Month: July 2017

How to Expunge a Juvenile Criminal Record

How to Expunge a Juvenile Criminal Record

Many people make mistakes when they are young and end up with a criminal record before they are legally considered adults. Fortunately, the state of Colorado does not believe that people should have to carry the crimes they committed as minors with them for the rest of their lives, which is why the state allows some crimes to be expunged. This does not mean that your criminal record will be destroyed, but it will be sealed and treated as if you never committed the crimes. Here’s how to expunge a juvenile criminal record:

Determine eligibility.

You must meet certain requirements in order to file for an expungement, so the first thing you should do is contact an attorney to discuss your eligibility. You are eligible if there are no pending criminal cases against you, you have not been convicted of another crime or adjudicated for another juvenile offense, and expunging your record is in the best interests of the community.

However, there are certain exceptions to these rules. If you were an aggravated or violent juvenile offender or if you committed an offense that could be considered an adult violent crime, you are not eligible. Juveniles who committed unlawful sexual offenses are also not eligible for expungement.

There are also restrictions on when you are allowed to file for expungement. For instance, you can file one year from the date that you completed a juvenile diversion program. However, if you were under court supervision, you will have to wait four years from the date that this was completed.

File the request.

Work with an attorney to file your expungement request with the court. An attorney can help you prepare all of the paperwork that you need to submit to ensure that everything is in order.

Attend the hearing.

A hearing will be scheduled in your expungement case soon after you file the initial paperwork. Let an attorney guide you through what you should expect during this hearing so you are prepared to face the judge. The judge will most likely ask you questions about your request, including why it is in your best interests to expunge your record. At the end of the hearing, the judge will announce whether he is granting your request or not.

Notify agencies.

With the help of your attorney, you will need to notify certain agencies such as the Colorado Bureau of Investigation of your expungement by sending them a copy of the court order. These agencies are required to seal your record within 30 days of receiving the court order.

Do you have a juvenile criminal record? If you’re worried about how your criminal record will affect your future, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our attorneys will help you determine if you are eligible for expungement. If so, we will aggressively fight to have your records sealed to protect your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

If you are facing criminal charges, it’s imperative that you work with a criminal defense attorney, regardless of how minor the charges may be. A skilled criminal defense attorney is an invaluable asset that can greatly affect the outcome of your case, but unfortunately, many people who are accused of a crime aren’t aware of how important these attorneys are. What does a criminal defense attorney do and how can he help? Here’s what you need to know:

Investigation of the Case

An attorney will begin by diving deep into the details of the case to learn as much as possible about it. This may include talking to witnesses, questioning police about their procedures, and examining physical evidence. Throughout his investigation, he will be looking for opportunities to poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you. For instance, he may find that the evidence being used against you was collected during an illegal search and should therefore be thrown out.

Negotiations

In some cases, a defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. If you accept the plea deal, you will either face reduced charges or shorter sentences as a result of your attorney’s efforts. A plea deal is not appropriate for every defendant, so it’s possible that your attorney will not explore this option if he does not think it is necessary.

If the attorney finds a significant hole in the prosecution’s case, it’s also possible that he could have all of your charges dropped.

Jury Selection

When a case goes to trial, the attorney will take on the responsibility of selecting the jury that will decide your fate. A skilled attorney will ensure that there are no biased jurors who will assume that you are guilty regardless of the evidence that is presented.

Presenting the Case

Criminal defense attorneys may be best known for their work in trials. If your case goes to trial, a criminal defense attorney will stand before the jury to defend your rights and point out flaws in the prosecution’s case. An attorney will be responsible for preparing witnesses, analyzing the prosecution’s evidence, cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses, and convincing the jury to doubt the prosecution’s story.

Sentencing

Defendants who are found guilty or plead guilty will be sentenced for the crimes that they committed. If this happens to you, an attorney will present a compelling argument to the judge and jury to convince them to be lenient with your sentence.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will defend your rights and provide you with honest advice through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

FAQs About Ignition Interlock Devices in Colorado

FAQs About Ignition Interlock Devices in Colorado

An ignition interlock device is a portable breath test that attaches to the ignition of your vehicle. In order to start your vehicle, you will have to blow into the device to prove that you are sober. The vehicle will not turn on if alcohol is detected, but if no alcohol is detected, it will turn on and then retest you randomly as you drive. If you have been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), it’s possible that you will have to use one of these devices. Here’s what you need to know about ignition interlock devices in Colorado:

When are you required to use an ignition interlock device?

If you have been convicted of DUI or if you refused to submit to chemical testing, you will be required to use an ignition interlock device in order to reinstate your driving privileges early.

Will you have to pay for the device?

Yes, this is one of the many costs of being convicted of drunk driving. In most cases, you will have to pay installation costs and a monthly fee for using the device.

How often do you have to use the device?

You will have to blow into the device any time that you want to start your vehicle. As previously mentioned, you will also be required to take retests as you drive if the initial test showed no alcohol. The retests will occur at random and can begin between 4 and 45 minutes after the car has been started.

What happens if the device detects alcohol during a retest?

If the device detects alcohol during one of the retests, a number of things may occur depending on the vendor of the device. All devices are programmed to record the sample so it has a log of your violations. Some devices will also activate the car alarm, lights, and horn on your vehicle at the same time. In order to get everything to stop, you will have to pull over and turn the car off.

What happens if you don’t follow use the device properly?

Drivers who have been ordered to use the ignition interlock device cannot drive a vehicle that is not equipped with this device. Drivers also cannot ask someone else to blow into the device in order to get the vehicle to start. It is also the driver’s responsibility to have the device serviced by the provider every 60 days and to stay current on payments owed to the provider. If the driver fails to follow any of these rules, he may have his license suspended or revoked as a result.

If you have been charged with DUI, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our team of attorneys can aggressively defend you against these charges and help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Everyone knows that drinking and driving is never a good idea, but many people are unaware of the dangers of drowsy driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving was the cause of 72,000 accidents and 44,000 injuries in 2013. Although the CDC only reports 800 deaths caused by drowsy driving in 2013, the organization believes these fatalities are underreported and the actual number of deaths is closer to 6,000.

Based on these statistics, it’s clear that drowsy driving is a significant problem. Here’s everything you need to know to stay safe on the road:

The AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety Study

A recent study found that drivers who miss one or two hours of sleep are twice as likely to get into a car accident as drivers who slept seven or eight hours. In fact, the more sleep that you miss, the more dangerous you are on the road. Researchers said those who only sleep four to five hours a night are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, while people who sleep less than four hours a night are just as impaired as they would be if they were twice the legal limit of alcohol.

Drowsy Drivers

Anyone can make the poor decision to operate a vehicle while tired, but there are some drivers that are more likely to do it than others. Drivers who take certain medications, have sleep disorders, or work long shifts are more likely to drive drowsy than other motorists.

How to Prevent Drowsy Driving

It’s recommended that you get a minimum of seven hours of sleep before driving if you are an adult and eight hours if you are a teen. Even if you are getting enough hours of sleep, you should avoid taking medications that list drowsiness as a side effect. If you’re unsure of whether it’s safe to drive while taking your current medications, consult with a doctor instead of trying to do your own research.

It’s also important for drivers to be honest with themselves and recognize when they are too tired to drive. If you start to feel drowsy in the middle of a drive, find a spot to pull over so you can change drivers or take a 15-20 minute power nap in your vehicle.

Have you been injured by a drowsy driver? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today for the legal representation that you need to recover damages. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

The Importance of Seeking Medical Attention After a Car Accident

Ask any personal injury attorney about the first thing you should do after a car accident and you will hear the same answer: first, seek medical attention. If you decide against seeking medical attention after a car accident, you’re making a big mistake that could affect your health and personal injury claim. Here’s why:

Delayed Symptoms

Some injuries are immediately apparent after a car accident, but the symptoms of other injuries won’t begin to appear until hours or even days following the crash. For instance, you may not experience any symptoms of a concussion right after you have hit your head. Common symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea may not set in until later in the day.

Even though you don’t have any noticeable symptoms, doctors can still identify injuries using imaging tests and other diagnostic tools. If you choose to wait until symptoms appear, it’s possible that your condition will be worse than it was immediately after the accident. Your health should always be your first priority, so don’t take any chances by refusing medical treatment after an accident.

Personal Injury Claim

If the other driver was at fault for the accident, you have the right to file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. But first, you will need to prove that you actually sustained injuries in the crash, which is not possible without medical records.

Just having medical records is not enough—the date that you received treatment will play an important role in your case. Let’s say you waited until two or three days after the accident to visit a doctor, who diagnosed you with whiplash. The at fault party’s insurance company may argue that the whiplash was not caused in the car accident because if it was, you would have seen a doctor sooner.

To avoid this problem, seek medication attention right away and inform your doctor of every symptom that you are experiencing, even if it is a minor one. These symptoms may become worse, so it’s important to document them early on so you have proof that they are linked to the accident. Be sure to ask for a copy of your medical records and keep them somewhere safe while your case is ongoing.

Seeking medical attention should be your first priority, followed by getting in touch with an attorney. If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

Trucks weigh between 20-30 times more than the average car, so when a truck collides into a car, the results can be catastrophic. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, over 4,000 trucks were involved in fatal accidents in 2015 and another 87,000 trucks were involved in accidents with nonfatal injuries. Because of the severity of these crashes, it’s important to learn how you can prevent truck accidents.

Stay out of the blind spots.

Truck drivers have blind spots in the front, back, and to the sides of their vehicles. Make sure that truck drivers can always see you by staying out of these blind spots. How? Take a look at the truck’s side mirrors. If you cannot see the driver’s reflection in these mirrors, he cannot see you. Of course, this doesn’t apply to drivers who are in front of the truck. If you are in front of a truck, do your best to leave as much space as possible between your vehicle and the truck to ensure you are not in the driver’s blind spot.

Pay attention to turning signals.

Drivers have to make wide turns, so they may accidentally slide into the next lane as they attempt to turn. Keep a close eye on the turning signals of any truck that you are close to on the road. If a driver signals that he is turning, give him ample room to maneuver so you don’t have to worry about the truck crashing into your vehicle.

Don’t cut in front of trucks.

Try to avoid passing in front of a truck on the road unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do have to pass a truck, make sure there is plenty of space between your car and the truck. Remember, it takes truck drivers a long time to slow down their vehicles, so if you cut in front of a truck and don’t leave enough space, it’s possible the truck won’t slow down in time to avoid a collision.

Slow down.

If a truck driver is trying to cut in front of you, slow down and allow him to do it if possible. By slowing down, you are staying in control of the situation and ensuring there will be enough space between your vehicle and the truck.

Remember these safety tips every time you have to drive close to a truck. Unfortunately, sometimes drivers can still be involved in truck accidents even if they are following this advice. If this happens to you, it’s important to understand your legal options.

Have you been involved in a truck accident? Don’t delay any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

Finding out that a loved one is being physically, emotionally, sexually, or financially abused in a nursing home can be heartbreaking. You may wonder whether you made a mistake by putting your loved one in a nursing home or not noticing the signs of abuse earlier. But, it’s important to put these feelings of guilt aside and focus on getting help for your loved one. Here’s how to report nursing home abuse in the state of Colorado:

Report the Abuse to the Proper Authorities

Contact both the Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board and the Adult Protective Services office in your area to report the abuse. The Colorado Nursing Home Administrators Board is responsible for regulating and disciplining all nursing home administrators in the state, while the Adult Protective Services agency fields complaints of elder abuse. These agencies are authorized to conduct investigations into allegations of nursing home abuse. As soon as you file a complaint, they should initiate an investigation to determine if the abuse occurred and if so, who is responsible for it. If the abuse can be verified through an investigation, the abusers may face criminal charges.

If you’re having trouble finding an Adult Protective Services office near you, call the hotline for the National Council on Aging at 1-800-677-1116 and a representative will assist you with this request.

Initiate A Civil Case

Alerting the authorities will help you hold those who abused your loved one responsible for their egregious acts. But, these authorities will not help you recover compensation for your loved one’s medical expenses and pain and suffering that she has experienced as a result of the abuse. In order to recover this compensation for your loved one, you will need to contact a nursing home abuse attorney and file a personal injury claim.

A nursing home abuse attorney can help you with every aspect of reporting nursing home abuse, including alerting the authorities, investigating the abuse, and negotiating a settlement on behalf of your loved one.

Protect Your Loved One

Your first priority should be protecting your loved one from suffering further abuse in the nursing home. If you believe your loved one is in danger in her current nursing home, you will need to find a way to transfer her to another facility as soon as possible. Be sure that you thoroughly research the new facility so your loved one doesn’t have to suffer any longer.

If your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, let our compassionate and caring attorneys help. We know that time is of the essence in cases involving abuse, so we will work quickly to protect your loved one and seek justice against the abusers. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your case by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents This Summer

How to Prevent Swimming Pool Accidents This Summer

There’s nothing better than jumping into a pool to cool off during the hot summer months. But unfortunately, many people are injured or killed in swimming pool accidents, especially during this time of year. Protect yourself and your loved ones by following these tips to prevent swimming pool accidents:

Supervise at all times.

If there are children in or around the pool, there should be at least one adult watching them at all times. Adults should stay especially close to children who are not experienced swimmers. It’s recommended that you keep inexperienced swimmers within reaching distance at all times to prevent tragic accidents. Even if the children are completely capable of swimming, they should still be supervised closely.

Mark the depth of the pool.

No one should ever dive into the shallow end of the pool, but kids may forget which side is the shallow end and which is the deep end. If you have a pool in your backyard, make sure that the depths of each side are clearly marked to protect your children and other loved ones. Be sure to teach your kids that they should always look for these signs before diving. If a sign shows that the pool is less than six feet deep, your kids should not dive into it.

Clean up pool toys.

Do you and your family use inflatable rafts and toys when swimming in the pool? Make sure that these toys either stay within the water or are kept far from the edge of the pool. If you leave these toys around the edge of the pool, they could cause someone to slip and fall.

Buy a fence.

Your swimming pool should be enclosed on all sides with a fence that is self-closing and self-locking. The fence should not have openings wide enough for a small child to squeeze through, and should be tall enough to keep children from climbing over it. If you have one of these fences in place, you don’t have to worry about your kids sneaking out to the pool when you’re not around.

Get CPR certified.

If you plan on spending a lot of time in the pool with your family, it’s a good idea to get CPR certified so you’re prepared in the event of an emergency. Research CPR classes in your community so you know how to protect your family.

Even if you closely follow all of these tips, there’s still a chance that you or a loved one could be involved in a swimming pool accident. If the accident occurred on another person’s property, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm today to discuss your case by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

An Introduction to Whiplash

An Introduction to Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that people sustain in car accidents. But, how much do you really know about whiplash? Would you be able to spot the symptoms of whiplash if you sustained this injury in a crash? Here’s a helpful introduction to whiplash that will prepare you in the event that you are ever injured in a car accident:

The Cause of Whiplash

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs when the muscles in the neck overextend due to a sudden jerking motion of the head. This often occurs in car accidents because the impact of the collision can cause the victim’s body to jolt forward and backward without warning. The impact could be strong enough to tear or strain muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.

The Symptoms of Whiplash

Some car accident victims may begin to notice the symptoms of whiplash immediately after the collision, but others may not develop any symptoms until hours or even days later. The most common symptoms include pain in the neck, back, or shoulders, stiffness, headaches, numbing sensation in the arms or hands, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty paying attention. If you spot any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Treating Whiplash

To diagnose the soft tissue injuries of whiplash, you may need a CT or MRI scan. These scans should allow the doctor to see damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your neck, back, and shoulders.

Unfortunately, there is not much that a doctor can do to treat whiplash. Most doctors recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain medication to make you more comfortable as you recover. The doctor may also suggest that you alternate using cold packs and a heating pad on the affected area to reduce swelling and alleviate pain.

If the symptoms continue to bother you, the doctor may refer you to a physical therapist so you can learn gentle exercises to improve your range of motion and reduce pain. In the past, doctors used to give their patients neck braces to wear if they had whiplash, but this is no longer recommended. Doctors now believe that movement is important for a patient’s recovery, so there’s no need to keep the neck still using a brace.

If you have sustained whiplash or other injuries in a car accident, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our team will help you recover the compensation that you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What are Domestic Violence Protection Orders?

What are Domestic Violence Protection Orders?

Domestic violence victims may need protection from the people that they caused them harm, which is why many victims request protection orders from the courts. There are three different types of domestic violence protection orders that may be issued after someone is accused of committing domestic violence.

Temporary (Ex Parte) Protection Orders

To get a permanent protection order put in place, you must schedule a court hearing. But, many victims fear that they will be hurt before the court date arrives. Temporary protection orders can be issued to protect victims as they wait for a court date to request a permanent order. The judge will only issue this type of protection order if he has reason to believe that the victim is in danger of being harmed by the defendant. The defendant does not need to be in court in order for the victim to receive this order, but the defendant must be notified of it before he is expected to comply with the terms.

Permanent Protection Orders

Eventually, both the victim and the defendant will be asked to appear in court so the judge can determine if a permanent protection order is needed. The judge will either decide to issue the permanent protection order or expand the current temporary protection order for a period of up to one year.

Emergency Protection Orders

Finally, there are also emergency protection orders. Police officers have the authority to request an emergency protection order if they feel that an adult or child is an immediate danger. This protection order usually only lasts for a few days, so victims must request a temporary protection order and a hearing for a permanent order if they would like extended protection.

Terms of the Protection Order

If you have been accused of domestic violence, one of these protection orders may be issued against you. If so, you may be ordered by the courts to stay away from the victim and refrain from making any direct or indirect contact with the victim. Defendants who share a home with the victim may be ordered to move out of the home indefinitely. Even though you may be removed from your home, the order may require that you continue to make payments for the mortgage, rent, insurance, or any other bills that you typically pay. Defendants must comply with all terms of the protection order. If any of the terms are violated, the defendant will face serious consequences.

If a protection order is filed against you, seek legal representation as soon as possible. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm can help you fight for the modification or dismissal of a protection order. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.