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What Is Probation? Things You Need To Know
/ 28 December, 2020

There are many consequences from finding yourself in trouble with the law. You could end up paying a fine. You could be required to complete community service. You could end up in jail or prison.

Depending on the type of crime, you may also be put on probation.

But what is probation? How does it affect you now and in the future?

If you have questions about the specific guidelines of your probation, you can consult with your probation officer for more information and a better understanding. However, it never hurts to personally learn more about the finer details of how the probation process works in Denver.

What is probation?

Probation is a court-ordered sanction that allows a person to remain free in their community as long as they agree to monitoring by a probation officer.

The terms of probation vary from case to case and often include things such as:

If you follow the guidelines of your probation, there will come a point when you can move past this part of your life.

Conversely, should you violate the rules of your probation, you could find yourself back in the court system. Depending on the violation, this could lead to being sent back to prison or jail. 

Can you go to jail if you’re on probation?

It’s a common myth that you won’t go to jail if you’re on probation. This doesn’t always hold true, as there are two distinct types of probation:

  1. Going on probation as opposed to going to jail. To remain out of jail, it’s required to successfully meet all the terms and conditions of probation. 
  2. Serving time in jail and then being put on probation upon your release. In this case, you may be able to serve a shortened sentence since you’ll be on probation in the future.

Some people will do whatever they can to avoid jail time. Others would rather do their time and get released, as opposed to going on probation. 

Knowing how each type of probation works will allow you to take the right approach as you move through the legal system.

Is probation really that serious?

If you avoid jail time – and are instead put on probation – you may think you’re in the clear. You may think you can still do whatever you want, for the most part.

While it’s true that probation allows you to remain free in your community, it’s important that you remain serious about the process.

The probation system is in place to keep the public safe. So, if you violate the rules of your probation, you’ll soon find yourself back in front of a judge.

What does a probation officer do?

Denver probation officer meeting.
Your Denver probation officer will meet with you regularly to make sure you’re meeting requirements and give you support throughout the probation process.


You don’t manage the probation process on your own. Instead, the court assigns a probation officer to you. 

This person has many responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Supervising your actions and behavior 
  • Meeting with you on a regular basis 
  • Assessing you to ensure that you’re living up to the guidelines of your probation
  • Talking to you about any risks that can result in a probation violation, such as illegally using drugs
  • Setting up drug and alcohol tests
  • Overseeing your rehabilitation 
  • Helping you gain access to any services you require, such as drug or alcohol rehabilitation and career counseling
  • Preparing documentation for the court (such as when it’s time to go off probation)
  • Providing overall support in an attempt to help you maintain a stable life

It’s important to note that your probation officer isn’t “out to get you.” Yes, they’re part of the legal system, but they truly want to keep you in the community. 

You don’t have to be friends with your probation officer, but respecting them and making their job easier would be in your best interest. 

A Denver criminal defense attorney will guide you in the probation process

It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving jail or being put on probation instead of serving time, it’s important to understand what the probation process involves. Any unanswered questions or concerns can cause you trouble down the road.

If you have reason to believe your criminal charges could result in probation or worse, consult with the experienced Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC.

With an experienced and knowledgeable Denver legal team on your side, you’ll better understand your criminal charges, how to protect your legal rights, and how the probation process could work in your favor.

The word “probation” is scary to most, but it doesn’t have to be. The more knowledge you gather, the easier it is to understand your situation and how to make the most of it so you can move on with your life. Give us a call today at 303-635-6768 to schedule your free consultation.

5 Things to Consider When Bailing Someone Out of Jail
/ 21 December, 2020

When a friend or a family member gets arrested, you will do anything you can to get them out. Sometimes this means bailing them out of jail. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, it can be complicated and expensive in the long run, especially if you make misguided decisions based on emotions. So, before you pay bail to get that person you care about out of jail, here are five important things you need to know.

Consideration 1: Bailing someone out of jail can be expensive

There’s no denying that bailing someone out of jail is expensive. For instance, if you work with a bonding agent, you’ll have to pay administrative costs and a non-refundable fee. In Colorado, the fee is usually 10 to 15% of what you pay as a bail amount. That means if the bail amount is $50,000, you’ll have to part with a whopping $5,000 non-refundable fee plus the administrative cost.

While posting the bail amount directly to the court will help you avoid the bail bonds company fee, this option means that your money will be tied up for months before you can get it back. In some cases, outstanding fines and court costs may be deducted from the full cash bail amount before getting a refund. As a result, what you get back can be a lot less, particularly if your loved one is eventually found guilty.

That’s perhaps the reason why most people turn to bond companies to protect their cash. While this option may be equally expensive in the end, it helps you eliminate the risk of posting bail amount to the court. However, you’ll still part with the 10% fee.

Consideration 2: Missing court dates could have serious consequences

Man arrested after being bailed out of jail and failing to make court appearances.
Bailing someone of out jail comes with risks, including missed court appearances that can lead to arrest warrants.


When you bail someone you love out of jail, they typically have several court dates to attend. Missing one could lead to an arrest warrant. If they are not found within the specified period, the money or property you posted for bail could go into default. That means if you had involved a bonding company, they’ll forfeit the whole amount to the court and then seek repayment from you. 

Consideration 3: You might have to pay for their poor choices

Bailing someone out of jail typically means they will have to fulfill certain bond conditions. For instance, your loved one might be ordered not to make contact with the alleged victim. In selected cases, they might also be required to attend alcohol or drug treatment programs, not to leave the county, or not to associate with co-defendants in any way. It is usually your responsibility to ensure that they meet all these court-mandated requirements.

If they violate any of the terms given, the bond may be revoked, and they are sent back to jail. The consequences of violating the bond conditions do not fall on the offender only. They may spill on you, too. If, for example, you had put collateral up, whether jewelry, guns, cars, houses or more, you could be ordered to forfeit these possessions to the bail bonds company.

Consideration 4: There’s no guarantee that you will get back what you put in

When bailing someone out of jail, it’s not uncommon for you to be asked to pay $50,000 to secure the bond. Giving out such an amount in liquidity can be difficult, considering there is no certainty that you will get back what you put in. Sometimes the only option you have is to work with a bonding company to allow you post bail through a property bond at a fee.

While this is definitely a good alternative, things could get really messy if the payment is not remitted to the bonding company. If, for instance, you had used your house and the fee was not paid to the bail bonds agent, you could lose your house, even if the defendant shows up to all court dates.

Consideration 5: Hiring an experienced criminal attorney can help mitigate risks

When bailing someone out of jail, it is possible to use a property to secure a bond. This could be anything from your paid-off car, a piece of land, a house, an art collection, or anything of value that you own.

Before you agree to a property bond, you need to read and understand all the legal terms and conditions. If you are not sure about anything, talk to an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. Doing this will help you mitigate the risk of losing the property you use to secure a bond for your loved one.

Bailing someone out of jail? Seek help from a Denver criminal defense attorney

If your loved one has been arrested in Colorado or you are planning to bail them out of jail, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney for help. The criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC understands the value of helping good people through tough times and has been defending the rights of Colorado residents for over 10 years. We’ll help you understand bond laws, work with you to reduce the bail amount or even arrange for your loved one’s release. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.

Should I Pay or Fight My Traffic Ticket in Colorado?
/ 14 December, 2020

Traffic tickets are common. Statistically speaking, about 1 in 5 Americans received a traffic ticket for a moving violation in the past five years, according to a 2015 report. But does it make any sense to go to court and fight your traffic ticket in Colorado? Traffic tickets are known to be difficult to contest because in most cases, it’s your word against the word of the police officer who issued the ticket. For this reason, only 5% of motorists who receive a traffic ticket dispute it in court

And many drivers who decide to go to court to contest a traffic citation end up losing because they do not have a strategy to win. Retaining a Denver traffic ticket attorney can make a big difference as your lawyer will guide you through the legal process and help you present your case in the most convincing way possible to get the offense dismissed or reduced. Read on to learn more about what to expect if you decide to fight your traffic ticket in Colorado court.

You have more than one option when faced with a traffic ticket in Colorado

While most people mistakenly believe that paying their traffic ticket is the only option, you could actually dispute your traffic citation to avoid long-lasting negative consequences, including but not limited to: a suspension of your driver’s license and higher insurance rates. 

If you want to contest your traffic citation in Denver or other parts of Colorado, the first thing you need to do is plead “not guilty” to the charges against you. This can be done either in person or by mail. Your ticket will list the name and location of the court that must be notified before the arraignment date. This date is also specified on the ticket. 

Note: By paying a traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty to the traffic charge. 

Once the court receives your plea, it will schedule a date for a:

  • Final hearing if you are contesting an infraction, which is a less serious traffic violation in Colorado; or
  • Pre-trial conference, if you are disputing a traffic offense, which is more serious and carries fines and jail time upon conviction. 

If you fail to show up at the hearing or conference, the court could automatically find you guilty of the charges. In addition, the court could issue a warrant for your arrest. 

If you are considering pleading “not guilty” to the traffic charges, it is advised to be represented by an experienced traffic defense attorney to help you prove your innocence before a judge in Colorado. 

What is the court process for disputing a traffic citation in Colorado? 

If you have been charged with a traffic offense, the court will schedule a pre-trial conference during which your Denver traffic ticket attorney will help you contest the traffic citation to get the charges dismissed or dropped. 

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your traffic offense, your lawyer may be able to negotiate and reach a settlement. Often, the defendant is required to change their plea to “guilty” in exchange for a reduction in the penalties. 

If no mutually acceptable agreement is reached at the pre-trial conference, the court will schedule a date for a final hearing. The process for fighting a traffic ticket in Colorado can take a few weeks after the violation. Usually, the process takes from three to four weeks. 

What are the possible outcomes of contesting a traffic ticket? 

Depending on the strength of your case and your lawyer’s ability to make compelling arguments in court, there are two possible outcomes of fighting a traffic citation in Colorado:

  1. A guilty verdict; or 
  2. A not guilty verdict. 

If the judge finds you guilty of the traffic charges, the severity of the punishment will depend on the nature and seriousness of the violation. Possible penalties that you could face when found guilty are: 

If additional points are added to your driving record, your driver’s license could be suspended. To remove points from your driving record, you must complete the mandatory defensive driving course as soon as possible. It is advised to hire a traffic defense lawyer to help you fight your ticket in Colorado and obtain a “not guilty” verdict. 

Why you need a Denver traffic ticket attorney

If you received a ticket for violating traffic laws in Colorado, you have a right to challenge the ticket. You can benefit from hiring a knowledgeable traffic ticket attorney to help you fight the citation. 

Contact a Denver traffic ticket attorney to help you:

  • Prepare a strong case with persuading arguments to prove your innocence; 
  • Collect sufficient evidence to help you dispute the citation; 
  • Get the ticket dismissed; 
  • Get the traffic charges reduced; and
  • Secure a “not guilty” verdict in the courtroom. 

Fighting a traffic ticket in court might seem intimidating because you must appear in front of the judge and present your case. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Consult with our traffic ticket attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC to discuss the best defense strategy in your case. Call at (303) 635-6768 to schedule a free consultation.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?
/ 11 December, 2020

If you drive a car in Denver or other parts of Colorado, you’ve probably seen sobriety checkpoints, also known as DUI (driving under the influence) checkpoints. Unlike many other states, Colorado does not make DUI roadblocks illegal but drivers in Colorado must understand their legal rights during these checkpoints to protect themselves from unwarranted arrests. It’s important to speak with a Denver DUI attorney to learn more about your responsibilities and rights at a sobriety checkpoint. 

Where are DUI checkpoints legal or illegal in the U.S.? 

Under the U.S. Constitution, sobriety checkpoints are generally legal; however, many states have their own laws and statutes that affect the legality of DUI roadblocks. According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, eight states prohibit sobriety checkpoints. The following states that make DUI roadblocks illegal under the state constitution, law, or statute are:

    1. Rhode Island (state constitution) 
    2. Oregon (state constitution)
    3. Michigan (state constitution)
    4. Minnesota (state constitution)
    5. Washington (state constitution)
    6. Idaho (state law)
    7. Wisconsin (statute)
    8. Wyoming (statute)

Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S., including California, Florida, New York, and the District of Columbia make DUI roadblocks legal as part of their efforts to combat drunk driving. While Colorado is also among the states where DUI checkpoints are legal, a roadblock can be deemed unlawful if the law enforcement violates guidelines for sobriety checkpoints. 

When are DUI roadblocks illegal in Colorado? 

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) warns motorists of upcoming sobriety checkpoints by posting advance notice of DUI roadblocks. Often, law enforcement in Colorado conducts sobriety checkpoints during specific holidays such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July, St. Patrick’s Day, and other holidays when alcohol consumption is high. Nevertheless, DUI checkpoints are illegal if they violate CDOT’s guidelines for sobriety roadblocks:

  • The roadblock poses too much inconvenience to motorists or creates traffic hazards 
  • The officers use a discriminatory procedure for choosing which vehicles to stop 
  • Failure to give adequate warning to drivers to inform them of the upcoming roadblock 
  • The department did not have official procedures to conduct the DUI checkpoint 
  • The officers set up a roadblock in an unsafe location 
  • The officers were not adequately trained to conduct the checkpoint 
  • The department failed to publicize the sobriety checkpoint before setting up the roadblock
  • Failure to assure the safety of the general public and police officers involved
  • The lack of approval from the police agency to conduct the DUI checkpoint

While the law enforcement’s failure to comply with the guidelines does not automatically make the DUI checkpoint illegal, it provides a solid ground for challenging the traffic stop and getting the DWI, DWAI, or other charges dropped or dismissed. Contact the skilled Denver DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC to investigate your particular case and help you prove that the sobriety checkpoint was illegal due to police violations of CDOT guidelines. 

What happens during a DUI checkpoint in Colorado?  

At a DUI checkpoint in Colorado, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, although this refusal can result in suspension of your driver’s license.
Warning: At a DUI checkpoint in Colorado, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test, although this refusal can result in suspension of your driver’s license.


When a police officer pulls your car over at a DUI checkpoint, you will be asked to roll down the window. The officer will request to see your driver’s license and registration, and you are legally required to comply with the request. 

The police officer may suspect that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs if: 

  • The motorist has difficulty finding or handing over their license and registration 
  • The officer smells alcohol or marijuana in the vehicle
  • The officer sees an open container of alcohol, illegal substances, marijuana, or drugs in the car
  • The driver manifests signs of impairment, including slurred speech, bloodshot or watery eyes, slowed reaction, and others

If the police officer suspects a DUI, they will ask the driver to step out of the vehicle and may request the motorist to take a field sobriety test and/or a breath test, also known as the preliminary alcohol screening test. Note: The results of these tests can be used as evidence of impairment in your DUI case. Know that the field sobriety test and the breath test are optional, which means you have a right to refuse to take these tests without facing any legal repercussions. 

However, if the officer has a reasonable belief that the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they can arrest the motorist for DUI of alcohol or drugs, DUI “per se” (when the blood alcohol concentration exceeds .08%), DWAI by alcohol or drugs (when the BAC level is between .05% and .08%), or underage drinking and driving (UDD)

Upon your DUI arrest, the officer will request you to take a blood test or evidential breath alcohol test. You have the option to choose between these two chemical tests. Under the C.R.S. § 42-2-126, a driver can face the following penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test: 

  • Revocation of the driver’s license 
  • Designation as a “persistent drunk driver” (PDD), which requires a minimum 2 year interlock device in your vehicle as a mandatory term of driver’s license reinstatement
  • Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment and education program
  • Mandatory installment of an ignition interlock device (IID)

In addition to the above consequences, your refusal to take the chemical tests will be used against you as evidence of guilt in court.

Fight unlawful DUI checkpoints with a Denver criminal defense attorney

If you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Colorado and were arrested for driving under the influence, don’t hesitate to contact our DUI defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC to help you fight the charges and protect your driving privileges and rights. Give us a call at (303) 635-6768 to receive a free consultation. 

‘Porch Piracy’ During the 2020 Holiday Season in the Coronavirus Era
/ 04 December, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an uptick in deliveries of groceries and packages in Colorado and all across the country as millions of Americans have come to rely on safe package delivery services such as Amazon, FedEx, and UPS, and now online shopping is expected to surge even more during this holiday season. 

The combination of pandemic-fueled package delivery services and holiday online shopping seems to make the perfect environment for “porch pirates” who steal packages right from the recipient’s doorstep or porch. 

The risk of “porch piracy” during the 2020 holiday season in the coronavirus era is greater than ever given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delivery drivers to practice “contactless deliveries” to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease, leaving valuable packages and gifts unattended and vulnerable to theft.

Porch piracy during COVID-19 pandemic

Porch piracy has become a widespread type of theft in Colorado and other states across the country. As mentioned earlier, porch piracy occurs when a person removes a delivered package right from the recipient’s porch or doorstep. And this year, there are even more opportunities for these porch pirates to snatch packages due to an increase in unattended package deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A 2020 survey by Value Penguin found that nearly 1 in 5 consumers have become victims of porch piracy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • More than half (54%) of respondents reported that porch pirates stole multiple packages from them in the past year. 
  • A third of all consumers (33%) said they knew someone who became a victim of porch piracy during the coronavirus crisis. 
  • On average, victims of porch piracy lost $106. 
  • Less than half of respondents who became victims of package theft said the thief was caught. 
  • The vast majority of stolen packages (57%) were from Amazon. 
  • Residents of apartment buildings are more likely to become victims of porch piracy (40%)

Porch piracy and property crime rates in Colorado

According to national data gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, theft of personal property during December is 22% higher than the average rate for this type of property crime during all months combined. 

A 2020 report released by KDVR showed that porch and package theft is up in Denver, Colorado, outpacing the last five years. But which cities in Colorado have the highest property crime rates? According to Value Penguin, the following Colorado cities have the highest property crime rates per 100,000 residents: 

  • Denver (23,711);
  • Colorado Springs (18,175);
  • Aurora (10,786);
  • Pueblo (7,596);
  • Lakewood (6,892);
  • Fort Collins (3,808);
  • Thornton (3,296);
  • Greeley (3,219);
  • Westminster (2,987); and
  • Boulder (2,948).

Criminal charges for theft in Colorado

Like in many other states, porch pirates in Colorado face criminal charges of theft. The severity of theft penalties depends on the value of the stolen package or item. 

Penalties for misdemeanor theft in Colorado are as follows: 

  • Class 3 misdemeanor: The stolen item is valued at more than $50 but less than $300. Penalties include up to six months in jail and from $50 to $750 in fines. 
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: The stolen package or goods are worth at least $300 but no more than $750. Penalties include from three months to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: The stolen item is valued at $750 but does not exceed $2,000. Penalties include up to 18 months in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. 

If the stolen package or item is worth more than $2,000, the defendant will be charged with felony theft. Felony theft is punishable by up to 12 years in jail, a fine of between $1,000 and $1 million, and from one to five years of parole, depending on the value of the stolen goods. 

Consult with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney

If you were arrested for porch piracy or any other theft crime in Colorado, do not hesitate to seek legal help from an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. A conviction of theft can ruin your life in an instant. In addition to criminal penalties, you could be fired, lose employment and housing opportunities, and face many other negative consequences. Schedule a free consultation with our Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC to discuss legal defenses and options. Call our offices at (303) 635-6768.

DUIs During the Holidays in Colorado
/ 23 November, 2020

Holidays are a time to enjoy and make merry. More people go to parties, consume alcohol, and unfortunately, engage in drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) points out that in 2018, 1068 deaths caused by drunk drivers occurred across the U.S. and twenty-four of these deaths occurred in Colorado. According to the Colorado State Patrol, the number of deaths resulting from drunk drivers increases from Thanksgiving to New Years, with the most-traveled holiday period in Colorado being Thanksgiving weekend. As such, DUI arrests are highest between Thanksgiving and the end of the New Year’s weekend.

Many Colorado drivers do not realize the impact of even a small amount of alcohol in their system which can impair a person’s ability to drive and indeed, statistics reveal that each day, nearly 60 people are arrested in Colorado for drunk driving. 

Consequences of DUI charges 

Driving under the influence is a serious crime in Colorado with severe penalties. If you face DUI charges, you should contact a Denver DUI attorney immediately. An attorney will help you understand your legal options and how best to fight the DUI charges. The DUI penalties in Colorado depend on a driver’s prior DUI convictions and the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level.  A first-time DUI offense is a misdemeanor whose potential consequences are:

You can face a DUI per se charge if you drive with a BAC of 0.08% or more. However, you may still face charges even with a lower BAC as depending on the police’s observations, you may receive charges for DWAI (driving while ability impaired) even if your BAC does not exceed the allowable limit. The penalties for DWAI may be lower compared to a standard DUI offense:

  • A jail time of 2 days to 180 days. 
  • A fine not exceeding $500.
  • Community service for up to 48 hours.
  • 8 points against your driver’s license.

Every subsequent DUI offense that you commit will attract a harsher penalty than the previous one. Don’t overlook the importance of hiring a Denver DUI attorney even if your charges seem minor. An attorney goes a long way in determining the outcome of your case. 

Curbing drunk driving in Colorado 

During holidays, law enforcement agencies across Colorado increase their patrols to remove impaired drivers from the road. The officers set a lot more stops to conduct alcohol checks with patrols aimed at identifying DUI cases. The Colorado State Patrol also sends out more troopers during holidays to spot impaired drivers and take action. 

As a preventative measure, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) introduced the Take Some Time campaign to create awareness regarding how long it takes a driver’s BAC to return to zero after alcohol consumption. As most people mistakenly believe they are good to drive after one or two beers, the campaign aims to change how people view one pint, shot, or glass of alcohol, and helps drivers understand just how long it takes to get sober again after drinking. 

Tips for preventing driving and drinking 

More than 32% of fatal car crashes in the U.S. involve an intoxicated driver. If your social plans involve alcohol, take measures to prevent drinking and driving:

  • Have a designated driver for your groups. 
  • Don’t allow friends to drive after drinking; take their car keys if necessary. 
  • If you have been drinking, call a taxi or get a ride home from a sober friend.
  • If you plan a party, include some alcohol-free drinks and encourage guests to designate a sober driver to take them home. 
  • As a caregiver or a parent, talk to your children, especially your teens, about drunk driving and the risks involved.
  • If you spot a drunk driver on the road, inform the police by outlining the drunk driver’s location, direction they are headed, their vehicle model, and license plate number. 

If you face an arrest due to drunk driving, contact a Denver DUI attorney who will explore several defenses to your charges, including:

  • Gathering evidence regarding your case.
  • Conducting legal research and filing motions.
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor and the judge on your behalf. 

Don’t wait too long after a DUI arrest before contacting an experienced Denver DUI attorney. Speak with a knowledgeable attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC in Denver, Colorado. 

Thanksgiving Road Trip Safety Tips
/ 18 November, 2020

Do you know that more people travel during the Thanksgiving break during the Christmas holiday? A recent report revealed that during Thanksgiving, long-distance trips increase by 54%, more than double the 23% increase during the Christmas period.

Traveling during Thanksgiving in Colorado typically entails encountering wet roadways during winter, presenting challenges for you and your vehicle and making it essential to maintain a safety-first mindset as you embark on your trip. Below we provide simple yet critical tips for a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving road trip.

Get enough rest and avoid alcohol 

Ensure that you get enough rest before you set out for a road trip. Driving while tired impairs your ability in the same way as intoxication. According to the CDC, drowsiness affects concentration and coordination and reduces your reaction times. Resting will help you remain alert throughout the journey.

Also avoid consuming alcohol the night before your road trip which could result in the morning-after impairment. In Colorado, it is an offense to operate a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. As long as you’re impaired, you can face DUI charges, even if your BAC is below 0.08%, with some of the potential penalties including fines, probation, jail time, and public service. 

Focus on the road 

While you are on the road, focus on driving and avoid distractions. Engaging in careless or reckless driving is an offense in Colorado. According to Colorado law CRS 42-4-1401, reckless driving entails operating a vehicle with a disregard for other road users’ safety. Meanwhile, a driver may be guilty of careless driving if they don’t exercise sufficient regard for their surroundings. 

Reckless driving is more severe than careless driving. A reckless driving conviction in Colorado is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable with a fine ranging between $150 and $ 300 and a jail time between 10 and 90 days. A repeat offense may attract a jail time of up to six months and a fine of up to $ 1,000. 

Distracted driving involves engaging in any activity that may shift your attention from the road. Common forms of distracted driving include using a mobile phone or eating while driving. In 2009, the state of Colorado passed a law against texting while driving but this law extends to other mobile phone activities like sending tweets or emails while driving. 

The anti-texting law in Colorado applies to all drivers. This law prohibits drivers younger than 18 years from using a cell phone while driving. Violating the anti-texting law is a Class A traffic infraction. A first offense may attract a fine of $50, while a second offense is punishable by a fine of up to $100. 

Leave early and avoid speeding 

Leave early to eliminate anxiety about arriving late and you won’t feel tempted to speed. According to Colorado law, a violation of 1 to 24 mph above the posted speed limit is a Class A traffic infraction. A violation of 25mph or more is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. 

You may also face Class A traffic infraction charges if you fail to reduce the speed to a practical level while operating a vehicle under hazardous conditions. It’s also advisable to leave early during Thanksgiving Day considering the heavy traffic and challenging weather likely to occur.  

Contact an experienced criminal & traffic attorney in Denver

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Don’t let a car crash ruin your holiday. Use the above tips to remain safe. If you or a loved one experiences a car accident due to speeding, reckless or careless driving, or DUI in the Denver area, contact an experienced local attorney. Speak with a knowledgeable criminal and traffic attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC. Call today at (303) 635-6768 for a free consultation. 


Colorado State Gun Laws Explained
/ 22 October, 2020

According to the Colorado State law, residents aged 18 or older can possess or own unless prohibited from doing so. There is a long list of categories of people who shouldn’t possess or own firearms. Therefore, you must know these categories before you use a firearm. These categories include:

  • Fugitives from justice
  • People who are subject to a protective order that bars them from possessing a gun
  • Addicted to or unlawful use of a controlled substance
  • You are illegally living in the United States
  • You’ve been adjudicated as someone who is mentally defective
  • You are admitted in the country under a non-immigrant visa
  • You renounced your United States citizenship
  • You got discharged from the U.S. armed forces under dishonorable circumstances

Additionally, you shouldn’t carry a firearm if, under the United States or federal law, you’ve been convicted of or are under indictment for the following;

  • Any crime that is punishable by imprisonment for a period exceeding 12 months
  •  Felony
  •  Attempt to commit a felony crime
  •  A misdemeanor crime related to domestic violence
  •  Any action that constitutes a felony under the Colorado State laws

Keep in mind that many residents can’t openly carry a firearm if they come from a state that doesn’t have firearm reciprocity with Colorado State. The ‘red flag’ law permits law enforcement or family members to request a judge to confiscate temporarily guns of people deemed to be erased to themselves or others. These are commonly known as extreme risk protection orders.

Consequences of unlawful firearm possession

Possession of a gun by a felon is a felony crime. Depending on the specific crime you were previously convicted of, and the time the conviction occurred, the consequences of a felon owning a firearm in Colorado can run as high as 6 years in prison and hefty fines of up to $500,000.

Additionally, depending on the specific circumstances of the crime, unlawful possession of a firearm in Colorado may be considered a misdemeanor, and the punishment could be one to three years in prison or a fine that ranges from $1000 to $100,000.

What firearms are legal in Colorado?

Here are the specific guns that are legal in Colorado.

  • Full-length rifles
  • Pistols, handguns, or other firearms that have a barrel more than 12 inches in length
  • Full-length shotguns
  • Firearms that are defined as or Relics and the United States law
  • Antique guns manufactured not later than 1898

Colorado residents who are permitted to possess guns can openly carry the weapons listed while in the state as long as they are in a location that permits firearms.

Not all guns are legal in Colorado. Any firearm or firearm accessory classified under state law or federal law as a dangerous weapon is illegal. Some of these firearms include firearm silencers, armor-piercing ammunition, machine guns, and short shotguns with a barrel less than 18 inches and an overall length of less than 26 inches. Any defaced firearm or large-capacity ammunition magazines are illegal in Colorado.

Some local governments have also banned assault weapons like Boulder and Vail. However, pre-emption renders these local government laws unenforceable, but Denver’s assault weapon ban is valid.

As mentioned earlier, the consequences of being convicted of unlawful possession of firearms can significantly impact your current and future life. For instance, you could face up to six years in prison, and this record will go straight to your criminal record. In addition to disrupting your current career life, a stained criminal record can make it hard for you to get a good job in the future. This is why you should consult with an experienced attorney if you are charged with unlawful possession of guns.


What Are Possible Defenses to DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?
/ 21 October, 2020

If you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges in Colorado, you need a legal professional who can protect your legal rights and fight for your freedom. You need to consult with a criminal defense attorney who understands the law and can help you identify the possible defenses to DUI or DWAI charges in your unique case.

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?

Many drivers in Colorado do not understand the difference between DUI and DWAI charges. The criminal charge depends on the alcohol concentration in your blood. The biggest difference between the two charges is that you can be charged with DUI when your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08%, while DWAI charges are triggered when your BAC is higher than .05% but lower than .08%.

Under Colorado’s drunk driving laws, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of at least .08%. In Colorado, law enforcement officers have sufficient grounds to arrest a driver if their ability to operate a vehicle is even slightly impaired by alcohol or drugs.

What Are the Penalties for DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?

While a first-time offense of driving under the influence and driving while ability impaired is a misdemeanor in Colorado, DUI is associated with harsher penalties. In Colorado, a first-time DUI offender can face:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • A suspension of a driver’s license for up to 9 months

In Colorado, a driver whose BAC level exceeds .15% can be designated as a persistent drunk driver (PDD). PDDs are sentenced as repeat DUI offenders, even if this is their first offense.

Penalties for DWAI charges include:

  • Up to 180 days in jail and no more than $500 in fines for a first offense.
  • Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, a suspension of a driver’s license for a year, and mandatory Interlock Ignition Device for a second offense.
  • Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, a suspension of a driver’s license for two years, and mandatory Interlock Ignition Device for a third offense.
  • For three or more previous DWAI or DUI charges, a repeat offender can be charged with Class 4 felony and face up to 6 years in prison and three years of parole.

Unlike many other states, Colorado has no washout or lookback period for DUIs and DWAIs. In other words, your previous DUIs and DWAIs will count for the purposes of sentencing no matter how many years have passed.

Possible DUI/DWAI Defenses in Colorado

Just because you were charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. With a Denver DUI defense attorney on your side, you can fight a charge with one of the following defense strategies:

  • Unlawful stop. In Colorado, police officers are not allowed to stop drivers unless there is probable cause. In other words, it is illegal for law enforcement officers to pull you over if you did not violate a law. If you were charged with DUI or DWAI in Denver or other parts of Colorado after an unlawful stop, your case would be dismissed.
  • Illegal DUI/DWAI checkpoints. Law enforcement officers must comply with strict rules when it comes to setting up DUI/DWAI checkpoints or roadblocks. You could contest the validity of the DUI or DWAI arrest if the arresting police officer failed to adhere to the applicable rules when setting up the sobriety checkpoint.
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test. The validity of a field sobriety test can be contested by an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially if you are disabled, older than 65, overweight or obese, injured, or have a medical condition.
  • Improper breathalyzer test. The result of a breathalyzer test can be dismissed in your DUI or DWAI case if the arresting police officer failed to administer the test correctly or the equipment was improperly calibrated.
  • Inaccurate blood test. A skilled DUI defense attorney can cast doubt on the accuracy of the blood test, especially if the blood sample was not collected, stored, handled, or stored correctly.
  • Medical condition. In many DUI/DWAI cases, physical and behavioral attributes become grounds for an arrest. Certain signs of impairment, including bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, can be symptoms of a medical condition or use of prescription medication.

You should consult with a DUI/DWAI defense lawyer in Colorado to identify the most appropriate defense strategy in your particular case. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you get your DUI or DWAI charge reduced or even dismiss your case altogether.

Can I Use Marijuana While on Parole or Probation in Colorado?
/ 12 October, 2020

Whether you’re sentenced on a felony offense or misdemeanor offense in Colorado, your sentence is likely to include a period of probation (supervised). Many probationers have been frustrated for many years as the probation statute is broad, and many probation officers prohibited the use of marijuana entirely.

The law previously allowed probation to impose different conditions that would help the accused lead a law-abiding life. One of the common complaints of probationers is that they were not allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons.

But the law has changed 

The good news is that Colorado’s new law allows parolees and probationers to use medical pot, weed, or marijuana. Pay attention to the word ‘medicinal’ as it means all the difference between what’s legal and illegal when it comes to marijuana use. In May 2015, Governor Hickenlooper reviewed and signed the changes to marijuana-related law into effect.

Currently, the court of probation in Adams and Jefferson counties cannot prohibit the use or possession of medical marijuana as a mandatory condition of probation or parole. This is a relief to patients who desperately need weed for medical reasons such as pain management.

What would happen in case of probation revocation in Douglas and Arapahoe counties?

If you, the defendant, violate your probation terms, you are likely to face a probation revocation proceeding. Probation can be violated in two different ways. First is the technical violation, and the second the new law violation.

Generally, technical violations stem from your failure to comply with your probation’s specific conditions. Some of these failures include missed classes, monitored sobriety, inability to pay necessary fees, and other offenses. On the other hand, new law related probation violations occur when you, the defendant, are charged with a new crime while already serving an active probation period.

The good news is that the recent changes in Colorado’s probation statute allow medical marijuana use. This doesn’t constitute a technical violation or a new offense. Thus, it can’t be the basis of the revocation of probation. If you have been threatened with a probation revocation of proceedings because of a failed UAs and you have a valid medical marijuana license, it is essential to consult with a reliable criminal lawyer. 

Additional rules 

If you were previously convicted of a marijuana-related offense, you’ll be prohibited from using it on parole or probation. Other essential things that you must remember while using medical marijuana include;

  • An employer still has the right to prohibit the use of marijuana as an integral part of terms of employment
  • Though Colorado State offers protection for the possession and use of medical marijuana, it’s illegal to travel across state lines with it
  • The terms of parole or probation also apply to travels with medical marijuana
  • A valid prescription for related medical marijuana is also subject to the state laws

Colorado HB 1267 applies to the use and possession of medical marijuana only. As such, recreational weed users who are on parole or probation are not protected under this law. It’s important to mention that the terms of parole or probation vary from person to person, and in most cases, recreational weed use is prohibited.

Suppose you are unaware of the specific terms of your parole or probation. In that case, you could find yourself in trouble if you just assume that the new law applies in every situation involving the use of recreational or medical marijuana. Violation of parole or probation terms might lead to severe ramifications like jail time or an extended period of probation. So, consult with an experienced attorney if you still have questions about your parole or probation.

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