Author: Scott Reisch

Actual vs. Constructive Possession of Controlled Substances

Actual vs. Constructive Possession of Controlled Substances

You’ve probably heard the expression, “possession is nine-tenths of the law,” which means that if you are found in possession of something, it is difficult to prove that it did not belong to you. This is especially true in criminal cases involving controlled substances. If you are found in physical possession of a controlled substance, law enforcement assumes that it is yours. However, this is not the only way that you can be charged with possession of a controlled substance. It’s important that you understand the difference between actual vs. constructive possession of controlled substances so you know your rights.

Actual Possession

If you have controlled substances on your person, in your hand, or in a location that no one else could access, this is actual possession. It is much harder—although not possible—to prove that the drugs were not yours if you were found with them in your actual possession.

Constructive Possession

Law enforcement officers can claim that you had constructive possession of a controlled substance when the following conditions are met:

  • You were aware of the drug’s presence on your property.
  • The drugs were found in an area in which you had dominion and control over.

To meet the first condition, law enforcement must show that you either knew or should have known about the controlled substances. It also must be proven that you knew the drugs were illegal.

Meeting the second condition is a bit more complicated. “Dominion and control” is a legal term that refers to an individual’s ability and intention to take possession of the drugs. For example, if law enforcement finds controlled substances in a home that you live in by yourself, this may be enough to prove that you had the ability and intention to control the drugs. However, if the drugs are found in a common area within a home that you share with others, it can be more difficult to prove constructive possession. Even though the drugs were in your home, it’s possible that you did not know of their existence and had no intention to personally possess them.

It’s important to note that being physically close to controlled substances is not enough to prove constructive possession. Unless the two conditions above can be proven, the defendant cannot be charged.

Many innocent people are accused of constructive possession of controlled substances. Fortunately, a charge does not always lead to a conviction. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm can poke holes in the prosecutor’s case and help you defend your rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Calculate Lost Income Damages if You’re Self-Employed

How to Calculate Lost Income Damages if You’re Self-Employed

Personal injury victims are entitled to various types of damages, one of them being compensation for lost income. This is awarded to victims who have had to take time off of work, switch jobs, or quit working altogether due to the severity of their injuries. Most personal injury victims can prove the amount of income lost by showing paystubs and submitting statements from their employers. But, what happens when a victim is self-employed? Here’s how to calculate and prove your lost income if you’re self-employed:

Understand the types of losses.

Before you begin, it’s important to understand exactly what lost income compensation should cover. In addition to your current income, your calculations should factor in lost business opportunities, contracts, and goodwill.

Gather documentation.

Begin to gather documentation that you will need to calculate the amount of income you have lost due to your injuries. You will need to find your tax returns—preferably from the last few years—to prove how much you made before the accident. If your injury only affected your ability to work for a month or so, then it may be helpful to gather all of your invoices from the last several months so you can determine how much your income dropped compared to previous months.

You will also have to calculate the value of lost business opportunities and contracts. Let’s say as a result of your injuries, a client had to hire someone else to finish a project that you were originally hired to complete. In this situation, reach out to the client and ask that they send a written statement to you that you can provide to the insurance company.

Calculate your losses.

To calculate the amount of income you have lost, you simply have to look at your monthly invoices or prior tax returns to see the difference in earnings. Then, add the value of any contracts that you have lost due to your injuries. Using the previous example, if the client that had to hire someone else was supposed to pay you $5,000 for your work, then add $5,000 to your total.

You may also be able to prove that this client would have hired you for additional projects in the future had he not hired someone else. For instance, if you have emails showing that the client was in talks with you about various other projects before hiring someone else, this could be considered a lost business opportunity. Calculate how much you would have charged the client for these services and add that to your total as well.

Finally, you will need to calculate the goodwill that you have lost due to your injuries. Calculating something non-tangible such as goodwill can be challenging, but an attorney can help you determine whether you should include this loss in your claim.

It’s hard to calculate the value of your claim—especially if you are self-employed. But, the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm can help to ensure that you are accounting for every loss that you have suffered as a result of your injuries. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can the Type of Medical Treatment You Receive Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

Can the Type of Medical Treatment You Receive Affect Your Personal Injury Claim?

Any knowledgeable personal injury attorney will tell you that it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after an injury. This ensures that the injuries you sustained in the accident are documented so the insurance company cannot question them. But, does it matter what type of medical treatment you receive after an injury? Here’s what you need to know:

Mainstream vs. Alternative Medicine

Many people believe in treating their injuries using alternative medicine such as acupuncture, but it’s best to stick to mainstream methods if you are filing a personal injury claim. Insurance companies want to see that you were treated in a hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. If you are only treated using alternative methods, it may be harder to prove that you deserve compensation for your injuries.

Doctors vs. Non-MDs

Similarly, insurance companies would rather see medical bills from physicians as opposed to physical therapists or chiropractors. Of course, chiropractors and physical therapists can help some people after injuries, but the insurance company tends to think of these treatments as less important than others. In fact, one survey found that personal injury victims who went to a chiropractor received compensation that was 41% less than the average personal injury payout. This is especially true if you visited a chiropractor or physical therapist without seeing a doctor first. It’s recommended that you get a referral so the insurance company sees that you were treated by a physician first.

Diagnosis vs. Treatment

The amount of time that it takes for a medical professional to diagnose an injury will depend on the type of injury that you have sustained. Sometimes, a doctor will be able to diagnose your condition after a quick physical examination, while other times he may have to run numerous tests. If a doctor has to run multiple tests, this can end up being a significant portion of your total medical expenses. In this case, the insurance company may not take your injuries as seriously since most of the medical expenses you have incurred were related to diagnostic testing. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be reimbursed for the expenses, but it could affect how much compensation you will be able to recover for pain and suffering.

If you’ve been injured due to another person’s negligence, seek legal representation as soon as possible. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will ensure that you receive the right medical treatment so you are compensated fairly. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Car Accident Claim

Mistakes That Could Hurt Your Car Accident Claim

There are countless reasons why it’s in your best interests to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. One of the reasons is that an attorney can begin guiding you through the steps of the legal process to ensure that you don’t make any of these mistakes that could hurt your car accident claim:

Using social media.

If you are involved in any type of personal injury case, it’s recommended that you avoid posting on social media. Why? Insurance adjusters will be looking for any evidence that they can find to use against you, and they may find something of value in one of your social media posts. For instance, let’s say you are posting about going out with friends and having a good time. The insurance adjuster may try to use this to prove that you do not deserve pain and suffering compensation because the injuries are not affecting the quality of your life.

Waiting too long to get medical treatment.

Your first priority after a car accident should be seeking medical attention for your injuries. The longer that you wait, the more this mistake could impact your claim. If you wait a few days before seeing a doctor, the insurance adjuster may say that there is no way to prove that the injuries you sustained were actually caused in the accident. Don’t let this mistake affect the amount of compensation you are awarded—see a doctor right after an accident.

Not following the doctor’s advice.

After seeking treatment, it’s imperative that you follow the doctor’s orders, whatever they may be. If a doctor prescribes a medication, get the prescription filled and take the medication as directed. If he asks you to return for a follow-up, schedule one right away. If you choose not to follow the doctor’s orders, the insurance adjuster may say that you are obviously not as injured as you are claiming to be.

Forgetting to collect evidence.

You may be in a hurry to leave the scene of the accident so you can carry on with your day, but don’t leave before you have gathered crucial evidence. If you can, take pictures of property damage, debris in the road, and any traffic signs or signals that are nearby. Even if something seems insignificant—like tire skid marks on the road—take a photo of it. This may not seem important at the time, but the photos can be used to recreate the accident and prove that the other party was responsible. Without this evidence, it can be difficult to recover compensation if the other party is denying fault.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, contact the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm today. Our team will offer you honest legal advice and guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Avoid Boating Accidents

How to Avoid Boating Accidents

There’s no better way to enjoy the warm summer weather than by cruising through the water on a boat. Unfortunately, many boating trips turn into tragedies when someone is seriously injured in a boating accident. If you plan on heading out on the water, make sure you follow these tips to avoid boating accidents:

Don’t overload the boat.

Don’t bring too much cargo or invite too many passengers onto your boat if you want to ensure a safe trip. Too much weight on board can increase the risk of capsizing, so be sure to check the boat’s official capacity before leaving shore.

Look at the weather forecast.

Boating accidents often occur because of bad weather, but these accidents can easily be avoided by looking at the weather forecast before you begin your trip. There are several warnings that you should be aware of, including small craft warnings, gale warnings, and storm warnings. These warnings will tell boat operators what to expect from the weather, so pay close attention to them to avoid getting stuck in high, dangerous winds.

“Know before you go.”

The American Boating Association recommends that boating operators always follow the motto of “know before you go.” Part of this is knowing what to do in the event of an emergency. Boat operators should check that all safety equipment on board is functioning properly and that they have enough life jackets for everyone on board. You will have to think quickly in the event of an emergency, so it’s important to plan what you will do if disaster strikes.

Avoid alcohol.

Drinking and boating do not mix. Studies have shown that people who are drinking alcohol while operating a boat are two times more likely to be involved in a boating accident. If you are the boat operator, it’s imperative that you avoid alcohol to protect yourself and others.

Two operators are better than one.

It’s recommended that you always have someone else on board who can operate the boat in the event that you are unable to do so. For instance, if you become ill while boating, this person can step in and bring the boat back to shore. This person should be familiar with safety procedures, how to operate a boat, and what to do in the event of an emergency.

Even if you follow all of these tips, it’s possible that you could still end up in a boating accident. If you have been injured, contact the attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Our team will immediately begin working to help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Factors Could Affect Your Breathalyzer Test?

What Factors Could Affect Your Breathalyzer Test?

If you are suspected of driving under the influence, a police officer may pull you over and ask you to take a breathalyzer test. This test is designed to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC) and determine whether you are above the legal limit of 0.08%. However, these tests are not always accurate. In fact, there are a number of factors that could affect your breathalyzer test and make it appear as if you are intoxicated when you are really not. Here are some of the factors that could impact your breathalyzer results:

Residual Mouth Alcohol

There are a number of consumer products that could leave alcohol behind in the tissues inside your mouth. Unfortunately, this residual mouth alcohol could be detected by the breathalyzer and lead to a false positive. Some of the products that are known to leave traces of alcohol include mouthwash and breath sprays. The alcohol from these items are believed to linger around for about 15-20 minutes after the products are used.

Medical Conditions

There are also certain medical conditions that could impact your breathalyzer test, including diabetes. People with diabetes have much higher levels of acetone in their system than non-diabetics. The breathalyzer device is designed to detect levels of ethyl alcohol, however it cannot tell the difference between ethyl alcohol and acetone. This means that the machine may report that someone with diabetes is intoxicated even when he is not.

Another medical condition that could affect the test results is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This condition, which is similar to heartburn, causes gases from the stomach to travel upwards through the esophagus and the oral cavity. If someone with GERD has consumed a food or drink with alcohol content, the breathalyzer test could be inaccurate. This is because the test will detect a strong concentration of alcohol, which is actually caused by the regurgitation of concentrated gases and vapors from the stomach, and not heavy alcohol consumption.

Over the Counter Medications

Many OTC medications may also leave alcohol behind in a person’s mouth, which will affect the breathalyzer results. Medications used to treat coughs, colds, and canker sores often contain alcohol that the breathalyzer device could detect. Even using an asthma inhaler prior to taking a breathalyzer test could lead to inaccurate results. This is because some inhalers contain methyl chemicals, which is what the breathalyzer detects and interprets as alcohol.

Have you been charged with DUI? The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm know how to determine if your breathalyzer test results were inaccurate. Remember, a DUI charge does not always lead to a conviction, especially when you have an experienced attorney on your side. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Most Common Types of Fraud Crimes

Most Common Types of Fraud Crimes

Fraud is a broad term that can refer to a number of different illegal activities. There are many different types of fraud crimes, but the goal of each of these crimes is to illegally obtain something of value by using deception. Here’s a look at some of the most common types of fraud crimes in the U.S.:

Credit Card Fraud

This type of fraud is committed when someone illegally obtains another person’s credit card information and then uses this information to charge unauthorized purchases to the victim’s account. Credit card fraud is discovered when the victim either notices the unauthorized charges on his account or is notified of these charges after his credit card company detects suspicious activity.

Credit card fraud can also occur when someone uses false information when applying for a credit card. For example, he may provide inaccurate income information or open the account in someone else’s name, which is a form of identity theft.

Insurance Fraud

Many people who commit insurance fraud may not even know that they are committing a serious crime. For example, someone who submits a car accident claim to an insurance company and exaggerates his healthcare expenses is attempting to deceive the insurance company in order to obtain more money. This is one type of insurance fraud that is often referred to as “soft fraud” because people often think that telling a little white lie isn’t a big deal. Hard insurance fraud, on the other hand, occurs when someone intentionally causes damage or fakes an accident in order to recover compensation from an insurance company.

Mortgage Fraud

There are two general types of mortgage fraud. The first is referred to as fraud for housing, and occurs when someone provides inaccurate information to a lender in order to make his application more attractive and secure a loan to buy a house. The second type is fraud for profit, which occurs when an appraiser, broker, or other real estate professional is motivated to commit fraud in order to profit off of the sale of a property. For example, a loan officer could persuade an appraiser to increase the appraisal value of a home to match what the buyer is paying in order to complete the transaction.

These are some of the most common types of fraud, but they are far from the only fraud crimes that you may be charged with in Colorado.

If you are facing fraud charges, seek legal representation right away. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm have years of experience representing clients who are being accused of committing fraud. We will stop at nothing to protect your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Are the Different Types of Warrants?

What Are the Different Types of Warrants?

Warrants are court orders that allow law enforcement officers to perform specific actions such as arrest a suspect of a crime or search a suspect’s property. There are several different types of warrants that you should know about in the event that you are ever being investigated for a crime.

Search Warrants

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from unlawful searches and seizures. Due to this amendment, law enforcement officers are required to obtain a search warrant from the court prior to conducting a search of someone’s property. The only way that a law enforcement officer can conduct a search without a warrant is if the property owner consents to the search or there are other circumstances, such as an imminent threat of danger.

A search warrant will only be issued if there is probable cause that there is criminal activity or evidence of a crime at the specified location. The warrant will contain detailed information on where the law enforcement officers are permitted to search, and officers must only search locations that have been pre-approved. For instance, if a search warrant is issued that allows an officer to search a suspect’s cell phone, he cannot also search the suspect’s computer without obtaining another warrant. If an officer shows you that he has a warrant to search your property, ask to see it so you can verify that he is searching the correct location.

Arrest Warrant

An arrest warrant gives law enforcement the authority to arrest one or more persons. In order to get this warrant, law enforcement officers must prepare a written affidavit that includes information on why they have reason to believe the person named in the warrant has committed a crime. A judge will review this affidavit and issue the warrant if he agrees that the evidence is strong enough to authorize the arrest.

Once the warrant has been issued, law enforcement officers are allowed to arrest the individuals listed on the warrant at any time.

Bench Warrant

Bench warrants are those that are issued after someone fails to appear in court. If this type of warrant is issued, it gives law enforcement officers the power to find the individual listed in the warrant and force him to appear in court. The individual may then have to face contempt of court charges for missing his scheduled court date.

If you have been charged with a crime or if you are under investigation for committing a crime, seek legal representation right away. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will aggressively defend you against criminal charges and protect your rights throughout the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Personal Injury Terms You Should Know

Common Personal Injury Terms You Should Know

Personal injury victims often feel lost when talking to attorneys about their situation. One of the reasons why they feel this way is because of the many legal terms that attorneys use when discussing personal injury cases. If you feel as if your attorney is speaking a different language, it may help to become familiar with some of these common personal injury terms:

Damages

When you hear the word “damages,” you may think your attorney is referring to your physical injuries or property damage. But in the legal world, the term damages is actually used to describe monetary compensation that can be recovered in a personal injury case.

Contingency Fee

Has your lawyer mentioned that he works on a contingency fee basis? Most personal injury attorneys do. This means that you will not be responsible for paying any attorneys’ fees unless your attorney is able to recover compensation by reaching a settlement or winning a trial verdict. If your attorney fails to recover compensation for you, he will not be paid for his legal services.

Loss of Earnings

Some injuries are so severe that the victim is forced to take time off of work in order to recover. In other cases, the victim may be required to change to a less physically demanding job or give up working altogether. In these situations, the victim may be able to recover compensation from the defendant for her loss of earnings.

Negligence

This is a term that you will probably hear from your personal injury attorney a lot. Legally speaking, negligence is the failure to exercise a reasonable level of care. In simpler terms, it means that a person is acting in a careless manner. Negligence is often the reason why people are injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall incidents, and many other personal injury cases.

Statute of Limitations

The state puts a time limit on how long victims have to file a personal injury case. In Colorado, personal injury victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a case. The only exception to this rule is if the victim was injured in a motor vehicle accident. These victims have three years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. After this time has passed, the victim loses the right to take legal action against the party that has caused him harm.

Have you been injured? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys will always work closely with you to ensure that you understand everything that is going on in your personal injury case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Surprising Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Surprising Motorcycle Accident Statistics

By looking at a motorcycle, it’s easy to see why a motorcycle accident would be catastrophic. There is little standing between the motorcyclist and the road, so even a car traveling at a low speed could do a great deal of damage by colliding into a motorcycle. Learn more about these tragic collisions by taking a look at these surprising motorcycle accident statistics:

The average age of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents is 42.

Many people assume that anyone involved in a motorcycle accident is a young adult who was driving dangerously because he loves to live on the edge, but that’s not necessarily the case. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average age of bikers killed in motorcycle accidents is 42. This average age has increased since 2004, when it was 38.

Many motorcycle accidents are caused by a violation of the motorist’s right-of-way.

About two-thirds of accidents involving a motorcycle and at least one other vehicle occur when the motorist violates the motorcyclist’s right-of-way. In many cases, the motorist violated the right-of-way because he did not even see the motorcyclist or didn’t see him in time to avoid a collision.

The average speed of a motorcycle at the time of an accident is 29.8 mph.

You may think that motorcycle accidents are often caused by bikers who are driving recklessly and speeding, but that’s not always true. Research has shown that motorcycles involved in a collision were traveling at an average speed of 29.8 mph prior to the crash, which is not very fast at all. This is about the speed limit that drivers are required to obey when traveling through residential neighborhoods.

Motorcyclists have less than two seconds to avoid an accident.

Studies have found that motorcyclists who are about to get into an accident only have about two seconds to attempt to avoid the collision, which is not nearly enough time to escape a dangerous situation.

Many motorcycle accident victims are self-taught.

Over 90% of motorcycle accident victims have taught themselves how to ride a bike or learned how to do it from a family member or friend. It’s possible that these individuals could learn crucial skills that could help them avoid future accidents if they attended formal training classes instead of relying on loved ones for advice.

Have you been injured in a motorcycle accident? Don’t wait any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you recover the maximum compensation available after an accident. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.