| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

Famous Wrongful Conviction Cases in U.S. History

When it comes to the criminal justice system, mistakes happen. There are plenty of instances where a citizen of this country was forced to serve prison time for a crime they did not commit. Unfortunately, the miscarriage of justice is more common than you’d think and often strips the accused of their freedom forever. That’s why it’s imperative to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney if you ever get accused of a crime. Here are four of the most famous wrongful conviction cases in U.S. history that show the criminal justice system at its worst. The Central Park Five Perhaps the most famous criminal case in recent memory is the case of the Central Park Five which resulted in the wrongful conviction of five young men. In 1989, the New York City Police Department arrested more than twenty teenagers after finding a woman raped and beaten in Central Park. A majority of the suspects, including the five who were eventually convicted, were men of color — implying racial bias in the case.  Despite the lack of matching DNA evidence and conflicting information in the supposed confessions, the five teenagers were sentenced to prison. The case became a national headline due to the pressure from the media and local leaders. Police used threats and fear to coerce these teenagers into making false confessions.  In 2002, the district attorney’s office finally exonerated the five young men after another inmate confessed to the rape. This inmate’s DNA matched the sample found on the woman, and the nature of the attack was almost identical to his previous rapes.  West Memphis Three In 1993, three young boys were found dead in a ditch in West Memphis, Arkansas. With very little DNA evidence and no motive, police had a difficult time finding the person responsible for the murders. Without any factual basis, the police turned to three teenagers with minor criminal histories. One of the boys had an intellectual disability, and another had a severe psychiatric disorder.  Despite having no evidence connecting the boys to the scene, the court sentenced one boy to death. The judge sentenced the other two boys to life in prison. It wasn’t until 2011 that new DNA evidence and the discovery of juror misconduct freed them of their wrongful convictions. Each of the boys ended up serving 18 years in prison for a crime they had absolutely no connection to. The McCollum Brothers In 1983, police arrested half-brothers Henry McCollum and Leon Brown for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie. At the time, McCollum and Brown were 19 and 15 years old, respectively. In 2014, the attorney general’s office found that police officers fabricated evidence against them and coerced them into confessing. Just like the case of the West Memphis Three, both McCollum and Brown had intellectual disabilities, which made them particularly vulnerable to manipulation. They spent more than 30 years in prison until new DNA evidence implicated a criminal convicted of a similar crime. Kimberly Long In October 2003, Kimberly Long arrived home early in the morning to find her boyfriend beaten to death in the living room. She had just returned from a night out with her friend, Jeff Dills. When police arrived, they brought Long and Dills in for questioning. Dills stated that he dropped Long off at her house at 1:20 AM, nearly 49 minutes before she called 911. However, Dills died before he could testify in court. Despite this, the court found Long guilty of murder due to Dills’ earlier witness statement. After serving 11 years, Long appealed her sentence with new evidence showing that her boyfriend died several hours before she arrived home. In addition, they found evidence of an unidentified male’s DNA at the crime scene. Based on this information, the judge reversed Long’s conviction. Although the district attorney’s office appealed the decision, the Supreme Court tossed her conviction in November 2020. Accused of a Crime? Don’t Try to Fight it Alone If these famous wrongful conviction cases can teach us anything, they prove the importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At the Lux Law Firm, attorney Austin Lux has years of experience working as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. He is intimately familiar with the tactics prosecutors use to get a conviction and is dedicated to preserving the freedom of innocent people.  To schedule a consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 719-368-7698. Austin proudly serves clients throughout Colorado from his office in Colorado Springs.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

Colorado Simple Assault – Will I Go to Jail?

A conviction for simple assault charges can have a profound impact on your life. It can be harder to find a job, get into school, or even obtain custody of your children with a simple assault conviction on your record. Prosecutors pursue all assault charges diligently, even if no one was seriously hurt. If you face simple assault charges, it is essential that you contact an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney to defend your interests. At the Lux Law Firm, we have extensive hands-on experience representing clients in all types of violent crimes, including simple assault charges. What Is Simple Assault? Colorado Law breaks assault offenses down into three categories (first, second, and third-degree assault), depending on the seriousness of the crime. Simple assault refers to third-degree assault, which is the least serious of the Colorado assault crimes. There are two ways prosecutors can prove simple assault charges: You knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person; or You acted with criminal negligence to cause bodily injury through the use of a deadly weapon. There is no requirement that prosecutors prove you intentionally injured the other person or that they were hurt badly. The level of injury required to sustain a conviction for simple assault is very minor. For example, a jury may find that a black eye or bruising constitutes bodily injury. Even merely causing another person pain can be sufficient for a conviction under this statute. Simple assault charges carry a maximum punishment of up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. However, it is common for those who do not have prior convictions to avoid jail time, even if convicted of simple assault. That said, there are several defenses to simple assault charges that may result in the government withdrawing the case or a judge or jury acquitting you: You acted in self-defense; The supposed victim made up the allegations; or You did not act with the culpable mental state. Notably, to successfully rely on self-defense, your response to the initial aggressor’s attack must be reasonable. In other words, if someone slapped you, you’d have an easier time claiming self-defense if you punched them than if you took out a knife and stabbed them. In some cases, prosecutors are willing to drop certain charges if it looks like you have a good defense. A skilled Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney can help you understand which of these defenses applies best in your situation. Contact an Experienced Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer If you face simple assault charges, you need an attorney who is ready to stand up for your rights at every stage of the process. At the Lux Law Firm, we protect the families, freedoms, and futures of our clients from the devastating effects of criminal convictions. We have successfully handled countless misdemeanor offenses in Colorado Springs, including simple assault charges. We routinely spare our clients from the most serious consequences of a conviction, allowing them to move on with their lives with as little impact as possible. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 719-280-5276. You can also reach us through our online contact form. 

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

Colorado Domestic Violence Laws

Colorado does not have domestic violence specific charges. Instead, domestic violence operates as a sentencing enhancement or aggravator that is added to criminal offenses committed against current or former romantic partners. Any criminal violation can receive a domestic violence sentencing enhancement, even crimes against property.  Common Crimes Associated with Domestic Violence The crimes commonly seen with a domestic violence sentencing enhancement include: Assault, Harassment, Child abuse, Menacing, Criminal mischief, Stalking, Elder abuse, Sexual assault, and False imprisonment. Again, any criminal statute violation in Colorado involving intimate partners can receive a domestic violence enhancement, depending on the facts of the case. How Does Colorado Domestic Violence Law Define Intimate Relationships? An “intimate relationship” includes relationships between: Formerly or currently married spouses; Individuals who share children; and A former or current romantic partner. Living together does not automatically place someone in one of the above categories.  What Is the Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado? A statute of limitations provides the length of time the state has to prosecute the defendant on his or her charges. After the statute of limitations expires, the prosecution can no longer pursue those charges against you.  The statute of limitations for crimes including a domestic violence enhancement depends on the underlying crime you were charged with. For felony crimes, the statute of limitations prohibits prosecution after a period of three years. For misdemeanor crimes, the statute of limitations prohibits prosecution after only 18 months. If the statute of limitations expired in your domestic violence case, the criminal prosecution will not be able to proceed. What Is a Protection Order? Following a domestic violence related arrest, courts automatically issue a mandatory protection order (MPO). The MPO prohibits the arrestee from attempting to: Harass, Molest, Intimidate, Retaliate against, or Tamper with witnesses or the victim of the crime. The judicial officer on the case can also include a no-contact order in the MPO, and an order to vacate any shared residence. The no-contact order prohibits the defendant from trying to contact the victim of the crime, directly or indirectly. The MPO lasts through the duration of the criminal case. Violating an MPO constitutes a new criminal violation. Violation of Protection Orders A first-time violation of a protection order constitutes a class two misdemeanor, which carries potential penalties of up to 364 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If you have previously violated a protection order, the violation constitutes a class one misdemeanor, which carries potential penalties of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. To constitute “contact” in violation of the order, the defendant’s conduct must involve either physical touching or some element of direct or indirect communication or attempted communication with the victim. Incidental contact with the victim does not qualify as a violation of the protection order. Penalties for Domestic Violence Enhancements in Colorado In addition to the penalty for the underlying criminal violation, Colorado imposes penalties specific to defendants convicted of committing domestic violence. First, the defendant must complete a treatment evaluation and treatment program that complies with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board. The court can order the defendant to complete the treatment evaluation prior to sentencing. Defendants facing domestic violence charges are prohibited from pleading guilty or no contest to any charges that do not include the domestic violence designation unless the prosecutor cannot prove that an intimate relationship exists between the defendant and the victim. Additionally, defendants are deemed ineligible for home detention at the victim’s home. Individuals convicted and sentenced for criminal violations that involve domestic violence are required to relinquish any firearms or ammunition in his or her immediate possession or control and are prohibited under federal law from possessing or purchasing any firearms or ammunition. Questions About Colorado Domestic Violence Statutes? Contact The Lux Law Firm Today We believe that every individual charged with a criminal violation is entitled to an aggressive defense. Our founding attorney, Austin Lux, previously worked as a prosecutor, giving him insider knowledge of the state’s process for bringing charges against Colorado defendants. Mr. Lux has extensive trial experience and has handled every type of criminal case you can think of. In January 2021, Mr. Lux was named one of Colorado’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers.  If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado with a domestic violence enhancement, your freedom is at stake. The Lux Law Firm can ensure you have the best defense possible and negotiate to lessen your charges or have them dismissed altogether. Contact our office today to start your free consultation.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

How to Find an Affordable Criminal Defense Attorney

Criminal charges present serious complications for defendants, especially those without unlimited financial resources. While most people know that criminal convictions can land you in jail, some are unaware of the financial ramifications imposed by the criminal justice system. In many cases, you have to come up with the funds to bond yourself out of jail, pay an attorney to represent you, and still end up with costly fines as part of your sentence. Finding an affordable criminal defense lawyer can alleviate some of these financial concerns. A good, affordable attorney can also cut your costs by negotiating to have your charges reduced or to have your court fees waived. But as the common saying goes, you get what you pay for. Hiring a cheap criminal defense lawyer does not mean you have to agree to a cheap defense strategy. The Lux Law Firm prides itself on providing affordable, effective legal representation to individuals charged with criminal violations in Colorado. We can work with you to prepare the best possible strategy for having your charges reduced or dismissed altogether, without breaking the bank. Experience Representing Criminal Defendants While any licensed attorney can take your case, it is important to hire a lawyer who has experience representing defendants against criminal charges. Criminal court presents different challenges than civil court and an attorney without experience can negatively impact your defense. Our affordable defense lawyers at The Lux Law Firm have a great deal of experience in criminal trials. Furthermore, our founding attorney, Austin Lux, previously worked as a Deputy District Attorney. This means he was responsible for charging and prosecuting criminal defendants at the county level. As a prior prosecutor, Mr. Lux has a distinct advantage over other defense attorneys. Why? Because his insider knowledge of how the prosecutor puts together a case is incredibly valuable. He was a prosecutor, so he knows how they think and how they work to convict people. Therefore, our entire team knows the strategies commonly used by prosecutors to put pressure on defendants to accept bad plea deals. We know how prosecutors strategize. With our finger on the pulse of the prosecution, we can better create a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome for your case. Our Criminal Defense Practice Areas The affordable defense attorneys at The Lux Law Firm have experience representing defendants against a variety of different criminal violations, including: Domestic violence charges Drug crimes Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol Felony crimes Marijuana cultivation crimes Regardless of the criminal violation you are charged with, you are entitled to effective legal representation. Contact our office today to discuss your case with someone who knows how to help. Professional Reputation A lawyer’s professional reputation can play a vital role in a client’s decision on whether or not to hire them. Lawyers who earn recognition for their expertise have the respect of their peers in the legal field. They also have the experience and knowledge necessary to provide a strong defense for their clients. When seeking an affordable criminal defense lawyer, take time to evaluate the professional recognition received by the attorneys you are considering. Some examples of professional recognition include: Inclusion in lists of Top Lawyers in their field; Membership in organizations that recognize top attorneys in a particular area of law; Acknowledgment in legal articles; or Awards for Best Attorney and other designations. The recognition and awards received by attorneys are typically found in their bios on their law firm’s website. Client Testimonials Testimonials from former clients can offer the most realistic review of an attorney’s representation. Testimonials often reflect whether the attorney was successful in the case, whether the client’s interests were represented, and whether the client was satisfied with the attorney overall. These first-hand testimonials can help you determine whether a particular attorney can meet your needs. Case Results Many law firms include a page on their website reflecting some of their most recent case results. When evaluating the case results, some things you should look out for include: Whether any of the cases have gone to trial Whether the firm primarily defends against certain criminal charges How often the case results page receives updates While attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of any case, a law firm’s case results page can provide the best picture of whether the attorneys represent their clients effectively.  Contact a Top Affordable Criminal Defense Lawyer Near Me in Colorado At The Lux Law Firm, we aim to achieve the best possible outcome for all of our clients facing criminal charges. From the minute you hire our firm, we start working on preparing the best defense strategy to have your charges reduced or dismissed. Whether your best strategy involves negotiating a plea deal or taking your case to trial, we are here to help every step of the way. If you’re looking for the best affordable criminal defense attorney to represent you, contact our office today for a free consultation.

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| Read Time: 3 minutes | Criminal Defense

How Long Do You Go To Jail For Domestic Violence?

A Strong Defense Will Give You the Best Chance to Avoid Jail Time for Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado  If police arrested you for a crime involving a domestic partner, you may be wondering, Can you go to jail for domestic violence charges in Colorado? Yes, you can, is the short answer. However, along with the threat of jail time you face additional consequences for a domestic violence conviction that may make you pay for a long time to come. Give yourself the best chance to minimize the impact domestic violence charges can have on your life by talking to Colorado Springs domestic violence defense lawyer Austin Lux. As a former prosecutor, Attorney Lux has handled many domestic violence cases. Now, he uses the experience and insight he gained as a prosecutor to work for you.  What Is Domestic Violence in Colorado? Colorado law defines domestic violence broadly. According to Colorado law, domestic violence is any act or threatened act of violence between people who are in an intimate relationship. The definition of domestic violence also includes crimes against the person, property, or an animal that is used as a way to intimidate, coerce, punish, or exact revenge against another.  Understanding the definition of an intimate relationship as used in Colorado law is important. The law defines the phrase “intimate relationship” as a relationship between current or former spouses, unmarried couples who are together or who broke up, and people who have a child together even if they never married or lived together. What Are Domestic Violence Charges? Domestic violence is not a crime on its own. Rather, prosecutors can ask for enhanced penalties for crimes that meet the definition of domestic violence. Therefore, any crime could be domestic violence if the parties are or were in an intimate relationship together. The crime of assault might be the most common domestic violence crime. Colorado law divides the general crime of assault into three categories: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree assault. So, the severity of the attack, the nature of the injuries, the use of a weapon, and the state of mind of the perpetrator all play a role in determining the degree of assault.  Menacing is an offense related to the crime of assault. Menacing in Colorado is the act of placing someone in imminent fear of serious bodily injury by threat or physical action. Menacing is a Class three misdemeanor but can be a Class five felony if the perpetrator displays or threatens to use a deadly weapon.  Thus, you could get probation or serve 12 years or more for a domestic violence conviction. A seasoned defense lawyer needs to review your case to know how long of a sentence that you are facing for your domestic violence charge. The state imposes additional penalties for crimes of domestic violence, but how long you could go to jail is typically your biggest concern. Colorado law makes every person convicted of a domestic violence offense undergo an evaluation to see if you require any treatment for things like anger issues. The judge can order you to undergo this evaluation and treatment before sentencing.  Get the Help You Need from a Qualified Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Contact Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer Austin M. Lux right away if the police arrest you for domestic violence charges. As an experienced defense lawyer, he can advise you regarding how long you may go to jail for domestic violence. Additionally, an experienced criminal lawyer can create a defense to give you the best chance to stay out of jail.  As a former prosecutor, Austin Lux knows the ins and outs of the Colorado criminal justice system. You can rely on his experience to give you the best chance to avoid incarceration. Call the Lux Law Firm today at 719-496-2177 to discuss your rights and defenses to domestic violence charges in Colorado. There’s no commitment and your initial consultation is free. 

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| 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: < 1 minute | News

Austin Lux’s Interview on “The Human Lawyer” Podcast

Who wondered whether COVID created a legal loophole for drunk driving? Spoiler: the answer is no one. Austin Lux did. And he published a YouTube video on the topic. His passion and investment in that criminal defense, and specifically representing those who have been charged with driving under the influence should not be surprising since Austin is a member of the National College of DUI defense. He dedicates his life towards helping others navigate the criminal justice system. He does his work in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Austin’s work affords him the privilege of meeting people in their darkest hour. On some occasions, Austin ushers these same people to a shining moment—one that in their not-to-distant past may have seemed unattainable or worthy only of a dream. Through that journey, Austin witnesses the evolution of humans encountering struggle and developing the tools to overcome that struggle. Setting aside the intricacies of winning a case at trial, what are some memorable evolutions Austin has observed of us clients. What role does he see for himself in those evolutions? Heady stuff. To give the full podcast episode a listen, head over to “The Human Lawyer” Podcast: Austin Lux

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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? 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. Drug Trafficking Charge Sentence Fine Level 1 – having any drug weighing 225g or more of schedule I or II drug 8 – 32 yearsAnd 3 years parole Up to $1 million Level 2 – having between 14g and 225g of a schedule I or II drug 4 – 8 yearsAnd 2 years parole Up to 750,000 Level 3 – having no more than 14g of schedule I or II drug 2 – 4 yearsAnd 2 year parole Up to $500,000 Level 4 – having less than 4g of a schedule III or IV drug 6 months – 1 year Up to $100,000 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.  Will I Go To Jail for a First Time Drug Charge in CO? 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...

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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 the Colorado criminal statute of limitations 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. Charged With a Crime in El Paso County? If you were recently charged with a crime in Colorado Springs or El Paso County talk with attorney Austin Lux to go over the details of your case. You should not have to go at this alone. Fill out the free and confidential form below to get started. Other Colorado 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...

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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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