment and presence of counsel are constitutionally required. The entire plea bargaining process is a critical stage to which the full protections of the Sixth Amendment apply.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy writes that the “Criminal justice today is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials,”wrote for the majority. “The right to adequate assistance of counsel cannot be defined or enforced without taking account of the central role plea bargaining takes in securing convictions and determining sentences.”

Some 97 percent of convictions in federal courts were the result of guilty pleas. In 2006, the last year for which data was available, the corresponding percentage in state courts was even higher.

“In today’s criminal justice system the negotiation of a plea bargain, rather than the unfolding of a trial, is almost always the critical point for a defendant.”

§ 16-7-301. [Effective 1/1/2014] Propriety of plea discussions and plea agreements

(1) Where it appears that the effective administration of criminal justice will thereby be served, the district attorney may engage in plea discussions for the purpose of reaching a plea agreement. The district attorney should engage in plea discussions or reach plea agreements with the defendant only through or in the presence of defense counsel except where the defendant is not eligible for appointment of counsel because the defendant is not indigent or the charged offense does not include a possible sentence of incarcerationor because the defendant refuses appointment of counsel and has not retained counsel.

(2) The district attorney may agree to one or more of the following, depending upon the circumstances of the individual case: (a) To make or not to oppose favorable recommendations concerning the sentence to be imposed if the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest);

(b) To seek or not to oppose the dismissal of an offense charged if the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to another offense reasonably related to the defendant’s conduct;

(c) To seek or not to oppose the dismissal of other charges or not to prosecute other potential charges against the defendant if the defendant enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (no contest);

(d) To consent to diversion, as provided in section 18-1.3-101, C.R.S.;

(e) To consent to deferred sentencing, as provided in section 18-1.3-102, C.R.S.

(3) Defendants whose situations are similar should be afforded similar opportunities for plea agreement.

(4) [Repealed by 2013 amendment.]

(5) Any plea agreement in a case involving a plea to a violation of article 18 of title 18, C.R.S., may not require a waiver by the defendant of the right to petition to have the defendant’s criminal conviction records sealed pursuant to part 3 of article 72 of title 24, C.R.S.

The Law (That Will Be) Stricken As Of January 2014:

(4) (a) In misdemeanors, petty offenses, or offenses under title 42, C.R.S., the prosecuting attorney is obligated to tell the defendant any offer that can be made based on the facts as known by the prosecuting attorney at that time. The defendant and the prosecuting attorney may engage in further plea discussions about the case, but the defendant is under no obligation to talk to the prosecuting attorney. The prosecuting attorney shall advise the defendant that the defendant has the right to retain counsel or seek appointment of counsel. The application for appointment of counsel and the payment of the application fee shall be deferred until after the prosecuting attorney has spoken with the defendant as provided in this subsection (4). Upon completion of the discussions, the prosecutor shall inform the court of whether a plea agreement has been reached, and:

(I) If a plea agreement has been reached, the prosecutor shall inform the court of the terms of the proposed plea agreement and the recommended penalty. If the court determines that the proposed plea agreement is acceptable, the court shall, in addition to any other advisement required by law, advise the defendant of the right to a court-appointed attorney prior to acceptance of the defendant’s plea. The court shall also advise the defendant prior to acceptance of the defendant’s plea that the court exercises independent judgment in deciding whether to grant charge and sentence concessions made in the plea agreement and that the court may therefore sentence the defendant in a manner that is different than that discussed during the plea discussions.

(II) If a plea agreement has not been reached and the defendant chooses to retain an attorney, or the defendant meets the requirements of section 21-1-103, C.R.S vytorin 10 20., the court shall appoint counsel and all discussions with the defendant outside of the presence of counsel shall cease.

(b) After completion of discussions as described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (4), if counsel is retained by the defendant, or if counsel is appointed for the defendant, when it appears that the effective administration of justice will thereby be served, the prosecutor may engage in additional plea discussions with the counsel for the defense for the purpose of reaching a plea agreement.

Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence and Other Colorado Cases

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Contact A Denver, Colorado Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyer on the issue of Unfair Plea Bargaining By Prosecutors In Misdemeanor Domestic Violence and Other Colorado Cases.

Colorado’s Stalking Law – New Case Explores One Sentence For Alleged Multiple Acts

Colorado’s Stalking Law

By Colorado Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Attorney – for the defense of Stalking – Harassment Cases – H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado Stalking – Harassment Lawyer, C.R.S. 18-3-602 fo Felony Charges

Colorado’s Stalking Law presents as one of the most complex felonies alleging domestic violence in the state. The law itself is vague – confusing – and difficult to understand. However a 2010 Colorado Court of Appeals case People v. Demetrius Herron – not only clarifies the law – but carefully analyzes when and how an individual comes under this ambiguous law.

The Herron case held that a prosecutor could not “trump up” a single alleged crime of stalking into multiple convictions ending with multiple punishments and therefore enhanced sentencing.

Colorado’s Stalking Law
Colorado’s Stalking Law

Colorado’s Stalking laws fit into basically two categories:

Credible Threat Stalking – § 18-3-602 (1)( a )

and

Emotional Distress Stalking, § 18-3-602 (1)( c )

The issue in the case People v. Herron was whether the DA – could seek to “split” an individual charged with Stalking into multiple convictions with multiple punishments if convicted. The Colorado Court of Appeals said no.

The Stalking Law  in Colorado – And The Law Against Multiplicity of Punishments

Multiplicity is “the charging of multiple counts and the imposition of multiple punishments for the same criminal conduct.” In Colorado – unless the criminal law in question is expressly authorized by the General Assembly to permit multiple punishments, then multiplicitous convictions violate the Double Jeopardy Clauses of the United States and Colorado Constitutions. U.S. Const. amend. V; Colo. Const. art. II, § 18;

Therefore – when the issue in Herron reached the court of appeals – the court’s analysis in addressing a multiplicity challenge was to analyze the origins of the Colorado Stalking Law and determine whether the General Assembly’s definition of the crime charged encompasses a continuous course of conduct and to further determine whether the allowable “unit of prosecution” permitted multiple punishments.

Specifically the court looked at “the manner in which a criminal statute permits a defendant’s conduct to be divided into discrete acts for purposes of prosecuting multiple offenses.”

Stalking Is ONE Act – One Continuous Course Of Conduct

In scrutinizing the law to determine the “unit of prosecution,” the Court looked at how the law was designed.

Here Is Colorado’s Stalking Law (2013 Version) Also Known As Vonnie’s Law – With Bracketed Comments

§18-3-602. Stalking – penalty – definitions – Vonnie’s law

(1) A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another person, the person knowingly:

[The Law Outlines Three Basic Ways To Commit The Crime]

(a) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or

(b) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or

(c) Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this paragraph (c), a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.

(2) For the purposes of this part 6:

[These are the important definitions that help explain the Stalking law]

(a) Conduct in connection with” a credible threat means acts that further, advance, promote, or have a continuity of purpose, and may occur before, during, or after the credible threat.

(b) “Credible threat” means a threat, physical action, or repeated conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for the person’s safety or the safety of his or her immediate family or of someone with whom the person has or has had a continuing relationship. The threat need not be directly expressed if the totality of the conduct would cause a reasonable person such fear.

(c) “Immediate family” includes the person’s spouse and the person’s parent, grandparent, sibling, or child.

(d) “Repeated” or “repeatedly” means on more than one occasion.

(3) A person who commits stalking:

(a) Commits a class 5 felony for a first offense except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of this section; or

(b) Commits a class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense, if the offense occurs within seven years after the date of a prior offense for which the person was convicted.

(4) Stalking is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified presumptive sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-401(10).

[New – Section – Enhanced Sentencing If A Restraining Order Is In Place]

(5) If, at the time of the offense, there was a temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole or any other court order in effect against the person, prohibiting the behavior described in this section, the person commits a class 4 felony.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or diminish the inherent authority of the court to enforce its orders through civil or criminal contempt proceedings; however, before a criminal contempt proceeding is heard before the court, notice of the proceedings shall be provided to the district attorney for the judicial district of the court where the proceedings are to be heard and the district attorney for the judicial district in which the alleged act of criminal contempt occurred. The district attorney for either district shall be allowed to appear and argue for the imposition of contempt sanctions.

(7) A peace officer shall have a duty to respond as soon as reasonably possible to a report of stalking and to cooperate with the alleged victim in investigating the report.

(8) (a) When a person is arrested for an alleged violation of this section, the fixing of bail for the crime of stalking shall be done in accordance with section 16-4-103(2) (d), C.R.S., and a protection order shall issue in accordance with section 18-1-1001(5).

(b) This subsection (8) shall be known and may be cited as “Vonnie’s law“.

(9) When a violation under this section is committed in connection with a violation of a court order, including but not limited to any protection order or any order that sets forth the conditions of a bond, any sentences imposed pursuant to this section and pursuant to section 18-6-803.5 or any sentence imposed in a contempt proceeding for violation of the court order shall be served consecutively and not concurrently.

“Stalking” Cannot Be Separated Into More Than One “Unit” Of Continuous Conduct – One Crime

The Herron Court held that:

“We conclude from the plain words of the statute that the legislatively defined unit of prosecution for the crime of stalking is a continuous course of conduct by which one repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places another under surveillance. “

It is a “single crime for which the General Assembly has not authorized multiple punishments.”

The Court made it clear that acts constituting stalking, such as following, approaching, contacting, or placing another under surveillance, have to be performed “repeatedly.” To be convicted of a second stalking offense, a defendant must complete a separate transaction that is factually distinct from the first, on at least two more occasions.

One Last Point – The Defendant Need Not “Know” That His – Her Actions Caused The Alleged Victim to Suffer Serious Emotional Distress

Juries decide whether the emotional distress was caused by the accused and whether the “serious emotional distress” meets the objective “reasonable person” standard to measure whether the emotional distress inflicted upon the victim was actually “serious” or just annoying.

The mental state almost always applies to all of the “elements” of a crime unless the legislative intent is to limit its application. The Colorado State General Assembly has stated that since a stalker may be oblivious to reality of the emotional distress he or she is causing,….”it would be absurd to allow a defendant so out-of-touch with reality to avoid criminal prosecution.”

Therefore – the mental state for this crime is “knowingly” but this mental state does not apply to the element that the alleged stalker be aware that his or her conduct would cause serious emotional distress to a reasonable person.

WARNING – If You Are Under Investigation For Felony Stalking In Colorado

Stalking in Colorado is a felony – the impact of a felony on one’s life can not be understated. The crime itself is difficult for the prosecution to prove because of the very ambiguous nature of the offense. Local police which try – then – in the guise of conducting their investigation – to obtain admissions on the part of the “target” – you – that place you in certain locations – making certain phone calls – sending certain texts.. Our advice – exercise your Miranda rights – remain silent – and call an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer as soon as practicable.

Please call our law firm if you have questions about ..

Colorado’s Stalking Law

H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the first 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.

In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the criminal trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations. Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2277.

If you have questions about Colorado’s Stalking Laws in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and will also provide quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado with adult and juvenile criminal matters as regards ..Colorado’s Stalking Law.

Colorado Domestic Violence Lawyer