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Colorado Springs Legal Issues Blog

Preparing a jury to deal with implicit bias

Attorneys and judges in Colorado may be able to take steps to reduce the likelihood that juries will reach verdicts based on implicit racial bias. According to a paper published in the Seattle Journal for Social Justice by an assistant federal public defender, one judge in Iowa does a PowerPoint presentation for potential jurors. The paper includes a number of other suggestions for addressing implicit racial bias. Although its focus is on the Latinx population, the techniques can apply to other populations as well.

An attorney might want to make a pretrial motion to suppress evidence if it can be demonstrated that a search was prompted by implicit racial bias. Examining an officer's record could support this claim. An attorney might also want to bring in an expert witness to explain the unreliability of cross-racial identification. During jury selection, attorneys can ask potential jurors to tell a story about race from their own experience. Jurors could also be required to take the Implicit Association Test.

What is domestic violence?

Finding yourself charged with domestic violence may leave you questioning how. You may not have lifted a finger to harm anyone, but nevertheless, the police arrested and charged you as if you had.

Domestic violence is not a singular charge. No act of violence needs to occur for you to find yourself in cuffs. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with what Colorado defines as domestic violence, so you understand your situation.

Understanding Colorado’s ignition interlock device laws

A drunk driving conviction may prove costly and embarrassing. Some of the repercussions associated with driving under the influence in Colorado may impact your life for months or even years after your offense. Once you pay fines, potentially surrender your license and otherwise show accountability for your actions, you are still going to face long-term DUI-related expenses that may place a considerable strain on your finances.

You should expect to pay a good deal more for automotive insurance coverage once you have a DUI, for example. You may also have to worry about using and financing an ignition interlock device.

Colorado Supreme Court orders new trial in sexual abuse case

A 35-year-old man who spent six years in prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl will receive a new trial. He appeared at an arraignment hearing in a Colorado courtroom on Feb. 3 and will remain free until he appears in court again on a $25,000 bond. He would not have been eligible for parole until 2024 under the terms of his 2013 custodial sentence of 12 years to life.

The man's case turned in July 2019 when the Colorado Supreme Court concluded that one of the detectives who questioned him used coercive techniques. The detective involved was fired in 2015 for having sexual relations with a crime victim and then lying about it. He was subsequently sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to an official misconduct charge. The court reached its decision after learning that the detective told the man that he would likely be released if he accepted at least some degree of guilt.

Video of Colorado Springs drunk driving crash goes viral

A 28-year-old woman who was behind the wheel of an SUV that crashed spectacularly in Northeast Colorado Springs on Jan. 20 has been charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. A video of the accident that was captured by a dashboard camera and posted on social media has garnered thousands of views. The footage shows the SUV striking a concrete wall several times as it made its way up the South Rockrimmon Boulevard entrance ramp to Interstate 25. The SUV then struck a guardrail on I-25 before flipping over into a ravine.

The driver who recorded the viral footage and several other motorists pulled the woman from her overturned vehicle. They told responding police officers that she attempted to leave the scene on foot after saying that she had to get home to take care of her dog. Officers say that they were surprised to discover that the local woman had suffered only minor injuries in the single-vehicle accident. The crash and response effort caused long delays on I-25.

How much does insurance increase after a Colorado DUI?

Seeing blue light flashing in your rear-view mirror proves highly unnerving. If your traffic stop ends up leading to a charge of driving while under the influence, you may find yourself facing considerable trouble. The state of Colorado takes drunk driving extremely seriously, and the penalties you should expect to face in the aftermath are numerous.

Even if it is your first time facing a drinking and driving-related charge, you could potentially face jail time, a license suspension, big fines and points on your driving record, among other potential penalties. Many of these repercussions impact your wallet. Insure.com reports that the financial implications relating to your DUI arrest are not likely to go away anytime soon.

Are you eligible for drug court in El Paso County?

The state of Colorado recognizes that, in many cases, criminal acts occur because of drug addiction. Colorado’s drug and recovery courts exist to help drug-related criminal offenders develop the skills and coping methods they need to get sober and avoid reoffending while still holding them accountable for their actions.

Not everyone is eligible or appropriate for recovery court in El Paso County, but if you are, in fact, eligible, enrolling in one just may give you the help you need while simultaneously keeping you out of jail. How may you tell if you are eligible for participating in recovery court in El Paso County?

Why Miranda rights are so important

When people in Colorado are arrested by the police, they should receive mandatory warnings that remind them of their right to protection from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. Called Miranda warnings, this list of rights is associated with a 1966 Supreme Court case that affirmed a person's right to be warned of their constitutional protections when taken into police custody. People arrested for criminal charges must be told that they have the right to remain silent, that their words could be used against them in court later, that they have the right to an attorney and that a lawyer will be appointed for those who cannot afford their own.

These rights are a simple breakdown of Fifth Amendment protections, reminding people that they do not have to talk with the police and can ask for a lawyer no matter what tactics the police may use to extract confessions or further information during an interrogation. Many people are familiar with the concept of reading a person's rights, especially because the moment is frequently featured in police dramas in movies or television. However, when people are arrested, they may not be sure how these warnings affect their own criminal charges.

2018 DUI statistics by state

Colorado is one of the worst states in the nation for drunk driving, according to a new report that compared drunk driving rates by state. At No. 13 for overall drunk driving, Colorado posted a rate of 411 DUIs per 100,000 people in 2018. The highest overall drunk driving rate was in South Dakota where there were 721.9 DUIs per 100,000 people last year. North Dakota was No. 2 on the list followed by Wyoming, North Carolina and Mississippi.

The United States has seen a 35% decline in overall drunk driving rates between 2009 and 2018. In Colorado, the statewide decline over the same time span was around 31%. The worst year for drunk driving incidents in Colorado was in 2010 when there were 618 drunk driving arrests per 100,000 people.

How a breathalyzer campaign helped reduce impaired driving

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, or CDOT, alcohol-impaired drivers cause almost a third of all fatal vehicle crashes in the state.

This statistic generated a unique six-week-long breathalyzer campaign in which DUI offenders participated. Reducing the number of impaired drivers was the goal and the results were encouraging.

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