Month: April 2018

How Do Aggravating Factors Affect A Defendant’s Criminal Case?

How Do Aggravating Factors Affect A Defendant’s Criminal Case?

Many different factors are taken into consideration when determining an appropriate sentence for a defendant who has been convicted of a crime. Something the judge must consider when sentencing a defendant is the presence of aggravating factors. What are aggravating factors and how can they affect your case? Here’s what you should know:

What Are Aggravating Factors?

Aggravating factors are specific circumstances under which a defendant’s felony crime is considered to be more serious. These specific circumstances are:

  • The defendant was on parole or probation for another felony at the time he committed this felony crime.
  • The defendant was convicted of a crime of violence, including but not limited to murder, first or second degree assault, kidnapping, first degree arson, and aggravated robbery.
  • At the time of the crime, the defendant was under confinement or in a correctional institution because of a previous felony conviction.
  • The defendant was an escapee from a correctional institution at the time of the crime.
  • The defendant committed the crime while he was on appeal bond after being convicted of a previous felony crime.
  • At the time of the crime, the defendant was on bond following the revocation of his probation, which he was sentenced to after committing a previous felony crime.

If any of these aggravating factors apply to your case, it’s important to understand how their presence could affect your case.

How Will the Presence of Aggravating Factors Affect Your Sentence?

The presence of one of these aggravating circumstances does not mean that you will definitely be sentenced to prison. However, if the judge sentences you to time behind bars, the presence of these aggravating factors can affect the length of time that you will be incarcerated.

For example, let’s say you are convicted of a class 3 felony and the judge has decided to send you to prison. The sentencing range for a class 3 felony in Colorado is between 4-12 years. If aggravating circumstances are present, the judge must sentence you to at least 8 years, since this is the midpoint of the sentencing range for this crime. The judge cannot sentence you to more than two times the maximum term, or in this case, more than 24 years.

Have you been charged with a crime? If so, you will need guidance from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to fight for the best possible outcome in our clients’ cases. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How An Attorney Can Help With Denied Car Insurance Claims

How An Attorney Can Help With Denied Car Insurance Claims

After a car accident, anyone who is injured has the right to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company in order to recover compensation. The insurance company must compensate the victim for any expenses he has incurred or losses he has suffered as a result of the injuries caused by the company’s policyholder. But unfortunately, some insurance companies choose to reject the claim instead. If you are being denied compensation, it’s important to work with a personal injury attorney. Here’s how an attorney can help with denied car insurance claims:

Demand Answers

The insurance company must tell the claimant why the claim is being denied. But, some insurance companies don’t provide this information when informing the claimant of the denial. If this happens to you, an attorney can step in and demand answers from the insurance adjuster.

Gather Additional Evidence

Sometimes, a claim is denied is because the insurance company does not believe their policyholder is liable for the accident. Claims can also be denied if the insurance company does not believe the victim is injured or does not think the injuries were sustained in the accident. If your claim was denied for one of these reasons, a personal injury attorney can gather additional evidence that proves the insurance company wrong.

For example, let’s say the insurance company believes you were at fault for the accident. An attorney can interview witnesses, examine photos from the scene of the accident, and work with an accident reconstruction expert to obtain evidence that proves the other driver was to blame. This evidence may be enough to convince the insurance adjuster to reverse his decision on the claim.

Threaten Litigation

It’s possible that the insurance adjuster is denying the claim despite the fact that he knows it is valid simply because he thinks he can get away with it. Even if you threaten to take legal action, the insurance company will probably not take this threat seriously unless it is coming directly from an attorney. Your personal injury attorney will make it clear to the insurance adjuster that he will not get away with denying a legitimate claim. Insurance adjusters know that personal injury attorneys mean business, so a threat is often enough to convince them to either provide answers or reopen the claim.

Has your car accident claim been denied? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Let our personal injury attorneys communicate with the at-fault party’s insurance company on your behalf. With our help, car accident victims can recover the compensation they deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Traffic Fatalities in Colorado

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. declined slightly in 2017, however the data from the state of Colorado tells a different story. There were 642 traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2017, which is the highest number of crash-related deaths in this state since 2004. Sadly, the number of traffic fatalities in Colorado has been steadily rising over the several years. Why are the roads in Colorado becoming increasingly dangerous? Here are some the most common causes of fatal crashes:

Failure to Wear Safety Gear

Many of the people who were killed in traffic accidents could have possibly survived if they had been wearing the appropriate safety gear at the time of the crash. For example, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports that half of the people who suffered fatal injuries in traffic accidents in 2016 were not wearing their seat belts. In addition, most of the motorcyclists who were killed on the roads during 2016 were not wearing their helmets. To reduce fatalities, everyone should make an effort to protect themselves with the proper safety gear.

Drugs and Alcohol

Drivers need to be able to pay attention to the road and react quickly to changes in their environment. This is nearly impossible for drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, which is why many of these intoxicated drivers are involved in fatal crashes. According to CDOT, impaired drivers were responsible for 196 fatalities in 2016. Many of these accidents involved drivers impaired by alcohol, but drivers that were impaired by marijuana were responsible for 77 fatalities.

Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving may not seem serious, but it’s one of the leading causes of fatal accidents in the U.S. The AAA Traffic Safety Foundation estimates that about 21% of all fatal accidents involve a drowsy driver. Since over one-third of Americans are not getting enough sleep, it’s not hard to see why drowsy driving has become such a major issue.

Distracted Driving

Drivers can get distracted by many things, including cell phones, other passengers in the vehicle, GPS devices, and music. Even though the vast majority of drivers understand the dangers of distracted driving, this does not stop them from engaging in this behavior anyways. Drivers who are distracted cause an average of 40 crashes per day in Colorado, many of which are fatal. If drivers simply focused on their surroundings, the roads in Colorado would be much safer overall.

The Cost of Traffic Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that traffic accident injuries and fatalities cost over $1 trillion every year. Fortunately, traffic accident victims usually only pay about one-quarter of their expenses after a crash. The majority of expenses are covered by private insurers. This is because when an accident occurs, the at-fault party’s insurance company is legally obligated to compensate the victim for his or her injuries. If someone is killed in an accident, the at-fault party’s insurance company must compensate the victim’s surviving family members for their loss.

It’s important to note that getting the insurance company to fulfill this legal obligation is never easy. To recover compensation, it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our skilled personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to recover the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.


How Does the Make My Day Defense Work in Colorado?

How Does the Make My Day Defense Work in Colorado?

Everyone should have the right to protect themselves and their home from intruders. But, the laws governing what residents can and cannot do to protect their homes vary from state-to-state. In Colorado, the “make my day” law gives residents the legal right to use their weapons when an intruder breaks into their home. Here’s what you need to know about the make my day defense law:

Make My Day Law in Colorado

Established in 1985, the make my day law gives Colorado residents the right to shoot and kill an intruder without facing criminal penalties. However, in order to use this defense, the resident must have been under the impression that the intruder was going to commit a crime and use physical force against someone inside the house. Even if the intruder is armed with nothing but his fists, Colorado residents can still fire their weapons to protect themselves.

In some states, the law requires residents to attempt to retreat to a safe place prior to using a weapon to defend themselves inside their homes. But, this is not the case in Colorado. Residents do not have a duty to retreat, which means they do not need to make an effort to escape before firing at an intruder.

When the Make My Day Law Does Not Apply

It’s important to understand when the make my day defense law does not apply so you know when you could face criminal charges for shooting another person. The make my day law only gives residents the right to shoot intruders inside their home. This means the law does not protect residents who shoot intruders that are in the yard or on the porch. Therefore, if an intruder is shot in the backyard, the resident cannot use the make my day defense to justify their crime.

Because the law only applies to incidents involving home intruders, you cannot use the make my day defense if you shoot someone in self defense while on public property. Other self defense laws may apply to cases involving situations that take place outside of the home, but the make my day law does not.

No one should ever have to face criminal consequences for protecting themselves. If you were left with no choice but to hurt someone in order to protect yourself, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will fight tirelessly to prove you acted in self defense. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Assumption of Risk Defense in Personal Injury Cases

The Assumption of Risk Defense in Personal Injury Cases

There are several defense strategies that a defendant can use in a personal injury case to escape liability. One of the most frequently used strategies is the assumption of risk defense. When can this strategy be used? How will it affect your case? Here’s what you need to know:

What is an Assumption of Risk?

In some personal injury cases, the defendant can argue that the plaintiff is not entitled to compensation because he knowingly exposed himself to a potentially dangerous situation. For example, let’s say a pedestrian is hit by a speeding car as he is jaywalking across the street. The driver of the car could argue that the pedestrian knew there were risks involved with jaywalking, but chose to do so anyways. Therefore, he should not be compensated for his injuries.

How the Assumption of Risk Could Affect A Personal Injury Case

Victims may still be able to recover compensation even if it is proven that they knew of the risks involved in a certain activity. But, the amount of compensation that they are awarded may be reduced due to Colorado’s modified comparative negligence laws.

Take another look at the jaywalking example mentioned above. In this case, the jury may find that both the driver of the vehicle and the victim are partly to blame for the accident. The driver of the vehicle is at fault because he was speeding at the time of the accident. The victim is also to blame because he assumed the risk of being hit by a car when he chose to violate pedestrian traffic laws and jaywalk across the street.

The jury will then need to determine what percentage of fault should be assigned to each party. If the jury assigns 40% of the fault to the victim and 60% to the defendant, the victim’s compensation will be reduced by 40%.

However, if the jury believes that the victim’s assumption of risk makes him more than 50% liable for the accident, he will not be able to recover any compensation for his injuries. Therefore, while it is possible to recover compensation even if you knew of the risks involved in a certain activity, it’s also possible that you will be denied compensation for this reason.

If you have been injured in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Even if you are partly to blame for the accident, our personal injury attorneys may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Recovering Compensation For Nerve Damage in a Personal Injury Case

Nerves carry messages back and forth from the brain to the rest of the body. Since nerves play such an important role in the body, the effects of nerve damage can be devastating. This condition can be incredibly painful and could greatly affect the victim’s daily life. Fortunately, if this injury was sustained in an accident caused by another person, the victim can seek damages by filing a personal injury claim. Here’s how to recover compensation for nerve damage in a personal injury case:

Provide Proof of Nerve Damage

Since nerve damage is not visible, the victim must be able to provide proof that the injury exists in order to recover compensation. A doctor can diagnose this condition by performing a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test. This test can be used to determine whether there is nerve damage, and if so, the severity of it.

Showing the insurance adjuster the results of this test can make it easier to recover compensation. Since it is difficult for an insurance adjuster to question the accuracy of such a complex test, he should no longer be able to argue that the injury doesn’t exist after seeing these results.

Document Pain and Suffering

It’s easy to show the insurance adjuster medical bills to prove that you should be compensated for injury-related expenses. But, it’s far more difficult to prove that you should be compensated for pain and suffering.

It’s recommended that victims with nerve damage begin documenting their symptoms immediately after the accident in an injury journal. Write down the symptoms that you experience everyday and how the injury has affected your life. A copy of these notes can be given to the insurance adjuster to help him understand what you have experienced as a result of the nerve damage.

To strengthen your case, it’s best to also ask your healthcare providers to submit written statements to the insurance adjuster. For example, the doctor that has treated the nerve damage can write a statement explaining the severity of the injury and how it will continue to affect your life in the future. If you have been seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist, be sure to include a statement from him that explains how the injury has affected your mental health as well.

Victims should not be denied compensation simply because their injuries are not visible. If you have suffered nerve damage in an accident, contact Reisch Law Firm. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Defenses Used in Drug Distribution Cases

Defenses Used in Drug Distribution Cases

Selling controlled substances such as prescription medications or recreational drugs is illegal in the state of Colorado. The state aggressively prosecutes this crime, and defendants who are convicted could face decades behind bars in addition to substantial fines. But fortunately, a criminal charge does not always lead to a conviction. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to fight the charges that have been filed against you. How? Here are some of the defenses used in drug distribution cases:

Illegal Search and Seizure of Evidence

One of the first things a criminal defense attorney will do is review the details of the defendant’s case to determine if law enforcement followed the proper protocol during the investigation. For example, in most cases, law enforcement officers need to either get consent or a search warrant before conducting a search and seizing evidence of a crime. If crucial evidence in your case was taken during an illegal search, an attorney may fight to have this evidence thrown out so it cannot be used against you.

Reduced Charges

People who are accused of distributing drugs can be charged with a level 1, 2, 3, or 4 drug felony depending on the severity of the crime. A level 1 drug felony carries the most serious penalties, whereas a level 4 drug felony carries the lightest. If a defendant has been charged with a level 1, the defense attorney may negotiate to have the charges reduced to a level 2, 3, or 4 felony as part of a plea deal. Even though the defendant will still face serious penalties, they won’t be nearly as bad as the penalties he would face for a level 1 drug felony.

The Defendant Did Not Knowingly Commit the Crime

The prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant knowingly distributed illegal drugs. This means it must be proven that the defendant knew the substance that was in his possession was a controlled substance. Although it’s rare, a defense attorney may be able to prove that the defendant had no idea the substance he was distributing was a controlled substance. If he did not knowingly do anything illegal, he should not be prosecuted for the crime.

Have you been accused of distributing illegal drugs? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will review your case and develop a unique defense strategy that will be used to fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can Someone Be Charged With Money Laundering in Colorado?

When Can Someone Be Charged With Money Laundering in Colorado?

Money laundering is one of the most common—and serious—white collar crimes. But, what is it? When can someone be charged with money laundering in Colorado? Here’s what you should know:

What is Money Laundering?

Money laundering involves taking money or other valuable assets that have been illegally obtained and either hiding their source or making it appear as if they came from a legitimate source in order to avoid legal penalties. For example, money obtained from selling drugs would need to be “laundered” because the source of the money is a criminal activity.

There are many different ways to commit money laundering. In many cases, the money is laundered through a business owned by the person committing the crime. For instance, let’s say a man needs to launder money that was obtained through illegal drug sales. To do this, he opens a pizza restaurant, then inflates the restaurant’s sales in order to make it look as if the source of the money that he is depositing in the bank is from the restaurant. Doing this hides the actual source of the money, which is a criminal activity.

Money Laundering Penalties

People who are charged with money laundering can face serious penalties. Money laundering is a class 3 felony in Colorado, which means anyone who is convicted of this crime could face between 4 to 12 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines.

However, it’s important to note that these penalties only apply to state money laundering charges. Money laundering is often charged as a federal crime, which means the defendant could face even more serious penalties. People who are convicted of federal money laundering charges face up to 20 years behind bars and massive fines. The defendant can be ordered to pay either twice the value of the assets involved in the crime or up to $500,000.

But, these are usually not the only penalties that people accused of money laundering face. Most defendants face additional charges for other crimes that are connected to money laundering, such as tax evasion or fraud. Each of these crimes carries their own penalties, which means the defendant will have to face the penalties for these crimes in addition to those related to money laundering.

It takes a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to defend someone against these serious charges. If you have been accused of money laundering, seek legal representation from the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm right away. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Insurance Adjusters Value Types of Injuries

How Insurance Adjusters Value Types of Injuries

There are many factors that can affect the value of a personal injury claim, but none that have a greater influence than the victim’s injuries. The amount of compensation that you are awarded for medical bills and lost wages will be calculated based on the evidence that you provide of these expenses and losses. But, the amount that an insurance adjuster is willing to pay for pain and suffering will depend on how serious he perceives your injuries to be. Insurance adjusters place different values on certain types of injuries that could affect how much you are able to recover for your pain and suffering. Here’s what most insurance adjusters think of these common injuries:

Soft Tissue Injuries

In general, insurance adjusters place a lower value on soft tissue injuries than they do on many other common types of injuries. This is because doctors rely heavily on the victim’s description of his pain and discomfort when determining the severity of a soft tissue injury. As a result, insurance adjusters often argue that the victim is exaggerating the extent of his injuries. Even though insurance adjusters place a lower value on soft tissue injuries, victims with these injuries can usually still recover pain and suffering damages.

Broken Bones

Many personal injury victims suffer broken bones as a result of the defendant’s negligence. A broken bone can easily be proven with X-rays, which means insurance adjusters cannot doubt its existence. The value that an insurance adjuster places on this type of injury varies depending on the severity and location of the break. For example, it’s easy for an insurance adjuster to understand why a broken leg would impact the victim’s life, but he may not understand why a broken finger would. Therefore, the insurance adjuster would place a higher value on the broken leg than the broken finger.

Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries

Insurance adjusters typically view spinal cord and brain injuries as the most serious injuries that a victim can sustain. Not only are these injuries expensive to treat, they can also significantly reduce the quality of the victim’s life. For this reason, it is less difficult to prove that a victim has experienced a great deal of pain and suffering as a result of his spinal cord or brain injuries.

If you have been injured as a result of another person’s negligence, contact Reisch Law Firm for help. Our personal injury attorneys will fight tirelessly to prove the severity of your injuries to the insurance adjuster so we can recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prove the Other Driver Was Speeding Before A Car Accident

How to Prove the Other Driver Was Speeding Before A Car Accident

Speed limits are designed to reduce the risk of accidents and keep drivers safe. If a driver fails to abide by the speed limit, he is putting other drivers in harm’s way. Speeding is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents, and the faster the driver is going, the more damage he can do when he collides with another vehicle. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a speeding driver, it’s important to prove the other driver was speeding in order to recover compensation for your injuries. Here’s how:

Talk to Witnesses

Be sure to ask witnesses for their contact information before leaving the scene of the accident so you can talk to them about what they saw. If you noticed that the other driver was speeding, it’s very likely that a witness did as well. This testimony can be used to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident because he was speeding in the moments before the collision.

Find Surveillance Footage

Depending on where the accident occurred, there may be surveillance footage of the driver speeding prior to the crash. For example, if the accident happened in a residential neighborhood, a homeowner’s surveillance system may have caught the driver racing through the streets right before the accident. An attorney can contact the owners of the homes and businesses in the area near the crash site to determine if any of them have surveillance footage of the other driver.

Photos From the Scene of the Accident

The photos taken at the scene of the accident could contain evidence that proves the other driver was speeding. An attorney and accident reconstruction expert will first examine the photos of the damage caused by the collision. Manufacturers and regulatory agencies conduct tests to determine the speed at which different parts of a car will crumple in a collision.

For example, a test may show that the bumper on your vehicle is designed to withstand impacts of up to 30mph. If the bumper is crumpled as a result of the crash, an accident reconstruction expert may conclude that the other vehicle was going above 30mph at the time it collided with your vehicle.

Photos could also reveal that the other driver’s vehicle left skid marks on the road. This evidence may seem insignificant, but an accident reconstruction expert can use the length of the skid marks to estimate the speed at which the other driver was traveling.

Have you been hurt in an accident caused by a speeding driver? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm right away. Our personal injury attorneys will immediately begin gathering evidence that can be used to prove the other driver was not abiding by the speed limit at the time of the accident. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.