Fort Collins DUI And Criminal Defense Blog

Is it okay to say no to a breath test?

You know that drinking and driving is something that the state of Colorado does not treat lightly. You understand that the penalties for doing so can be significant. What you do not know is how you can help yourself should cops pull you over for suspected DUI. One way you may be able to do that is by refusing to take the breath test.

Just to be clear, implied consent laws technically require you to submit to chemical testing if authorities suspect you of driving under the influence. This, however, does not trump your right to refuse. You can if you believe doing so will be to your benefit.

Real estate mogul facing serious DUI charges

A well-connected commercial real estate broker from another state is now facing multiple felony charges in connection with a fatal crash, which police are blaming on the man's drunk driving. The accused man is the grandson of the former mayor of a major American city. The man himself has worked in the highest levels of the real estate profession for over 20 years.

According to police, a few months ago, the man had been drinking at a charity golf event held around an affluent neighborhood. The man's grandfather, the former mayor, owned a home in that community. Police say that after the event, at about the dinner hour, the man left the neighborhood in his Range Rover with some other passengers. After passing through the checkpoint out of the neighborhood, police say that the man continued to travel quickly down the road, lost control of the vehicle and hit several trees.

Vehicular assault charges can happen to anyone

Unfortunately, car accidents are still a fact of life in Colorado. A resident of Fort Collins who gets involved in an accident will likely experience feelings of fear and nervousness, especially if it looks like the accident was due to his own careless driving or a mistake.

The experience can be especially scary if the accident happens after a person had a couple of drinks. In addition to any emotional turmoil, if the accident ends with someone getting hurt, a driver may face a vehicular assault charge under Colorado law.

Harassment and Constitutional rights

As this blog has discussed before, Colorado state law has provisions prohibiting what it calls harassment.

Basically, harassment includes certain types of behavior that is intended to disturb the peace of another person. These behaviors can, but do not have to, involve physical contact. For instance, simply making repeated phone calls or contacting a person late at night or at other obviously bad times can constitute harassment.

A domestic violence conviction can affect parenting time

As this blog has discussed before, a domestic violence conviction in Colorado can have a number of negative consequences far beyond the usual probation, fines and jail time.

These so-called collateral consequences can profoundly impact even a first-time offender who has in all other respects lived an upstanding life.

Harassment charges in Colorado can be a challenge

A "harassment" charge in Colorado can be based on a wide range of subjectively interpreted circumstances. This is not a charge that is typically found in other states in America. "Harass," "annoy" and "alarm" are the terms that come into play in a harassment charge. But, what harasses, annoys or alarms one person may not affect another. The circumstances of each unique case are crucial.

All told, a harassment charge in Colorado can encompass quite a range of conduct. For example, pushing or shoving a person could be harassment, as could frequent unwanted attempts to contact a person on the phone or through social media, or even attempting to meet a person in a public place. A person who makes an obscene gesture in public could face a harassment charge, as could a person who uses insulting language. For our readers, it probably seems like almost anything that might "offend" a person could lead to a criminal charge. That, obviously, is quite concerning.

Is a fake ID worth the risk?

Classes are over for the semester, and you are ready for a few months of relaxing before the next, more intense semester begins. If you plan on hanging out with some friends, you might decide to check out some of the local bars, or just grab some beer from the liquor store or grocery store. The only catch is that you have not yet reached your 21st birthday.

Nationwide, it is against the law to purchase and consume alcohol under the age of 21, unless -- in some states such as Colorado -- your parents are with you. You probably don't want your parents hanging around with you and your friends just so you can drink, so you may follow the advice of a friend who encourages you to get a fake ID. Unfortunately, your friend may unwittingly set you up for serious trouble.

Common penalties in a DUI case

Many of our readers in Colorado may know that there are some significant penalties associated with being convicted on a drunk driving charge, not the least of which is a driver's license suspension. Having your driver's license suspended can be crippling, leaving you dependent upon others for rides to work or the grocery store, for example, and in general not allowing the freedom of movement you had before. However, beyond a driver's license suspension, there are some other common penalties associated with a conviction for DUI that can change the way you live your life.

The penalties associated with a DUI conviction can vary, depending on the nature of each individual case. For example, a person who has multiple DUI convictions on their criminal record will likely receive a much harsher sentence than a first-time DUI offender. In fact, a person convicted of multiple DUI cases over the course of time may eventually be sentenced to serve time in prison.

Domestic violence statistics lead to harsh enforcement of laws

There is no doubt that domestic violence is a serious issue in America, and Colorado is not exempt from this concern. There are prevalent statistics that show that domestic violence can occur in many different family situations, across the entire spectrum of socioeconomical status. However, the spotlight that is on domestic violence, especially in recent years, may be leading to overly harsh application of laws that can lead to arrests and convictions, perhaps undeserved.

For example, statistics show that, on average, each minute that goes by there are approximately 20 people in America who have suffered from physical domestic violence at the hands of an "intimate partner." Of course, it is important to point out that domestic violence can affect both male and female victims.

Defending against assault charges in Colorado

Most people in Colorado have found themselves in tense situations with other people before, but not every instance of tension between individuals leads to a physical altercation. But, unfortunately, sometimes physical altercations do occur. The circumstances of the incident may matter more to the people involved than it does to any law enforcement officials or prosecutors who get involved in the case. Either way, someone may end up facing an assault charge due to these situations.

Many of our readers probably think that there are differences between "minor" criminal charges and "major" charges. But, any criminal charge on a person's record could become a major problem. An assault charge is typically viewed as a "violent" crime. Such a perception could influence potential future employers, school applications and even housing decisions.

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