Who Can Be Accused of Sexual Assault on a Child By One in a Position of Trust?

Who Can Be Accused of Sexual Assault on a Child By One in a Position of Trust?

Sexual assault can negatively impact a child’s life for decades. Many children who have been sexually assaulted feel ashamed, anxious, and distrustful of others. This is especially true when the assailant was someone the child trusted. Anyone who is accused of sexual assault on a child can face severe penalties in the state of Colorado. However, the penalties become even more serious if the accused was in a position of trust at the time the crime was committed.

What is Sexual Assault?

Many people assume that “sexual assault” means engaging in sexual intercourse, but that’s not the case. Anyone who makes any type of sexual contact with a child can be charged with this crime. Sexual contact includes touching breasts, buttocks, or genitalia for sexual gratification. You can be accused of this crime if you ask the child to touch you or if you are touching the child, even if the child is fully-clothed at the time.

What is Sexual Assault On A Child By One In A Position of Trust?

You can be charged with this crime if you knowingly engage in sexual contact with a minor while in a position of trust. The law defines someone in a position of trust as a person who is partially or totally responsible for the child’s wellbeing, education, health, or supervision. This can include parents, guardians, nannies, teachers, doctors, and other adults who were trusted to look after the child.

This crime is charged as a class 3 felony if the victim is under the age of 15 or if the abuse happened repeatedly. However, it is a class 4 felony if the victim is between the ages of 15 and 18 and it was an isolated incident.

The Consequences For Sexually Assaulting A Minor

Defendants who are charged with a class 4 felony could face up to six years behind bars in addition to up to $500,000 in fines. The penalties are even steeper for those who are convicted of a class 3 felony. These defendants face up to 12 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000. All defendants who are convicted of this crime are also required to register as a sex offender in Colorado.

Have you been accused of sexually assaulting a child while in a position of trust? If so, let us help. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and restore your good name. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Why Seniors With Alzheimer’s Disease Are Vulnerable to Nursing Home Abuse

Why Seniors With Alzheimer’s Disease Are Vulnerable to Nursing Home Abuse

Alzheimer’s disease is a common type of dementia that affects the memory and other important cognitive functions. It can be difficult to care for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease, which is why many of them end up in nursing homes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2014 that 50.4% of nursing home residents were diagnosed with this condition. Sadly, many of these seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease are incredibly vulnerable to nursing home abuse.

The Vulnerability of Nursing Home Residents With Alzheimer’s Disease

Nursing home residents who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are often targeted by abusers because of how this condition affects the memory. It’s very likely that victims will not even remember the abuse after it happened, which makes it impossible for them to report what’s happening. Alzheimer’s disease often affects the ability to communicate, too. Because the victim’s memory and communication is impaired, it’s easier for abusers to get away with this despicable behavior when they target someone with Alzheimer’s disease.

Some nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease are aware that they are being abused. However, it’s possible that no one will believe them if they choose to report the abuse. The nursing home facility that documents the complaint may assume the victim is simply confused or having trouble remembering exactly what happened.

It’s not easy to take care of someone who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Because of this, a nursing home employee who is overworked and frustrated may lash out and physically abuse a resident with this condition. This is yet another reason why this group of nursing home residents are so vulnerable to abuse.

How to Spot Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

It’s important for family members to protect their loved ones by frequently looking for signs of nursing home abuse. Family members should keep an eye out for drastic changes in their behavior, mood, appearance, health, or financial situation. Victims of physical abuse could also have unexplained bruises, cuts, or broken bones on their bodies. If you spot any of these signs, do not ignore them. Your loved one may not be able to provide you with much information because of her condition, however you can get to the bottom of the abuse with help from an attorney.

If you think your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. We will fight tirelessly to hold the abusers accountable for the harm they have inflicted upon your loved one. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

The Importance of Releasing Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

The Importance of Releasing Medical Records in a Personal Injury Case

The at-fault party’s insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case shortly after they are notified of the incident. One of the insurance adjuster’s responsibilities is to investigate the incident to determine the extent of your injuries. The insurance company will not simply take your word for it—instead, they will ask for a copy of your medical records. Here’s what you should know about releasing medical records in a personal injury case:

Personal Injury Victims Must Authorize the Release of Records

There are federal laws that ensure your healthcare records are kept private. This means the insurance company cannot get their hands on your information without your approval.

The insurance adjuster may ask you to sign something that authorizes the release of your records, but do not sign this until it has been reviewed by an attorney. The wording of the agreement may give the insurance company permission to review all of your medical records, not just those that are applicable to the case. This allows them to look for pre-existing conditions that could lower the value of your claim.

To avoid this problem, it’s best to let an attorney review the wording of the authorization agreement before you sign it. Another option would be to authorize the release of records to your attorney so he can review the records prior to sending them to the insurance company.

What Insurance Companies Look For When Reviewing Medical Records

First and foremost, the insurance adjuster will check your records to make sure your injuries are documented. If there is no proof of the injury, the insurance company will not compensate you for it.

The insurance adjuster will also look at treatment you received for these injuries. If the insurance adjuster believes a treatment was unnecessary, he could argue that you should not be compensated for the cost of this specific procedure.

The insurance adjuster will review the dates of doctor visits as well to make sure there were no gaps in treatment. If there were significant gaps between each treatment, this could indicate you were not following the doctor’s orders, which will lower the value of your claim.

Finally, the insurance adjuster will review the doctor’s notes to determine the extent of your injuries. These notes help the insurance adjuster figure out how your injury has affected your life, which is information that is used to calculate pain and suffering damages.

The insurance adjuster may seem as if he is on your side, but his goal is to settle the case for as little as possible. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible so we can handle the insurance company on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Criminally Negligent Homicide vs. Manslaughter: What’s the Difference?

Criminally Negligent Homicide vs. Manslaughter: What’s the Difference?

First degree murder is the most serious criminal charge that a defendant can face. But, the law recognizes that not every homicide is premeditated. For this reason, there are several other homicide laws that are applied in cases where the defendant did not intend on killing the victim. For example, a defendant who killed someone without intent to do so could be charged with criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter. What’s the difference between these two crimes? Here’s what you should know:

The Cause of the Victim’s Death

The law states that you can be charged with criminally negligent homicide if your criminally negligent behavior caused the death of another person. On the other hand, the law states that you can be charged with manslaughter if your reckless behavior caused the death of another person. Therefore, the difference between these two crimes is the type of behavior that caused the victim’s death.

Criminal Negligence vs. Reckless Behavior

Criminal negligence is legally defined as the failure to realize that your behavior is so dangerous that it could kill someone. In order to prove you were criminally negligent, the prosecution must be able to show that a reasonable person in your situation would have realized that their behavior was potentially dangerous.

In the eyes of the law, you are reckless when you act in a manner that puts others at risk even though you are aware that your behavior could seriously harm or kill another person.

To put it simply, the difference between these two legal definitions comes down to risk awareness. A person who is criminally negligent did not realize his behavior was dangerous, even though he should have, whereas a reckless person knew his behavior was dangerous, but ignored the risks.

Which Crime is More Serious?

Any crime involving the loss of another person’s life should be taken seriously. But, manslaughter is a more serious crime than criminally negligent homicide. Manslaughter is charged as a class 4 felony in Colorado, whereas criminally negligent homicide is charged as a class 5 felony. Both of these crimes are far less serious than first degree and second degree murder, which cannot be charged unless the defendant had the intent to kill.

Have you been accused of killing another person? If so, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. The criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm have successfully handled countless homicide and manslaughter cases. Let us fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Acts Constitute Child Abuse in Colorado?

What Acts Constitute Child Abuse in Colorado?

Crimes that are committed against children are taken very seriously in the state of Colorado. This includes child abuse, which occurs when someone harms a child under the age of 16 or puts a child in a potentially dangerous situation. The legal definition of child abuse is somewhat vague, so it’s important to understand what acts constitute child abuse in Colorado. Here are a few examples:

Driving Under the Influence With A Child in the Car

Many adults are surprised to find out they can be charged with child abuse if they are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a child in the car, but it’s true. Driving under the influence is dangerous, so anyone who is in the vehicle with you is at risk of being seriously injured. For this reason, engaging in this behavior with a child in the car is considered child abuse.

Failing to Fulfill the Basic Needs of A Child

If you are supposed to care for a child, it is your responsibility to provide the child with food, water, medical treatment, and other necessities. Failing to provide a child under the age of 16 with these necessities could be considered child abuse if it happens continuously. For example, sending a child to bed without dessert is not abuse because the child is not being harmed. However, if you refuse to provide a child with food for days at a time, this would be abuse since the child could suffer serious health problems.

Basically, if the failure to fulfill a child’s basic needs leads to malnourishment or any other health problem or injury, it is a form of abuse.

Manufacturing Controlled Substances With A Child Present

Manufacturing a controlled substance is considered child abuse if a child under the age of 16 is present. The child does not need to actually be involved in the manufacturing in order for the adults to be charged with child abuse. For instance, if the controlled substance is manufactured in the child’s home, this would be considered abuse regardless of whether the child witnessed the crime.

It also doesn’t matter whether or not the defendant knew a child lived in the home or was present at the time of the crime. The law specifically states that a defendant cannot use this argument to escape child abuse charges.

If you have been charged with child abuse, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will immediately begin reviewing your case and building a solid defense strategy. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can the Police Force You to Unlock Your iPhone?

Can the Police Force You to Unlock Your iPhone?

In 2013, Apple revealed that the next iPhone would feature Touch ID technology. This innovative technology gave iPhone owners the power to unlock their phone with their fingerprints as opposed to a unique four-digit pin. At the time, many people believed that Touch ID technology would help iPhone owners protect their privacy. But, this may not be the case for people who are involved in criminal investigations. Can the police force you to unlock your iPhone if you are under investigation? Here’s what you should know:

How Touch ID Technology is Treated in Court

In 2016, a federal judge in California signed off on a search warrant that allowed law enforcement officers to force a woman to use her fingerprint to unlock her iPhone. This was the first known search warrant that authorized law enforcement to force a suspect to unlock their iPhone with their fingerprint. However, it was not the first time the issue was brought to court. In 2014, a judge in Virginia also ruled that law enforcement officers have the authority to force someone to unlock an iPhone protected by their fingerprint.

Touch ID Technology vs. Pin Protection

Before giving law enforcement officers the power to unlock a phone, the court must know how the phone is being protected. Based on previous court rulings, it’s safe to say that the court will allow law enforcement officers to force you to unlock your phone if it is protected by a fingerprint. However, the ruling may be different if the phone is protected by a pin passcode instead.

The Fifth Amendment protects people from self-incrimination. Because of this amendment, law enforcement officers are not allowed to ask someone to unlock their iPhone if it is protected by a pin passcode. In the eyes of the law, asking someone for their pin number is a violation of their Fifth Amendment rights. But, the Fifth Amendment does not apply to biometric indicators such as fingerprints or DNA samples. This means it is not considered a violation of your Fifth Amendment rights to force you to unlock a phone that is solely protected by Touch ID technology.

If you have an iPhone, keep this in mind when deciding the best way for you to protect your privacy.

If you are wrapped up in a criminal investigation, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our criminal defense attorneys will ensure law enforcement does not violate any of your constitutional rights. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Can Employers Be Held Liable in Car Accident Cases?

Can Employers Be Held Liable in Car Accident Cases?

When two cars collide with one another, typically one or both drivers are legally responsible for the collision. However, the drivers involved in the crash are not the only parties that can be held liable. Sometimes, it is one of the driver’s employers that is actually at fault. When can employers be held liable in car accidents? Here’s what you should know:

Respondeat Superior

The “respondeat superior” legal doctrine states that an employer can be held liable for an employee’s negligent actions that occur within the scope of employment. For example, let’s say a pizza delivery driver is making a delivery to a customer’s home when he runs a red light and crashes into another vehicle. Since the pizza delivery driver was performing his job duties at the time of the crash, the employer can be held liable for the victim’s injuries. If the pizza delivery driver was driving home after work when the accident occurred, the employer would not be held liable.

Employer Negligence

Employers can also be held liable when their negligence played a role in the accident. Consider the pizza delivery driver example from above. Let’s say the pizza company hired the driver without asking if he had a driver’s license or checking his driving record. If it is discovered that the driver was not licensed at the time of the accident, the employer is partially liable since they negligently hired him.

Violations of Regulations

Employer liability often comes into play in truck accident cases. Why? The trucking industry is heavily regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Trucking companies must comply with the many regulations established by the FMCSA to keep the roads safe. But unfortunately, many trucking companies fail to comply with these safety regulations. If an accident occurs because of a failure to comply with a regulation, the trucking company could be held responsible.

For instance, say a trucking company fails to comply with the regulation that requires them to perform frequent inspections on their trucks. Then, a part of the truck malfunctions, causing the driver to lose control of the truck. This accident could have been prevented if the truck driver’s employer complied with the inspection regulation, which means the employer can be held liable for the crash.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact Reisch Law Firm at once. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will immediately launch an investigation to determine who is liable. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can the Insanity Defense Be Used?

When Can the Insanity Defense Be Used?

Everyone knows that a defendant has the right to plead guilty or not guilty, however these are not the only plea options. Sometimes, it is in the defendant’s best interest to plead “not guilty by reason of insanity.” However, using the insanity defense is only effective under certain circumstances.

Who Can Plead Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity?

The law states that someone cannot be held accountable for committing a crime if a mental disease or defect made it impossible for him to know the difference between right from wrong at the time the crime was committed. For instance, if a mental illness makes it impossible for someone to understand that hurting another person is wrong, he should plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

The law also states that someone cannot be convicted of a crime if it can be proven that a mental disease or defect makes it impossible for him to form a “culpable mental state” needed to commit a crime. For example, someone who has been charged with first degree murder is being accused of intentionally killing another person. This means the prosecution must prove the defendant intended on killing the victim. If a mental defect or disease makes it impossible for someone to be in this state of mind, he should plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

Examples of Mental Diseases and Defects

The law refers to “mental diseases and defects” when describing how to prove that a defendant is legally insane. But, what are mental diseases and defects? Any condition that severely impairs a person’s ability to understand reality could be classified as a mental disease or defect. This includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, certain neurological disorders, and more.

The insanity defense cannot be used when the defendant’s mental state was impaired because of the voluntary consumption of drugs or alcohol.

Proving Insanity in Court

If a defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. This means it is the prosecution’s responsibility—not the defense’s—to prove that the defendant is sane. Both the prosecution and the defense can hire mental health experts to assess the defendant’s state of mind. It is common for the prosecution’s experts to find that the defendant is sane and the defense’s experts to find that the defendant is insane. When this happens, it’s up to the judge and jury to decide the defendant’s fate.

If you have been charged with a crime, discuss your case with the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. The insanity defense is rarely used in Colorado, but there are many other effective defense strategies. Let us build a solid defense strategy that can be used to protect your future. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

How Insurance Adjusters Investigate Car Accidents

How Insurance Adjusters Investigate Car Accidents

The at-fault party’s insurance company will assign an insurance adjuster to your case shortly after learning about the accident. The insurance adjuster will immediately begin to conduct an investigation to determine how the accident occurred and who is responsible for your injuries. Here’s how insurance adjusters investigate car accidents:

Talk to Both Parties

First, the insurance adjuster will attempt to make contact with both parties involved in the accident. The goal of making contact with each party is to hear each driver’s side of the story and learn more about how the accident occurred.

Personal injury attorneys typically recommend that clients do not speak to insurance adjusters without an attorney present. Be sure to speak to an attorney before agreeing to answer an insurance adjuster’s questions.

Review the Police Report

Next, the insurance adjuster may obtain a copy of the official police report of the accident. The police officer that responds to the scene of the accident asks each party questions about the crash and then summarizes these statements in a police report. The insurance adjuster will review the police report to look for inconsistences in either party’s story.

The insurance adjuster will also read through the police report to see if the responding officer came to a conclusion as to who was at fault for the accident. If the police officer concluded that the insurance company’s policyholder was to blame for the accident, the insurance adjuster may decide to make an offer to the victim for his injuries.

Analyze Evidence From the Scene

The insurance adjuster can also determine liability by analyzing evidence from the scene of the accident. Looking at photos of the property damage and interviewing witnesses who saw the accident can help them learn more about the events leading up to the accident. This evidence may be used to prove which party is liable.

Check Medical Records

If the insurance adjuster believes his policyholder is to blame, he will ask the victim to submit his medical records so he can verify the victim’s injuries. Insurance adjusters will look for ways to poke holes in the victim’s case. For example, if the victim waited two days to see a doctor after the accident, the insurance adjuster may question if the injuries were actually sustained in the crashed. If the insurance adjuster is able to verify the injuries, the process of negotiating a settlement with the victim will begin.

If you have been injured in a car accident, seek legal representation from the personal injury attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. The insurance adjuster’s goal is to resolve your case for as little as possible, but we won’t allow this to happen. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Filing A Motion For Reconsideration After A Criminal Conviction

Filing A Motion For Reconsideration After A Criminal Conviction

Defendants who are convicted of a crime can face a number of different penalties, including incarceration, fines, probation, and community service. During the sentencing hearing, the defense can attempt to persuade the judge to impose the lightest sentence possible on the defendant. However, these attempts are not always successful. Fortunately, defendants may have one more chance to fight for a lighter sentence. Here’s what you should know about filing a motion for reconsideration:

What is a Motion For Reconsideration?

A defendant who has been convicted and sentenced for a crime can file a motion for reconsideration if he would like to ask the judge for a lighter sentence.

For example, let’s say a defendant is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). The judge sentences the defendant to one year in jail, which is the maximum penalty for first-time DUI defenders. The defendant can file a motion for reconsideration and ask the judge to reconsider the original sentence. He can argue that since this was his first criminal conviction, he does not deserve the maximum penalty. If the judge agrees, the defendant’s sentence can be lightened.

Who Can File a Motion For Reconsideration?

Many defendants think they can only file a motion for reconsideration if they have been sentenced to prison, but that’s not the case. Any defendant who has been convicted and sentenced is eligible to file a motion for reconsideration, regardless of the severity of their sentence.

In most cases, defendants choose to file a motion for reconsideration if they believe the penalties imposed upon them were unfair. Other defendants file a motion if they believe they have been rehabilitated and deserve another chance. It’s up to the judge to review the defendant’s request and determine if he deserves a lighter sentence.

When Can a Motion For Reconsideration Be Filed?

Defendants must move quickly if they would like to ask the judge to reconsider their sentence. If you are not appealing the verdict, the motion for reconsideration must be filed within 126 days after sentencing. If you are appealing the verdict, the motion for reconsideration must be filed within 126 days after the appellate court’s decision.

If you have been convicted of a crime, speak to the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm. Let our criminal defense attorneys file a motion for reconsideration and prove that the punishment does not fit the crime. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.