A Pillar of Defense in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs Legal Issues Blog

Abuse victims feel encouraged: All you have to do is ask for help

Which is sadder to think about: (1) The fact that countless men and women around the United States are being victimized by domestic violence; or, (2) the fact that victims could make the violence stop at the touch of a button if they knew about the resources available to them, right now? The fact is, no one needs to put up with any kind of domestic violence, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, family law attorneys and countless other programs are available to offer information and guidance in this regard.

The first step toward stopping domestic abuse involves legal action. A call to police and an application for a protection order is usually all that's required for victims to receive protection from their abusers and to get their abusers out of their lives forever. However, this is just the first "worldly and practical" step. Before moving forward like this -- even before calling for help -- victims need to find their voices; they need to be empowered. They need to get their heads out of the fog of insecurity, fear and sadness -- and the clinging to old love dreams -- that happen when we have immense love for the person who's abusing and hurting us so deeply.

Colorado governor cuts allowable asset seizure amount

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a new law that cuts the amount of money local law enforcement agencies and task forces can receive from federal asset seizures. According to the governor, the new law will address potential abuses, including keeping "assets seized from innocent people."

During the past year, the regional drug task force, known as Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence (VNI), received more than $200,000 by participating in federal investigations that target prostitution rings and drug dealers. The amount that was received from using the state process was only about $67,000 since 2012.

Statistics about Colorado DUI-marijuana arrests

When marijuana sales began in Colorado in 2014, marijuana-impaired driving was not tracked by the courts or law enforcement. Unfortunately, comparing cannabis DUIs before and after marijuana became legal is not possible.

In 2014 and 2015, under 15 percent of all DUIs by state troopers involved the suspected use of marijuana -- with or without other substances. Only 8 percent involved marijuana alone. Even though marijuana is legal in the state now for adults, there are many more arrests for DUIs involving alcohol and drugs other than marijuana. From 2014 to 2015, the number of DUIs involving marijuana decreased slightly -- 1.3 percent. However, more data will be needed to see if that will be a trend in the future.

Restorative justice and Colorado Springs Teen Court

When it comes to crimes committed by juveniles, Colorado tries to take a restorative approach whenever possible. That word "restorative" is even explicitly written into Colorado law. As Colorado Revised Statutes Title 19 Children's Code § 19-2-102 states:

"...victims and communities should be provided with the opportunity to elect to participate actively in a restorative process that would hold the juvenile offender accountable for his or her offense."

Should I accept a plea bargain?

When conviction is likely -- given the evidence brought forward by the prosecution in a criminal lawsuit -- the defendant may want to try to negotiate a "plea bargain." Plea bargaining is a powerful tool used by defense attorneys to help defendants receive a dramatically reduced punishment for their alleged crimes.

Plea bargaining is a kind of settlement negotiation. A defendant will talk with prosecutors to determine if they're interested in plea bargaining, and if they are, they will begin to negotiate the terms of the bargain. Those terms typically involve the defendant agreeing to plead guilty to one or more charges in exchange for the other charges being dropped. The plea bargain may also involve the plaintiff being aware of the end punishments for the crimes he or she pleads guilty to.

Getting out of jail before trial - What are your options?

For a defendant, sitting in jail while waiting for the resolution of a criminal case can have devastating financial and emotional effects. You can lose your job. You can lose custody of your children. You can lose your home or be evicted from your apartment. And a long period of pretrial incarceration could tempt you into accepting a bad plea bargain.

Getting released from jail after an arrest has many benefits for the defendant. Not only can he or she resume normal life, the defendant can also play a constructive role in the defense effort. This blog post will discuss the various options a person may have.

What is the Cyber Crimes Center?

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is over Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), which is over the Cyber Crimes Center (C3). The priority of HSI is to fight criminal activity that is facilitated by or conducted on the internet. The Cyber Crimes Center is made up of the Cyber Crimes Unit, the Computer Forensics Unit and the Child Explo