Year: 2018

When Can You Be Charged With Defacing A Firearm?

When Can You Be Charged With Defacing A Firearm?

There are many different laws governing firearms in the state of Colorado. Most people know there are restrictions surrounding the purchase, sale, and use of firearms, but a lot of people are not familiar with the crime of defacing a firearm.

What is Defacing a Firearm?

Defacing a firearm simply means removing, covering, altering, or destroying the manufacturer’s serial number that is printed on the weapon. It is also a crime to be in possession of a defaced firearm even if you were not the one who defaced it. But, it’s important to note that you cannot be charged with either one of these crimes if the serial number has been affected by normal wear and tear.

Why is it Illegal to Deface a Firearm?

The serial number is a unique number that law enforcement officers can use to identify the owner of the firearm. Law enforcement can also use this number to determine if the firearm has been reported stolen.

For example, if a police officer finds a firearm at the scene of a crime, he will need to figure out who the weapon belongs to so he can find out if the owner is connected to the crime. To do this, he can simply look up the owner’s information using the serial number. But, if the firearm has been defaced, this is no longer an option.

Penalties for Defacing a Firearm

Defacing a firearm is a class 1 misdemeanor in the state of Colorado. This means defendants who are charged with this crime can be sentenced to up to 18 months in jail in addition to up to $5,000 in fines.

The possession of a defaced firearm is usually charged as a class 1 misdemeanor as well. However, it can be charged as a class 5 felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for possession of a defaced firearm, the illegal use of weapons, or the unlawful carry of a concealed weapon within the last five years. If it is charged as a class 5 felony, the consequences become much more serious. A class 5 felony conviction can result in up to three years in prison and fines up to $100,000. You can also lose your right to own a firearm if you are convicted of this crime.

Have you been charged with a weapons crime? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. A weapons crime conviction can seriously impact your future, so you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Pedestrians Should Know About Crossing at a Crosswalk

What Pedestrians Should Know About Crossing at a Crosswalk

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there is one fatal pedestrian accident about every 1.6 hours. The CDC advises pedestrians to stay safe by always crossing the street at designated crosswalks. But, it’s important for pedestrians to understand that accidents can happen at crosswalks as well. To protect yourself, it’s important to understand the crosswalk laws in Colorado. Here’s what every pedestrian should know about crossing at a crosswalk:

Pedestrians’ Right of Way

Many crosswalks do not traffic lights or crosswalk lights. At these crosswalks, drivers should yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing the street. However, this does not mean pedestrians should walk into the crosswalk and expect all approaching cars to come to a sudden halt. The law states that pedestrians should never enter a crosswalk if there is car approaching that is close enough to be considered dangerous. In this case, the pedestrian should wait on the curb until it is safe to move through the intersection.

Crosswalk Lights

There are three symbols that are used to indicate when it is and is not safe for a pedestrian to cross the street at a crosswalk. The first is an image of a person walking, which indicates it is the pedestrians’ turn to cross the street. The second is a red hand, which indicates that it is not safe to cross the safe. If the red hand is blinking, however, it means that the light is about to change, so pedestrians should not enter the crosswalk if they haven’t already. If you choose not to obey these signals, you could receive a ticket or even worse, get seriously injured.

Stopped Vehicles

If a car has stopped at a crosswalk to let a pedestrian cross the street, other drivers that approach the crosswalk must also stop. A driver cannot choose to speed up and pass the stopped vehicles simply because he does not want to wait for the pedestrian to cross. However, pedestrians should still play it safe and remain aware of their surroundings as they cross the street in case there is a driver who chooses to violate this law.

Have you been hit by a car while crossing the street? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover compensation for your devastating injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Disputes Involving Repairs After A Car Accident

Common Disputes Involving Repairs After A Car Accident

If your car is damaged in an accident caused by a negligent driver, the negligent driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying for the repairs. In a perfect world, the insurance company would simply assess the damage and write you a check for the cost of repairs. But unfortunately, things don’t always work out that way. Instead, you may find yourself disputing with the insurance adjuster about the repairs. Here’s a look at some of the most common disputes involving repairs after a car accident:

Inaccurate Estimate of the Cost of Repairs

Some insurance adjusters will send you an estimate for the repairs that seems much lower than what you expected. Upon further examination, you may realize that the estimate was put together by the insurance company instead of a professional repair shop. There’s no way that an insurance adjuster knows how to estimate the costs of repairs on a vehicle, so you should not accept this estimate unless it is approved by a professional.

Missing Items on the Estimate

The insurance company could also provide you with an estimate that is lower than expected because it does not include all of the necessary repairs. For example, the estimate may not mention repainting the car so it looks the same way it did prior to the accident. If you believe there is something missing, don’t be afraid to confront the insurance company about it. This issue can create a dispute since the car accident victim will need to fight to ensure he is compensated for 100% of the repairs.

Poor Quality Parts

The insurance company is responsible for not simply repairing the car so it is functional again, but rather repairing the car so it is in the same condition it was in prior to the accident. This means the insurance company cannot replace high-end factory-authorized parts with cheap, low quality parts in order to lower the overall cost of repairs. But, this is exactly what many insurance companies attempt to do after a car accident. This is one issue you should not let them get away with since the quality of the parts could affect how well the car runs in the future.

If you have been involved in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our personal injury attorneys handle these disputes with the at-fault party’s insurance company so you can focus solely on your recovery. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can Criminal Defendants Ask For A New Judge?

Can Criminal Defendants Ask For A New Judge?

The jury decides whether a defendant is guilty or not, but the judge also plays an important role in a criminal case. The judge is responsible for ensuring that both sides follow the proper procedures when presenting their cases. Basically, it is the judge that is responsible for making sure every defendant is given a fair trial. But, what if you are not happy with the judge presiding over your case? Can criminal defendants ask for a new judge? Here’s what you should know:

What is A Motion to Recuse A Judge?

Every criminal defendant has the right to file a motion to recuse a judge, which is a request to have the judge replaced with a new one. However, this type of motion should only be filed when the defendant believes the judge has a conflict of interest that should prevent him from being involved in the case.

For example, let’s say the judge is related to someone involved in the case. He may find it difficult to remain impartial if a relative is involved, which is why he should not be allowed to preside over the case. Judges should also be replaced if they have a prejudice against someone involved in the case. The negative feelings can sometimes stem from a previous run-in between the defendant and the judge. In other cases, the judge may be prejudiced because he is stereotyping someone involved in the case.

Filing A Motion to Recuse A Judge

If you believe the judge should be replaced, talk to your criminal defense attorney about filing a motion to recuse the judge. The law requires criminal defendants to file this motion within 10 days after the case is assigned to court. But, many defendants are not made aware of the judge’s conflict of interest until after these 10 days have passed. In this case, you may still be able to file the motion as long as you can explain why it was not filed within the 10-day timeframe.

Anyone who files this type of motion must also submit affidavits from a minimum of two people that support the claim that the judge cannot be impartial in your case. If enough evidence of bias is presented, the judge will disqualify himself from the case. The chief justice will then be notified so he can assign a new judge to the case.

Having a biased judge preside over your case violates your right to a fair trial. If you believe your judge is biased, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our team fight to replace the judge and protect your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is an Affirmative Defense?

What is an Affirmative Defense?

There are countless different defense strategies that criminal defendants can use to fight criminal charges. Many strategies involve proving that the defendant did not commit the crime. But, this is not the goal of an affirmative defense.

What is an Affirmative Defense?

A defendant who uses an affirmative defense is admitting that he was the one who committed the crime. However, this does not mean the defendant will plead guilty and accept the legal consequences of his actions. An affirmative defense involves introducing evidence that will prove that the defendant should not be held criminally liable even though he has admitted to committing the crime.

Examples of Affirmative Defense Strategies

Self-defense is one example of an affirmative defense strategy. In Colorado, the self-defense law says it is legal to use physical force if it is necessary to protect yourself or someone else. For example, let’s say you must hit someone in order to protect yourself from being hit. If you are charged with assault for hitting the person, you can use the self-defense strategy. By using this strategy, you are admitting you committed the crime, but introducing evidence that proves you should not be held criminally liable for it.

Entrapment is another type of affirmative defense strategy. Entrapment occurs when someone is persuaded to commit a crime by law enforcement officers. Defendants who use this strategy are not denying that they committed the crime, but rather arguing they should not be convicted for the crime because they were induced to commit it.

What to Expect When Using An Affirmative Defense

In cases involving an affirmative defense, the prosecution does not need to focus on proving that the defendant was the one who committed the crime. This is because the defendant is already admitting his involvement. Instead, the prosecution must focus on disproving the defendant’s evidence that negates criminal liability.

Consider the self-defense example mentioned above. In this scenario, the prosecution would not focus on proving the defendant committed the crime, but rather that the crime was not committed in self-defense. If the prosecution cannot disprove the self-defense claim, the defendant will not be convicted of this crime.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our criminal defense attorneys will review the details of your case to determine the best strategy to use to fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Gap Insurance Can Help After A Car Accident

How Gap Insurance Can Help After A Car Accident

The at-fault party’s insurance company is legally obligated to pay to repair your vehicle after a car accident. But, sometimes the damage is so severe that the insurance company classifies the car as a total loss. If you are still making payments on your vehicle, it’s important to understand how this will impact you financially and how gap insurance can help.

What is a Total Loss?

Colorado law states an insurance company can classify a car as a total loss if the cost of repairs is equal to or greater than the car’s value. For example, if a car is valued at $5,000, the car is totaled if the cost of repairs is estimated at $5,000 or more.

The Financial Impact of a Total Loss

If your car is totaled, the insurance company must pay to replace the vehicle. But, the insurance company will only pay you the actual cash value of the car at the time of the accident. To determine how much your car was worth before the accident, the insurance company will consider the vehicle’s age, condition, make, model, mileage, and resale value. The insurance company will calculate the actual cash value based on these factors and write you a check for this amount.

However, it’s possible that the actual cash value of the car will be lower than the amount you still owe on the vehicle. This can put car accident victims in a bad financial situation, but fortunately, gap insurance can help.

How Gap Insurance Can Help

The purpose of gap insurance is to bridge the gap between the car’s actual cash value and the amount still owed on the vehicle. For example, let’s say you total your car in an accident. You still owe $7,000 on the loan, but the insurance company only values the car at $5,000. Gap insurance will cover the $2,000 gap between the amount of the loan and the amount paid by the insurance company. If you do not have this coverage, it will be your responsibility to pay the $2,000 difference.

If you are making payments on a vehicle, it’s strongly recommended you obtain gap insurance so you are covered in the event your car is totaled.

If you have been injured or suffered property damage in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Let our personal injury attorneys handle the challenging process of recovering compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Do Police Obtain Arrest Warrants?

When Do Police Obtain Arrest Warrants?

Police officers often arrest people when they are caught in the act of committing a crime. For example, if someone is driving under the influence of alcohol, he can be arrested if an officer pulls him over and believes he is intoxicated. However, some arrests are not made at the same time the crime was committed. Before making this type of arrest, law enforcement must seek an arrest warrant. When do police obtain arrest warrants? Here’s what you should know:

When Police Seek Arrest Warrants

Police officers seek arrest warrants any time they believe they have gathered enough evidence to prove that someone has committed a crime. For instance, if an assault victim names her assailant in a police report, the police may request an arrest warrant based on this evidence.

How to Obtain An Arrest Warrant

If a police officer suspects that someone is involved in a criminal activity, he can request an arrest warrant from a judge. The request must include a written affidavit that outlines the evidence that proves the suspect is involved in criminal activity. The judge will authorize the suspect’s arrest if he believes there is probable cause that a crime was committed and the suspect was involved.

What Happens After A Warrant is Issued

Many arrest warrants authorize law enforcement to arrest a suspect at a specific location during certain hours of the day. For example, the warrant may specify that the police can only arrest someone at his home between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

If the arrest warrant involves a serious crime such as murder, the police are usually given broader authority to make the arrest. For example, the police may have the right to break down your door in order to arrest you.

However, if the crime is not as serious, the arrest is usually made whenever you make contact with the police. For instance, let’s say there is a warrant out for your arrest. If you are pulled over speeding, it is very likely the police officer will take you into custody after pulling up your information and seeing the warrant.

If there is a warrant out for your arrest, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our criminal defense attorneys will stand by your side throughout the legal process, protecting your rights every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is Credit Card Fraud in Colorado?

What is Credit Card Fraud in Colorado?

Credit card fraud is one of the most common types of fraud crimes. Anyone who illegally uses a credit or debit card with the intent to defraud another party, including a vendor, credit card holder, or credit card company, can be charged with this crime. But, what does this really mean? What constitutes an illegal use of a credit or debit card? Here’s what you should know:

Unauthorized Use of a Credit Card

Using another person’s credit card without their permission is considered credit card fraud in Colorado. This crime can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the value of the fraud. For example, charging less than $50 to someone’s card is charged as a class 1 petty offense. However, the crime becomes a felony if the value of the illegally obtained goods is more than $2,000.

Illegal Possession of a Credit Card

In the state of Colorado, it is illegal to have a financial device in your possession that you know is lost or stolen. Since a credit card is classified as a financial device, this means it is illegal to have a lost or stolen credit card in your possession. It’s important to note that you do not need to actually use the lost or stolen credit card in order to be charged with this crime. If it is in your possession, you are violating this law.

Having one unauthorized credit card is a class 1 misdemeanor, however the charges are increased if you have more than one unauthorized credit card in your possession.

Identity Theft

Credit card fraud often involves identity theft. For example, let’s say you use someone else’s information to open a credit card account. This is identity theft, so even if you never charge anything to the account, simply getting a credit card with someone else’s information is illegal.

In fact, law enforcement has the right to charge you with this crime even if the credit card application is not approved. The act of applying or completing an application for a credit card with someone else’s information is identity theft, regardless of whether the credit card company issues a card.

If you have been charged with credit card fraud, seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our team aggressively fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Consequences of Allowing Someone to Manufacture Drugs on Your Property

The Consequences of Allowing Someone to Manufacture Drugs on Your Property

Drug crimes—especially drug manufacturing crimes—are aggressively prosecuted in the state of Colorado. In fact, sometimes people who are not even directly involved in the process of manufacturing the controlled substances are charged with a crime. Here’s what you should know about the crime of allowing someone to manufacture drugs on your property:

Who Can Be Charged With This Crime?

Landlords, property owners, and property managers can be charged with a crime for knowingly or intentionally allowing someone to manufacture controlled substances on their property. This means a landlord, property owner, or property manager can face criminal charges even if they played no role in the manufacturing process.

It is also a crime to knowingly or intentionally allow someone to use your property for the purpose of distributing or transporting controlled substances.

It’s important to note that the keywords in the legal definition of this crime are “knowingly” and “intentionally.” These individuals cannot be charged with a crime if they were unaware that someone was manufacturing drugs on their property. They also cannot be charged with this crime if they notified someone in law enforcement about the illegal activities on their property.

The Consequences For Allowing Someone to Manufacture Drugs

Drug crimes are often charged as felonies. Because the people who are charged with this crime are not necessarily involved in the manufacturing process, this crime is only a level 1 misdemeanor. Defendants who are charged with this crime will face a maximum of 18 months in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.

Common Defense Strategies

Most defendants who are charged with this crime argue that they had no idea that drugs were being manufactured on their property. Remember, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. This means it is not your responsibility to prove that you didn’t know about the criminal activity, but rather it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove that you did. It is not unreasonable to think that a landlord or property owner is not aware of what their tenants are doing on the property, so this is usually an effective defense strategy.

Have you been accused of committing a drug crime? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. A drug crime conviction can drastically change your life, which is why we will work tirelessly to keep this crime off of your record. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Non-Delegable Duties Affect Premises Liability Cases

How Non-Delegable Duties Affect Premises Liability Cases

Premises liability is a legal concept that states property owners are responsible for maintaining safe conditions on their property. If a property owner fails to fulfill this legal obligation, he could be held liable for any injuries that are sustained on his property as a result of hazardous conditions. However, some property owners try to place the blame for an accident on a third party. When this happens, the “non-delegable duties” legal concept often comes into play. Here’s what you should know about this legal term:

What Are Non-Delegable Duties?

Property owners often claim they delegated the duties of maintaining safe conditions on the property to a third party. Therefore, if an accident occurs, the third party is liable for the victim’s injuries, not the property owner. But, it’s important to understand that this defense strategy will not hold up in court.

Property maintenance and security issues are classified as non-delegable duties. This means a property owner cannot transfer liability for an accident related to maintenance or security to a third party.

An Example of Non-Delegable Duties

Many property owners hire landscaping companies to maintain the landscaping on their property. If someone trips over a tree stump hidden in the grass and breaks their arm, the property owner may tell the victim that it’s the landscaping company’s fault. However, the landscaping company cannot be held liable for the victim’s injuries. Even though the property owner hired the landscaping company to take care of the landscaping, property maintenance is a non-delegable duty. This means regardless of who is hired to help with this duty, the liability still falls on the property owner if an accident occurs.

The victim’s premises liability claim would still be filed against the property owner, who may be ordered to compensate the victim for his injuries. However, the property owner could seek reimbursement from the landscaping company that was hired to maintain the property. If the property owner chooses to do this, the case would be completely separate from the victim’s premises liability claim. The victim would not be involved in the property owner’s efforts to seek reimbursement.

If you have been injured on someone else’s property, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Proving liability in these cases can be challenging, which is why it’s important to seek help from our experienced personal injury attorneys. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.