All posts by Mark Solomon

Text messages require expert witnesses (Four reasons)

Four reasons text messages require expert witnesses

Domestic violence cases often involve evidence revolving around text messaging, and cases with text messages require expert witnesses. These messages are usually between the alleged victim and suspect. Most police investigators do not collect text evidence correctly. This leaves holes in their case against a defendant. When defending such a case, we will often require an expert witness for the proper collection of text evidence. This will show the evidence cannot be trusted at trial.

Texting evidence is complicated and Text messages require expert witnesses
Texting evidence is complicated and usually requires an expert witness

An expert forensic phone investigator is able to perform an evaluation to determine whether a text is a legitimate text, sent through an online network. Without this evaluation, testimony about text evidence is mostly guesswork. An accurate analogy would be testifying to the blood type or DNA of a blood sample after looking at a photograph of the blood sample. No one would believe such a blood analysis, and without the right expert, people might believe text evidence when they should not.

1. Fake Texting Screenshot Applications – Expert witness required

Many people think taking a screenshot of the text messaging application is a valid way to preserve text evidence. This is wrong for many reasons. Many online fake texting screenshot generators exist. Here is a crude example of a fake screenshot generated by such a service:
Text messages require expert witnesses

2. Fake Texting Applications (Text messages require expert witnesses)

Fake texting applications are applications that run on a phone, and allow customization to show network, battery life, contact name, and contact phone number. They also allow the user to create an entire conversation, down to the color of the text message “bubbles.” Importantly, once configured, these fake texting applications will operate like a real texting app. Photographs or videos of these fake texting apps will look and operate like the real thing. The untrained eye will be convinced they are real, including patrol officers investigating a domestic violence allegation.
Google search for “fake texting apps” will show many ways to fool the untrained eye.

3. Fake Text Injection Applications (Text messages require expert witnesses)

A fake text injection application has the ability to “inject” a fake text into a real texting application. If examined properly, these texts will lack any authenticating information (metadata) such as all the header and footer information containing network identification showing it as a real text message. Again, the untrained eye will see what looks like a real text. An expert forensic witness will be able to prove it as a fake.

4. Online Text Spoofing Services (Text messages require expert witnesses)

Many online services exist that can fake a text from a specific phone number. To a trained forensic investigator, these texts will also have conflicting network information “under the hood” to disprove it as a real text message from the intended victim’s mobile phone.


If your case involves text message evidence, we will almost certainly recommend a forensic computer expert witness to be able to attack the fraudulent evidence being used to wrongly convict you. Also remember basic considerations about domestic violence cases. Remember that most cases with text messages require expert witnesses.

Dash camera – Protects evidence & truth

Dash Camera – Will protect the truth

Having a dash camera may be the only credible way to protect you after something bad happens. Going to trial with a video that proves what happened is often the difference between winning and losing. Why is that that it seems
Almost Everyone in Russia Has a Dash Cam? Because crazy things happen, and a video recording is the best way to prove the truth.

Dash camera is unobtrusive

They cost very little compared to the damage waiting to happen, or the deductible of your insurance, if you are found to be at fault. I have had a couple brands that have died after a few months, but my Rexing V1 has lasted for almost a year now, is easy to configure, and takes HD video and good audio. This model costs about $100, plus a 32gig sd-card for an additional $20. It uses an adhesive strip to affix to your windshield. This avoid the suction cup method, which often fails in hot temperatures.

If installed correctly, they are unobtrusive and are not distracting at all. Set to “loop” the recordings, you can set them, and forget them.

Dash camera does not interfere with visibility

Value of having a dash camera

The provable facts are often why a case goes to trial or not. Going to trial often depends on whether a car stopped at a stopped at a stop sign, was changing lanes, or if the other car caused the dangerous situation.

Since the recorder has a microphone, it will record inside your own car. When I change lanes, I have gotten in the habit of saying, “clear,” to have some evidence on the record of having checked the next lane.

A video of what happened is your best protection if you did not do anything wrong. Make sure to keep the best chance of being able to prove what happened

Traffic Trial: Crucial Preparation

Many people who have a traffic trial are not prepared, and lose. Preparation is key to the best chance of winning your traffic trial. Proper witnesses and evidence are crucial to being able to present a winning case. Traffic accidents are on the rise. You are more likely to need to fight your charges now more than ever.

Traffic Trials: Prepare to win
Traffic Trials: Prepare to win

Theory of Defense in a Traffic Trial

Going to traffic trial without a theory of why you should win is a mistake. So, starting with the charging statute and following through the police officer’s report and body camera recordings, you should know how the state intends to convict you. From there, you need to know what you intend to prove in theory. Then, you need to plan what witnesses and evidence you will need to prove that theory.

Traffic trial: Photographs can help your theory of defense
Traffic trial: Photographs can help your theory of defense


Witnesses in a Traffic Trial

First, create your theory of defense. Then, you will need to subpoena the necessary witnesses to prove the facts that support your theory of defense. Hearsay evidence is generally not admissible. So, people cannot write statements instead of showing up to testify. They will need to appear, sear/affirm to tell the truth, and testify. Traffic trials that involve accidents will often require a traffic reconstruction expert to refute the police officer’s conclusions. These experts usually cost $3000 or more for trial testimony. These witnesses often perform a full investigation of the scene, take measurements, photographs, etc.

Evidence in a Traffic Trial

Usually, testimony is not enough to win. Evidence will need to corroborate some facts, such as photographs of the scene, measurements, traffic patterns, etc. Evidence will almost always need to be introduced through a witness who can testify to the authenticity and relevance of the evidence.

Use of a conviction in civil case

Many people involved in accidents are worried about their civil liability to the other party’s involved in the accident. Generally, the fact of a conviction in the criminal/traffic case cannot be used to prove liability. CRS 42-4-1713 “[N]o record of the conviction of any person for any violation of this article shall be admissible as evidence in any court in any civil action.” However, restitution issues and personal injury may require you to go to trial to attempt to shield yourself from liability.

Preparation is key to success in any traffic trial. Experience in trials is also crucial. Your traffic trial may involve a jury. An experienced defense attorney can help you prepare and win.

Important to get to court on time

Getting to court on time is crucial. When people show up to court late, they tell the judge that they only honor their own rules.

Anyone who sits in court for a short time will hear a judge speak sternly to someone who showed up late for court. Some people will have their bond revoked for this behavior. A court notice to appear at a certain time is enough of a court order for the court to punish a defendant who appears late.

Being late can put you in jail:
Within the past week, defense attorney Mark S. Solomon saw one person taking a defendant into custody for being late the second time, and heard three judges tell people that appearing late to their sentencing is an unacceptable statement that they don’t care about court orders.

Unexpected traffic problems:
Having an accident or a flat tire may be enough of a legitimate excuse to be late one time. However, traffic is something that a defendant should plan for. A defendant should expect traffic delays during high-traffic times, such as 8-9am or 3-5pm. Furthermore, defendants should plan for delays from snow and ice delays during winter.

Parking takes time:
Many courts have parking lots, but some only have on-street parking or parking garages. Finding a parking place and walking to the court can be time-consuming. Plan 5-15 minutes for any parking problems that may arise.

Security screening takes even more time:
Lastly, all courts have security screening. Often, lines for security screening are slow-going. Defendants should plan to arrive to court at last 30 minutes before their scheduled start time. Many courts have extremely long lines to get into the courthouse. DO NOT BRING: knives, sharp instruments, handcuff keys, weapons, etc

Having a Good Defense Lawyer: 3 Reasons

Having a Good Defense Lawyer: 3 Reasons

When you go to the prosecutor without a good defense lawyer, you risk putting yourself in a worse situation. Making decisions without a good defense lawyer is even worse. Mark Solomon can help you from the beginning.

Negotiation: Disclosing the right amount of information

First, by “telling the prosecutor your side of the story,” you’re possibly making a horrible mistake. Giving away some facts is part of negotiation. But, you may be giving away facts that you need at trial. If you do this, you may be decreasing your chance of winning. The other side probably doesn’t know the details of your defense. By telling them, you are giving the prosecutor a road map to defeat you. A good defense lawyer knows when to disclose facts and when to withhold them for tactical or strategic reasons.


Second, when a defendant starts a case negotiating without a good defense lawyer, new developments in your case seem more fabricated to a prosecutor when revealed later on. When a defense lawyer works against a prosecutor from the start, the process is more predictable. When an investigation is likely, new discoveries are more credible. A bonus effect is that the prosecutor is less likely to make snap decisions about a case or defendant with a good defense lawyer.

Case assessment

Lastly, an offer from a prosecutor is worthless without the context of a defendant’s criminal history, the facts of the case, and any other aggravating factors. Just because the offer sounds good, you may be throwing away a very winnable case without knowing it. A good defense lawyer’s case assessment is crucial in deciding whether to go to trial or give up a right to trial and plead guilty.

Most agree that getting a good defense lawyer from the beginning is the best start to a good defense in a criminal case. Make an appointment to discuss your case right away.

5 Ways To Avoid Bail Bond Violations

Five ways to avoid bail bond violations

Avoid a bail bond violation case by complying with bail bond conditions. Every bail bond has requirements that a defendant must follow, and failure to follow these requirements will give the prosecutor the option of filing a new case with harsh penalties possible. These are the most common ways a prosecutor may charge a person with such a crime. Avoid bail bond violation.

Avail bail bond violations
Avoid bail bond violations

Avoid new charges or new violations of law

A new law violation is the surest way to be charged with a bail bond violation. Bond is primarily focused on keeping the public safe and ensuring the return of the defendant for court dates. By being accused of a new crime, bond will almost certainly be increased after a new law violation, along with the strong possibility of a bail bond violation case. Stay clear of any possible criminal conduct, and even any conduct that may be closely considered a possible law violation. By doing so, you will most likely steer clear from new allegations of criminal activity.

Do not violate the protection order

Violating the protection order is another sure way to violate bond conditions. All criminal cases require a Mandatory Protection Order (MPO) Most courts make the protection order (MPO) a condition of bond. By violating the protection order, a defendant violates bond and subjects himself/herself to  a bail bond violation charge. This includes contact with victims or witnesses, if prohibited.

Do not drink alcohol or use marijuana or other drugs

Most protection orders prohibit use of alcohol and marijuana, and illegal drugs. Courts and pretrial services use random urinalysis (UA’s)  to monitor use of substances. Court will consider missed or diluted UA’s as “hot” or deceptive samples, while the court will be extremely harsh with a person submitting a truly fraudulent sample. Clearly, substances found in urine will be reported to the court in a special supervision report. Courts will take a harsh view on a defendant who refuses to comply with court ordered abstinence.

Comply with pretrial release conditions

Leaving the state without permission from pretrial services or the court will result in a bail bond violation if discovered. A defendant must comply with any other condition of bond the court orders, to remain on bond with no bail bond violations. Avoid Bail Bond Violations by remaining compliant, and stay free on bond.

Do not possess firearms or ammunition if prohibited

One bail bond condition in many criminal cases, prohibit possession of firearms and ammunition, especially felony charges and domestic violations. Once ordered to dispossess all firearms and ammunition, the court may require you to file an affidavit of dispossession within a short number of days to ensure compliance. A defendant may Avoid Bail Bond Violations by being timely with filing this affidavit.

Review: Thank you, Mark

Thank you, Mark
I am so thankful I found Mark Solomon in my time of need. I had hired another lawyer for my case when 2 weeks before court he left the state for another job and sort of left me high and dry. That’s when I was referred to Mark. He not only handled my case within the short time frame, he was far more thorough and affordable than my previous attorney.

Review: DUI

Mark was probably the only good decision I made going through everything with what I did. He was very knowledge and had me well prepared during the entire time. He has wonderful way of explaining all your options. He is also very honest and gives the best advice. He was able to get a lot of the things dropped. I would certainly call him and have him help you in whatever situation you’re in!

Driving Under Restraint (DUR) in Colorado

Driving Under Restraint (DUR) in Colorado

What is Driving Under Restraint?

Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) will revoke/restrain your drivers license for many reasons. Your license can be for too many points (12 points within 12 months -OR- 18 points within 24 months). Your license can revoked for a DUI conviction, or a habitual traffic offender (HTO) determination by the department. Your license can also be suspended for failure to pay court fines under an order of judicial warrant (OJW), or failure to pay an auto-insurance claim for damages.

But, I never got notice of the revocation!

If you were charged with DUI and the officer took your license (after a breath test or refusal), you had seven days to request a hearing. This is written in the “expressed consent” form the officer was supposed to give you after taking your license. If you did not request a hearing, your license was suspended after those seven days.

If your license was suspended for points, an outstanding auto-insurance claim, or an unpaid court fine, Colorado law allows that notice can be proven by a first class letter by the department to the last address the defendant gives the department. Many people move without notifying the department of revenue. Many people in the middle of a divorce do not get their mail. The department likely sent you the notice that your future-ex-spouse did not forward to you.

Can I take my Driving Under Restraint case to trial?

Colorado’s Driving Under Restraint (DUR) law requires notice of his suspension. The law also allows that notice can be proven by a first class letter by the department to the last address the defendant gives the department. The DA will use that inference to prove that he had notice of the revocation. His lawyer will have to challenge that notice, and will likely need something more than the defendant’s statement of “I never got it.” That’s why these cases rarely go to trial, because the DA has an easy paper case to prove. He would need a bold lawyer with a decent case to have a sense of confidence in defending a DUR case to a jury.

However, consult with a lawyer, because these charges carry up to a six-month jail sentence. If your license was suspended for a DUI or alcohol-related offense, the law requires a minimum 30-day jail sentence for a first offense, and 90-days of jail for a second offense.

Reinstating my license

Sometimes, getting your license reinstated is the best way to make your case better. At Solomon Law, we will always get your driving record to investigate what you need to do get your license back. We want to get you driving legally.