Month: March 2018

The Consequences of DUI With A Child in the Car

The Consequences of DUI With A Child in the Car

Everyone knows that there are consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. But, many people are not aware that they could face additional consequences if they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car. Here’s a look at the consequences of DUI with a child in the car:

When DUI is Considered Child Abuse

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child under the age of 16 in the car is considered a form of child abuse in the state of Colorado. This applies to any child—even if he or she is not yours.

Child abuse can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the nature of the crime.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Child Abuse Charges

The driver will face misdemeanor charges of child abuse if the child was not injured as a result of the driver’s intoxication. Some of the penalties for misdemeanor child abuse charges include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Drivers who are convicted of driving while intoxicated with a child in the car would face these penalties in addition to the penalties associated with DUI charges.

If the child in the car is either injured or killed because of the driver’s intoxication, the driver can face felony child abuse charges. If the child was injured, it is a class 3 felony, however if the child was killed it can be either a class 2 or 3 felony. There are serious consequences for these crimes, including up to 24 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Other Consequences of DUI With A Child in the Car

In addition to time behind bars and substantial fines, drivers who are convicted of DUI with a child in the car may also be ordered to complete parenting classes. Being convicted of child abuse can also lead to the loss of child custody. If the court believes it is not in the child’s best interest to live with you, the child may be removed from your home. In some cases, the court may even deny visitation until you have met certain requirements.

Spending time behind bars is serious, but there’s nothing worse than losing the right to see your child. If you have been accused of driving under the influence with a child in the car, let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm fight the charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Is It Legal to Drive With Marijuana in the Car?

Is It Legal to Drive With Marijuana in the Car?

Recreational marijuana may be legal in the state of Colorado, but that does not mean it is unregulated. There are many rules and regulations regarding the possession of marijuana in Colorado, including the legality of having marijuana in the car with you. Is it legal to drive with marijuana in the car? Here’s what you need to know:

The Open Container Law

People in Colorado can legally drive with marijuana in the passenger area of the vehicle as long as it is not in an open container. This means that the container holding the marijuana is not open and does not have a broken seal. A container is also considered “open” if there is evidence that some of the marijuana inside the container has been removed.

Driving With Open Containers

The definition of an open container is somewhat vague, so it can be difficult for drivers to determine whether their marijuana container is considered open or closed. For example, some law enforcement officers might think a small plastic bag is an open container, while others may view it as closed.

If there is any question as to whether a container is open or closed, it’s best to act as if it is an open container. This means that the container should not be kept in the passenger areas of the vehicle, which are the areas that are easily accessible by either the driver or a passenger. To be safe, put these questionable containers in the truck of the vehicle instead of trying to guess if it’s open or closed. Even if the container is open, it is not illegal to have it in your car as long as it is in the trunk.

Age Requirements

It’s important to note that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to have recreational marijuana in their possession. Therefore, it is illegal for someone under the age of 21 to drive with marijuana in their car, even if it is in a closed container or in the trunk. However, it is not illegal if it can be proven that the marijuana belongs to someone else in the vehicle who is over the age of 21.

Are you being accused of committing a drug crime? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. The criminal defense attorneys at our law firm will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Myths About Criminal Defense

Common Myths About Criminal Defense

Many people learn about the law and court system from TV shows and movies, which are not reliable sources. As a result, there are a lot of myths about criminal defense attorneys and the work that they do to protect the right of people who have been accused of committing crimes. Here’s the truth behind some of the most common myths:

Myth: The Jury Will Assume A Defendant is Guilty if He Doesn’t Testify

Some defendants are surprised to hear their attorneys advise them against testifying in their criminal case. This is often because they believe that the jury will think they are hiding something if they choose not to testify. But, that’s not true. Every defendant has a constitutional right to choose whether or not he wants to testify. If a defendant decides against testifying, the jury cannot take this decision into account during deliberations.

Myth: Defendants Who Plead Guilty Do Not Need Attorneys

Defendants who have decided to plead guilty often believe that they don’t need to hire a criminal defense attorney since their case will not go to trial. But, a criminal defense attorney does much more than just represent clients during trials. If you are pleading guilty, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to ensure you are given a reasonable sentence.

Myth: You Can’t Be Convicted Unless There is Forensic Evidence

The crimes that are featured in movies and TV shows are often solved when investigators find fingerprints, DNA, or other types of forensic evidence. It’s true that this type of evidence is used to convict people of crimes. However, it’s not true that a defendant cannot be convicted unless there is forensic evidence that proves he committed the crime. Prosecutors often rely solely on testimony from witnesses and police officers to convict defendants. Therefore, there’s no reason to think that the case against you is weak because there is no forensic evidence.

Myth: The Police Cannot Lie to You

It’s a crime to lie to police officers, but believe it or not, it’s not illegal for them to lie to you. It’s important to understand that police officers may make misleading or false statements in order to get you to confess to a crime. If they happen to get a confession out of you, it cannot be thrown out simply because they lied in order to get it.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will guide you through the criminal justice system, protecting your rights every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Most Common Types of Bike Accidents

Most Common Types of Bike Accidents

Accidents involving a bicycle and a vehicle often lead to traumatic injuries—especially for the bicyclist, who doesn’t have nearly as much protection as the motorist. Anyone who rides a bicycle should learn about how these accidents occur so they know how to protect themselves on the road. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of bike accidents:

Collisions At Stop Signs

Many bicycle accidents occur when both a bicyclist and a motorist are trying to pass through an intersection. The motorist often has a stop sign at the intersection, giving he bicyclist the right-of-way. In this case, the motorist would likely be at fault for the accident. But, if the bicyclist had a stop sign and the motorist did not, the bicyclist could be to blame in the event of an accident.

“The Right Hook”

Another common type of bicycle accident is referred to as “the right hook.” This occurs when a motorist passes a bicyclist that is traveling on the right side of the vehicle. Soon after passing the bike, the motorist makes a right turn while either forgetting the bicyclist is there or assuming that he is far behind his vehicle. If the bicyclist is still traveling alongside the vehicle, this could lead to a dangerous collision.

Open Door Accidents

People who are sitting in parked cars must look to see if the coast is clear before opening their car door. Why? Bicyclists don’t have time to swerve out of the way to avoid a collision if someone opens a car door right in front of them. As a result, failing to check for oncoming traffic before opening a car door could seriously injure a bicyclist.

Rear End Accidents

Rear end accidents occur when a vehicle collides with a bicyclist from behind. Although these accidents can occur at any time, many of them occur when it is dark outside since bicyclists are far less visible after the sun sets. To prevent these accidents, bicyclists should always wear reflective gear and put lights on their bicycle so other drivers do not have trouble seeing them on the road.

Have you been injured in a bicycle accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to hold the negligent driver responsible for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Where Can You Legally Smoke Marijuana in Colorado?

Where Can You Legally Smoke Marijuana in Colorado?

Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana. Because of this, many people assume that it is legal to consume marijuana anywhere in the state of Colorado, but that’s not the case. Even though marijuana has been legalized, there are many laws surrounding how it can be consumed. Here’s what you need to know about where you can and cannot legally smoke marijuana in Colorado:

Marijuana Retailers

You can legally purchase marijuana at one of the many licensed retailers throughout the state, however you cannot smoke marijuana at one of these stores. In fact, it is illegal to smoke marijuana in or around a licensed cannabis retailer.

Private Residences

It’s perfectly legal to smoke marijuana in private as long as it was legally purchased and you are above the age of 21. In this case, feel free to smoke marijuana if you are in a private residence.

Public Areas

It is not legal to smoke marijuana in public even if it was purchased legally and you are above the legal smoking age. Therefore, do not try to smoke marijuana when you are in parks, playgrounds, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting events, concerts, or any other public venue.

It’s also illegal to smoke marijuana while using public transportation, since this is considered a public area.

Cars

Marijuana can be legally transported by car as long as it is not stored in an open container or brought across state lines. But, even though it is legal to carry marijuana in a vehicle, it is not legal to smoke it while in a car. Both drivers and passengers can face serious criminal charges for lighting up while inside a vehicle—even if the car is not in motion.

Hotels

Hotels are public venues, but hotel rooms are private, so many people wonder whether smoking in a hotel room is legal or illegal. The law allows hotels to decide whether or not they want to allow guests to smoke marijuana, so check with the front desk to find out if smoking marijuana is legal. If the hotel does permit smoking marijuana, it is only legal in designated smoking rooms.

Basically, marijuana can be legally smoked in private, but not in public. Smoking marijuana in any location that is open or easily accessible to the public is illegal.

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

Should You See A Chiropractor After A Car Accident?

Should You See A Chiropractor After A Car Accident?

Many people who are involved in car accidents suffer from back, neck, and shoulder pain following the crash. Physicians can treat these injuries, but chiropractors are known for specifically treating soft tissue injuries located in these areas of the body. So, if you suffer these injuries, should you see a regular physician or a chiropractor after a car accident? Many car accident victims end up seeing both a physician and a chiropractor during their recovery, but it’s best to see a physician first. Here’s why:

Get A Professional Opinion

It may be obvious that you have suffered some sort of neck, back, or shoulder injury based on the symptoms that you are experiencing. But, it’s best not to diagnose your own injuries in case you’re wrong. Go to a physician as soon as possible after the accident so you can be examined by a medical professional.

Remember, chiropractors do not go through the same training that physicians do, so they will not be able to offer the same level of care. If you go to a chiropractor first, he may not be able to identify other injuries that you have suffered in the accident.

The Value of Your Personal Injury Claim

The at-fault party’s insurance company will need to see copies of your medical records in order to calculate the value of your claim. If the insurance adjuster sees that you solely went to a chiropractor after the accident, this could affect the value of your claim.

Many insurance adjusters favor treatment provided by physicians instead of chiropractors. If you only went to a chiropractor, the insurance adjuster may assume that the injury is not as severe as you are claiming. As a result, the insurance adjuster may lower the value of your claim simply because you chose a chiropractor instead of a physician.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to go to a chiropractor only if it is recommended by a doctor. Be sure to ask your doctor for recommendations so you can make sure that you go to a highly respected chiropractor in the area. Doing this will ensure that your visits to the chiropractor will not impact your ability to recover compensation.

If you have been injured in a car accident, seek medical attention first, then get in touch with a personal injury attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will handle the negotiations with the insurance adjuster so you can focus solely on recovering. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Dog Breed-Specific Laws in Colorado

Dog Breed-Specific Laws in Colorado

Some dogs are known for being more aggressive or dangerous than others. For this reason, many local governments have banned certain dog breeds in an attempt to prevent serious or fatal dog attacks. The laws vary by state, and in some cases, by county as well. Here’s a look at the dog breed-specific laws in Colorado:

Dog Breed-Specific Laws by City

Many Colorado cities have established bans on certain breeds of dogs, including:

  • Aurora
  • Broomfield
  • Castle Rock
  • Commerce City
  • Denver
  • Fort Lupton
  • Louisville
  • Lone Tree
  • Town of Simla

All of these cities currently have banned pit bills, which are known as one of the most aggressive and powerful breeds. This means no one within these cities is allowed to own, keep, transport, or sell a pit bill. There are several exceptions to this rule, however. For example, an owner can bring a pit bull into one of these cities if the dog is participating at a dog show. But in general, these dogs are not permitted in any of the cities listed above.

Some cities have gone even further with their breed-specific bans. Lone Tree has banned all fighting breeds, including pit bulls, American bulldogs, canary dogs, Japanese mastiffs, and other breeds known for their aggressive nature.

Dog Bites & Banned Breeds

If a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner is typically held liable for the victim’s injuries. This is true regardless of the dog’s breed or its history of aggression.

But, what happens if someone is attacked by a dog that is supposed to be banned from the city? The owner will still be liable for your injuries. In fact, the owner may be ordered to compensate you even more.

Owners must comply with all laws related to dog ownership, including the laws that outlaw certain breeds. Failing to comply with local breed-specific laws can be seen as negligence. If the court believes the dog’s owner acted with extreme negligence, the court may award the victim punitive damages in addition to economic and non-economic damages. As a result, the dog’s owner will end up paying dearly for her failure to comply with the dog breed-specific laws.

Have you been attacked by a dog? If so, speak to a personal injury attorney at Reisch Law Firm today. We will work tirelessly to hold the dog’s owner liable and recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can You File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against A Hospital?

Can You File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against A Hospital?

Hospitals are staffed with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers that are trained to diagnose and treat serious illnesses and injuries. But unfortunately, these healthcare providers often make mistakes that cause a patient harm or result in premature death. If someone is killed as a result of a healthcare provider’s mistake, the victim’s family members can file a wrongful death claim. But, who would be the defendant in this case? Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit against a hospital? Here’s what you should know:

Wrongful Death & Medical Malpractice

If someone passes away in a hospital, the victim’s family members can only file a wrongful death lawsuit if they can prove that the victim’s death was caused by medical malpractice. A healthcare provider commits medical malpractice when his treatment of a patient falls below the accepted standard of care and the patient is injured as a result.

For example, let’s say a doctor is examining a patient in the emergency room who is complaining of tightness in the chest and pain in his left arm. Most doctors in this situation would recognize that the patient could be having a heart attack. This would prompt them to order further testing to confirm the diagnosis and immediately begin monitoring the patient’s condition. However, if a doctor tells the patient he is simply experiencing indigestion without performing any tests, the doctor’s treatment is falling below the accepted standard of care. If the patient has a heart attack shortly after this misdiagnosis, the doctor could be held liable for medical malpractice.

When is a Hospital Liable?

Healthcare providers are typically held liable for medical malpractice that results in death, but in some cases, hospitals can be held liable as well. A hospital can be held liable if any of their employees commit medical malpractice, including doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other healthcare providers. But, if the healthcare provider who committed malpractice is an independent contractor, the hospital is usually not held liable.

Hospitals can also be held liable if their negligence in hiring or supervising employees caused a person’s death. For instance, if a hospital hired a nurse without verifying her credentials, the hospital can be held liable if the nurse commits medical malpractice that results in someone’s death.

Wrongful death cases involving medical malpractice are incredibly complex, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney. The wrongful death attorneys at Reisch Law Firm have the legal resources and expertise to handle these challenging cases. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can Police Seize Your Property?

When Can Police Seize Your Property?

A defendant’s property can often be used as evidence against him in a criminal case. For example, a cell phone belonging to a defendant may contain incriminating text messages. Part of law enforcement’s investigation will include gathering this property so it can be used as evidence in the case. However, law enforcement must comply with the law when it comes to seizing property. When can police seize your property? Here’s what you should know:

Fourth Amendment Rights & Search Warrants

The Fourth Amendment provides protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. But, this means that law enforcement officers are permitted to conduct searches and seize assets when it is reasonable to do so.

For example, law enforcement can conduct a search of property and seize evidence discovered on the property if they have been given a search warrant. A judge will not issue a warrant unless law enforcement is able to show probable cause that a crime has been committed and that evidence can most likely be found at the location identified in the warrant.

Warrantless Searches and Seizures

But, warrantless searches and seizures can be conducted in certain situations. If there is no “legitimate expectation of privacy,” items can be seized without a warrant. For example, let’s say someone accidentally leaves a small bag of controlled substances on the hood of his car while it is parked in a public parking lot. The bag of controlled substances is in plain sight, and the person should not expect privacy when he is leaving items out in the open while in a public place. Therefore, the bag of controlled substances can be seized without a warrant since there is no legitimate expectation of privacy.

Officers also do not need a warrant in emergency situations. For this type of search and seizure to be legal, officers must be able to prove that the search needed to be conducted right away in order to prevent physical harm, the escape of the suspect, or the destruction of evidence.

Become familiar with your rights so you know when officers are legally permitted to seize your property. It’s important to note that any property that is illegally seized cannot be used as evidence in your case. For this reason, criminal defense attorneys closely analyze the manner in which searches and seizures were conducted to ensure they were legal.

Is your property being used as evidence against you? If so, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will fight to have evidence that was seized illegally thrown out to weaken the prosecution’s case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can Non-Citizens Be Deported After A Criminal Conviction?

Can Non-Citizens Be Deported After A Criminal Conviction?

Anyone who is convicted of a crime should be concerned about the consequences that they may face, which could include incarceration, steep fines, and probation. But, non-citizens have even more to lose since a criminal conviction can sometimes lead to deportation. When can non-citizens be deported after a criminal conviction? Here’s what you need to know:

Certain Criminal Convictions Can Lead to Deportation

Non-citizens can face deportation if they are convicted of several different types of crimes. The first is any type of aggravated felony, such as aggravated assault or aggravated robbery. Non-citizens can also face deportation if they are convicted of certain crimes that involve controlled substances, weapons, domestic violence, and child abuse.

Being convicted of “crimes of moral turpitude” (CMT) can lead to deportation of non-citizens as well. Crimes can be classified as CMT regardless of whether they are felonies or misdemeanors. Basically, a CMT is a crime that involves conduct that goes against society’s standards of honesty, good morals, or justice.

This is a fairly broad definition, which is why so many crimes have been classified as CMTs in cases involving non-citizens in the past. Some of the crimes that have been labeled as CMTs in the past include murder, voluntary manslaughter, theft, fraud, conspiracy, and robbery.

A Note on Plea Deals

Many criminal cases, involving both citizens and non-citizens, are resolved with plea deals. There are pros and cons to accepting a plea deal, but the cons are much more significant for anyone who is not a legal U.S. citizen.

By accepting a plea deal, a defendant is pleading guilty to a crime that he may or may not have committed in exchange for a lighter sentence. This is ideal for defendants who do not want to go to trial or who want to ensure they don’t receive the harshest sentence possible. But, accepting a plea deal is basically accepting a criminal conviction, so it could make a non-citizen deportable if the crime fits the criteria previously mentioned. Therefore, taking a plea deal is not always in the best interest of non-citizens who are being accused of committing a crime.

If you are a non-citizen who is facing criminal charges, seek legal representation from Reisch Law Firm today. Non-citizens have much more on the line than citizens, so they will need our criminal defense attorneys to fight tirelessly to prevent deportation. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.