Category: News

The Basics of Plea Deals

The Basics of Plea Deals

There is no clear data that shows how many cases are resolved through plea deals, but it is estimated that around 90-95% of federal and state cases are. Because there is a high likelihood that you will be offered a plea deal if you are charged with a crime, it’s important to understand exactly what this means.

What is a plea deal?

Plea deals, which are also known as plea bargains, are agreements made between the prosecutor and defendant. The defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest in exchange for the prosecutor dropping charges, reducing charges, or recommending a lower sentence to the judge.

When are plea deals made?

A plea deal can be made at any time during the court proceedings, although negotiations usually begin in the early stages of the process. Either side can initiate a conversation about a plea bargain, but if it’s the defendant’s idea, the prosecutor must be willing to make a deal in order for it to happen. Also, most plea deals are not finalized until a judge has approved of the agreement.

Why do prosecutors and defendants make plea bargains?

Prosecutors offer plea deals so they can save the time and money needed to take a case to trial. Making a plea deal also saves them from dealing with the uncertainty that comes with trying a case before a jury.

Accepting a plea bargain may be a good idea for a defendant depending on the details of the case. If there is a lot of evidence against the defendant, taking a plea bargain may be beneficial. Defendants can also avoid the high cost of a trial by taking a plea bargain. However, it’s important to note that you should never agree to a plea deal without first talking to an attorney. A criminal defense attorney will be able to advise you on whether accepting a plea bargain is a wise move in your case.

What are the consequences of a plea deal?

Pleading guilty as part of a plea bargain will result in a criminal conviction on your record. The conviction will appear just as it would if you had been found guilty by a jury. This means the conviction could affect many aspects of your life, including your ability to find employment or housing in the future.

If you have been charged with a crime, don’t make any decisions regarding how you will plead until you have consulted with an attorney. Our criminal defense attorneys will review your case to determine whether it is better to accept a plea deal or take your case to trial. Schedule a free consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

The Importance of Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

If you’ve ever watched a crime show on TV, you’ve probably heard the phrase “you have the right to remain silent,” but do you know what this means? This right is one of your Miranda rights, which are given to anyone who is taken into policy custody. No one should ever take this right for granted. If you are ever arrested, it’s very important that you understand the importance of exercising your right to remain silent.

People often think that if they just explain themselves to a police officer, he will let them off easy or cut them a deal. This is a huge mistake that could impact the outcome of your case. Police officers are trained to ask questions in a way that could get you to mistakenly admit guilt. The questions may be leading or confusing, especially when you are dealing with the stress of being arrested. Your answers may be taken out of context and then used against you in court to prove your guilt.

No one is perfect, so it is very likely that you will make small mistakes when relaying information to the police officers about what happened. These mistakes may be minor, but authorities may try to use them to show that your story is inconsistent and you aren’t telling the truth.

It’s important to note that everyone should exercise the right to remain silent—even if you are completely innocent.

How can you exercise your right to remain silent?

Now that you know the importance of staying quiet, you may be wondering how you can go about exercising your right to remain silent. If you are taken into police custody, politely inform the officer that you will be invoking your right to remain silent. Police officers are not allowed to question you if you have invoked this right, so do it early to prevent making any mistakes that could affect the outcome of your case. Make it clear that you will not answer any questions without your lawyer present.

The only questions that you have to answer after you have invoked your right to remain silent are those related to who you are. The police officer may ask you to identify yourself by providing your name. Even if you have invoked the right to remain silent, you can answer this type of question.

Besides the right to remain silent, you also have the right to an attorney. If you have been arrested, it’s imperative that you exercise this right as soon as possible and contact Reisch Law Firm. Schedule a consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

How to Prove Fault in a Car Accident

Immediately following a car accident, one of the first questions that you will have to answer is who was at fault for the crash. Identifying the at-fault party is imperative if you plan on recovering compensation for injuries or property damage, but how can you figure out who is to blame? Here’s how to prove fault in a car accident:

Obtain a police report.

You should never leave the scene of the accident without calling the authorities. A police officer will come to the scene, speak to the drivers involved in the accident, and compile evidence needed to create a police report. This report will include information on who is at fault for the crash, so it plays a very important role in your case. Be sure to contact the police department after the accident to find out how you can obtain a copy of this report.

Document the evidence.

Before leaving the scene of the accident, it’s important to document the evidence by taking pictures. Photograph everything that you can, including your visible injuries, property damage, and any traffic signs or lights nearby. If there is any debris in the road related to the accident, take pictures of this as well.

If there were witnesses, ask them for their contact information so you can have your attorney get in touch with them later regarding what they saw. All of this evidence will help you prove that the other driver was at fault. For example, if the photographs show that your car only has damage on the rear end and the other car has damage on the front end, it’s fairly clear that the other driver rear-ended you.

Seek legal representation from an attorney.

Speak to a personal injury attorney immediately after the accident to discuss your case. An experienced attorney will begin reviewing the evidence right away to determine who is at fault in the accident. The attorney may interview witnesses, visit the scene of the accident, or even work with an accident reconstruction expert. Proving liability can be difficult in some cases, but it’s not impossible with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney.

If you have been injured in a car accident, focus solely on your recovery and let us handle the rest. Our attorneys will carefully review the evidence of the case and consult with experts to prove the other driver was at fault. Schedule a consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What to Expect if Your Car Accident Case Goes to Trial

What to Expect if Your Car Accident Case Goes to Trial

The vast majority of personal injury claims will be settled outside of the courtroom in negotiations between the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys. However, there are a small percentage of cases that cannot be settled and therefore must be taken to court. Appearing in court can be intimidating, so it’s important to know what you should expect if your car accident case goes to trial.

Discovery

Discovery takes place before the car accident trial begins. This is phase of the case where each side exchanges information regarding the evidence that they have and intend on using in court.

During the discovery phase, your attorney may conduct depositions, which are statements given under oath. Depositions are conducted so the attorney understands what each witness intends on saying when called before the jury. Attorneys may also issue subpoenas to obtain important documents relevant to the case or ask the other party to complete interrogatories, which are written questionnaires.

Opening Statements

The plaintiff’s attorney will begin by making his opening statements to the jury, and when he is finished, the defendant’s attorney will have the opportunity to do the same. Each attorney will tell the jury a little bit of history about the case and what they intend on proving or refuting. This statement is supposed to set the stage for the rest of the trial.

Presenting the Evidence

Most of the trial will be spent on the presentation of evidence. The plaintiff will be able to present his evidence first. This is done by calling witnesses to the stand and questioning them in front of the jury. Witnesses can include other drivers involved in the accident, the plaintiff, medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, and bystanders who witnessed the accident. After the plaintiff has presented all of his evidence, the defendant’s attorney will be able to present his evidence to the jury.

Closing Arguments

After both sides have finished, each attorney will have the opportunity to deliver a closing statement to the jury. The closing statement will summarize the evidence that has been presented and help the jury understand how the evidence is relevant to the case. In a way, the closing arguments are used to help the jury put each piece of the puzzle in place so they understand what you are trying to prove.

Jury’s Decision

Once the jury has heard the closing arguments from both sides, they will be asked to begin deliberations. Most of the time, juries can return a verdict in car accident cases within a few hours. The jury will notify the judge once a verdict has been reached, and everyone will gather into the courtroom to hear the official ruling.

It is very likely that your car accident claim will be settled out of court, but you should always work with an attorney who can take your case to trial if needed. The attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will do what it takes to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can A Police Officer Search You?

When Can A Police Officer Search You?

The Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful searches and seizures conducted by law enforcement officers. Because of this amendment, police officers must follow certain guidelines when conducting searches of an individual or his private property, including his car and home. So, when can a police officer search you or your property?

Search Warrants

A search warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that gives law enforcement the permission to search a specific location. In order to obtain a search warrant, police officers must appear in front of a judge and make prove why they have probable cause or reasonable belief that a crime has been committed at the specific location. A search warrant can be issued for a suspect’s home, car, backyard, or any other property.

In most cases, police officers will have to obtain a search warrant in order to legally perform a search. However, there are certain situations where a police officer can legally search an individual or his property without a search warrant.

Consent

Police officers are allowed to ask you whether you consent to being searched without a warrant. If you provide consent, the police officers are permitted to conduct the search without seeking a judge’s approval.

Plain View Doctrine

Police officers do not need a warrant to search an area that is clearly visible. For example, if a police officer pulls someone over for speeding and then notices an open bottle of alcohol in the passenger seat, he can conduct a search without a warrant because the evidence is in plain view.

Search Incident to Arrest

Law enforcement does not need to obtain a warrant to search someone who is being arrested for committing a crime. This means if a person is arrested for committing a crime, the police officer can search him and any area surrounding the person that is within reach without a warrant. This is permitted so the police officer can ensure there are no weapons that could cause him or harm or evidence that could be destroyed.

Exigent Circumstances

Police officers are also allowed to perform a warrantless search if they feel that it is too risky to wait to obtain the warrant. For example, if they have reason to believe that someone is being hurt inside a home, it would not be wise to waste time appearing before a judge to obtain a warrant. Instead, the officers are allowed to conduct the search to prevent further harm.

If a police officer conducts an unlawful search, the evidence collected in that search cannot be used against you. If you have been arrested, contact our criminal defense attorneys today so we can begin reviewing the legality of the searches in your case. Schedule a consultation with Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What You Shouldn’t Say After a Car Accident

What You Shouldn’t Say After a Car Accident

No one ever expects to get into a car accident. As a result, you may experience a great deal of shock and fear in the moments following a collision. But, it’s important to take a few minutes to calm down so you can remain in control of the situation. The things you say after a car accident could affect your ability to recover compensation for your injuries or property damage. Here’s what you shouldn’t say after a car accident if you want to avoid this situation:

“I’m sorry.”

Apologizing to the other people involved in the accident can be interpreted as a way of saying that you are fault for the crash. Even if you just meant “I’m sorry that this happened to all of us,” instead of “I’m sorry that I caused this,” your words can very easily be taken out of context. It’s important to avoid apologizing to anyone at the scene so you don’t get blamed for the crash.

“I’m fine.”

Drivers may end up standing around for a little while as they wait for a police officer to arrive on the scene. It’s normal to make small talk during this time, but you should avoid saying anything about your injuries. If you think you haven’t suffered any injuries or the injuries you have sustained are minor, keep this information to yourself for now. Symptoms of certain injuries may not appear for hours or even days after the accident. If you tell the other driver that you are not injured, but then realize later that you are, this will make it much more difficult to recover compensation.

“We don’t have to call the police.”

The other driver may say that there’s no need to call the police because the accident was minor, but you should never agree to this. A police officer needs to respond to the scene of every accident so he can create a police report. This report will explain exactly what happened and identify the at-fault party, and it plays a big role in your personal injury claim. The other driver may change his story after you leave the scene and try to claim you were at fault. If you don’t have a police report, it will be difficult for you to prove that you are telling the truth.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney who can guide you through the process of filing a claim. Our attorneys will stand beside you every step of the way and ensure that you don’t say anything that could impact the outcome of your case. Contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form to schedule a consultation.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Bus Accidents?

Who Can Be Held Liable For Bus Accidents?

Bus accidents are far too common, and unfortunately, many of them lead to serious and sometimes fatal injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney who can determine who is at fault. A number of different parties can be held liable for bus accidents, including:

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers can cause serious accidents if they choose to drive recklessly or operate a bus while intoxicated or distracted. If a bus driver’s negligence causes an accident, he can be held liable for others’ injuries.

Bus Company

Companies that own and operate buses can be held liable if the bus accident was caused by the driver. This is because of the “respondeat superior” legal doctrine, which says the employer can be held liable for damage caused by employees’ actions.

Local or State Government Agencies

Many of the buses that you see on the streets today are owned and operated by local or state government agencies. If you are injured in an accident involving one of these buses, you may be able to hold the government agency liable. However, the process of filing a personal injury claim against a government agency is very different from filing a claim against a negligent driver. One of the main differences is the requirement that you must file a notice with the government agency within 180 days after the accident. It’s imperative that you don’t miss this deadline, which is why it’s important to immediately contact an attorney after a bus accident.

Parts Manufacturers

Sometimes, the bus accident is completely out of the driver’s control because it is caused by a defective part. For example, let’s say a bus’s brakes begin to malfunction and the driver is unable to stop the bus from colliding into another vehicle. In this case, the manufacturer of the defective brakes could be held responsible for the accident.

School District

Far too many bus accidents involve school buses that are used to transport innocent children to and from school. These buses are often owned and operated by the school district, which means the district could be held responsible in the event that a school bus is involved in an accident.

School districts often hire private bus companies to handle the transportation of students instead of operating the buses on their own. In this situation, the liability would fall on the bus company and not the school district.

It can be challenging to identify the liable parties in a bus accident, but a personal injury attorney can help. If you have been injured in a bus accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form. It’s important that you move quickly to meet the tight deadlines for filing a claim, so don’t delay any longer.

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

Who Can Be Held Liable For Truck Accidents?

If you are injured in an accident that involves two cars, it is fairly simple to determine which driver was at fault. However, things are not so clear-cut when the accident involves a commercial truck. Why? There are a number of parties besides the driver that can be held liable for truck accidents, which means you will need a personal injury attorney to help you identify the at-fault parties. Here are some of the parties that you may be able to hold liable for your injuries after a truck accident:

Truck Driver

Truck drivers can cause accidents if they choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated or extremely fatigued. Distractions such as cell phones, radios, or food can take the driver’s attention away from the road and also lead to serious accidents. Truck drivers can also be liable if they were driving recklessly at the time of the accident or if they simply made an error, such as underestimating the space they needed to safely make a turn.

Trucking Company

The phrase “respondeat superior” plays an important role in identifying the liable parties in a truck accident. This phrase, which translates to mean “let the superior answer,” refers to the employer’s liability for an employee’s actions. The trucking company may be held liable if the negligence of the truck driver caused the accident.

But, that is not the only way that a trucking company can be held liable. Trucking companies must comply with a number of different federal regulations, and if their failure to do so leads to an accident, they will be held liable. For instance, the federal government has limited the number of hours that truck drivers can spend on the road without taking a break. If the company overschedules a driver and does not allow him to take a break, this is a violation of the regulation. In this situation, the trucking company may be liable if the truck driver gets into an accident because he is drowsy.

Parts Manufacturer

Defective parts on the truck can also cause accidents, and if this occurs, the parts manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if defective tires suddenly pop and cause the driver to swerve uncontrollably across the road, the manufacturer of these tires could be liable for any injuries sustained in the accident.

Shipper/Loader of the Cargo

Cargo must be carefully loaded onto the back of trucks to ensure that the weight is evenly distributed. If the weight is unevenly distributed, the truck driver may be unable to control the truck. When this happens, the company responsible for shipping or loading the cargo onto the truck may be liable for the accident.

It’s possible that more than one of these parties will be liable in your case. Let us help you determine who is liable so we can start to aggressively pursue the compensation that you deserve. If you have been injured in a truck accident, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Does a Judge Set Bail?

How Does a Judge Set Bail?

If you ever end up behind bars, the first thought on your mind is probably going to be, “How can I get out of here?” Most of the time, people who have been arrested are given the option of bailing out of jail. Bail is a process by which you are released from custody in exchange for paying a specific amount of money. The amount that you are expected to pay is determined by the judge presiding over your case. But, how does a judge set bail?

The judge will consider a number of factors before setting bail. First, he will review the details of the crime that the defendant has allegedly committed. Defendants who have committed minor crimes will have to pay less than defendants who have committed serious or violent crimes. In fact, defendants who have committed violent crimes may be denied bail if the judge believes they pose a threat to the community.

The judge will also review the defendant’s criminal record. Defendants who have a history of committing crimes will not be viewed favorably by the judge, and may have to pay more to secure their release from custody. If this is your first offense and it is minor, the judge should go easy on you when setting bail. You may even be eligible to be released on your own recognizance, which means you won’t be required to pay bail as long as you put in writing that you will show up to your court proceedings.

Some defendants are viewed as a flight risk, which means the judge has reason to believe that the defendant will skip town and not return for his court proceedings if he is released from custody. The judge may come to the conclusion that the defendant is a flight risk if he has no ties to the community. For example, if he does not have any family members living in the area and does not have a job, he is viewed as having no ties to the community and thus may be a flight risk.

Being represented by a criminal defense attorney may also affect the amount of bail that you are expected to pay. A criminal defense attorney can accompany you to your bail hearing or arraignment to negotiate the terms of your release. It’s possible that an attorney may be able to talk the judge into lowering your bail or allowing you to be released on your own recognizance.

Don’t attend a bail hearing or arraignment without an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Our attorneys will work with the judge to ensure that he sets a fair and affordable bail. If you have been arrested, contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

How Long Do You Have to File a Personal Injury Claim After a Car Accident?

People who are injured in car accidents caused by another person’s negligence may be able to recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But, the state of Colorado only gives victims a certain amount of time to file a personal injury claim after a car accident. This time limit is known as the statute of limitations, and it varies depending on whether the person was injured or killed in the accident.

Personal Injury Claims

Negligence plays a role in many personal injury cases, including traffic accidents, slip and falls, and dog bites. In Colorado, people who have been injured by another person’s negligence typically have two years from the date of the incident to file a personal injury claim. The only exception to this rule is if you were injured by another person’s negligence in a car accident. In this case, you will have three years to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

It’s important to note that this means anyone who is involved in a car accident has the right to file a personal injury claim for three years after the date of the accident. This can include people who were not inside a car at the time of the accident, including pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. As long as you were injured by another person’s negligence in an accident involving a motor vehicle, you will have three years to file your claim.

Wrongful Death Claims

Unfortunately, some people suffer fatal injuries in car accidents caused by negligent drivers. The families of these victims have the right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party, but the statute of limitations is different for this type of lawsuit. Although injured victims have three years to file a personal injury claim after a car accident, families of the deceased only have two years to file a wrongful death claim. The two-year time period begins the day that the person passes away, which may or may not be the same date that the accident took place.

Two or three years may seem like a significant amount of time, but it can go by fairly quickly when you are recovering from injuries or grieving the loss of a loved one. That’s why it’s recommended that you get in touch with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after a car accident.

Have you been injured in a car accident? Time may be running out to file a personal injury clam against the negligent party. Don’t wait any longer—contact Reisch Law Firm today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.