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Criminal Defense FAQ
Here are some of the most common questions we get. This Criminal defense FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is a work in progress and the page will be occasionally updated. Check back if you have a question or, better yet, give Jeremy Loew a call at (719) 387-4111 or use the contact link at the bottom of this page.
When should I hire an attorney?
When dealing with the law and the criminal justice process in Colorado Springs, time is of the essence. Keep in mind that there are deadlines set by the courts that must be followed for numerous issues and the sooner you get our attorneys involved, the sooner we can ensure that your rights are fully protected and the sooner we can build a strong criminal defense.
Choosing An Attorney
It’s crucial to find a criminal defense attorney that you can trust with your case. After all, the outcome of your case will impact your life in a number of ways.
There are a few qualities you’ll want to look for as you hunt for the right lawyer, here are a few very important qualities that you should consider.
It’s important to find a lawyer that has plenty of experience handling cases similar to yours. Finding an attorney that’s right for your case will take both time and research.
In order to find the right attorney, you’ll want to make sure you set up a free consultation and ask the right questions. In addition to inquiring about an attorney’s background, you may want to ask about their win percentage.
Find an attorney that consistently wins cases for their clients.
Experience as a Prosecutor
Ideally, you’ll want to work with a criminal defense attorney that as served as a prosecutor with the District Attorney. Working in this role can give a lawyer a stronger understanding of the legal system. You’ll benefit greatly from working with a lawyer that has worked as a prosecutor in the past. They’ll be better equipped to help you throughout this process.
This is one of the main areas of experience that people in Colorado Springs look for when they’re seeking an attorney.
Find An Attorney You’re Comfortable With
No matter what sort of legal issues you’re facing, you’ll want to feel comfortable talking to your attorney.
You also deserve an attorney who will be respectful towards you throughout this process. You should work with someone who will answer your questions and explain every step of this process to you. Your attorney should be forthright and honest – even when the news may be difficult to take.
You need to be able to get along with the attorney that you’re working with. If you’re not comfortable around a lawyer, they may not be the right choice for you.
You’ll want to find an attorney that is a good match for your case. And, the only way to find this out is to talk to an attorney. Make an appointment with Jeremy Loew to discuss your case. There’s no charge for an initial consultation – schedule a visit today!
Talking To The Police - Should I?
You shouldn’t speak with the police without talking to a criminal defense attorney with relevant experience.
Talking to the police can endanger you even if you’re not guilty of any crimes. Remember, the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution supports your right not to give testimony that could incriminate you.
According to the US Supreme Court, police must stop questioning a suspect once the suspect invokes their right to counsel (a lawyer). You’re entitled to have a lawyer with you when you are being questioned. It’s also important to note that a person must invoke the right to silence.
You should take advantage of ALL of your Constitutional rights – especially your right to having a lawyer by your side.
Can The Police Search Me Or My Property?
If the police have reason to believe that you have some sort of contraband on your person or property, like weapons or drugs or stolen items, a search attempt is likely.
They could conduct a search of your vehicle, the house you live in, or your place of business. Remember that it’s necessary for the police to have a search warrant for a legal search. You don’t have to let them search your property without a warrant.
Additionally, you should remember that even officers that have warrants need to follow certain restrictions. For example, they can only search the area that’s specified in the warrant.
However, if you give the police permission to conduct a search, a warrant will not be necessary.
If I’ve Been Arrested, Am I Required To Talk To The Police?
Talking to the police isn’t necessary even if you’ve been arrested. Both the U.S. Constitution and state and federal laws support these rights. The only thing you need to provide is standard information about your identity.
You should never speak to the police without talking to a criminal defense lawyer first.
Do I have to take a breath or blood test?
While you do not have to take a blood or breath test if you are pulled over for a DUI, refusing to take the test can result in your license being revoked for one year.
But if you accept to take the test and the results show that your intoxication levels are above the limit, your license will most likely be revoked for 90 days on a first offense.
The decision to take the test or not is up to you.
We strongly suggest that you hire a Colorado Springs DUI Attorney as soon as possible for the best chance to keep your driver’s license and to avoid excessive fines and even jail time.
Regardless of if you take the test or not, you reserve the right to an administrative hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), to determine whether you will get to keep your license.
When you request a hearing, you will be allowed to keep your license until the date of the hearing. Nevertheless, the last thing you’d want to do during this time is to drink and drive again.
Penalties for repeat offenses can quickly get serious. Call Jeremy Loew today if you have been changed with a DUI.
What About Attorney-Client Privilege Laws In Colorado?
Because of attorney-client privilege, any communications between an attorney and their client will remain confidential. The exception to this is communications that were intended to be communicated to additional parties.
Even if a legal assistant is present during communications, the attorney-client privilege is still in force.
Clients are the ones that benefit from attorney-client privilege. Because of this, a client can choose to reveal any communication at his or her discretion. An attorney is not able to disclose communications even after a case has concluded.
There are some exceptions to this privilege, but they are rare.
Your attorney is legally bound to keep any information relating to your communications confidential. This is an ethical requirement for lawyers as well.
The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct state that lawyers cannot reveal information that relates to the clients they are representing. Clients are protected even after attorney-client privilege is no longer applicable because of these ethical requirements.
What Can I Expect After An Arrest?
If you’ve been arrested, you can expect to be taken to the police station. From there, you’ll go through the booking process. Police will collect personal information from you and, using this information, police will check to see if there are outstanding warrants.
They will also look at an individual’s criminal history to determine whether or not they can be released from police custody prior to a trial. In some cases, bail or bond must be paid before an individual can be released.
If the police want to detain someone, the individual may be able to have a judicial officer review their detention. However, this varies from one jurisdiction to the next. Your attorney will be able to tell you what the laws in your jurisdiction are.
Typically, a criminal complaint will be filed in court. The person that has been arrested must appear before the court. When someone is arrested, it is also possible that property, materials, and other records may be seized as evidence.
What is an Arraignment?
An arraignment refers to the process where charges are first formally presented to the defendant, who is required to enter a plea.
Typically, the court will enter a plea of not guilty for the defendant. Arraignment is usually open to the public. The court will then set future court dates which include pre-trial conferences and a trial date.
What is a Plea Bargain?
A plea bargain or a plea deal is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor where the defendant agrees to voluntarily plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a more lenient sentence and/or the dismissal of certain charges.
Plea bargains are usually conducted between the prosecutor and the defendant without the involvement of a judge.
What is a Deposition?
This is a sworn out-of-court oral testimony of a witness taken in the presence of the prosecution’s and the defendant’s attorney, as well as a court reporter.
The lawyer taking the deposition asks various questions that the witness answers under oath. The deposition can be used in court to discredit the testimony from a witness or it can be read to a jury in case the witness isn’t available.
What Are The Penalties For Drug Possession In The State Of Colorado?
Are Penalties For Drug Possession In Colorado Extreme?
Most drug possession charges are punishable with time in jail, but this is not the case when the amount discovered does not exceed one ounce.
Smaller amounts are punishable with fines of around $100. It is essential that you appear in court when scheduled or you can be charged with a misdemeanor and receive six months in jail.
When the charges involve more than one ounce, this is an automatic misdemeanor and you may face 6-18 months in jail and a large fine. In the event that you are caught with more than 8 ounces, this is considered a felony, which is punishable with a 1-3 year prison sentence, very large fines and a suspension of your driver’s license.
What Makes A Misdemeanor Different From A Felony?
What’s The Difference Between A Misdemeanor And A Felony?
While it is possible to receive a prison sentence for a misdemeanor, the fines and the amount of time given are typically less than those associated with felonies.
Keep in mind that both types of charges will appear on your criminal record and they can negatively affect your ability to gain employment and/or housing. Public drunkenness, DUI, theft and disorderly conduct are examples of crimes that may be considered misdemeanors.
Felony charges are associated with more serious crimes, like rape, murder, treason, kidnapping and armed robbery.
Need To Talk To A Criminal Defense Attorney?
Call now for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.