Fort Collins DUI And Criminal Defense Blog

An arrest is not the same as a conviction in a DUI case

There are many people in America, aided by media coverage and perception, who seem to have forgotten the age-old axiom that any person who is arrested in our country is "innocent until proven guilty." Unfortunately, forgetting this presumption can have grave legal consequences for arrestees in Colorado and throughout the country.

Drunk driving arrests are some of the most common legal run-ins for Americans who face criminal charges. Each year thousands of Colorado residents will be arrested for and charged with driving under the influence. But, just like all other types of arrests, an arrest for DUI is not the same as a conviction.

The wide-ranging consequences of a domestic violence conviction

American society seems to have lost sight of the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" when it comes to criminal charges. Widespread media coverage of the initial facts and allegations in a criminal case are rarely supplemented with additional facts as the case develops. The "sensationalism" aspect of criminal case media coverage certainly is not in favor of a Colorado resident who is charged with a crime.

However, there is perhaps no charge like a domestic violence charge that comes with such loaded character assassination allegations, leading to wide-ranging consequences for a person charged with such a crime, even if the case is later dismissed or leads to a guilty plea on other charges. Our readers know from previous posts here that domestic violence charges come with a social stigma that is hard to escape.

What are the basics about assault laws in Colorado?

Not every confrontation between two individuals in Colorado turns physical. But, when such a situation does occur, one or more individuals could be facing assault charges. Anyone who is facing such a charge would likely benefit from knowing more information about assault laws in Colorado.

So, what are the basics about assault laws in Colorado? Well, for starters, there are varying degrees of assault, based on the facts of the case. The more a person is proved to have intended to harm another individual, as well as the more severe the injuries are, the higher the level of charge an individual is likely to face.

Colorado college students: Reasons for drinking, and consequences

Many Colorado college students have begun their second semesters and are continuing to work toward their ultimate goals for earning degrees in their chosen fields of study. If you're one of them, you may already be longing for spring break, which isn't too far off. Perhaps you have plans to hit the beach or to go home and enjoy some recreation time with family and friends. On or off-campus, as a college student, you're always at risk for health or legal problems associated with alcohol consumption.

It's no secret that spring break is a party season. Even when classes are in session, your friends might invite you out for some drinks or you might frequent local nightclubs or pubs in your free time. There are many reasons people your age cite for why they drink; perhaps you relate to one or more mentioned in this post. No matter what your personal reasons are, if college drinking lands you in a heap of legal trouble, you'll want to know where to seek support.

Change in definition of domestic violence could have consequences

Colorado residents know that being charged with a domestic violence crime comes with all sorts of negative consequences. For starters, just being arrested for this type of criminal charge can come with an immediate social stigma. Friends and family members may view the individual differently, or the charge may impact a custody arrangement related to children. Then, if a conviction does come from the case, the defendant will likely face jail time, fines, probation and probably an order to attend counseling or anger control classes.

However, a recent report noted that the federal government has changed its definition of what exactly qualifies as "domestic violence." The report noted that the U.S. Department of Justice now considers "domestic violence" to be only those acts which involve physical harm, and which lead to misdemeanor or felony charges. Backlash to the changes includes outrage that such actions as coercive control of a victim, or psychological abuse, seemingly do not fit within the newly amended definition.

'Reasonable suspicion' and DUI stops in Colorado

Our readers in Colorado probably know that police officers who are on routine traffic patrol cannot just pull a motorist over for any reason whatsoever. There is a web of complex constitutional law interpretation behind this seemingly simple proposition, but, what is boils down to is that in order for a police officer to pull over a driver in Colorado, that officer, particularly for a DUI stop, must have "reasonable suspicion" that the driver in question broke the law.

Unfortunately, the term "reasonable suspicion" isn't exactly a clear, definable term. Many police officers develop keen powers of observation over many years of service which help them learn the tendencies that might indicate that criminal behavior has or is occurring, but when it comes to DUI stops the reasoning behind the initiation of the stop can be relatively simple.

Defense against harsh consequences of a domestic violence charge

There are many criminal charges that come with a social stigma, regardless of whether the charge ultimately leads to a conviction. Domestic violence charges can be included in this category. Even if the charge is ultimately dismissed, or the defendant pleads guilty to another charge instead, simply being charged with domestic violence can come with some harsh consequences.

For example, a person in Colorado who has children and who is facing a domestic violence charge may be kept from seeing their children by a court order. Defendants could also be kept from returning to their homes, and they may not be able to call or otherwise contact the alleged victim in the case. Such "no contact" orders are common in domestic violence cases.

What are the potential consequences of a DUI charge?

Many Americans, probably including some of our readers in Colorado, think that a drunk driving charge is usually considered to be a "minor" criminal offense. After all, these days we all probably know at least one person who has been arrested for DUI, if not convicted for the charge. But, despite the perception that a DUI charge is a minor offense, there are actually some consequences to a DUI conviction that can be quite serious for a defendant.

So, what are the potential consequences of a DUI charge and conviction? Well, for starters, even just an arrest for DUI -- not a conviction -- can lead to embarrassment, family disputes and potentially even the loss of your job. These days many people are very quick to jump to conclusions, especially when it comes to employment and any transgressions a person may make in their personal life. Employers are quick to "cut their losses" with employees who are seen even slightly as a problem.

Suspect faces assault charge for allegedly hitting police officer

Any type of assault charge that a person faces in Colorado will be a difficult case to address for the defendant. Alleged violent crimes always are. However, when the alleged victim in such a case is a police officer, the defendant involved should expect to see a vigorous effort from law enforcement officials and the prosecution.

Such will likely be the case in the aftermath of a recent incident that occurred in the nearby community of Nederland. According to reports, a 32-year-old man was arrested after an alleged encounter with a police officer at a public library.

Don't forget these tips if a Colorado police officer stops you

Going to college in Colorado may wind up being one of the most memorable experiences of your life. If it's the first time you've ever been away from home, it might be exciting and greatly challenging at the same time. Like most college students, some of your days are likely better than others. You hopefully have a strong support system in place to help you get life back on track when the tough times hit hard.

Your friends, professors, tutors and guidance counselors can help you when you're struggling academically in school. Any number of other problems can arise while you're in college, however, and it's equally important to know where to seek support for such issues. For instance, if you get sick or suffer an injury, knowing where the nearest hospital is located is a must. What if a Colorado police officer pulls you over in traffic? Do you know your rights and how to protect them?

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