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Colorado Springs Criminal Law Blog

Colorado law helps some people avoid prison through drug court

There are many underlying reasons that you or others in Colorado may develop habits regarding certain substances in an effort to achieve a desired effect. If you've been struggling with drug addiction, you are one of tens of millions throughout the nation in similar circumstances. As diverse as factors often leading to drug addiction happen to be, so too are the reasons many people hesitate to ask for help to overcome their substance abuse problems. Some never reach out for support until they encounter drug-related legal problems.

If a police officer recently arrested you and prosecutors have since charged you with a drug crime, you probably have a lot on your mind right now. Lawmakers in Colorado have implemented an alternate system of justice for which many adults facing drug charges are eligible. The program, known as drug court, is designed to help people avoid going to prison upon conviction of drug crimes.

Did a search and seizure result in your facing drug charges?

If you come under suspicion of criminal drug activity, authorities may open an investigation into your situation. You may or may not be aware that this investigation is underway, but one day, police and detectives may show up at your doorstep, demanding to search your home. Because these affairs often take place in a whirlwind, you may wonder whether you even have to allow these individuals into your residence.

Often, if an investigation takes place, authorities generally work to obtain enough evidence for a judge to grant them a search warrant. This warrant essentially acts as a ticket for police to enter your home and conduct a search. However, the search warrant must meet necessary requirements.

Driving high could kill your buzz, you and other motorists

Were you one of the many Colorado residents who cheered the passing of the law that made recreational use of marijuana legal here in the state? Having the option to enjoy the buzz (and the potential medicinal benefits) of this drug without worrying about getting arrested may have made your year.

However, the ability to use marijuana doesn't negate the fact that you can't drive while high. Not only is doing so dangerous for you and others on the road, but you could also end up facing charges for driving under the influence of drugs.

Don't be surprised that you 'failed' that field sobriety test

Lights and sirens behind you immediately cause anxiety and probably raise your blood pressure as well. As you pull over, you may wonder what it was you did to draw the attention of the officer. As the two of you begin discussing the situation, the officer may ask you to exit the vehicle.

At this point, the officer begins asking you if you had anything to drink. Now you may understand that he or she suspects you of drinking and driving. Even though you could refuse, you agree to participate in field sobriety tests believing that you will pass with flying colors. Unfortunately, the officer claims that you failed and places you under arrest. You just became part of the approximately one-third of all of the sober people who fail these tests.

How's your balance? The answer may impact your future

Some people are extremely coordinated and can perform feats that demonstrate great balance and agility. You may be part of that group or you may be among many in Colorado who can barely walk across a room without tripping over your own two feet. Everyone is different in talent and skills that involve physical tests of ability. That's why if a police officer ever asks you to take a field sobriety test, you may want to think long and hard about complying before doing so.

There is no automatic repercussion for refusing to take a FST as there typically is in most states for Breathalyzer refusal. However, if a police officer already suspects you of drunk driving, you may not be doing yourself a service by refusing to take the FST upon request. If you know what to expect and how to protect your rights, you may be able to avoid major legal problems.

Do you know how blood alcohol concentration affects DUI charges?

Though you, like all Colorado residents, live in an area governed by laws, you may not think too closely about those laws on a daily basis. Certainly, you understand that some actions are obviously illegal, such as theft or assault, but you may not know how the details of particular laws could lead you to face criminal charges. For instance, DUI allegations are relatively common, but you may not have expected to have such charges leveled against yourself.

If police have accused you of DUI, you could find it useful to obtain additional knowledge on state drunk driving laws and how they could apply to your situation. This information may allow you to better determine how you would like to move forward with your defense or other related actions.

An appropriate defense for white collar crime charges

Are you facing accusations or charges of fraud? If so, your legal situation is very serious, but a conviction is never your only option. Many in Colorado do not take their legal situation seriously when facing white collar crime charges, but you would be wise to take careful account of your situation and fight for your interests.

Fraud is a common type of white collar crime, and there are many different types of criminal activity that could fall under this category. Conviction could lead to time behind bars, penalties and other consequences that may have a long-term impact on your life. You would be wise not to face fraud charges alone, but to secure legal help as early as possible.

Increase in penalties for repeat DUI offenders: What should drivers know?

A DUI conviction carries serious penalties, especially if it is not your first DUI offense. Individuals in Colorado who already have three or more DUI convictions should take notice of a new law that significantly increases the penalties of a fourth conviction.

What is changing?

Felony DUI offenses now carry harsher penalties in Colorado. A new law went into effect in August this year that increases the penalties for some repeat DUI offenders. What does the new law mean for people charged with a DUI? The law only applies to repeat offenders, or people who have already been convicted of a DUI offense. 

You can toke, but you can't drive to the store for munchies later

You and your friends may be thrilled that using marijuana on a recreational basis is now legal in Colorado. Perhaps, you've already enjoyed a few parties or simply look forward to smoking a joint on the weekend after a long work week is over. The law says that's your business, so long as you adhere to regulations. As a conscientious resident, the last thing you want to do is get high then drive a motor vehicle, not only because it's dangerous but because it's illegal.

Smoking marijuana for fun is a highly controversial topic throughout the nation. Laws can be confusing as well. Federal law prohibits marijuana possession and you can get in trouble when conflicts arise between state and federal regulations. Therefore, seeking clarification of driving laws pertaining to marijuana ahead of time may prevent major legal problems down the line.

The fine line between rowdiness and a disorderly conduct charge

Do you enjoy getting together with friends in Colorado and having a few cold beers or other libations on a summer's night? If so, it's safe to assume many other readers share your interests. Whether you meet up at your favorite local restaurant or attend a sporting event or concert together, it may be just what you need to get a little rest and relaxation after a hard week's work. You probably noticed that hanging out with your peers helps you loosen up and forget your worries.

Depending on how "loose" things get, you may wind up facing trouble with the law if someone decides you're a bit too rowdy and calls the police. The police may show up, ask a few questions and determine no harm done; or perhaps, they'll issue a warning and tell party-goers to quiet down a bit or suggest it's time for everyone to head home. However, if that's not what happens, and they instead charge you with public intoxication and/or disorderly conduct, things may get a whole lot worse before they get better.

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