| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

How Much Do Lawyers Cost For Criminal Defense?

Focus on Having the Right Lawyer for Your Case Instead of the Least Expensive You might be wondering what your future will look like if you have a criminal charge in Colorado.  You may wonder if you will go to jail. Will you be able to keep your job with a criminal conviction on your record? Will you lose your driver’s license? You might also find yourself wondering, How much do lawyers cost for criminal defense?  You’re anxious and you think you need a lawyer. However, you might not know who you should turn to for help. Former prosecutor Austin M. Lux is a good person to turn for help. Attorney Lux and his staff with the Lux Law Firm have dedicated their practice to defending people charged with criminal offenses in Colorado. Austin fights vigorously for his clients and believes that there is more to your situation than what the police wrote about in their reports. Call The Lux Law Firm today for a free consultation and find out how Austin and his team can help you in your time of need. How Much Do Lawyers Cost for Criminal Defense? Just like no two doctors or teachers are alike—criminal defense lawyers are not all the same. You might think that any lawyer you hire can give you the best chance to minimize the impact criminal charges have on your life. Although logical, that’s not reality. When you think about hiring an attorney, do not focus solely on the average cost of a defense attorney. There’s more to retaining a lawyer than cost. What Questions Should You Ask in Addition to How Much Does a Defense Attorney Cost? You need to be an active participant in your defense, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Active participation begins when you first meet a lawyer.  Ask Yourself if You Are Comfortable with the Lawyer When you first meet with a lawyer, you are interviewing them and they are likely interviewing you. One question you should ask yourself is whether you would feel comfortable with that lawyer representing you. Put another way, ask yourself whether you feel like you can trust this lawyer. Not every lawyer is the best fit for you, and that’s OK. So pay attention and ask yourself if the attorney seems sincerely interested in you and your case. If you don’t trust the lawyer you hire, then you will never be certain justice was done in your case. Have You Handled Cases Like Mine Before? The lawyer might be competent but may not have a tremendous amount of experience handling the specific charges you’re facing. The lawyer you hire should have experience with a variety of criminal cases. Hiring a former prosecutor to defend you virtually ensures that they have the level of expertise necessary to give you the best possible chance to beat your case.  Some of the most successful defense attorneys started their careers by working for prosecutors’ offices. There, lawyers handle huge caseloads and gain substantial experience dealing with a wide variety of cases. Prosecutors learn what it takes to convict because the state has the burden of proof. They learn which defenses give you a better chance to beat your case than others. When it comes to criminal law, there’s simply no substitute for extensive courtroom experience. Ask About The Best Defense Strategies for Your Case Every case is unique. Sure there will be some similarities, but the individuals involved make each case unique. A seasoned lawyer who has the client’s best interests at heart will understand how to flush out all of the potential defenses. Depending on the facts of the case, you might have pre-trial motions you can file. You might have a good chance to get the case dismissed if you win a motion to suppress evidence. There are a number of reasons the judge might suppress evidence, and your lawyer knows which will apply in your case.  Even if you don’t have any viable pre-trial motions, your lawyer will be able to assess your chances of walking away with an acquittal if you go to trial. They will know if trial is your best option or not. And in cases where trial is not the best option, experienced defense attorneys know how to use leverage and negotiate a good plea bargain.  Former Prosecutor Austin M. Lux Is Ready to Fight for You The question on your mind when you first sit down with a lawyer to discuss your case may be, How much do lawyers cost for criminal defense? The better question to ask is, What value do I get when I pay an attorney their fee? As a former prosecutor, Austin M. Lux provides incredible value for his clients. Not only does he possess extensive knowledge of the Colorado criminal justice system, he is a fighter. He and his team with the Lux Law Firm want to fight for you. Call Austin today at 719-496-2177 for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense

What is the Average Jail Time for Drug Trafficking in Colorado?

Drug Trafficking Charges in Colorado Can Trigger Harsh Prison Sentences Drug trafficking is the general term people often use when talking about getting caught with a large amount of drugs. Colorado does not use the term drug trafficking in that way. But that doesn’t mean the state tolerates possessing a large quantity of drugs.  Colorado law is tough on people who have a large amount of illegal drugs. Anyone convicted because they had a lot of narcotics on them faces long prison sentences and a ton of other legal problems. If you are in this situation, you need help fast. Former prosecutor Austin Lux has helped numerous clients just like you. Contact him today for help getting the best result possible for your Colorado drug trafficking case. What Is Drug Trafficking in Colorado? Colorado law arranges drug offenses based on the level of severity. Therefore, you need to know the level of offense you face when asking about how much jail time for drug possession you could get.   We are talking about Schedule I and Schedule II drugs like heroin, morphine, cocaine, crystal meth, fentanyl, crack, and other street drugs when discussing drug trafficking. Colorado has specific laws relating to marijuana even though marijuana appears in schedule I. At the outset, Colorado law prohibits possessing, manufacturing, selling, distributing, possessing with the intent to sell, distribute, or manufacture all hard drugs. Conspiring with another to commit any of these crimes also falls under this law. Also, possessing any chemicals, supplies, or equipment that you can use to make drugs is also illegal. Level 1 Drug Felony You face between eight and thirty-two years in prison for a Level 1 Drug Felony. You must serve at least eight years because it’s a minimum-mandatory sentence. You will also be on parole for three years. You can also get a fine of up to $1 million. A Level 1 Drug Felony consists of having any compound, preparation, mixture, or material that weighs more than 225 grams of a schedule I or II drugs. However, if you have heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, or cathinones weighing 122 grams, you face a Level 1 Drug Felony. You could also face a Level 1 Drug Felony for possessing a substance that has 50 milligrams of flunitrazepam.  Level 2 Drug Felony A judge sentencing a person convicted of a charge other than a Level 1 Drug Felony can give a suspended sentence instead of jail or prison if the person qualifies for probation. Otherwise, a prison sentence for a Level 2 Drug Felony can run from four to eight years. But, an aggravated Level 2 Drug Felony conviction could land you in prison for eight to 16 years. You could be on parole for up to 2 years and have to pay a fine of up to $750,000.  You could have a Level 2 Drug Felony charge for having between 14 and 225 grams of a schedule I or II drugs. However, possessing seven to 112 grams of heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, or cathinones is a Level 2 Drug Felony as well. Also, you could have a Level 2 Drug Felony charge if you have a compound containing between 10 and 50 milligrams of flunitrazepam. Level 3 Drug Felony A conviction for a Level 3 drug felony could put you in jail for two to four years. But, a conviction for an aggravated Level 3 Drug Felony carries between four and six years. You will be on parole for one year after your release. You might have to pay a fine of up to $500,000 as well. You could face a Level 3 Drug Felony charge for having no more than 14 grams of schedule I or II drugs. You could have a Level 3 Drug Felony charge for having no more than seven grams of heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, or cathinones. The charge applies to having a substance weighing 10 grams containing flunitrazepam. The charge also applies to having more than four grams of a schedule III or IV drug. Level 4 Drug Felony A conviction for a Level 4 Drug Felony carries a possible jail sentence from six months to one year unless you’re convicted of an aggravated Level 4 Drug Felony. In that case, you could spend between one and two years in prison followed by one year of parole time. You could also have to pay up to $100,000 in fines.  A Level 4 Drug Felony applies to having less than four grams of a schedule III or IV drug. You could face a Level 4 Drug Felony if you have less than four grams of a schedule I or II substance or no more than two grams of methamphetamine, heroin, ketamine, or cathinones and share the substance with others for no money.  Get the Help You Need for Your Colorado Drug Trafficking Charges New clients always want to know how much jail time for drug possession they could get. Worrying about losing your freedom is natural. That’s why I take the time to explain the charges, your possible defenses, and how we can work together to get you the best result possible for your case. I’m with you every step of the way.  Call me today at 719-368-7698 so we can sit down and talk about your case. I offer free consultations. You shouldn’t wait to call. You could lose out on valuable information because you waited too long. Contact the Lux Law Firm today and let me get started helping you with your case.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense

Colorado Statute of Limitations on Criminal Cases

Former County Prosecutor Can Give You the Best Chance of Getting out of Serious Trouble You don’t hear about statutes of limitations for crimes all that often. When someone reports a crime, the police investigate and bring charges as soon as possible. But law enforcement officers don’t solve every crime right away. Sometimes it takes time for the police to investigate. In other circumstances, a crime may not be discovered until years after it occurs.  If you believe the police suspect you of committing a crime, you need help right away from an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney. Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer Austin Lux knows Colorado criminal statutes well. He has the experience you can trust to help you get the best possible outcome for your case. To learn more, contact us today. COLORADO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS Crime Statute of Limitations Kidnapping No Limit Murder No Limit Forgery No Limit Treason No Limit Sex offenses against children No Limit DUI 18 months Traffic misdemeanor 1 year Sexual assault 15+ years old 20 years from turning 18 yo Felony unlawful sexual contact 15+ years old 10 years from date of incident10 years after victim turns 18 years old What Are the Colorado Statutes of Limitations for Criminal Law? Statutes of limitations are laws that protect people from facing charges that happened long ago. When the current system of laws developed, people understood that you shouldn’t have to live your life worrying about something you did a while back returning to haunt you. Additionally, evidence, such as witness testimony is often more reliable closer in time to the event, which benefits the prosecution and the defense as well. As a result, laws placed limits on the amount of time someone has to take legal action.  Colorado statutes of limitations in criminal law work the same way as statutes of limitations in civil law. Civil statutes of limitations tell people when they need to file a case or forever lose their right to bring one. The limitations periods vary depending on the type of claim you might have. In some civil claims, you have only one year to file, but in others, you might have two or three years. You need to talk to a lawyer to be sure you know when the statute of limitations “runs,” meaning the date on which you lose your right to file a lawsuit.  The same theory applies to Colorado criminal laws. The prosecution cannot file a case against you if too much time has gone by. But unlike with civil actions, not every crime has a statute of limitations. Some crimes are so notorious that the police never have a deadline to file charges. What Crimes Don’t Have a Statute of Limitations? Murder never has a statute of limitations. You may have heard of cold cases? Those are murder investigations that have gone cold because of the passage of time. However, our society believes that no one should get away with murder. As a result, the police can charge anyone with murder as long as they have probable cause to believe their suspect committed the crime. Other charges below do not have a statute of limitations: Kidnapping Treason Forgery Sex offenses against children There is no statute of limitations for any attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation of any of these crimes either. Other Colorado Criminal Statute of Limitations for Criminal Laws Most felonies have a three-year statute of limitations. The three years start ticking upon the commission of the crime. Notwithstanding, there are other felonies with longer statutes of limitations. Those crimes include violations of the Colorado antitrust act, which has a six-year statute of limitations, and crimes like vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident with death resulting, and criminal violations of the Colorado Commodities Code, which have five-year statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations for vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death is 10 years if the crimes arise out of the same incident.  Other crimes have even longer statutes of limitations. For example, the statute of limitations is 20 years after the incident or from when the victim turns 18 for a sexual assault when the victim is 15 or older. Felony unlawful sexual contact on a person 15 or older is 10 years from the date of the incident or 10 years after the victim reaches 18.  Statutes of Limitations for Misdemeanors Even misdemeanors are subject to Colorado statutes of limitations under criminal law. The statute of limitations is one year for traffic misdemeanors. For DUI charges and the majority of misdemeanor charges, the statute of limitations is 18 months after the crime occurs. However, the statute of limitations for theft begins to run when the victim discovers the theft. When Do the Colorado Statutes of Limitations for Crimes Begin? You might be able to walk away from a crime that happened long ago if the statute of limitations runs out. However, the prosecution will argue that the time under the statute of limitations is “tolled.” Tolling of the statute of limitations simply means that the clock stopped running. For instance, the clock does not start running for some crimes until someone discovers the crime. The time also tolls when a victim of a sex crime is under 18. Additionally, the time under the statute will toll if you are outside of Colorado during the statutory period. However, that time is not unlimited. The statute of limitations runs again after five years.  Having a lawyer who understands Colorado criminal statutes is key to coming up with a winning defense. Contact a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Today Having a Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer by your side gives you the best chance to minimize the impact criminal charges have on your life. Attorney Austin Lux has unparalleled experience in Colorado’s criminal justice system. You can rely on his experience to help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact Austin by calling 719-368-7698 to schedule...

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

5 Things to Know About Probation Violations in Colorado

Probation is a sentencing alternative to incarceration for people with misdemeanor or felony charges and some traffic offenses. It is a period of time where someone has to meet certain obligations set by the court, and violations can carry hefty consequences. If you were charged with violating your probation, here are five things you should know. If you have any questions or would like to speak with a Colorado criminal defense lawyer, please contact the Lux Law Firm today. What Happens If I Violate Probation in Colorado? If you violate probation, you will receive written notice of the violations and your probation officer can order you back to court. You could be arrested without bail on a “no bond” warrant. The prosecutor files a “Motion to Revoke Probation” and the judge will schedule a hearing to determine if you violated probation. Similar to a trial, you will first have to plead guilty or not guilty. You have the right to an attorney, but not a jury trial.  The judge has a multitude of options for sentencing. They could re-sentence you to probation with additional terms, including: House arrest; Additional community service obligations; Mandated rehabilitation; Additional fines and fees;  Electronic monitoring; or Additional education classes. They could also revoke your probation and order you to serve the remainder of your sentence in jail or prison. The consequences are based on the nature of the violation, your criminal history, and your risk of repeat offenses. Possible Probation Violations Probation violations are either technical or substantive. A technical violation is a failure to meet some term of your probation agreement, including: Failing to show up for an appointment with your probation officer; Not paying fines or fees; Losing employment or changing jobs without permission; Moving without permission; Possessing a weapon; Contacting the victim; Failing mandatory drug tests; Violating curfew; Not completing community service; or Not completing a mandated treatment program. Substantive violations happen if you commit any new offense while you are on probation. For instance, if your driving privileges have been suspended, it is a criminal offense to drive. So if you are on probation and are caught driving on a suspended license, this is a new criminal charge that will violate your probation.  What Happens If I Am Ordered Back to Court? Your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain rather than going to a hearing on your violation of probation. A plea bargain is when you admit your violation in return for a favorable agreement with the prosecutor and probation officer. This would be the best-case scenario if you did in fact violate your probation. Securing a deal with the prosecutor is typically better than going before a judge to get your sentence. This is because the judge has wide discretion and you never know which way they will go. They could sentence you lighter than the prosecutor, or they could hit you with a stiff penalty that you really don’t like. After admitting the violation, if the judge hits you with a stiff penalty, you really cannot take back your plea. This can put you in a bad situation, so it is usually better to secure your sentence with the prosecutor first. However, keep in mind that the judge has final approval. If you are charged with a new criminal offense, your attorney might be able to negotiate a plea bargain that takes care of both the probation violation and the new offense at the same time. This is called a “global disposition,” which makes the most sense when there is no chance of total dismissal of the new charges. If a plea bargain is not possible, you would have a hearing. The judge would hear the evidence and decide whether you have violated probation, and then move to sentencing.  How Does the Prosecutor Prove that I Violated Probation? The prosecutor must only prove that you violated probation by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning you more than likely did it. They will base their case on your probation officer’s complaint and testimony. You may also have to testify at your own hearing. Unlike in a criminal trial, if you choose to exercise your right to silence, it can be used against you as a sign of guilt. The evidence rules for probation violation hearings are looser than in more formal trials. Pretty much any evidence that could prove the violation is usable so long as you have a fair opportunity to respond to hearsay. Appeals are possible but limited to procedural violations. How Can an Criminal Defense Attorney Help? Probation violations are serious matters. You could be facing increased fines, jail time, and other penalties. It is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you mitigate the consequences. Your attorney would know the best strategy for your defense and is in a better position to negotiate for the best outcome.  Contact the Lux Law Firm for Your Best Defense The Lux Law Firm specializes in criminal defense and our attorneys know the Colorado criminal justice system from the inside out. We have the experience and practice to provide you with the best possible defense. Our managing attorney is a former District Attorney and utilizes his intimate understanding of the legal system and criminal trials to your best advantage. We have achieved many positive results for our clients. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

An Overview of Colorado Drug Possession Laws

As of 2020, Colorado drug possession charges are no longer felonies for amounts that indicate personal use only. The goal of the new law is to lessen the burden on the Colorado prison system by reducing the number of people incarcerated for low-level drug possession crimes. The law also represented a shift in Colorado’s focus from penalizing addiction to treating it. However, the law does not apply retroactively, so anyone with a past conviction for drug possession cannot have it dismissed. Other crimes, such as selling or intending to distribute drugs, are still felonies. Defining Drug Possession in Colorado “Possession” in a drug possession charge can be actual, constructive, or joint. Actual possession means you are actually holding the drug on your person. Constructive possession means you have control over it but the drugs are not actually on your person. For example, if you had drugs in your car’s glove compartment or in a safe in your house. Who actually owns the drugs does not really matter. Someone that is holding drugs for their friend can still be guilty of possession, along with their friend. Joint possession means that two or more people have possession of the drugs.  Petty Drug Offenses Possession of over one ounce and less than two ounces of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, or prescription drugs in a container other than the one in which the medication was prescribed is a drug petty offense. Petty offenses are subject to a $100 fine. The use of marijuana in public also carries up to 24 hours of community service.  Drug Possession Classes Below are the classes in which Colorado classifies their drug possession crimes. Level 2 Misdemeanors Possession of up to three ounces of marijuana concentrate is a level 2 misdemeanor. These offenses most often have a one-year probation sentence with up to 120 days in jail for violations and a maximum $500 fine. For third and subsequent offenses, the jail time increases to six months. Level 1 Misdemeanors The biggest change is that it is now a level 1 misdemeanor to possess over four grams of most schedule I or II drugs. Schedule I and II drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs have no accepted medical use and include heroin, LSD, and peyote. Schedule II drugs include opioids, cocaine, meth, and morphine, and have some accepted medical use. Possession of schedule II, IV, or V drugs, over six ounces of marijuana, or over three ounces of marijuana concentrate is also a level 1 misdemeanor. These offenses have penalties of up to two years probation and up to 180 days jail for probation violations, as well as a $1000 maximum fine. Sentences might also include community service and a mental health assessment and counseling.  For third offenses of a level 1 misdemeanor, possible jail time increases to 364 days. Fourth and subsequent offenses are charged as level 4 felonies. Level 4 Drug Felony Level 4 drug felonies are the lowest-level felonies. Possession of over four grams of schedule I or II drugs, or of any amount of “date rape” drugs (e.g., GHB, ketamine, or flunitrazepam) are level 4 felonies. Penalties for these offenses are from six months to two years of prison, fines starting at $1,000 up to $100,000, a $1,500 drug offender surcharge, and one year of mandatory parole. Finally, people who are not United States citizens that are convicted of a felony are likely to be deported. Level 4 drug felonies could be reduced to level 1 misdemeanors after completion of a probation program for eligible people. Usually, probation will include abstaining from drug use and participation in a drug rehabilitation program. People who have two or more prior felony convictions are ineligible to reduce their convictions. Aggravating factors will increase the penalties for drug felonies. These factors include if the person is already on parole for another felony, on probation when they commit the new felony, or a presently jailed or escaped felon. Penalties for aggravated felonies include increased fines and possible doubling of the maximum time confinement period.  The Lux Law Firm Has the Experience Necessary for Your Best Defense If you are facing drug possession charges, it is very important that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. The Lux Law Firm specializes in criminal defense, and we focus on resolving our clients’ legal issues as skillfully as possible. Drug possession charges in Colorado are still a serious matter. You could be dealing with fines, probation, possible jail time, and a criminal record. Even worse, if you are not a United States citizen, you could be deported for any level of drug crime. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you with your drug possession charges.

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense

Understanding the Best Way to Get Domestic Violence Charges Dropped in Colorado

Calling 911 because of a domestic argument sets in motion a series of events that can never be taken back. Law enforcement officers will soon arrive and begin investigating. They will arrest and charge anyone they believe committed the crime of domestic violence. And they don’t need a lot of evidence to make an arrest. All they need is probable cause, meaning that a reasonable person would believe that the accused probably committed a crime. They do not need to perform a thorough investigation. Typically, the word of one person is enough. After an arrest, the police send their reports to the local prosecutor who then decides whether domestic charges should be pursued against the accused. The chances of getting domestic violence charges dropped are very slim. However, it can happen. If anyone knows if domestic violence charges could be dropped in Colorado, it’s Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer Austin M. Lux.  As a former prosecutor, Austin uses his vast experience and knowledge to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your domestic violence case.  How to Get Charges Dropped for Domestic Violence Plea Bargains Often, it is not in a defendant’s best interest to take a case to trial. Juries are unpredictable, and while having your day in court may appeal to criminal defendants, the cold truth is that jurors’ decisions can change on a dime. For this reason defense attorneys and prosecutors alike usually want to see if a plea bargain can be reached. Negotiations between lawyers who know how the facts of the case apply to the law and what their case’s chances at trial would be, can help resolve cases more quickly and without the stress and uncertainty of trial.  No-Drop Policy A necessary part of the prosecutor’s job in most cases is the authority to drop or reduce a charge to a lesser offense if justice is better served by doing so. And although part of the court’s job is to attempt to ensure that justice is done in every case, the judge does not have the authority to tell a prosecutor what to charge. What to charge and what level to charge it at is exclusively the realm of the prosecutor. However, the prosecution no longer enjoys full authority to charge as they see fit in Colorado domestic violence cases. That is due to our “no-drop” policy for domestic violence cases. Colorado domestic violence laws do not allow the prosecutor to plea bargain the case down to lesser charges, except in limited circumstances. When Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped in Colorado? Under Colorado law C.R.S. 18-6-801(3), the court does not allow a person accused of a domestic violence charge to plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest) to a charge unless it specifically includes a domestic violence designation. In other words, in many cases, the prosecutor is limited in their ability to reduce the charges to something that does not involve domestic violence allegations. Burden of Proof Unfortunately, this can sometimes tie a prosecutor’s hands. Even if the prosecutor in a specific case believes that the facts warrant lowering the charges to something unrelated to domestic violence, the law limits their ability to do this. One situation where a prosecutor can do this is when they believe they do not have enough evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. To lower the charges, a prosecutor must tell the court that they do not believe they have enough evidence to meet their burden of proof. Then, they can lower the charges. Alternatively, if the prosecutor believes their case is particularly weak, they can drop the case entirely. Domestic Relationship Possibly the best way to get domestic violence charges dropped in Colorado is when the prosecutor makes a good faith representation to the judge that they cannot prove the accused and the alleged victim were either currently or formerly in an intimate relationship. Since this is an essential element for a domestic violence charge, the absence of such a relationship means the prosecutor cannot prove all elements of the charge. Alleged Victim Recants Other states may allow prosecutors much more leeway to plea bargain on domestic violence cases. It is not uncommon in domestic cases for the alleged victim to later recant and want to drop the charges. Typically, after some time has passed, an accuser will go to the prosecutor and recant their story. The alleged victim might even tell the judge they don’t want to go forward with the case because the couple has reconciled their differences. Accusers often think this is enough to make the case go away. But they would be wrong in most instances. Sometimes, the alleged victim might go so far as to not show up for court.  Or they may become antagonistic to the prosecution. Even so, it is now out of the accuser’s hands. The prosecutor may not plea bargain your case to a lesser charge or dismiss the charges unless their case cannot be proven without the accuser’s help. Instead, the prosecutor must proceed to trial unless you want to plead guilty or nolo contendere to a domestic violence charge. Getting the Your Domestic Violence Charges Dropped May Depend on the Nature of Your Relationship Colorado law defines domestic violence as an act or threatened act of violence committed by one person against another, who is or was involved in an intimate relationship with one another. Intimate relationship in Colorado includes relationships such as: Spouses, Former spouses, Unmarried couples, Past unmarried couples, or People who have a child together, even if they never lived together. The courts take three factors into account when determining whether an intimate relationship exists. Judges look at the length of time the couple was together, the nature or type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the couple. Sexual relations can indicate an intimate relationship. However, Colorado law does not require a sexual relationship to find that an intimate relationship exists. Increase Your Chances of Getting Domestic...

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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense

How Much Does a Domestic Violence Attorney Cost in Colorado?

If you have domestic violence charges in Colorado, you probably realize you should consider hiring a domestic violence defense attorney to help you. However, you may be worried about the expense of hiring a domestic violence defense lawyer. If you were forced to leave your house, your possessions, and your family behind because of the charges. You might feel like you must choose between representing yourself, asking for the public defender, or hiring a lawyer who quotes you a low fee. It is understandable if you do not know what you should do.  You could lose your family, freedom, and way of life when facing domestic violence charges. No amount of money could replace losing any of those things we hold dear. What You Should Know About the Cost of a Domestic Violence Charge in Colorado  The expense of hiring a criminal defense lawyer is a legitimate concern for most people who face domestic violence charges. As you weigh your options, you should have a solid understanding of how Colorado’s domestic violence laws work and how a conviction of those charges will affect your life. Most lawyers will evaluate your case and quote you a fee based on the severity of the charges. The likelihood of resolving the case without a trial, and how much work the lawyer must devote to your case to achieve a just outcome for you. What Are Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado? Domestic violence charges in Colorado encompass a large number of criminal offenses.  However, they are not a category of charges themselves. Rather, the prosecutor can seek to add a domestic violence enhancement to your charges if the relationship between you and the alleged victim meets the definition of an intimate partnership.  In Colorado, any two people who are or were significant others, spouses, or have a child in common, even if they do not live together, are in an intimate relationship. People who engaged in a sexual relationship may also qualify as intimate partners; however, the existence of an intimate partnership does not solely depend on sexual relations.  The possible punishment you face increases significantly if the prosecutor brings charges against you with the domestic violence enhancement. Therefore, you face the maximum penalty for the underlying charge and additional conditions for domestic violence such as: Automatic protection order during the case; Probation with mandatory treatment and counseling; House arrest; Loss of right to keep and bear firearms; and Habitual offender designation.  The habitual offender designation is a separate charge that the prosecutor could tack onto your original sentence if you have three domestic violence convictions. The convictions do not have to be with the same victim. If you lose your domestic violence case and are a habitual offender, you face a Class 5 felony. The mandatory parole term for a Class 5 felony is years parole that you must serve after your prison term for the underlying charge.  Violating the automatic protective order is a crime as well. Violating a protective order is a Class 2 misdemeanor if it is your first offense. You could spend a year in jail and receive a $250 fine if you violate the protective order. However, you could receive as much as 18 months in jail along with a $500 fine if you have a prior conviction for violating a protective order. Charges Commonly Associated with Domestic Violence Enhancements Each of the criminal offenses that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence carries significant jail time as well as other harsh consequences that can unravel your life quickly. However, some domestic violence charges are more serious than others. Examples of domestic violence charges are: Assault, Criminal mischief, Menacing, False imprisonment or kidnapping, Abuse of an elder, Unlawful sexual contact, Child abuse, Stalking under “Vonnie’s Law,” and Criminal harassment. These are just examples of criminal offenses often subject to domestic violence enhancements. In reality, the prosecution can add a domestic violence enhancement to any crime. A conviction for any one of these charges could result in jail or prison time in addition to the domestic violence enhancements. Moreover, you need to understand that aggravating factors could also increase the penalty you face. Pregnancy is a common aggravating factor in a domestic violence case. As a consequence, misdemeanor assault could become a felony if the alleged victim is pregnant when the alleged assault took place. Cost Does Not Equal Price The cost of representation by a well-trained and highly experienced domestic violence lawyer is low when you compare it to the value of the things you stand to lose. Do not think of a price tag when considering which lawyer you should speak to about your Colorado domestic violence charges. Instead, think of the value you will get for your money. Why You Should Hire a Domestic Violence Attorney to Protect Your Rights The best way to reduce the impact domestic violence charges have on your life is to hire a highly experienced and knowledgeable former prosecutor to be your domestic violence defense attorney. Colorado Springs domestic violence defense attorney Austin Lux of The Lux Law Firm is a former prosecutor who knows the Colorado justice system well. As your domestic violence defense lawyer, he will use all his knowledge, experience, and resources, as well as his sterling reputation with prosecutors and judges alike, to achieve justice for you. In the end, justice has no price. Contact Austin Lux today or call (719) 368-7698 to find out more about his plan for your successful defense. Visit Our Office

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| Read Time: 6 minutes | Criminal Defense

Colorado Sentencing Guidelines: Overview and Penalties

Former Colorado Prosecutor Explains Colorado Sentencing Guidelines If police in Colorado charge you with a criminal offense, you are probably concerned about the punishment you could receive if you are convicted. You may worry that a judge could sentence you to jail or prison, levy excessive fines, and impose probation. However, you should remember that a judge can only impose a sentence based on Colorado sentencing guidelines after a conviction.  Having an experienced criminal defense attorney fight to protect your rights is the first step in maintaining your innocence and preserving your freedom. As an experienced former prosecutor, Austin Lux now works for you. Austin understands Colorado sentencing guidelines and can help limit your exposure to Colorado’s harsh criminal penalties. Criminal Sentencing in Colorado Colorado uses a four-tiered sentencing structure for its criminal offenses. Like all states and the federal government, Colorado has felonies and misdemeanors. Additionally, Colorado classifies some minor offenses as petty misdemeanors. Finally, municipal ordinance violations and infractions comprise the fourth category of criminal offenses in Colorado. City and town governments enact ordinances or by-laws that are enforceable only within the particular municipality. Each criminal statute and municipal ordinance defines the severity of the offense. Also, the individual laws will specify whether the crime belongs to a particular class of offense. The class structure used by the Colorado sentencing guidelines sets the parameters for minimum and maximum punishments allowed for the specific offense. Colorado Misdemeanor Offenses The Colorado sentencing guidelines arrange misdemeanors into four general categories. They are Class I, Class II, Class III, and uncategorized. Additionally, Colorado treats some misdemeanors, such as DUI and minor drug offenses, differently from other misdemeanor offenses. Colorado drug laws rank crimes as misdemeanors and felonies but use a different classification system to signify the severity of the charge.  Colorado’s misdemeanor offense statute also sets forth the maximum fine the law allows a judge to impose. Additionally, the statute requires that every person who goes to jail for any misdemeanor offense must serve their time at the county jail rather than in the state prison system. Class I Misdemeanors in Colorado Class I misdemeanors are the most serious misdemeanor offenses under Colorado sentencing guidelines. After a conviction for a Class I misdemeanor, the potential jail sentence is between six and 18 months in the county jail. The court may impose a fine between $500 and $5,000 as well. Class II Misdemeanors in Colorado Class II misdemeanor charges carry a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail with a minimum of three months of incarceration. Additionally, fines for Class II misdemeanors range from $250 to $1,000. Class III Misdemeanors in Colorado Class III misdemeanor charges carry a maximum jail sentence of six months along with a potential fine ranging from $50 to $750.  Punishment for Uncategorized Misdemeanors Colorado sentencing guidelines do not specify punishments for uncategorized misdemeanors. Generally speaking, any misdemeanor that the legislature did not classify or for which it did not specify a range of sentences carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail. The court may impose a fine of no more than $1,000 as well. Drug Misdemeanor Offenses Colorado sentencing guidelines specify that drug offenses should have different penalties than other misdemeanor offenses. Colorado law refers to drug misdemeanors by level. Anyone convicted of a Level 1 drug misdemeanor faces a sentence from six to 18 months in jail. The potential fines range from $500 to $5,000.  Level 2 drug misdemeanors are less serious than Level 1. A conviction for a Level 2 drug misdemeanor could result in a jail term not to exceed 364 days, along with fines up to $750. Recent changes in the law decreased the potential penalties for Level 1 and Level 2 drug misdemeanors. For a Level 1 misdemeanor committed after March 1, 2020, the jail term is capped at 180 days. The court can impose two years of probation and issue fines as well. Similarly, a conviction for a Level 2 drug misdemeanor carries a 120-day maximum sentence along with one year of probation. The possible maximum penalties increase with third and subsequent convictions for misdemeanor drug crimes. Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses and Petty Crimes Traffic offenses and petty misdemeanors are less serious offenses, generally. Class I traffic misdemeanors carry a possible jail term between 10 days and one year, with fines of $300 to $1,000. Class 2 traffic misdemeanors can result in 10 to 90 days in jail, with fines ranging from $150 to $300.  DUI and DWAI are also misdemeanors unless the person has had four or more offenses. These crimes have their own sentencing structure.  A petty offense in Colorado carries possible jail time. Class I petty misdemeanors have jail sentences capped at six months, along with a maximum fine of $500. The penalties for Class II petty misdemeanors are less severe than Class I petty offenses.  Judges enjoy broad discretion when sentencing people convicted of misdemeanor crimes. Probation instead of incarceration is an option in many circumstances, especially if the person charged has no previous offenses or a few minor offenses on their record. Additionally, a judge could accept a deferred adjudication instead of a guilty finding for misdemeanor crimes. Deferred adjudication is advantageous to most people because the procedure allows them to keep convictions off their record. Colorado Felony Sentencing Guidelines Convictions for all felonies in Colorado require the offender to serve their sentence in the state prison. Judges can place offenders on probation and assess fines as well for felony convictions. As with misdemeanors, the severity of the crime dictates the potential prison time. Statutes in Colorado often break down the severity of offense into degrees. Assault is a typical example of how degrees of a crime dictate the presumptive sentence a court may impose. Colorado law separates assault into first, second, and third degrees. The seriousness of each assault determines the degree of offense and the class of felony. It’s essential to seek expert legal help from an experienced criminal defense attorney in Colorado if you face any charges, especially felonies. A...

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