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How to avoid a fourth (felony) DUI during the holidays

If you already have three DUIs on your criminal record, you know the consequences can be detrimental. However, while you think you can handle them if law enforcement arrests you again, be careful. Under Colorado law, a fourth DUI conviction counts as a felony. A felony drunk driving charge can significantly impact your freedom and enjoyment of life. If you receive a fourth felony DUI conviction, jail time is mandatory. And your life and career could be adversely affected in numerous other ways.

The holidays are a time of year when you may increase your drinking and fall under the temptation to drive drunk again. Here are some tips for avoiding a felony DUI charge this holiday season.

Here is why so many people get divorced in January

It may be hard to believe, but the new year is almost here. As people prepare to say hello to 2019, they may need to say farewell to a failing marriage. According to recent statistics, there is an increase in divorce filings in January. This causes some people to refer to January as "divorce month."

But why do so many couples make ending their marriages part of their New Year resolutions? Here are some reasons why couples decide to split up after they ring in the new year.

False domestic violence charges – more common than you think

Few people can dispute the fact that domestic violence and stalking laws protect people from harm in altercations with those they should be able to love and trust. However, there are those who will make a false accusation, which can result in ruining innocent lives and destroyed relationships. Colorado residents should understand how and why this can happen, as well as the long-lasting consequences.

Domestic violence encompasses physical attacks such as hitting, kicking and sexually assaulting a spouse, romantic partner or children. It can also include emotional, psychological and financial abuse. Those who claim to be the victims of domestic abuse can seek an emergency protective order, which immediatyely prohibits the alleged abuser from contacting or going near the victim and minor children. During a later hearing, the accuser may be able to obtain a protective order that lasts several months to a year or longer.

What is a plea bargain?

Many people in Colorado are under the impression that if they ever commit a crime, they will receive a plea bargain that results in a dismissal or reduction in the charge. While it often happens that way in the movies and on television, it doesn't always happen that way in real life. However, that does not mean someone should reject the idea of a plea bargain without consideration.

There are some facts about plea bargains that anyone facing a criminal charge should be aware of.

Divorce and child custody 101

When it comes to divorce with children, it helps to know how the courts determine child custody issues. In Colorado, whenever possible courts prefer to keep parents actively involved in their children's lives after separation or divorce. Parents can have a say in their custody agreements and should learn the pros and cons of each arrangement. Couples who actively work together during their divorce to resolve matters involving their children are well-placed to achieve their custody and visitation goals.

Here is some information on child custody to help parents reach a fair resolution.

How should I present my story in criminal court?

Some people who have been accused of a crime believe that if they can find the right way of framing their story, they can receive a verdict of "not guilty." This is a naïve understanding of the law. Nevertheless, there may be some circumstances in which a defendant can "explain" to the court why he or she did what was done, and thereby achieve a more favorable result in court.

It's not what it looks like

Ways to overcome a DUI charge in Colorado Springs

If police arrested you on charges of driving under the influence, or DUI, you may think that you have no legal remedies or options. However, the truth is that you may have several ways to overcome a DUI charge in Colorado Springs.

A strategic DUI defense helps you move forward with your life and mitigate the potential negative consequences of a DUI conviction. Crafting an effective defense is critical because a conviction can cause you significant hardship in terms of your driving record, your license and your career, and it will also give you a permanent criminal record.

Domestic violence calls are up in Colorado city

Crimes of property are often perpetrated by a stranger, and it is troubling but generally easy to recover from losing a possession. Crimes of trauma, however, are often more difficult because a person must get better from physical and mental abuse at the same time.

Moreover, many violent crimes in Colorado are domestic issues, with an attacker victimizing a member of his or her own family. The city of Pueblo, for example, answers more emergency calls regarding domestic violence than investigations of auto theft.

How your criminal record impacts your career

You may already know that some companies refuse to hire people with a criminal record. It can completely bar you from some jobs and career paths, regardless of your college degree or your experience.

However, it is important to look a bit deeper. Even when you manage to land a job, the type of record you have may determine the type of position that it makes sense to apply for. This is not just important to think about when starting a career, but young people need to keep it in mind when going to college. Certain paths may no longer make sense.

What are probable cause and reasonable suspicion?

Most Coloradans do not understand their rights and how they pertain to the criminal justice system, especially when it applies to traffic/vehicle stops and DUI sobriety checkpoints. The Fourth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution provides protections against unlawful searches and seizures. Law enforcement uses a variety of methods, including the use of probable cause and reasonable suspicion, to identify and apprehend intoxicated motorists and charge them with DUIs.

Most motorists already know how dangerous and unlawful it is for them to drink and drive. Still, some drivers ignore the risks or are unaware they are driving while under the influence of prescription medications, alcohol or both. It is essential to understand the differences between probable cause and reasonable suspicion. They each play a role in establishing DUI charges.

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