DWAI: Deferred Judgment in 26 days
Client was arrested on April 4 and charged with Driving While Ability Impaired. The traffic stop was the result of failure to dim headlights. There was also a charge of open alcohol container in the vehicle. Quick negotiations resulted in an agreement to a Deferred Judgment with the minimum hours of Public Service and the minimum fine. The Deferred Judgment was entered on May 1. Quick negotiations can result in minimum consequences and cost with an acceptable disposition.
DUI and Weapons Charge for an 18 Year Old
Client drove off the road and was contacted by Colorado State Patrol. The trooper observed several indicators of alcohol consumption and Client failed the Voluntary Roadside Maneuvers. Client refused to take a chemical test and was released to his parents since he was 18 years of age. The trooper found a rifle in the vehicle. Client was charged with Driving Under the Influence, Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Possession of a Weapon While Under the Influence, and Careless Driving. Negotiations resulted in a dismissal of the MIP and Careless Driving charges, and a Deferred Judgment on the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired. The Weapons charge was reduced to an Attempt. The prosecutor requested a 30-day jail sentence on the Weapons charge, but arguments to the Judge resulted in a 60-day suspended jail sentence. Client did not lose his driving privilege with the Deferred Judgment and avoided any incarceration and all sentencing conditions were minimized.
Possession Requires Knowledge and Control
Out-of-State DUI Arrest
Client was visiting from California and was driving a rental car and did not have the headlights fully engaged. He was pulled over and the officer reported the typical signs of intoxication. After Client attempted and failed to perform the roadside maneuvers to the officer's satisfaction, he was arrested and provided a breath sample with a blood alcohol reported at .116 grams. Client returned to California and I advised him not to request an Administrative Hearing which would have prevented him from obtaining a duplicate California license. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment and the plea was entered by mail and the client did not have to return to Colorado. Client never lost his Colorado driving privilege and he will attend the alcohol classes and perform the Public Service hours in California. No jail, no supervised probation and no fine were imposed. The consequences for an out-of-state dui can be minimized if the case is handled correctly.
Husband and wife engaged in an argument that led to pushing and shoving and a hole being punched in a wall. Husband was arrested for Harassment and Criminal Mischief with a Domestic Violence designation. The Protection Order was modified immediately to allow mutual, consensual contact and the status conference occurred 24 hours after the Advisement Hearing. A Lethality Assessment was obtained within a week and the wife wrote a letter to the Deputy District Attorney explaining her feelings about the prosecution and requesting that the case be dismissed. The couple agreed to go into counselling and the case was dismissed. A Domestic Violence disposition may be avoided with proactive and immediate defense work.
Client was charged with five counts of Felony Menacing. A group of young men gathered and decided to go to Client’s residence and confront him regarding exchanges on social media. When the group arrived, Client came to the door and was pulled out of his residence. There was a brief fight between three of the individuals and Client returned to his residence and obtained a knife. He came out of the residence and confronted the group which quickly left the area. Client was arrested and accused of threatening members of the group with the knife. It was presented to the Deputy District Attorney that Client was acting in self-defense and that he had the right to use deadly force when he was threatened on his property. We were prepared to go to trial on these charges but the case was dismissed 30 days after Client’s arrest
Burglary and Contraband
Client was arrested after being found in a condo where personal property had been disturbed. Upon being booked into the jail, drugs were found on the Client's person. Client immediately went into an outpatient substance abuse treatment program and submitted to random testing. Negotiations resulted in Deferred Judgments without any felony convictions. At the Sentencing Hearing, the Judge was persuaded not to impose any jail sentence and the Defendant was placed on two years of supervised probation with the requirement of volunteering Public Service hours each month. The Court was persuaded that rehabilitation and not punishment was the appropriate disposition.
Client was working in the county and was arrested for assault. He returned to his home south of Denver. Charges were investigated and witnesses were interviewed and negotiations resulted in a conviction to Harassment with unsupervised probation. This disposition avoided the Defendant having to meet with a probation officer and upon request, the Judge allowed the plea of guilty to be entered by mail, thus saving the Defendant the expense and time of returning to Steamboat to appear in court. Minimizing the consequences should also include the financial and physical hardships upon the Defendant in returning to court in Routt or Moffat Counties.
Dismissal of DUI and Refusal Revocation
18-year old Client was stopped on New Year's Eve for Speeding and was arrested after the trooper reported several indicators of intoxication and failure to perform the roadside maneuvers as a sober person. Client agreed to submit to a blood draw to determine his blood alcohol level. At the Emergency Room, Client was presented with an Admission Form to the hospital and instructed to sign the form as a requirement of the DUI blood draw. Client had difficulty in reading and understanding the form and the trooper then presented a second Consent Form and advised Client that he had to sign both forms. After a delay, the trooper said that Client only had to sign the second form. After further delay, the trooper declared a Refusal.
The DMV Administrative Hearing resulted in a dismissal of the Refusal Revocation. Negotiations with the Deputy District Attorney pointed out that Client did not appear intoxicated on the video and that the blood draw was not accomplished because of confusion created by the trooper and the presentation of a form that did not apply to the DUI arrest. The DUI and Speeding charges were dismissed. The prosecution stated that a prima facie case for an alcohol related offense could not be presented and there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.
Domestic Violence Second Degree Assault
Client was charged with Domestic Violence Felony Assault and Obstruction of Telephone which threatened him with a prison sentence of two to six years. Client went into a treatment program and his court date was delayed for six months to allow him this rehabilitation. The victim of the assault was supportive of the treatment and negotiations resulted in a Deferred Sentence with no conviction of the felony offense with two years of supervised probation and no jail sentence. The Deferred Judgment provided for the Client to successfully complete his Domestic Violence treatment and dismissal of the felony charge. Rehabilitation and reduction may be an appropriate and available alternative to imprisonment.
DUI with Accident with a Verdict of Not Guilty
Client went off the roadway and rolled his vehicle and was taken to the Emergency Room. Two troopers reported detecting an odor of alcohol and observed other indicators of intoxication. Client refused to perform any roadside maneuvers and he also declined to submit to a legal blood draw to determine his blood alcohol level. Client also refused to give consent for law enforcement to obtain his medical records. A jury trial was held and defenses of driving behavior prior to the accident and lack of information regarding the Express Consent Law were presented. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty to DUI within 30 minutes.
Client was charged for Felony Criminal Impersonation as a result of falsely using the name of a medical physician. Material was presented to the prosecutor establishing that Client had led a law-abiding life and was responsible, conscientious and trustworthy. It was established that this action was an isolated event of poor judgment and negotiations resulted in a one-year Deferred Judgment, no incarceration, minimum hours of Public Service and a letter of apology to the doctor. This clean Deferred Judgment will be sealed from public review after one year.
Careless Driving Causing Death
Client was driving from Craig to Kremmling and her fiancé was asleep in the back seat. As she approached Kremmling, she fell asleep and the vehicle left the highway and the result was the death of the passenger. CSP performed a Fatality Crash Report and could not determine the speed of the vehicle. The conclusion of the report was that the client either fell asleep or passed out. The client received medical treatment and consented to a blood draw. The presence of a controlled substance was reported by the CBI Lab Report. Further investigation determined that the controlled substance was administered by the hospital to client after the accident. Negotiations resulted in a six-month Deferred Judgment with no supervised probation and 24 hours of Useful Public Service and no fine and 48 hours in a county jail. No one intentionally falls asleep while driving and an accident resulting in death may not require a conviction.
Second Degree Assault and Kidnapping Domestic Violence
Client was charged with Felony Assault and Kidnapping with designations of Domestic Violence. Accounts from witnesses and medical reports corroborated the allegations. Client immediately submitted to a Domestic Violence and Psychological Evaluation. Furthermore, discussions with the spouse-victim and other members of the family resulted in an agreement that a felony conviction and incarceration should be avoided. Many character reference letters were collected and were submitted to the prosecutor together with the evaluations. A plea agreement was entered wherein Deferred Judgments avoided felony convictions and prison sentences of up to (8) years. Four years of supervised probation were imposed with credit for 20 days of jail time served. The Protection Order was continued during the time of supervised probation and unsupervised probation. Support from the family can avoid the sanctions of prosecution.
12 Charges of Unlawful Sexual Behavior
Client was charged with six offenses of Sexual Assault and six offenses of Aggravated Incest. The accusations, made by a stepdaughter, covered a period of several years. An analysis of the allegations presented a picture of lack of credibility and no corroborating evidence. There was no medical or forensic evidence or independent eye-witnesses. There were no indicators of credibility and minimum opportunity. The eventual outcry was subject to many doubts. Negotiations avoided years of a prison sentence with a plea of guilty to Assault with a stipulation that the underlying factual basis was not unlawful sexual behavior. A Deferred Judgment was entered and Client was sentenced to (3) years of probation with unsupervised status available after two years and a 20-day jail sentence. Accusations must be supported by credible and convincing evidence especially when years of incarceration are at stake. This plea agreement avoided Client being classified as a sex offender with the requirement of registration for life.
Second Degree Assault
Client and boyfriend got into an argument that resulted in a charge of Second Degree Assault with Strangulation against Client. This is a Class 4 felony which provides upon conviction for (2) to (6) years of prison followed by (3) years of parole. Fortunately, the boyfriend was willing to work with us in convincing the prosecutor not to pursue a felony disposition. Negotiations resulted in a plea of guilty to a Misdemeanor Harassment, non-physical, subject to a one-year Deferred Judgment and Sentence. No jail sentence was required and no Public Service hours were ordered. This was a clean Deferred Judgment and upon completion of one year of supervised probation, the record will be sealed, thereby eliminating a Domestic Violence arrest record. Working with the identified Protected Party can avoid a felony conviction, incarceration and a permanent Domestic Violence designation on the Criminal History.
Client experienced his fourth (4th) DUI arrest and pursuant to Colorado Law, it was filed as an F-4 felony. The law provides for a felony conviction and a prison sentence to two (2) to six (6) years, followed by three (3) years of parole. Client was advised and agreed to go into a 60-day residential treatment program with outpatient therapy. The case was delayed for six months so that Client could complete the residential treatment program and establish his sobriety. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment on the felony charge with no prison sentence. Client entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor DUI and was sentenced to 120 days in the county jail which is going to be served in the Moffat County Work Release Program. Client will complete the Alcohol Education Class and perform Public Service hours. An Application for Reinstatement was made to the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and a restricted driver's license was issued. The Felony DUI Law provides for alternative dispositions and being proactive and pursuing negotiations can avoid a felony conviction, a prison sentence and even jail incarceration.
Not Guilty of the felony charge of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Child Abuse and Assault
Client was charged with a felony offense and two misdemeanor offenses as a result of going to a neighbor's house with his son who became involved in a fight with the neighbor's son. Client was charged with a conspiracy assault offense and was accused of encouraging his son to assault and cause injury to the neighbor's son. The felony charge was Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor and the other charge was Child Abuse. It was argued that Client went to the neighbor's house only to report the behavior of the child and he did not encourage his son to engage in the fight. After a two-hour deliberation, the jury returned verdicts of "not guilty" on the three accusations.
Felony Drug Charge Resolved with a Deferred Judgment in 30 Days
Client was arrested on October 7, 2018, for the offense of Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. A substance abuse evaluation was immediately scheduled and negotiations began with the Deputy District Attorney. A plea agreement was reached with a Deferred Judgment on the reduced charge of misdemeanor drug use with a stipulation of no incarceration and supervised probation of 2 years with early termination. The only requirements of the Deferred Judgment was the evaluation and recommended treatment and 96 hours of Useful Public Service within 1 year. This was a clean Deferred Judgment which means the record will be sealed after 2 years. Immediate action can obtain an acceptable disposition with the minimum consequences.
Dismissal of Protection Order Violation and Revocation of Deferred Judgment
Client was under a Domestic Violence Deferred Judgment and was charged with a Violation of the Protection Order. Witnesses were interviewed and a plea of not guilty was entered and the matter was set for trial. Negotiations continued and the prosecution requested a plea of guilty with a jail sentence. The plea offer was rejected and trial preparation followed. The day before the trial, the Deputy District Attorney dismissed the Violation of Protection Order charge and the Complaint to Revoke the Deferred Judgment. Taking a firm stand after an appropriate evaluation of the case can lead to a dismissal.
Blood Alcohol Level Greater than .200 with no Jail Sentence Disposition
Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and the Blood Alcohol Level was reported at .272. Colorado Law provides for a mandatory ten-day jail sentence with a blood alcohol level greater than .199. This was client's first offense and there was an accident involved in the arrest. However, upon presenting mitigating circumstances and working with the Deputy District Attorney, a stipulation was reached that the blood alcohol level would be considered as less than .200. It was necessary for both parties to convince the Judge to accept this plea agreement and to explain the stipulation. Client was sentenced to the minimum conditions of a first offense without the mandatory jail sentence for the reported blood alcohol level.
Arrest for Felony Possession of Controlled Substance
On October 7, 2018, Client was arrested for the Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance. Law enforcement entered the dormitory room of Client and discovered a bag of mushrooms and other drug paraphernalia. A Substance Abuse Evaluation was immediately obtained and presented to the Deputy District Attorney. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment for the misdemeanor offense of Unlawful Use of a Controlled Substance on November 7, 2018. No jail sentence was imposed and the Defendant was placed on two years of supervised probation and was ordered to perform 96 hours of Useful Public Service. This clean Deferred Judgment will result in a dismissal and the Defendant will have the record of this felony drug offense sealed. Immediate attention and action can prevent a criminal prosecution from dragging on for months.
Dismissal of Felony Menacing with a Gun
Client was accused of threatening another motorist with a gun. The reporting party and his passenger accused Client of aiming a pistol at them during a driving dispute. They described the weapon as a small black pistol, possible a .25 caliber. Negotiations involved convincing the Deputy District Attorney that Client was not in possession of a gun and that the reporting party and witness saw his cell phone when he was taking a picture of them. The dismissal of the case avoided a felony prosecution and all consequences. The arrest and prosecution records were sealed by Court Order.
Out of State Refusal on DUI Arrest – Not Guilty
Client was stopped for disregarding a stop sign and the office observed indicators of intoxication, including the odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes and slurred speech. Client explained that he had taken pain medication earlier in the day and had one glass of wine with dinner. Client was requested to perform the Voluntary Roadside Maneuvers and he elected not to do so. He was arrested and advised of the Colorado Express Consent Law. As an out-of-state resident, he did not understand the Colorado law and elected not to submit to a chemical test of his blood. The case was presented to a jury and a verdict of not guilty was returned on the charge of Driving Under the Influence.