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.

Investigation

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

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.

DUI Breath Test, Blood test, or Refusal?

DUI Breath Test, Blood test, or Refusal?

DUI Breath Test, Blood Test, or Refuse all tests?
DUI Breath Test, Blood Test, or Refuse all tests?

An officer begins a DUI investigation on you. He asks you how much have you had to drink. He asks you to perform roadside sobriety tests. Then he arrests you for DUI. He is required to give you a “express consent” advisory where you must choose a dui breath test or a blood test. You have a very short time to decide.

DUI Blood Test

The officer will take you to detox or the jail where a medical professional, usually a nurse or EMT, will draw two vials of blood from your arm. Either the police crime lab or a private lab will conduct a test on the blood they receive and give the police the results.

If the result is 0.08 or above, the police will forward that result to the Department of Revenue (DMV) which will send you a suspension letter that will be effective one week later. You have a right to a suspension hearing and SHOULD REQUEST A HEARING IN WRITING WITHIN 7 days. See the Department of Revenue site for more information.

Unlike a DUI breath test, a second sample exists for independent testing. We will be sending the second vial to another lab for verification that the two vials of blood came from the same person, and that the result is similar to the vial tested by the crime lab. Some of the ways we attempt to get your case dismissed or reduced include blood draw problems, lab errors, blood storage problems, chain of evidence problems, etc.

If the suspension is sustained, and you have a Colorado drivers license, you will be eligible for a restricted license with interlock after 30 days of no driving.

Call a lawyer for help with what to do next. Solomon Law represents many, many DUI charges and can help you decide what is best for you in your case.

DUI Breath Test

The officer will take you to jail or detox and have you wait for 20 minutes while he completes paperwork. This 20 minute observation period is required in a DUI breath test to ensure you did not burp, vomit, belch, drink more alcohol, etc. The officer will have you blow into a mouthpiece two times and the machine will record the lower of the two results.

Currently in Colorado, no facility exists to make an independent test of your DUI breath test. What the machine says will be the only test result in your case. Some of the ways we attempt to get your case dismissed or reduced include problems with the machine, problems with the certification process of the facility to conduct breath tests, etc. We are able to aggressively attack the ability of Colorado to use the Intoxilyer-9000 results of the DUI breath test in your case.

If the result of you DUI breath test is 0.08 or above, the police officer will immediately issue you an “express consent” notice of revocation, and forward it to the Department of Revenue (DMV). This notice of suspension is effective within 7 days. You have a right to a suspension hearing and SHOULD REQUEST A HEARING IN WRITING WITHIN 7 days. See the Department of Revenue site for more information.

Call a lawyer for help with what to do next. Solomon Law represents many, many DUI charges involving a DUI breath test and can help you decide what is best for you in your case.

Refusal

If you refuse any chemical testing of your blood or breath, this will be used against you at trial. The officer will be able to testify to the things he saw, smelled, and heard you say. However, the state’s case is usually weaker without a level of your blood or breath alcohol.

The police officer will issue you an “express consent” notice of revocation for the refusal. He will forward it to the Department of Revenue (DMV). This notice of suspension is effective within 7 days. You have a right to a refusal suspension hearing. You SHOULD REQUEST A HEARING IN WRITING WITHIN 7 days. If the suspension is sustained, and you have a Colorado drivers license, you will be eligible for a restricted license with interlock after 60 days of no driving.

Call a lawyer for help with what to do next. Solomon Law represents many, many DUI charges and can help you decide what is best for you in your case.

Advice

Call a lawyer for help with what to do next. Solomon Law represents many, many DUI charges and can help you decide what is best for you in your case.

 

Remain silent: Do not talk to the detective

Remain silent: Should I talk to the detective?

Remain silent and get the best chance to keep your ability to defend your case. People think that by talking to the police officer or the detective, you are keeping the investigator from thinking you have something to hide. Sadly, giving the investigator any information limits your lawyer’s ability to defend you. Remain silent and talk to a lawyer.

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Remain silent and call your lawyer. Silence is golden!

Admitting to any facts will be called a “confession” to the jury if your case goes to trial. Confessing that you were “there,” but did not do anything limits your defense. Confessing that you had “permission” to do what you are accused of admits that you did what they said they did, and makes their potentially weak case stronger. Almost no reason exists to talk to an investigator.

Remain silent or anything you say can only be used to hurt you

When you talk to the investigator, you every fact you give him is a gift. Investigators love gifts you give them, they go towards being able to charge you with a crime. Gifts you give the investigator give the district attorney facts they will use to convict you. You cannot talk your way out of being arrested or charged, but you can talk away your defenses. Don’t do it. Remain silent and call an attorney.

The officer never gave me my Miranda rights

Police do not need to tell people their Miranda rights unless they are truly “in custody.” Under the law, a suspect can be in handcuffs in the back of a police car and not “in custody.” Being detained is not “in custody,” even if it feels like it. A police doesn’t need to give Miranda rights when someone is only detained. DON’T TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHEN YOU ARE “IN CUSTODY!” REMAIN SILENT. If a police investigator is asking you questions about you, what you have done, or where things are, you are being investigated for a possible crime. Before you answer any questions, remember that what you say can almost never be used to help you.

DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

DUI and DWAI cases in Colorado require DUI minimum jail sentences in many cases. When trying to understand when these minimum jail sentences apply, two facts are the main factors to know about your case. First, if the new case is an alcohol based DUI, what was the alleged blood alcohol content? Second, do you have any prior lifetime DUI/DWAI convictions?

DUI Minimum Jail Sentences in Colorado
Let Mark Solomon help with your DUI – don’t go to court without alone

 

Blood Alcohol Content and DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

In Colorado, DUI Minimum Jail Sentences apply when the blood alcohol is “high” according to statute: 0.20 or higher. If the BAC is 0.20 or higher on a first offense, the law requires a person to be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail. However, if the person is working at the time, a good chance exists that those 10 days of jail can be served on in-home-detention with an ankle monitor. In home detention allows a person to go to work and medical appointments, but nowhere else. Courts can also allow a person to spend those days serving a DUI minimum jail sentence on work-release, where the person spends nights at the jail, but is allowed to leave for the day to work. The determination of whether a person is allowed either of these two alternative sentences is up to the judge. Having a good DUI defense attorney may make the difference in spending time in jail or being allowed one of these sentences that allows you to keep your job.

Prior convictions and DUI Minimum Jail Sentences

Any prior lifetime alcohol or drug driving conviction is considered a “prior offense” in Colorado, with no time cutoffs at all. So, a 20 year old DUI conviction would trigger a DUI minimum jail sentence in Colorado if charged with a new DUI/DWAI offense.

SECOND OFFENSE DUI MINIMUM JAIL SENTENCES

A second offense requires a 10 day minimum jail sentence. If the prior offense is more than five years old, the law allows alternative sentencing like in a first offense with a high blood alcohol content. The law requires a person to be sentenced to at least 10 days in jail. However, if the person is working at the time, a good chance exists that those 10 days of jail can be served on in-home-detention with an ankle monitor. In home detention allows a person to go to work and medical appointments, but nowhere else. Courts can also allow a person to spend those days serving a DUI minimum jail sentence on work-release, where the person spends nights at the jail, but is allowed to leave for the day to work. The determination of whether a person is allowed either of these two alternative sentences is up to the judge. Having a good DUI defense attorney may make the difference in spending time in jail or being allowed one of these sentences that allows you to keep your job.

However, if the prior offense is within five years of the new charge, the 10 day minimum jail sentence must be served in jail, as 10 consecutive days without any time off for good behavior.

THIRD OR MORE OFFENSE DUI MINIMUM JAIL SENTENCES

A third offense requires a 60 day minimum jail sentence. However, many judges and prosecutors will want far more jail time under a plea agreement or if you are convicted at trial. Once a person has is facing his fourth conviction, he should expect the judge to sentence him to the full 365 days in jail. Time off for good behavior does not apply to the first 60 days of such a jail sentence and must be served as consecutive days in jail.

This is why many people decide to go to trial when facing a DUI charge with three or more prior DUI convictions. The minimum jail sentence is enough to cause a person to lose their job and possibly their home, so trial becomes the only way to have a chance of keeping the DUI case from starting their life over when they are released from jail.

Traffic ticket: Should I go to trial or take a plea offer?

Traffic ticket: Should I go to trial or take a plea offer?

“I got a traffic ticket. Help me. The officer says I did something that I did not do. In an accident, the other driver claims that I ran a light, skidded into them, or was on my phone – they are lying. What should I do?”

Traffic tickets can be very emotional triggers for honest people because they come face-to-face with either (1) people who are not being honest or (2) people who honestly believe their facts and are wrong. In either case, when you are given a traffic ticket, you become a defendant. Defendants in traffic tickets have rights to go to trial to force the government to prove them guilty of the charges.

Deciding whether to go to trial in traffic cases can be difficult because the only source of facts in the case are often either police officers or participants in the accident. As such, the defense team has less than perfect certainty as to what facts will arise in the trial. These cases are usually “he said” “she said” disputes where the judge or jury have to decide who to believe.

Often traffic tickets result in fines of less than $500, and attorney fees can be many times that, especially when a jury trial is involved. Rarely does going to trial with a lawyer make good financial sense when dealing with a good driving history and no civil liability.

On the other hand, in accident cases, if the accident’s liability is being attributed to you, and either or both parties are uninsured, admitting criminal liability in the case will subject you to paying restitution to the other party, regardless of the civil case’s outcome. As such, consulting with a personal injury lawyer or your insurance will often be the deciding factor in whether to accept a plea offer or go to trial.

A Colorado Criminal Defense Firm in Denver, Colorado