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