Author: Scott Reisch

Will You Have to Pay Restitution if Convicted of a Crime?

Will You Have to Pay Restitution if Convicted of a Crime?

A criminal conviction can lead to a number of consequences, including incarceration, community service, probation, and fines. Many defendants are surprised to learn that they will also be ordered to pay restitution after a conviction. What is restitution? When will you have to pay it? Here’s what you need to know:

What is Restitution?

Restitution is money that defendants must pay to victims in order to compensate them for any losses they experienced as a result of the defendant’s crime.

When Are Defendants Ordered to Pay Restitution?

Restitution is one of many consequences that a judge considers when deciding how to sentence a defendant for his crimes. However, not all defendants will be ordered to pay restitution. Defendants are only ordered to pay restitution when the losses the victim has suffered are directly related to the crime that was committed.

For example, a defendant who is convicted of theft will most likely be ordered to compensate the victim for the items that were stolen. The amount that the defendant is ordered to pay will typically be the value of the stolen property.

However, crime victims must file a Victim Impact Statement with the District Attorney’s office in order to ask the court for restitution. In this statement, the victim is required to show proof of the losses he has suffered. If this statement is not filed, he is not entitled to restitution.

What If A Defendant Cannot Afford to Pay Restitution?

You will not be required to pay the restitution all at once. The court will create a payment schedule for the defendant that outlines how much needs to be paid and when it should be paid. All payments will be made to the court, which will then process the payment and send it to the victim.

If you miss any payments, the court has the authority to collect the money in other ways. For instance, the judge can issue a wage garnishment order, which means a portion of each of your paychecks will be sent directly to the court. A judge can also intercept tax refunds or put a lien on your property. In some cases, the court may decide to revoke your probation or suspend your driver’s license as punishment for missing restitution payments. To avoid these penalties, it’s important to stay on schedule and make all required payments.

Restitution is just one of the many consequences of a criminal conviction that can affect your future. Protect your future by seeking legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Throughout the legal process, we will 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.

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

How Long Does it Take to Settle A Personal Injury Claim?

Medical bills can start to pile up quickly after an accident, which is why so many personal injury victims are eager to reach a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company. In some cases, a settlement can be reached shortly after the insurance adjuster has all of the information he needs about the claim. But in other cases, it can take much longer to settle a personal injury claim. Why? Here are some of the factors that could be to blame for the delay:

The Amount of Compensation

High-value claims will take much longer to settle than low-value claims. Why? Insurance adjusters will not hand over six- or seven-figure checks until they are sure that the recipient deserves every penny. This means insurance adjusters will thoroughly investigate every detail of high-value claims to look for inconsistencies in the victim’s story, questionable injuries, or opportunities to pin some of the liability on the victim. It can take time to analyze every detail of a personal injury claim, which is why high-value claims take longer to settle.

Liability Disputes

Insurance adjusters will not even begin discussing compensation until they are confident that their policyholder was to blame for the accident. Therefore, if the insurance adjuster in your case is questioning who is at fault, this will delay a settlement. This can happen in any type of case, but it is common in cases where multiple parties were involved, such as car accidents with three vehicles.

Your Injuries

Ideally, personal injury victims should wait until they have reached their maximum medical improvement before they start negotiating with the insurance company. This is recommended because an attorney cannot calculate your current damages and estimate your future damages until you have reached this point in your recovery. Some victims are able to reach their maximum medical improvement within a few weeks, but it can take months for others to get to this point.

Your Priorities

Some personal injury victims are willing to wait for months if that’s what it takes for their attorney to wear the insurance adjuster down and reach the highest settlement possible. Other victims, however, are more interested in reaching a settlement quickly so they can pay their bills and close this chapter of their lives. If moving on is more important to you than squeezing every penny out of the insurance company, you will be able to reach a settlement much faster.

If you have been injured, contact the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm right away. Our personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to reach a favorable settlement as quickly as possible. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Preserve Evidence After A Car Accident

How to Preserve Evidence After A Car Accident

It’s very difficult—if not, impossible—to recover compensation in a car accident claim without evidence. The at-fault party’s insurance company will expect to see evidence that proves their policyholder was truly to blame for the accident. The insurance company will also need to see proof of your injuries and any expenses or losses that you are claiming. Because the outcome of your case depends on how much evidence you have, it’s important to preserve evidence after a car accident. Here’s how:

Keep Multiple Copies of Paper Documents

Car accident victims need to hold onto documentation that is related to the accident, including medical records, police reports, and receipts. But, paper is not indestructible, so it’s important to make multiple copies of this evidence in order to preserve it. Scan everything onto your computer so you have an electronic copy of each document in addition to the paper document.

Protect Photos

Photos taken at the scene of the accident play an important role in proving liability. But unfortunately, many car accident victims make the mistake of assuming their photos are safe on their smartphones, when this is clearly not the case. If the phone breaks before the data has been backed up, the photos may no longer be accessible. For this reason, it’s recommended that you either print a copy of the photos or send them to your attorney and a trusted friend or family member right away.

Record Witnesses

You—or your attorney—will need to reach out to witnesses in the days following the car accident to find out if they heard or saw anything that could be used as evidence in your case. Once you make contact with the witnesses, ask them if they mind being recorded so you can get their statement on record.

Why is this important? It can take a long time to resolve a personal injury case, and the witnesses may forget a lot of what they saw or heard by the time you need them again. Therefore, it’s important to record their statements while their memory of the crash is still fresh so you can capture all of the details.

Have you been injured in a car accident? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our personal injury attorneys will quickly get to work gathering evidence that can be used to prove liability in your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

How A Back Injury Can Affect Your Life

Back injuries such as sprains, strains, and herniated discs often occur in car crashes, slip and falls, and other accidents. Many people think that personal injury victims who walk away from an accident with just a back injury should count themselves lucky, but these victims can suffer for years as a result of this type of injury. Here’s how a back injury can affect your life:

Career

A back injury could affect your ability to perform your job duties. For example, someone who is required to lift heavy objects at work cannot perform this job duty while recovering from a back injury. Even if your job doesn’t require physical labor, a back injury could make it harder just to sit at a desk for an extended period of time. For these reasons, it’s possible that you will need to take time off of work or ask to be reassigned to another position.

Family Life

A back injury may impact your family life, too. For instance, a back injury can make it difficult for a parent to care for their young child. The simple act of picking up a child could make the injury worse. As a result, the other parent may need to take on additional responsibilities until the injury has healed. This can put stress on relationships within your family as everyone struggles to adjust to their new roles.

Mood

Believe it or not, people with back injuries can also experience changes in their mood. This typically occurs when a back injury victim is no longer able to do some of the activities that he once loved. Missing out on these activities can make people feel as if they are living life on the sidelines, which can lead to low self-esteem, depression, anger, and anxiety.

Finances

Treating a back injury can be expensive even if you have health insurance. Many health insurance policies do not cover all of the expenses related to treating a back injury, so you may need to pay for some medical bills out of your pocket. Fortunately, anyone who suffers a back injury in an accident caused by another person can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation and protect their finances.

If you have suffered a back injury and someone else is to blame, contact Reisch Law Firm today. A back injury can affect many areas of your life, but it shouldn’t drain your finances. Let our personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

How to Collect A Personal Injury Settlement or Judgment

Many personal injury cases end with either a settlement or a judgment in favor of the victim. But, even if the at-fault party agrees to or is ordered to pay the victim, this doesn’t mean they will simply write a check right then and there. Here’s how to collect the money awarded in a personal injury settlement or judgment:

Collecting A Personal Injury Settlement

Read the settlement agreement to determine how long the insurance company has to pay you. The timing can vary, but many insurance companies give themselves 20 to 30 days to send a check to the victim. The agreement should also outline consequences for missing this deadline. For example, the insurance company may have to pay interest on missed payments or the plaintiff may have the right to move forward with a lawsuit if the payment is not made on time.

Insurance companies will typically send compensation on time in order to avoid these consequences. But if they fail to do so, meet with your attorney to determine your options. Sometimes, it’s best to have your attorney send the insurance company a letter that demands payment and reminds them of the consequences. In other cases, an attorney may think it is in your best interest to opt out of the settlement and go to trial to teach the insurance company a lesson.

Collecting A Personal Injury Judgment

It can take much longer to collect compensation awarded to you in court. This is because the defendant may choose to appeal the decision, which means the case will go to the appellate court where it will be heard by a different judge. The defendant will not pay the judgment until he has exhausted all of his appeals, which means you could end up waiting for years to collect the money.

If the defendant does not pay after the appeals are over, work with an attorney to enforce the judgment. If the defendant was an individual, the court may enforce the judgment using wage garnishment. This means a portion of each of the defendant’s paychecks will be automatically withheld and sent to you until the defendant has paid the total judgment. Insurance companies typically pay on time, but if they don’t, the court can either order them to pay the judgment in full with interest or begin garnishing the company’s bank accounts.

Have you been injured by the negligent acts of another person? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that the defendant compensates you as soon as possible after a settlement or verdict is reached. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Types of Identity Theft

Common Types of Identity Theft

Identity theft is a complex crime that involves the theft of someone’s personal information that is used for another person’s gain. This crime is aggressively prosecuted in the state of Colorado, and anyone who is convicted can face serious consequences. For this reason, it’s important to learn about the different types of identity theft so you know when you could be charged with a crime. Here are some of the most common forms of identity theft:

Financial Identity Theft

This is by far the most common type of identity theft. Financial identity theft occurs when a victim’s personal information is used for the defendant’s financial gain. For example, the defendant may be accused of stealing the victim’s credit card information and using it to make purchases for himself. Financial identity theft can also involve stealing a person’s information in order to open up new credit card accounts in his name.

Medical Identity Theft

This type of identity theft crime is committed when the defendant steals the victim’s personal information and uses it to obtain medical treatment, prescription medications, or any other type of medical service. For example, someone who commits this crime could be accused of stealing the victim’s health insurance information and using it to see a healthcare provider.

Tax-Related Identity Theft

Similar to financial identity theft, defendants who commit tax-related identity theft are motivated by financial gain. This crime involves illegally obtaining someone’s personal information and using it to file fraudulent tax returns in order to obtain large tax refunds from the IRS. This type of identity theft may not be as well known as others, but it is becoming increasingly common.

Criminal Identity Theft

Some defendants are accused of committing criminal identity theft, which occurs when someone provides law enforcement with another person’s information. An example of this type of identity theft would be giving a law enforcement officer another person’s ID when you are pulled over for speeding. Your name would not be attached to the ticket since it would go on the victim’s driving record, which means you would benefit by not having to deal with the consequences of speeding.

Have you been accused of committing identity theft? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Identity theft is a very serious crime, so you will need our experienced criminal defense attorneys on your side. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Types of Evidence Can Be Presented in Court?

What Types of Evidence Can Be Presented in Court?

There are four types of evidence that may be presented by either the prosecution or the defense in a criminal trial: real, demonstrative, testimonial, and documentary. If you are facing criminal charges, it’s important to understand each of these types of evidence so you understand what can and cannot be brought up during your trial.

Real Evidence

The first type of evidence is referred to as real evidence because it can be seen or felt by the jury. The objects that are classified as real evidence are usually directly related to some part of the crime. For example, a knife that was used to commit murder would be real evidence. Controlled substances found in the defendant’s possession can also be considered real evidence. Both of these objects are real evidence since they are observable and related to the crime.

Demonstrative Evidence

The second type of evidence that can be used in court is demonstrative, which is used to illustrate a witness’s testimony. Demonstrative evidence can include maps, diagrams, and graphs.

This type of evidence can only be used if it is a true representation of what the witness is saying. For example, it may be easier for a jury to follow along with a witness’s testimony if they are presented with a diagram of the crime scene. However, the diagram must be drawn based on the witness’s testimony. If the witness said she found the weapon behind the sofa, the prosecution cannot place the weapon in the center of the room on the diagram. This would be misleading for the jury members who are trying to understand what was found at the scene of the crime.

Testimonial Evidence

Testimonial evidence is any type of information that is provided by witnesses who are testifying under oath. It’s important to note that testimonial evidence can only be provided by competent individuals. Anyone who clearly does not have any personal knowledge of the subject or cannot remember what he or she witnessed will not be deemed competent.

Documentary Evidence

Finally, there is documentary evidence. As you may have guessed, documentary evidence is any type of document that can be used to prove or disprove facts of the case. For example, a photo of the defendant leaving the crime scene could be considered documentary evidence. Emails sent to and from the defendant about the crime can also be used as documentary evidence. Documentary evidence is often the most convincing, which is why many prosecutors rely so heavily on it to prove their case.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will immediately begin to gather evidence that can be used to discredit the prosecutor’s case and prove your innocence. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

Some insurance companies are willing to accept the fact that their policyholder was at fault for an accident if they have enough evidence that says this is true. But, other insurance companies won’t go down without a fight. One of the most common strategies that is used by the at-fault party’s insurance company in a car accident claim is known as the seatbelt defense.

What is the Seatbelt Defense?

Countless studies have shown that wearing a seatbelt is the most effective way to protect yourself in a car accident. Despite this research, it is estimated that only 85% of people in the state of Colorado wear their seatbelts.

Now, let’s say you were injured in a car accident that was clearly caused by the other driver. If you weren’t wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash, the at-fault party could try to use the seatbelt defense. This means the at-fault party will try to prove that you would not have been injured or would not have suffered such serious injuries if you been responsible enough to wear your seatbelt. Basically, the defendant is attempting to reduce his liability by saying that you were partially or totally responsible for your injuries.

The Seatbelt Defense & Comparative Negligence

Colorado is a modified comparative negligence state, which means personal injury victims may still be able to recover compensation even if they were partially to blame for the accident. But, victims cannot recover compensation if they were 50% or more responsible for their injuries. Therefore, the seatbelt defense can be used to reduce the amount of compensation awarded to the plaintiff.

For example, let’s say you suffer a concussion and broken bones in a car crash. Then, the defendant successfully proves that you would not have suffered a concussion if you were wearing your seatbelt, but you would have still suffered broken bones. As a result, the court finds that 30% of the liability falls on you, while the remaining 70% falls on the defendant. This means the amount of compensation that you are awarded will be decreased by 30%, so the seatbelt defense was successful. If the court finds that you are 50% or more responsible for your injuries, the defendant will not have to compensate you at all.

If you were not wearing a seatbelt when you were injured in a crash, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will be prepared to fight the seatbelt defense and recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How A Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Personal Relationships

How A Traumatic Brain Injury Affects Personal Relationships

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects nearly every area of a victim’s life, including their personal relationships. Here are some of the ways your personal relationships may change after a TBI:

Different Roles and Responsibilities

You may have been the breadwinner in your home in the past, but that can change if you suffer a TBI. TBI victims may not be physically, mentally, or emotionally able to work. As a result, their partners often have to either enter the workforce or search for additional opportunities to earn money. This shift in roles and responsibilities can put a lot of pressure on a couple, and their relationship could suffer as a result.

Mood Swings

TBI victims can also experience mood swings due to their injury. Dealing with these sudden mood swings can be difficult for friends and family members, especially if the anger is directed at them. Loved ones may not understand that you do not have complete control over your emotions. Instead, they may feel hurt or upset by something that you’ve said or done during a mood swing. This can severely affect relationships with all of your closest loved ones.

Communication Problems

Communication is an important part of every relationship. But sadly, many people have trouble communicating with others after a TBI. Victims may not be able to put their thoughts or feelings into words. It’s also common for TBI victims to struggle with understanding what other people are talking about. Not being able to effectively communicate with someone can make it hard to connect with other people and maintain personal relationships.

Self-Consciousness

Many people feel incredibly self-conscious after suffering a TBI because of the physical and mental changes that this type of injury can cause. For example, a TBI victim who struggles to find the right words or speak clearly may be self-conscious every time he opens his mouth. Someone who has physical limitations after an injury may be too self-conscious to go for a walk outside or exercise around other people. The more self-conscious a TBI victim feels, the more he will isolate himself from his loved ones. Friends and family members may feel as if they are being pushed away, and some of them may not understand why, which can lead to feelings of resentment.

If you have suffered a TBI, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our personal injury attorneys will ensure that you are compensated for the immense suffering that you have experienced as a result of your injury. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

FAQs About Probation in Colorado

People who are convicted of crimes are often sentenced to probation instead of jail or prison time. But, many people who face this penalty don’t know much about it beyond the fact that it is an alternative to incarceration. Learn more about probation in Colorado by taking a look at the answers to these FAQs:

Who is sentenced to probation?

Both adults and juveniles can be eligible for probation if they are convicted of certain felonies or misdemeanors. However, probation may not be an option for defendants convicted of violent crimes.

If probation is a sentencing option, the judge will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to sentence a defendant to probation or jail or prison time. For example, the judge may look at the nature of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal record.

What should you do after being sentenced to probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation should report to the Probation Office right away. At the Probation Office, you will be asked to fill out forms and will then be given your probation officer’s information. The probation officer will go over all of the terms of your probation with you.

What are the terms of probation?

Everyone who is on probation must comply with certain rules that are set by the court. The terms of probation will vary on a case-by-case basis, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Reporting to a probation officer on a regular basis
  • Avoiding drug or alcohol use
  • Paying court fees and restitution to the victim
  • Completing community service hours
  • Not engaging in any criminal activity

It’s important to understand which terms you are expected to comply with so you do not accidentally violate any of them. A violation could result in your probation being extended or revoked, which means you could be sent to jail or prison.

What are the benefits of probation?

Defendants who are sentenced to probation can continue working, earning money, and spending time with loved ones as long as they comply with the terms of their probation. Being on probation may not be ideal, but it’s much better than being behind bars.

Have you been charged with a crime? Get in touch with Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will aggressively 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.