Tag: criminal defense attorney

What is Criminal Attempt in Colorado?

What is Criminal Attempt in Colorado?

Many people are under the impression that they cannot face legal consequences for a failed attempt to commit a crime. However, this is not the case in the state of Colorado. Here’s what you should know about criminal attempt:

What is Criminal Attempt in Colorado?

Anyone who attempts—but fails—to commit a crime can face criminal charges. A defendant can be accused of criminal attempt when he engages in conduct that constitutes a “substantial step” towards committing a crime.

For example, let’s say a woman goes into a clothing store and stuffs clothing items into her purse. Before exiting the store, she is stopped by a security guard who watched her put the items in her purse. Since she has not left the store, she has not committed theft yet. However, she did take a substantial step towards committing this crime since she was concealing items in her handbag. Therefore, she could be charged with attempted theft.

The Consequences For Criminal Attempt

The consequences for criminal attempt will vary depending on the type of crime that the defendant was attempting to commit. In general, a defendant who is accused of criminal attempt will face criminal charges that are one step below the charges that would have been filed if he had successfully completed the crime.

For instance, someone who actually commits the crime of kidnapping in the first degree will be charged with a class 2 felony. However, if someone attempts and fails to commit kidnapping in the first degree, he will be charged with a class 3 felony instead. This is because a class 3 felony is one step below a class 2 felony, so it carries somewhat lighter penalties.

There are several exceptions to this rule. First, someone who is accused of attempting to commit a petty offense will face the same penalties as someone who is accused of actually committing a petty offense. Another exception to the “one step below” rule involves class 6 felony crimes. Defendants who attempt to commit class 6 felonies will face class 6 felony charges as opposed to a lighter criminal charge.

Have you been accused of attempting to commit a crime? If so, seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm right away. The law takes an attempt to commit a crime very seriously, so you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for your freedom. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

When Can A Defendant’s Criminal Charges Be Reduced?

When Can A Defendant’s Criminal Charges Be Reduced?

A criminal defense attorney will always fight to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. If the attorney thinks that it is possible to get the charges completely dropped, this is the outcome he will pursue. But in some cases, the attorney may think that the best possible outcome is to get the criminal charges reduced instead of completely dropped.

What Does it Mean to Reduce Criminal Charges?

Every criminal charge should be taken seriously, but some charges are more serious than others. If the charges against you are reduced, it means that you will be charged with a less serious crime. For example, let’s say you are arrested and charged with menacing, which is similar to assault. Menacing can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the nature of the crime, but in this case, you are charged with felony menacing. If the charges are reduced, it means the state change your charges to misdemeanor menacing instead of felony menacing.

When Are Criminal Charges Reduced?

There are several reasons why the state might decide to reduce your criminal charges. First, the prosecution may reduce your charges if you agree to a plea bargain. This means the prosecution will charge you with a less serious crime as long as you agree to plead guilty to it. Many criminal cases are resolved with plea bargains, but it’s important not to accept one of these deals before speaking with an attorney.

Prosecutors can also be forced to reduce criminal charges if they realize they do not have enough evidence to convict you of the original charge. For instance, consider the menacing crime example from above. The difference between felony and misdemeanor menacing is the former involves the use of a deadly weapon. As the prosecutor starts to build his case, he may realize that he does not have evidence of the deadly weapon. Or, he may realize that the evidence of the deadly weapon will not be admissible in court. Instead of risking a not guilty verdict at trial, he may decide to reduce the charges to misdemeanor menacing, which he will be able to prove.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our attorneys will fight tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case, which may involve reduced charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

What is a Preliminary Hearing?

Every criminal case starts with an arrest. But, what happens next? Many people aren’t familiar with the different steps in the criminal justice process, so they don’t know what to expect after being arrested. One important step of the process is known as the preliminary hearing, which occurs after a defendant has entered a plea of not guilty.

Your criminal defense attorney may refer to a preliminary hearing as the “trial before the trial.” This is because the judge will use this hearing to determine if there is enough evidence against the defendant to move forward with the trial. It’s important to note that the judge is not reviewing the evidence to determine if the defendant is guilty or innocent. He is simply responsible for reviewing the amount and nature of evidence to see if the state has enough evidence to convince a jury of the defendant’s guilt.

Who is Eligible For a Preliminary Hearing?

Some defendants may never have a preliminary hearing. Why? First of all, these hearings can only be requested when the defendant has been charged with a felony. All defendants who have been charged with class 1, 2, or 3 felonies can request a preliminary hearing. Some defendants who have been charged with class 4, 5, or 6 felonies may also qualify. Defendants who have been charged with a misdemeanor do not have the right to request a preliminary hearing.

Defendants who have entered a guilty plea will also not be granted a preliminary hearing. Since this hearing is used to determine if a trial is appropriate, there’s no need to schedule one for a defendant who has already admitted guilt.

What Happens During A Preliminary Hearing?

A preliminary hearing is very similar to a trial. Both sides will get to present their arguments to the judge instead of a jury. Both the prosecution and defense are also allowed to call witnesses or present physical evidence to prove their case. The defense’s goal is to convince the judge that the prosecution’s case is too weak to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the judge agrees with the defense, the case will be dismissed. But, if he sides with the prosecution, a trial will be scheduled.

If you have been charged with a crime, it’s in your best interests to seek legal representation from the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Let our attorneys protect your rights and fight for your freedom through every step of the criminal justice process. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

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

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

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

What Are Aggravating Factors?

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

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

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

How Will the Presence of Aggravating Factors Affect Your Sentence?

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

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

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

Should You Tell Your Attorney If You’re Guilty?

Should You Tell Your Attorney If You Are Guilty?

People who have been charged with a crime often have a hard time deciding whether or not they should admit their guilt to their criminal defense attorney. Will telling your attorney the truth hurt your case or should you always tell your attorney if you are guilty? Here’s what you need to know:

The Benefits of Telling Your Attorney the Truth

Some attorneys may not want to know whether their clients are innocent or guilty, while others will want to know right away. If your attorney asks, it’s strongly recommended that you tell him the truth.

Many defendants believe that an attorney will not try to fight for an acquittal if he knows that his client is guilty, but that’s not the case. An attorney’s job is to ensure his client gets a fair trial regardless of whether or not the client is innocent. There’s no reason to worry that your attorney will treat you differently or make less of an effort simply because he knows that you are guilty.

Knowing the truth about what happened can sometimes help an attorney create a better defense strategy. If an attorney does not know all of the details about the case, this could affect his ability to present a strong defense.

There’s also no reason to fear that an attorney will tell authorities if you admit to committing a crime. Attorney-client communications are confidential, so they cannot be shared with anyone without the client’s consent.

Code of Conduct

Every attorney must follow a code of conduct established by the American Bar Association. The rules of this code of conduct states that an attorney cannot lie to the court or fabricate evidence. However, the defense attorney can argue all reasonable inference drawn from the evidence or lack of evidence.

However, this doesn’t mean that an attorney cannot defend someone that he knows is guilty of committing a crime. Instead, it means that the attorney must focus on pointing out flaws in the prosecution’s case. If the attorney can convince the jury that the prosecution has not proved the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the attorney may win an acquittal for a client that he knows is guilty without violating the code of conduct.

If you are facing criminal charges, seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney at Reisch Law Firm. Everyone has the right to a fair trial, and it is our goal to protect this right for all of our clients. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

Common Myths About Criminal Defense

Common Myths About Criminal Defense

Many people learn about the law and court system from TV shows and movies, which are not reliable sources. As a result, there are a lot of myths about criminal defense attorneys and the work that they do to protect the right of people who have been accused of committing crimes. Here’s the truth behind some of the most common myths:

Myth: The Jury Will Assume A Defendant is Guilty if He Doesn’t Testify

Some defendants are surprised to hear their attorneys advise them against testifying in their criminal case. This is often because they believe that the jury will think they are hiding something if they choose not to testify. But, that’s not true. Every defendant has a constitutional right to choose whether or not he wants to testify. If a defendant decides against testifying, the jury cannot take this decision into account during deliberations.

Myth: Defendants Who Plead Guilty Do Not Need Attorneys

Defendants who have decided to plead guilty often believe that they don’t need to hire a criminal defense attorney since their case will not go to trial. But, a criminal defense attorney does much more than just represent clients during trials. If you are pleading guilty, a criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to ensure you are given a reasonable sentence.

Myth: You Can’t Be Convicted Unless There is Forensic Evidence

The crimes that are featured in movies and TV shows are often solved when investigators find fingerprints, DNA, or other types of forensic evidence. It’s true that this type of evidence is used to convict people of crimes. However, it’s not true that a defendant cannot be convicted unless there is forensic evidence that proves he committed the crime. Prosecutors often rely solely on testimony from witnesses and police officers to convict defendants. Therefore, there’s no reason to think that the case against you is weak because there is no forensic evidence.

Myth: The Police Cannot Lie to You

It’s a crime to lie to police officers, but believe it or not, it’s not illegal for them to lie to you. It’s important to understand that police officers may make misleading or false statements in order to get you to confess to a crime. If they happen to get a confession out of you, it cannot be thrown out simply because they lied in order to get it.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact Reisch Law Firm today. Our criminal defense attorneys will guide you through the criminal justice system, protecting your rights every step of the way. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.

What Decisions Will Defendants Have to Make In A Criminal Case?

What Decisions Will Defendants Have to Make In A Criminal Case?

Being charged with a crime can change your life in an instant. But more importantly, the decisions that you make after being charged with a crime could affect the rest of your life. Here are some of the decisions that defendants will have to make in a criminal case:

Plea Bargains

It’s estimated that between 90-95% of all cases are resolved through a plea bargain, so it’s very likely that a deal will be offered to you at some point. Deciding whether or not to take the deal is one of the many decisions you will need to make in your case. Taking a plea deal means pleading guilty, accepting the consequences, and living with a conviction on your record. But, it also means a shorter criminal case, which leads to fewer legal fees, and lighter consequences.

Choosing An Attorney

Hiring the right criminal defense attorney could make or break your case. Experienced attorneys may be able to negotiate better plea deals, secure your release from custody, and poke holes in the prosecution’s case in the courtroom. Do your research before hiring an attorney so you can find one who has had success representing clients in cases similar to yours.

Taking the Stand

Defendants do not have to take the stand and testify if the case goes to trial, but they can if they believe it will help their case. This is another important decision that could have a significant effect on your future. It’s impossible to predict how the jury will respond to you as a witness or how well you will hold up during cross-examination. Don’t make this decision without going over the pros and cons of taking the stand with your attorney.

Appealing the Verdict

Defendants who are found guilty at trial may be able to appeal the verdict if they believe that mistakes were made during the trial that affected the outcome. For example, if it is discovered that one of the jury members was secretly talking to a witness about the case, the jury member’s vote could have been affected by these private conversations. As a result, the court may find that this is grounds for an appeal.

Deciding whether or not to appeal can be challenging. Appeals can be time-consuming and expensive, so defendants have to decide whether they should accept the verdict or take another chance.

Have you been charged with a crime? If so, get in touch with Reisch Law Firm today. You will need to discuss these important decisions with an experienced criminal defense attorney so you can make the best choices for your future. 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.

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.

How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

How Social Media Can Affect Your Criminal Case

Law enforcement officers can use many different types of evidence against you in court, including evidence obtained from social media. In fact, posts, photos, check-ins, and tags on social media can all be used to prove that you committed a crime. How? Here are some of the ways social media can affect your criminal case:

Photos

Do you have any incriminating photos on your social media pages? Even if you didn’t post the photos, it’s possible that you have been tagged in an incriminating photo by someone else. For example, the state may use pictures of you smoking marijuana or posing with drug paraphernalia in the background as evidence if you are being charged with drug possession.

Check-Ins

Facebook and other social media platforms allow you to check-in to a location so you can share what you’re doing with all of your friends. It may seem harmless to check into a bar or restaurant when you’re out celebrating with friends, but what if you are pulled over later for DUI? The fact that there is proof you were at a bar prior to being arrested will not work in your favor.

A check-in can also be used to show that you were in the area where the crime was committed. For instance, law enforcement may find it suspicious that you were located just a few blocks away from a home that was burglarized. This won’t be enough to prove their case, but it can be used to place you near the scene of the crime.

Posts

The things you post on social media can also be used against you in a criminal case. For instance, let’s say you are charged with first degree assault, which means you intentionally caused bodily injury to another person. Your criminal defense attorney could argue that you did not intend on hurting anyone, so you should be charged with third degree assault instead of first degree assault. However, if you posted something on social media about wanting to hurt the victim, this can be used to prove intent.

Don’t let social media affect the outcome of your case. Let your attorney look through your social media pages to determine if there are any posts or photos that could be used against you. An experienced attorney will be able to advise you on how to prevent social media evidence from hurting your case.

Have you been charged with a crime? Let the criminal defense attorneys at Reisch Law Firm guide you through the process. We will offer you advice every step of the way to ensure you don’t make any mistakes that could impact your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.