| Read Time: 4 minutes | Criminal Defense

How Much Does a Domestic Violence Attorney Cost in Colorado?

An Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Explains Why You Should Hire an Attorney to Protect Your Rights If You Face Domestic Violence Charges 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. 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. 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. 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.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | DUI Defense

Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Colorado

Colorado imposes serious consequences on drivers convicted of driving under the influence. These potential penalties increase in severity if a driver receives multiple DUI convictions. Luckily, a first-time DUI conviction in Colorado carries the potential of the least severe punishment.  The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ) published a report analyzing over 26,000 DUI cases filed in Colorado in 2018. The report indicated that Colorado prosecutors convicted the driver of DUI in 88% of the cases. Over one-third of the individuals convicted of DUI already had at least one DUI conviction.  An experienced DUI defense attorney can vigorously defend your DUI case, aiming to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Attorney Austin M. Lux with the Lux Law Firm possesses extensive knowledge of Colorado’s strict DUI laws. Contact us today for assistance with your DUI. What Happens if You Get a DUI in Colorado? Colorado prohibits operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Colorado considers “under the influence” to include when the driver: Has his or her ability to drive safely substantially impaired by drugs or alcohol; or Has a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.  First-time DUI convictions carry a variety of consequences, including: Between five days and one year in jail; A fine up to $1,000; License revocation for up to nine months; Up to 96 hours of community service; and Substance abuse education classes.  Drivers convicted of DUI with a BAC above .15% receive a “persistent drunk driver” classification, resulting in enhanced penalties.  Unlike some states, Colorado does not have a “lookback period” after which prior drunk driving offenses are removed from your record. Any previous DUI in a U.S. state is considered a prior DUI. Before accepting a plea agreement, individuals charged with DUI should consult with a DUI defense attorney about options available in their case. Failure to do so could result in the waiver of several constitutional rights. Colorado’s Express Consent Law Colorado has an express consent law, meaning that every person driving on Colorado’s roads agrees to submit to a chemical test if a police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The refusal to submit to a chemical test carries penalties separate from a DUI charge. The consequences of refusing a chemical test include: The refusal can be used as evidence of guilt at trial; Designation as a “persistent drunk driver”; and Your license will be suspended for one year by the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  In the event your license is suspended for one year, completing alcohol education courses and agreeing to installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for up to two years creates the opportunity to have your license reinstated earlier. Additional Consequences Associated with a DUI Conviction In addition to the possibility of jail time and probation, courts enforce additional restrictions on drivers convicted of DUI. Drivers with a DUI conviction often face consequences stemming from their DUI outside of the penalties ordered by the court. Ignition Interlock Devices Colorado requires drivers with first-time DUI convictions to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle for at least eight months. An IID is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle designed to measure the alcohol in the driver’s breath. The IID prevents the vehicle from starting until a breath test is completed. For individuals who use drive as a part of their job responsibilities, an IID could affect your employment.  Additionally, IID installation and maintenance is not cheap and the cost is borne by the offender.  Other Possible Repercussions A DUI conviction goes on your permanent criminal record and will appear anytime someone runs a background check. In fact, Colorado does not allow traffic convictions to be sealed or expunged. Some employers prohibit employees from having a DUI conviction on their criminal record. A DUI conviction could result in termination depending on the industry of employment. Insurance companies increase rates for drivers convicted of DUI. Additionally, certain housing applications disqualify applicants with a prior criminal conviction. Between fines, alcohol education classes, and other requirements, monetary obligations negatively impact many drivers convicted of DUI. How Can a Colorado DUI Attorney Help Me?  An attorney with experience handling Colorado DUI cases can present arguments to the prosecutor for why your DUI charges should be lessened or dropped. Common defenses to DUI charges include: Inadequately trained police officers; Unreliable chemical test results; Lack of probable cause for the traffic stop; Improperly administered field sobriety tests; and Lack of proper Miranda warning. Depending on the circumstances of your traffic stop and arrest, a DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to have your case dismissed or your charges reduced.  Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney with The Lux Law Firm Today Attorney Austin Lux began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney, prosecuting dozens of criminal cases and delivering numerous trainings to local law enforcement agencies. Austin made the transition to private practice in order to advocate for his individual clients in the courtroom.  Austin’s experience as a former prosecutor provides him with inside knowledge of the process of DUI convictions. In 2020, Austin was named a Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Under 40 in Colorado, an honor awarded to less than 1% of Colorado criminal defense attorneys. Contact our office today for assistance with your DUI case.

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | DUI Defense

Colorado Felony DUI Laws: Overview and Defense

Consider Hiring an Award-Winning DUI Defense Lawyer to Defend Your Charges of Felony DUI in Colorado  Charges of felony DUI in Colorado are severe. You face felony DUI jail time and other repercussions if you stand convicted of a Colorado DUI felony. Therefore, you need to do everything you can to protect your rights. Would you know where to turn if you face criminal charges that could ruin your life? Award-winning DUI defense lawyer Austin Lux possesses the necessary knowledge, skill, and determination to make a difference when you and your family need it most. You can rely on former county prosecutor Austin Lux to fight vigorously to protect your valuable rights. Is a DUI a Felony in Colorado? Colorado law establishes a felony charge for DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, and DUID. Most folks understand DUI as an abbreviation for driving under the influence. DUI per se refers to a chemical test result of 0.08 or greater. However, Colorado also uses the abbreviation DWAI or driving while ability impaired, as well. DWAI refers to a chemical test result between 0.05 and 0.079 when the police have the slightest evidence of intoxication. Additionally, Colorado law prohibits driving under the influence of drugs or DUID. We will refer to these charges collectively as DUI.  The penalties for these charges are similar. The difference between the three charges lies in the evidence the police plan to use against you.  How Many DUIs Are a Felony in Colorado? Under Colorado law, DUI charges are misdemeanor offenses until you have three prior convictions. Your fourth and subsequent DUI offenses are Class 4 felonies.  Colorado, unlike some other states, uses a lifetime lookback rule for prior DUI convictions. Under Colorado law, any conviction for a DUI in any state or U.S. territory, no matter how old, serves as evidence of a prior conviction.  State law restricts prior convictions to convictions for separate offenses instead of several charges stemming from one incident. Also, state law allows prosecutors to use convictions from other states or territories. These convictions count as long as the acts constituting a DUI crime in those jurisdictions would be a crime if committed in Colorado as an adult. Colorado law allows prosecutors to use convictions for various offenses to prosecute a Colorado DUI felony. The prosecution can use any combination of convictions for DUI, DUI per se, DWAI, DUID, vehicular homicide involving alcohol or drugs, and vehicular assault.  Colorado law explicitly requires the prosecutor to set out the prior convictions in an indictment or information. The rule is essential to a person facing a felony DUI in Colorado. As we will see later, attacking the prior convictions might be a valid defense to a Colorado DUI felony. This defense could not attack the prior convictions if the prosecutor did not notify the person charged. What Is a Conviction Under Colorado Law? Colorado law explicitly defines conviction as a verdict of guilty. A judge or jury could enter the guilty verdict after a trial or pleading guilty. The term conviction also applies to deferred judgments and sentences as well as deferred adjudications.  However, the prosecution cannot use a deferred sentence or adjudication against you as a prior conviction if you completed the deferred sentence successfully. Thus, the prosecution could use a deferred sentence or deferred adjudication against you if you failed to satisfy the conditions set by the court, or you pick up another offense while on a deferred sentence or deferred adjudication. Felony DUI Penalties Colorado strictly punishes individuals convicted of a fourth or subsequent DUI offense. Felony DUI in Colorado is a Class 4 felony. As such, the sentencing judge could sentence you to prison for up to six years, which is the maximum sentence for a Class 4 felony.  Colorado law gives judges some leeway. Not every person convicted of felony DUI will go to prison. Under Colorado law, a felony DUI can result in a jail sentence of 90 to 180 days if the judge determines that is the proper sentence. Alternatively, the judge could sentence you from 120 days up to two years in jail if you qualify for a work-release program.  As with every crime, the penalty depends on the facts of the case, the person’s history. The judge could also reduce the penalty if they find extraordinary mitigating factors exist. However, the prosecution has some say in the potential penalties. The prosecution has another powerful tool it could use to exact even stricter punishment. The judge could sentence you from the midpoint of the Class 4 felony sentencing range (four years) up to double the maximum sentence (12 years) for a Felony DUI conviction. However, the prosecutor must prove that aggravating circumstances exist before the judge could sentence you to an enhanced penalty.  Additional Felony DUI Penalties Colorado’s DUI law authorizes the sentencing judge to impose additional sanctions for a Colorado DUI felony. In addition to incarceration, the judge must impose sanctions such as: 48 to 120 hours of community service; A monetary fine between $2,000 and $5,000; Level II alcohol or drug education and treatment; Two years of probation;  Parole for at least three years; and Two years of mandatory ignition interlock use after the reinstatement of driver’s license. The minimum driver’s license revocation for a felony DUI in Colorado is one year. Reduced Sentence for Colorado DUI Felony Colorado’s DUI law expressly prohibits plea bargaining unless the prosecution in good faith convinces the judge that the case is weak as initially charged. Only then can the judge accept a plea to a non-alcohol, a non-drug-related crime, or underage drinking and driving.  However, the law’s prohibition on negotiating a DUI case to reckless driving or other lesser offense does not mean that the judge will throw the book at you for a Colorado felony DUI conviction. Colorado’s DUI statute expects judges to examine whether incarceration is the best option in each specific case. The judge must consider other options if you never had a chance to complete probation...

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| Read Time: 5 minutes | DUI Defense

Colorado DUI Laws: Fines and Penalties

Learn What You Need to Know If You Face a DUI in Colorado Facing a DUI in Colorado could lead to grave consequences. Colorado DUI laws are some of the toughest in the nation. Thus, you will need the assistance of a highly skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer.  If police arrested you in Colorado Springs, you should not wait to contact a DUI lawyer who has a proven track record of successfully defending DUI cases. Austin M. Lux was a prosecutor. Now he is an award-winning Colorado Springs DUI defense attorney. Austin focuses his practice on defending people charged with a Colorado DUI, among other criminal offenses. You can rely on Austin’s experience and extensive knowledge of Colorado DUI laws to help avoid the harsh consequences of a mistake. Colorado DUI Penalties Under Colorado DUI law, a person can be convicted of DUI if they operate a motor vehicle when  Their ability to drive safely is substantially impaired by either drugs or alcohol, or  They have a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. Driving under the influence (DUI), driving with your ability impaired (DWAI), and driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) are crimes that fall under the same law. Penalty for First DUI in Colorado A first DUI charge in Colorado is a misdemeanor. The penalty for a first DUI conviction in Colorado is surprisingly harsh. After a conviction for a first DUI in Colorado, if you took a breath test or chemical test that gave a result of 0.08 or greater, you face: Between five days and one year in jail; A fine not to exceed $1,000; Compulsory license revocation of up to nine months; Community service obligation up to 96 hours; and Alcohol education classes. The judge could put you on probation to ensure that you satisfy all the requirements following a first DUI conviction. Mandatory Jail Time for a DUI First Offense Prosecutors can seek an enhanced penalty against a person facing DUI charges in Colorado for many reasons. Enhanced penalties often include mandatory jail time, along with other sanctions. The prosecution could seek an enhanced penalty if you have a breath or chemical test resulting in a BAC of 0.20 or greater. In that case, the judge must sentence you to at least 10 days in jail. The judge has the discretion to grant you a work release or serve your sentence on home confinement while wearing a GPS ankle bracelet. The Difference Between DUI Per Se and DWAI DUI per se refers to providing a chemical test result or a breath test result of 0.08 or higher. DWAI is a charge that can be based solely on the observations of the police officer. To support a conviction for DWAI, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused drove when the person’s ability to do so safely was impaired. This can be done even without the results of a chemical test or if the chemical test results fall between 0.051 and 0.079 BAC. The penalties for a DWAI conviction are less severe than a conviction for DUI per se. The potential sentence for a conviction of DWAI includes: Two days to 180 days in jail; A fine not to exceed $500; 48 hours of community service; and Eight points against your driver license. The judge has the authority to place you on probation for a conviction of DWAI as well.  The reduced penalties for DWAI are not necessarily an incentive to refuse the breathalyzer because of Colorado’s express consent law. Express Consent Law in Colorado You should be aware that Colorado has an express consent law. Therefore, any person who drives in Colorado agrees to take a chemical test if a police officer believes that the driver is under the influence.  Refusing to take the chemical test has consequences. First, Colorado law allows the prosecution to use the chemical test refusal as evidence of guilt at your trial. Essentially, the prosecution gets to argue to the jury that you refused the breath or other chemical test because you knew you had a BAC of 0.08 or above. That is compelling evidence. Secondly, the Colorado DMV will suspend your license for one year for refusing the breath test and may consider you to be a persistent drunk driver (PDD). You have the opportunity to reinstate your license if you take alcohol education classes and agree to use an ignition interlock device for up to two years. Colorado law imposes these sanctions against you even if the jury finds you not guilty after trial. These are administrative penalties and work in conjunction with any criminal penalties imposed. You have the right to appeal the DMV’s decision to suspend your license for refusing to take a breath test. You must file that appeal within seven days of your DUI arrest. Missing that deadline means you lose your right to appeal. Second DUI in Colorado If police charge you with a DUI second offense, then you are facing potentially more severe repercussions. However, the length of time between your first and second offenses may determine whether the judge treats you as a first-time offender. If you have a second DUI in Colorado, the judge could treat you as a first-time offender if your prior conviction was at least 10 years prior. You should be aware that all convictions for DUI outside of Colorado count toward a second offense DUI. The first and second DUI penalties are similar. For a DUI second offense, which is a misdemeanor, you face up to: A minimum of 10 days in jail, with a maximum of one year; A fine between $600 and $1,500; License suspension for at least one year; At least 48 hours of community service, up to 120 hours; Two years of probation; Level II alcohol education; and Possible installation of an ignition interlocking device. The judge can also order you to enter into a treatment program for alcohol addiction for a second DUI in Colorado. Third Offense...

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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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| Read Time: 4 minutes | Marijuana Cultivation Defense

Colorado’s Marijuana Cultivation Laws (Everything You Need to Know)

Most Colorado citizens are well aware of the legalization of marijuana in their state. With the implementation of legalization came general public service information regarding the use of recreational marijuana. However, the knowledge often stops there. There remains ample confusion regarding cultivation regulation. Here is everything you need to know relating to Colorado marijuana cultivation laws. Legalization Passed by ballot initiative in 2012, Amendment 64 legalized the private consumption of marijuana in Colorado, and the state officially added it to the state’s constitution on December 10, 2012. Following the passing of this Amendment came regulations regarding many things, including marijuana cultivation. Here is where some of these laws stand now. Home Grown Marijuana Cultivation in Colorado Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use. The Colorado government provides some relatively clear information regarding colorado marijuana cultivation laws for those growing at home. The specifics citizens should keep in mind include that: Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use; Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time;  All residences are limited to a maximum of 12 plants unless certain requirements are met (local laws can vary); and  Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly—this means the plants can’t be outside. The above is a good starting point to grasp home growing cultivation basics. However, counties and municipalities can pass stricter laws. Also, the rules are different for medical marijuana users. If a person is concerned about where they stand regarding existing or future compliance with cultivation regulations, they should contact a Colorado attorney with experience in marijuana cultivation crimes. When law enforcement charges a person with a violation of homegrown Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, they should urgently reach out to a cultivation defense firm.  Facility Marijuana Cultivation in Colorado Colorado marijuana cultivation laws for facilities have additional considerations. These laws involve: An application to be a facility,  The government granting the applicant a license, and Fees for both the application and license.  Based on the number of marijuana plants the facility intends to cultivate, the government will assign the Colorado recreational marijuana cultivation facility a tier of licensure. These tiers are as follows:  Tier 1 (1-1,800 plants), Tier 2 (1,801-3,600 plants),  Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 plants), Tier 4 (6,001-10,200 plants), and Tier 5 (10,201-13,800 plants). Costs for the application and licensure in total can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The license application fee for growers, processors, and dispensaries is per facility and per license type. To stay compliant with the law, facilities must remain current with yearly renewals.  As with home growing situations, the rules are different for medical marijuana facility cultivation. Colorado Government’s General Stance on Cultivation The standard rules from OSHA and state laws that regulate businesses apply to marijuana cultivation facilities. In many ways, people consider Colorado a reasonably progressive state regarding marijuana cultivation laws. For home growers, the Colorado government actively suggests that people grow with care. Some of their advice includes that home growers: Only use carbon dioxide generators that are safe for indoor use; Wear personal protective equipment when using pesticides; and Make sure a licensed electrician installs all lights and other equipment to prevent fire hazards.  However, do not take these helpful hints to indicate that Colorado is lenient regarding the violations of marijuana cultivation laws. Just how serious are they in this regard? Those who are growing marijuana in their home or at a facility, especially if they fear being in trouble with the law, have a reason for concern. Consequences of Violating Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Laws There is no penalty in Colorado for persons who privately cultivate marijuana within the legal limits. But if one violates those limits, tough laws regarding drug felony penalties may address the consequences. Based on the amount one has above the legal limit and other factors (such as whether the person has prior convictions), one may face: A mandatory court appearance, Punishment of up to 2 years of imprisonment, and  A fine of up to $100,000, For cultivation in a facility, there are additional considerations. These include that: Marijuana sales by unlicensed entities are broadly subject to criminal penalties;  The state regulates retail sales of cannabis by state-licensed entities to those over the age of 21;  The Department of Revenue also regulates the retail marijuana industry; and Criminal statutes provide punishments for those who violate facility cultivation laws. Therefore, when facilities violate Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, the penalties may well surpass those of home growers and may come from various agencies and judicial jurisdictions. Some Colorado criminal lawyers may have an idea of penalties for violations and how to defend against charges. However, given the complexity of Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, Coloradans who believe they need legal help in this arena need to reach out to a top-notch law firm with experience. A Word of Caution: Minors and Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Laws As with all states, Colorado has numerous laws to protect juveniles from abuse and neglect and lead them away from delinquency. Those cultivating marijuana need to understand that there are special considerations regarding minors and cultivating marijuana in homes and facilities. Specifically: At homes with residents under 21, any marijuana grow area must be enclosed and locked in a separate space that minors can’t access; At homes without residents under 21, home growers must take extra precautions to make sure any visiting youth don’t have access to marijuana plants; and The sale, transfer, or dispensing of marijuana to a minor carries hefty penalties. The law also drives the point home by adding that those working in a facility cultivating marijuana must be age 21 or older. The endpoint is this: If you are cultivating marijuana in the home or a facility, make sure there is no connection to or access available for minors under the age of 21. When you believe that you may be in violation of Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, the time to act is immediate. You...

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | News

Update on COVID-19

El Paso and Teller County courts are still open and but are now operating on an emergency basis. Courthouse visitors have been restricted and many cases are now being rescheduled, although questions about specific court appearances should be directed to the division the case is assigned to. Division phone numbers can be accessed here. Jurors are still ordered to honor their summons but may submit a postponement request if they are experiencing symptoms or are at risk for serious illness. The Colorado Supreme Court has ordered that certain cases and court proceedings may not be suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include: Petitions for temporary civil protection orders and pennanent protection order hearings; Petitions for temporary emergency risk protection orders and hearings on emergency risk protection orders; Crim.P. Rule 5 advisement for incarcerated persons and the initial setting of bail; Revocation hearings on complaints to revoke probation involving an incarcerated defendant; Proceedings necessary to protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants including bond-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals; Detention hearings for juvenile delinquency cases; Shelter hearings in dependency and neglect cases or other juvenile proceedings; Petitions for appointment of an emergency guardian and/or special conservator; Hearings on motions to restrict parenting time and parental abduction prevention; and Emergency mental health proceedings. You can view the Chief Judge’s order in its entirety by clicking here.

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