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Questions to Ask Your Denver Criminal Attorney
/ 23 October, 2021

7 Questions to Ask Your Denver Criminal Lawyer

No one wants or plans to be in a situation where they need to hire a criminal lawyer. However, if this situation arises, knowing how to find the right one for your case is a must.

When it is time to hire this legal professional, keep the following questions in mind to help you choose the best person for the job.

1. Do You Offer a Free Initial Consultation?

To evaluate your case and understand the facts, it is important to have a face-to-face meeting with the attorney you are thinking about hiring. Some attorneys charge for an initial consultation, while others do not. It is worth paying for the meeting if that is needed.

2. How Long Have You Been Practicing Criminal Law?

Knowing the lawyer’s experience in the field of criminal law can help you decide if they are worth hiring. Some criminal lawyers focus on several different areas of law. This may mean they do not have the ability or experience to represent your case properly in some situations. Finding someone whose main focus is criminal law is best.

3. What Are Your Fees?

Legal fees are a sensitive topic for some people, but it is something you need to discuss. While you want to ensure a quality, attorney handles your criminal issue, you also need a straight answer about how much they charge.

4. Do You Have Prior Experience with This Type of Criminal Case?

It is important to find an attorney who has handled cases like yours in the past. For example, DUI charges involve chemical testing, field sobriety testing issues, and other complex legal factors. Having an attorney with experience handling these types of cases is essential if you want the best possible outcome.

5. Who Will be Handling the Case?

Sometimes, you may think hiring a “big-shot” lawyer that costs a lot of money will pay off. However, doing this usually means you will never see this big-name lawyer that is plastered on billboards across the city. Usually, firms like this will let junior attorneys handle the caseload. Be sure to ask who you will be working with during your initial meeting.

6. How Many Jury Trials Have You Handled?

If you have a case that goes to trial, you need to have an attorney who has the skills and courtroom presence to argue your case before the judge and jury. You also need someone who knows how to prepare for the case and trial.

7. How Available Are You?

No matter the criminal charge you are facing, it can be a stressful process. You have a lot of questions going through your mind. Be sure to find out how available the attorney will be to answer questions you may have as the case progresses.

Finding the right criminal lawyer for your case is imperative. While the process may take time and effort, it is well worth it in the end. Asking the questions above will help you make an informed decision.

YES You Do Have the Right to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test
/ 23 October, 2021

Do You Have the Right to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test?

You have probably heard of field sobriety tests before. You may have even taken one in the past. These are the tests used by police officers when they suspect someone of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The test using the breathalyzer, for example, is up to 91% accurate when determining if someone has a BAC over 0.08% (the legal limit in most states).

While these tests are beneficial for law enforcement officers, you may wonder if you have the right to refuse?

Refusing a Field Sobriety Test

You are within your rights to refuse to take a field sobriety test. However, it is important to understand there are pros and cons to doing this.

If you are stopped by the police and suspected of intoxicated driving, the officer will attempt to convince you to take the field sobriety test. The purpose is to establish probable cause for stopping you and collect evidence of your intoxication.

Essentially, they are building a case to arrest you.

However, even if you are intoxicated and you pass the initial field sobriety test, the officer can still arrest you if they believe you are unfit to drive, or they will request you to take a breathalyzer test. Again, these are used to collect evidence against you and prove there was probable cause to pull you over.

What Happens if You Refuse?

While there are no legal requirements for you to take a field sobriety test when a police officer requests one, if you refuse to cooperate with them, it may make it appear like you are trying to hide something. Also, if you refuse the test, you will probably be arrested.

Suppose you pass the field sobriety test, and you do not register as being intoxicated with a breathalyzer test. In that case, you may still be arrested if the officer believes you pose a danger to other people. While this is true, if you pass the test, your attorney can make the case that there was no probable cause to stop you or arrest you.

Alcohol and Field Sobriety Tests

Since even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment, if you are stopped after drinking, you may be more confident in your abilities to drive and to pass the field sobriety tests than you really are.

With any level of alcohol consumption, you will experience performance issues if something requires your complete attention.

If you wind up refusing the field sobriety test requested by the officer, it is important to make sure you do not worsen the situation. Stay polite (without being over-polite), respectful, and decline the test. Ensure you do not worsen the situation or give the officer a reason to arrest you and charge you with something else.

By being calm and respectful, you can keep the situation from escalating while still exercising the right you have to refuse the test requested by the police officer who pulled you over for suspicion of drinking and driving.

Consult with a DUI Defense Attorney

Any time you are arrested, it is best to consult with an attorney regarding the actions taken by the police. You need to fully know and understand your rights before saying or doing anything that may make the situation worse for you.

The bottom line is that you can refuse a field sobriety test. While this is true, you will still likely be arrested. Your best line of defense is to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest who can help ensure your rights are protected.

Prescription Drugs and Drug Charges in Denver
/ 20 September, 2021

There’s a big difference between prescription drugs and illicit drugs. Most importantly, as long as you use prescription drugs as intended, there’s no concern about running into trouble with the law.

However, there are times when prescription drug use can result in criminal charges. And if that happens, you could soon find yourself facing a variety of consequences such as prison time, a fine, and/or community service.

In Colorado, there are five “schedules” of controlled substances varying by the drug’s potential for abuse. 

Many prescription drugs fit into Schedule II, with this passage from our website explaining more:

These drugs have high abuse potential but acceptable medical use. If a person abuses these drugs, they can experience severe physical and psychological dependence. Examples include opium and prescription-based opioid pain tabs like oxycodone, morphine, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Schedule II drugs also include stimulants such as methamphetamines and cocaine.

So, while you’re permitted by law to use these prescription drugs, you must do so as prescribed by your medical professional.

Prescription Drug-Related Crimes

It doesn’t matter where you live in Colorado, you could be charged with one or more of the following crimes should you violate the law:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug possession
  • Drug distribution
  • Intent to distribute

For example, if you’re prescribed prescription-based opioid pain tabs, they’re for your use only. You are not permitted to sell or distribute them to other individuals. 

What are the Penalties for a Drug Charge in Denver?

Even though the drug laws in Colorado are among the most lenient in the United States — as they favor treatment over incarceration — this shouldn’t invite you to take a risk. 

Minor infractions, such as possession of a small amount of a Schedule V drug, almost always result in a misdemeanor.

However, if your case involves a more serious drug, such as Schedule II opioid pain medication, you could face felony charges with much more serious consequences. 

Penalties for prescription drug charges in Denver range from a $1,000 fine and/or six months in jail to 30+ years in prison and a fine up to $1 million. 

How are Drug Penalties Determined?

There are five basic factors that the court system takes into consideration when determining your penalty:

  • The schedule of the drug (Schedule I is the most serious)
  • The quantity of drugs involved in your case
  • Your criminal history, such as if you’ve been convicted of a drug-related offense in the past
  • Whether you’re on probation or parole
  • How you were using the substance, such as for personal use, selling, or trafficking

Even if one or more of these factors is working against you, there are steps your legal team can take to minimize your penalties and help you get your life back on track. 

The Consequences of a Drug Conviction

In addition to a fine and/or time in jail or prison, there are other consequences of a drug conviction. These include but are not limited to:

  • Loss of employment and inability to secure employment
  • Damage to your personal relationships
  • Revocation of your driver’s license
  • Negative effect on your ability to secure a loan, such as for a car or home
  • Negative effect on your ability to rent

In short, if you have a drug conviction on your record, it will show up on a simple background check. So, it’ll follow you wherever you go. 

Questions for a Denver Drug Defense Attorney

The second you’re arrested with a prescription drug-related crime is the second you should begin to think about consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Don’t assume that you’re on your own, as this is likely to result in more harm than good as your case moves through the court system.

Here are some questions to ask during your search for the perfect Denver drug defense attorney:

  • How much experience do you have with my type of case?
  • Can you explain the possible consequences of a conviction?
  • Is it possible to have a felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor?
  • Is there any way to keep a conviction off my criminal record?

If you want answers to these questions, you’re in the right place. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, you can rely on our entire team during this difficult time of your life. We’re here to answer your questions, represent you in court, and minimize the impact of your charges on your future.

If you’re ready to discuss your prescription drug criminal charges, contact us online or via phone at (303) 529-1424. Our team is standing by! 

 

Understanding Theft Charges in Denver
/ 17 September, 2021

Theft crimes are extremely common in Denver. If you are charged with theft, there’s no question the situation can be confusing and intimidating. 

Colorado criminal law isn’t easy to understand. Because of that, one of the best things you can do is to hire a Denver criminal defense attorney. Our team at The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani is ready to defend your case and help you understand the charges you are facing. 

While hiring an attorney to help with your case is a smart move, it’s also helpful to understand the different theft charges you may face in Denver. 

What Is Theft?

In the state of Colorado, theft is defined as taking and keeping something that is not yours when you do not receive permission from the item’s owner. 

However, theft often extends beyond this rather simple definition. In some situations, theft may also include individuals who did not actively steal something but provided aid to the individual who did. 

For example, if you attempt to sell a stolen item to a pawn show, and the pawnbroker knows the item is stolen but purchase it anyway, they can also be charged with theft. Also, if someone helps to dispose of a stolen item, they may be charged with theft. 

The deciding factor in this is knowing if the goods are stolen. Once you find out, then you are also considered liable if you do anything besides telling the police. 

What Is Considered Theft in Denver?

Denver theft laws include several types of illegal behavior. This includes everything from embezzling money from your employer to shoplifting at a retail establishment. 

All these crimes relate to one another because theft involves taking something of value that belongs to another person without permission and then hiding, keeping, or selling it so the owner cannot recover the item or items. 

Colorado theft laws are written using broad terms. They also involve several types of theft crimes:

  • Shoplifting: Theft from any business of an item. 
  • Larceny: Theft that occurs from a building. 
  • False Pretenses: This is theft that occurs due to deception.
  • Burglary: Theft from a residential property. 
  • Embezzlement: Any theft from your employer. 
  • Robbery: Theft that occurs from an individual. 

Colorado also has several specific laws that cover different illegal behaviors, such as:

  • Sale of something to cover up the theft
  • Stealing trade secrets
  • Illegal resale of lift tickets
  • Hiding goods in a store to steal later
  • Auto theft

Theft: Misdemeanors and Felonies 

If you are charged with any type of theft, you need to understand what the charges actually mean. 

The type of theft and worth of the item or items taken determine if you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony. 

Misdemeanor Theft Charges

Theft is considered a misdemeanor in some situations. These include:

  • Value of stolen goods is $750 or higher, but under $2,000, you are charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
    • Fine of $500 to $5K and/or up to six months in jail. 
  • Value of stolen goods is $300 or higher, but under $750, you are charged with a class 2 misdemeanor
    • Fine of $250 to $1K and/or up to three months in jail.
  • Value of the stolen goods is $50 or higher, but under $300, you are charged with a class 3 misdemeanor
    • Fine of $50 to $750 (usually no jail time). 

If you steal something worth under $50, you are charged with class 1 petty theft. This charge comes with a fine of up to $500 and/or up to six months in jail

Felony Theft Charges 

Theft may also be charged as a felony. This occurs if the value of the item stolen is more than the limits mentioned above. Felony charges include:

  • Value of $1 million or higher, you are charged with a class 2 felony.
    • Fine of $5K to $1 million and/or eight to 24 years in jail.
  • Value of $100K or more but under $1 million, you are charged with a class 3 felony.
    • Fine of $3K to $750K and/or four to 12 years in jail. 
  • Value of $20K or more, but under $100K, you are charged with a class 4 felony.
    • Fine of $2K to $500K and/or two to six years in jail. 
  • Value of $5K or more, but under $20K, you are charged with a class 5 felony
    • Fine of $1K to $100K and/or one to three years in jail. 
  • Value of $2K or more but less than $5K you are charged with a class 6 felony
    • Fine of $1K to $100K and/or one year to 18 months in jail. 

If you are convicted of any felony theft charge for stealing from a location in four years, it means you receive a mandatory sentence of the minimum term allowed. Also, there will be no chance for a suspended sentence or parole in this situation. 

For situations where you steal from a person, instead of breaking into a business or home, you are charged with a class 5 felony automatically. The charge will be kept in place, no matter the value of the item or items you took. 

What Is the Maximum Possible Sentence for a Theft Charge in Denver? 

If you steal something that is worth $1 million or more, you may receive the maximum sentence for theft. This would be a class 2 felony charge and have a prison sentence of eight to 24 years. You would also be on parole for five years. 

Along with this hefty sentence, you will likely be ordered to pay a significant fine. It is at the court’s discretion to decide what to charge you with. 

Hire a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney for Help

If you have been charged with any type of theft crime in Denver, contact our team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani. You can call us at (303) 529-2242 to set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

9 Mistakes You Should Avoid After a Denver DUI
/ 14 July, 2021

1. Going To Court Without Legal Representation

You need a reputable lawyer to help navigate the legal system and avoid common mistakes when facing a DUI charge. You will meet with a prosecutor from the District Attorney’s office at your first hearing and you must be able to decide how you want to proceed. You need the advice of a good Denver DUI lawyer at this point, to make the right decision and provide you with the best advice on how to proceed.

2. Failing to Request an Express Consent Hearing

If you’ve been charged in Colorado, you have likely been served with an affidavit from the arresting officer, which gives notice that your license will be revoked. The express hearing is separate and determines whether you will lose your license. The DMV will ask whether you wish to challenge the arresting officer. This is where you need the expertise of a seasoned attorney who knows how to represent you effectively and navigate the justice system. A lawyer knows where the loopholes may exist, because he or she knows the system and how it works.

3. Making Assumptions About A High Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

When you assume your case is undefendable, you may not be giving yourself a chance. The prosecutor has to introduce your test into evidence with a sound foundation, so a jury or judge can consider all the facts. Factors such as certification of the testing lab, functioning and accuracy of the breath alcohol testing machine, procedures for obtaining and handling the blood sample, and chain of custody issues can be issues that make the case difficult for the prosecutor to present. If there are errors in any of these processes, the case could be dropped entirely because the quality and legitimacy of the evidence will be questioned. An experienced DUI lawyer can find these errors quickly.

4. Not Getting Your Blood Tested By An Independent Lab

This is important because the state must take two vials, so one can go to a lab of your choosing. If the private lab’s results showed a lower level than the state’s, the accuracy of the test will be questioned. This could result in the prosecutor dropping the case, because the whole foundation of the charge comes into question. The credibility of the police officer and the police department is questioned when this happens. The accuracy of the state lab may be questioned when the results of the 2 labs come back very different.

5. Failing To Understand The Long Term Implications Of A DUI Conviction

This is a criminal conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life and stay on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations records permanently, possibly hindering your ability to take certain types of jobs. Your driver’s license could also be suspended for a length of time, resulting in additional fees and channels to go through to get it back at the end of that period. If you think about the repercussions before choosing a lawyer, you may be more likely to select an experienced DUI attorney who is known for getting results and representing his or her clients.

6. Not Hiring a Good DUI Defense Lawyer

One of the most common mistakes after a DUI is not hiring a good lawyer. You want a DUI lawyer who has a good reputation and is known for getting results for his or her clients. It may save you money by retaining a cheaper lawyer, but the end results can have far reaching consequences, such as a DUI charge and a permanent record of DUI. Your future should not be gambled on a lawyer who may not have the right experience. It is well worth the extra money to find an experienced lawyer with a good reputation in helping clients who have been charged with DUI. A good lawyer may be able to find all the holes in your case and will give you advice that is in your best interest.

7. Not Appearing In Court On Time

If you fail to show up to court, the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. This will result in higher fees and more charges when you’re caught. By showing up and dressing properly, you are sending a message that you take the charges seriously and expect to represent yourself to the best of your ability. 

8. Not Having The Evidence Preserved

You should have the evidence, such as lab test results, preserved so they can be used in court. In addition, testimony of lab professionals also carries plenty of weight in the courts. But, you need to notify the courts that you will be doing this prior to any scheduled hearings. Having evidence and proper testimony can make the difference in losing your license and getting a DUI charge or winning your case due to the evidence presented in your favor. 

9. Not Challenging The Charges

There are times when an officer may conduct an illegal search and a judge will not question the procedures. You need representation so these issues can be questioned. A lawyer who works with DUI clients understands that illegal searches can and do happen and can question the actions of an arresting officer. It would be a shame to have a DUI on your record because an officer conducted an illegal search.

Avoid These Mistakes By Hiring an Experienced Denver DUI Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing a DUI in Denver, be sure to avoid these mistakes and reach out to an experienced Denver DUI defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, we handle each case we take with compassion, professionalism, and unmatched drive to win. For more information about how Denver DUI attorney Steven J. Pisani can help protect your rights if faced with Colorado DUI charges, schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or calling us today at (303) 529-2834.

Types of Defenses for Criminal Cases
/ 02 July, 2021

If you have been accused, arrested, charged with a criminal offense, you still reserve the right to fight your charges. This is best done by presenting your defense arguments to challenge whatever evidence the prosecution has against you. Whether you are facing a criminal, DUI, or traffic charge, you will want to enlist a skilled lawyer. A good Denver criminal defense attorney will review the facts of your case, apprise you of your legal options, and develop compelling legal defenses to fight the charges in your criminal case. 

Here are some of the most common types of defenses used in criminal cases: 

Self-defense 

When facing criminal charges, you may raise the affirmative defense and argue that you acted in self-defense. This is one of the most common defense strategies that can help justify your actions and absolve you from any liability, particularly in assault or murder cases. 

However, you must convince the court that the aim of your actions, which otherwise would be considered criminal, was to protect yourself from the aggressor. Also, you must prove that your actions were equivalent to the threat leveled against you. 

If, for example, you are being accused of homicide, you must show that the attacker would have otherwise killed you, and hence you committed the criminal offense to prevent your own death. 

Alibi defense 

Another common type of defense that can apply to criminal cases is alibi defense. In this defense strategy, you may argue that you were not the actual perpetrator of the crime, but someone else. It’s essential to keep in mind that sufficient and credible evidence is key to presenting a strong alibi defense. 

Coercion and duress

When the circumstances that led you to commit a crime involved coercion and duress, you may be able to use that as a defense argument. This is usually a criminal defense that shows that you did not willingly commit the crime. 

However, you must show that you acted out of fear or the threat of illegal force that was levelled against you or someone close to you. For coercion and duress to qualify as a defense argument, you must also show that your own actions did not lead you into the situation where duress and coercion occurred. 

The insanity defense

If you committed a criminal offense and did not have control over your actions, you may be able to use the insanity defense. This defense states that even though you committed the crime you are being accused of, you did not know that what you did was illegal. Therefore, you must support your argument by showing that you were sleepwalking, deluded, provoked, or seriously mentally disabled.

Other common types of defenses for criminal cases may include:

  • You are a victim of entrapment
  • Defense of others or property 
  • The allegations are false
  • You had no intention to commit a crime 
  • The statute of limitations has expired

The burden of proof

Regardless of your defense strategy, the burden of proof lies on you. That means you must convince the judge or jury that you are telling the absolute truth and support your arguments with all the evidence you can gather. 

Doing this is not as easy as it sounds. You must have a criminal defense attorney on your corner. An experienced defense lawyer understands the risks associated with each type of defense and will help you devise a compelling defense strategy to challenge the prosecutor’s evidence. 

If you have been accused of a criminal, DUI, or traffic offense in Colorado, our Denver criminal defense attorney is here for you. Call our office today at 303-529-2834 for a free consultation. 

16 Terms You Need to Know in Criminal Defense Cases
/ 30 June, 2021

Being arrested for or charged with a criminal offense is bad enough, but not knowing what to say or do is even worse. Your case becomes even more overwhelming when you do not understand the language used by law enforcement officers, prosecutors, or other professionals in the criminal justice system. But you don’t have to deal with the intimidation that comes with the legal jargon if you let the skilled Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC take your case. Besides handling every aspect of your criminal case professionally, our lawyer will make sure you understand all legal terms relevant to your case, including:

1. Plaintiff

A plaintiff is a person, organization, or group of people who initiate charges over another person or group of persons.

2. Defendant

The defendant refers to the person or an entity to whom the plaintiff files a lawsuit. As a defendant in a lawsuit, you stand to lose the most in case of an unfavorable outcome, and it is always best to work with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney.

3. Presumption of innocence

Presumption of innocence is a principle in law that considers every person accused of any crime innocent until proven guilty. For a court to find a defendant guilty, the plaintiff or the prosecution must prove their guilt in court beyond a reasonable doubt.

4. Beyond reasonable doubt

Beyond a reasonable doubt is a legal term that describes the standard of proof required to warrant a conviction in a criminal case. Usually, this burden of proof lies with the prosecution, meaning it’s their responsibility to remove any reasonable doubt in the jury’s minds that the accused is guilty of the crimes they are charged with.

5. Felony

Felonies are crimes that are viewed as severe by society and often include burglary, kidnapping, arson, murder, and rape. Because a conviction for a felony may attract a penalty of at least one year in jail to death, it’s always advisable to have legal representation when facing felony charges.

6. Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor is a crime of lesser severity than a felony and often carries less severe punishment – usually less than a year. Misdemeanor offenses include shoplifting, disorderly conduct, trespassing, simple assault, and other low-level offenses. 

7. Probable cause

For the police to arrest a person, conduct a search, or seize property perceived to be related to a crime, they must have probable cause. In simple terms, the accused must have acted in a way that warrants an arrest or search. 

8. Fourth amendment rights

The fourth amendment is a right enshrined in the American constitution prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures. It requires law enforcement officers to obtain a search warrant which must be justified by probable cause and supported by oath or affirmation.

9. Plea bargain

A plea bargain is a deal struck between the prosecutor and the defendant. In a plea bargain, the defendant may agree to plead guilty or no contest and instead get reduced charges, a lesser sentence, or have some charges dropped.

10. Bail

Bail is the money paid by the defendant to secure their release from police custody until the set date of appearing in court. It serves as collateral to ensure the suspect honors their promise to appear in court. 

11. Cross-examination

Cross-examination is when the opposing side’s lawyer asks questions to the other side’s witnesses, mostly in a bid to discredit their testimony. 

12. Due process

Due process refers to procedures that must be followed in a trial to ensure that all participants have their constitutional rights honored and protected. A skilled Denver criminal defense attorney can help you have your charges dropped if due process was not followed in the course of your trial.

13. Acquittal

An acquittal refers to a court ruling that declares the defendant is not guilty of the charges brought against them.

14. Sentencing

When a defendant is found guilty of a specific charge(s), the court proceeds to pass the befitting punishment referred to as sentencing in legal terms.

15. Legal representation

Legal representation means having a trained attorney representing you in court. Every defendant has a right to legal representation under the sixth amendment.

16. Miranda rights

Any conversations with the police are admissible as evidence in court only if the police clearly state Miranda rights to the suspect before taking a statement. The rights include the right to remain silent, have a lawyer during interrogation, and the right to a public attorney if you can’t afford one.

Contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney today

Court procedures and criminal case legal terms can be intimidating, but you don’t have to worry about that if you trust Steven J. Pisani to take your case. He is an exceptional Denver criminal defense attorney with a thorough knowledge of Colorado criminal law.

Please contact us online or give us a call 303-635-6768 today to have the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC look into your case and guide you through the legal terms relevant to your criminal charges.

How To Find A Good Denver Traffic Defense Attorney
/ 22 June, 2021

It’s not unusual for motorists to break traffic rules in Colorado. In fact, nearly every driver will get a traffic violation ticket at some point in their life. Depending on the circumstances under which the violations happen, they can have serious ramifications. These include costly fines, hikes in insurance rates, or worse, points against your driving license, community service, probations, driving license revocations, or even jail terms. If you have received a ticket for any traffic violation in Colorado, enlisting an experienced Denver traffic defense attorney is the best thing to do. Unfortunately, finding a good lawyer can be quite a hustle.

Here are tips to help you find the right traffic defense lawyer:

1. Experience is key

Experience reigns supreme when choosing a traffic defense attorney. You do not want to risk losing your case by hiring a new traffic defense law firm you saw on a Facebook ad.

Your lawyer of choice should have vast experience in traffic violation cases coupled with a history of winning cases. This way, you can be assured that they’ll work on your case in the best way possible to ensure the most favorable outcome. 

To identify your target law firm or attorney’s experience, it’s a good idea to check out their website. Most firms with years of experience take pride in it and will flaunt it on their website. 

2. Seek referrals 

Word of mouth from friends, family, neighbors, business associates, and workmates is another way to identify the best Denver traffic defense attorney. Most times, these individuals have no conflict of interest and will give their most honest opinion concerning the attorney or a law firm you are looking to hire.

The vast majority of the people you interact with on a day-to-day basis have received a traffic ticket at one point or the other and can give you their first-hand experience dealing with the traffic lawyer you are looking to hire.

3. Look for professionalism

When deciding on your lawyer’s choice, ensure you are comfortable sharing your personal information with them. The good thing about hiring a lawyer before having a ticket is that you have the time to compare your options.

Paying your potential candidates a visit to their offices is always a great idea. You can get an idea of how organized and professional they are just by being in their office and interacting with them. You do not want a disorganized lawyer handling your sensitive personal information. 

Additionally, ensure that you hire a lawyer who has your best interest at heart. Having a one-on-one conversation can help you determine how interested a lawyer is in solving your problems.

4. Understand their fees 

Different law firms or attorneys will charge differently depending on various factors, such as level of experience, geographical location, or the number of hours they spend on the case. 

When choosing a lawyer, ensure that you go for one within your budget without compromising on quality. An average-priced lawyer would be a great fit. Keep in mind that cheap can be expensive.

Let our Denver traffic defense attorney fight your traffic ticket.

No matter the level of caution you have on the road, mistakes happen. 

If you have received a traffic violation ticket in Colorado, there’s no reason to feel upset. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, we can help you fight your ticket and avoid the dire consequences that come with it. Our Denver traffic defense attorney, Steven J. Pisani, has years of experience helping Colorado residents, so you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. 

Please feel free to contact us today at 303-529-2834 to book a free initial consultation. 

What to Expect When Charged with Your Second DUI in Denver
/ 10 June, 2021

Getting a DUI can lead to devastating consequences. However, when you are charged with your second DUI, the severity of the consequences you face is much more significant. In fact, if you get convicted of a second DUI, it can result in you having a permanent criminal record and having a driving record at the state’s DMV. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with your second DUI (or even your first one for that manner), hiring an attorney to help with the second DUI in Denver case is highly recommended. 

Potential Penalties After Your First Denver DUI in Denver

In 2015, getting a fourth DUI during your life was turned into a felony crime. Before this date, convictions were not as serious, and the consequences were not as severe. 

Now is the time to consider what you know and how things work after being charged with a DUI. 

When you receive your first DUI, some of the potential penalties you will face include:

  • Minimum of five days and maximum of one year in jail
  • Minimum fine of $600 with a maximum fine of $1000
  • Minimum of 48 hours of community service up to 96 hours of community service
  • Minimum of no time on probation with a maximum of two years on probation

Keep in that these are considered guidelines. They do not encompass all that a judge can do when it is time to sentence you. Some other requirements may be that you remain sober, avoid using alcohol, and never drink excessively. 

You may also be ordered to begin using a monitoring device and attend a victim impact panel. It all depends on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. 

Potential Penalties After Your Second DUI in Denver

In Denver, if you are charged with your second DUI and convicted, it is considered a misdemeanor. Because this is considered a more serious crime, it has higher potential penalties than your first DUI Does. 

Some of the penalties you will face after your second DUI in Denver include:

  • Minimum of 10 days in jail, maximum of one year
  • Fines of $600 up to $1,500
  • Maximum of four years of probation
  • Community service requirement of 48 up to 120 hours
  • Enrollment and completion of alcohol education classes
  • License revocation for up to one-year
  • 12 points assessed against your license
  • Use of an ignition interlock device for up to two years

Being Classified as a “Persistent Drunk Driver”

When you are convicted of the second DUI you are charged with; then you will be classified as something called a “persistent drunk driver.” If you are classified with this designation, there are more penalties that you may face:

  • Proof of your financial responsibility in the way of SR-22 insurance coverage for a minimum of two years
  • Use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of two years to get your license reinstated 
  • Enrolling in alcohol education classes

Is It a Felony to Get a Second DUI in Colorado? 

Usually, if you are charged with a second DUI, it is considered a misdemeanor. Even a third-time offense will only be charged as a misdemeanor. It will turn into a felony offense if you receive four DUIs. 

Keep in mind, though that there are some exceptions. For example, if the accident resulted in someone’s serious bodily harm or even the death of another person, they can face felony charges. 

Even in cases where it is your first DUI, if a serious injury or the death of another person occurs, a felony charge may be applied. 

For example, vehicular assault DUI is considered a class four felony. This involves someone driving while under the influence and causing serious harm to someone else. With this situation, you can face between two and six years and may have to pay a fine of $500K or more. 

Another potential charge you will face is vehicular homicide DUI. This is considered a class 3 felony. If you are charged with this, you may face four to 12 years in jail and have to pay a fine of over $750K. 

Hiring the Best Attorney to Help with Your Second DUI in Denver

The best way to avoid finding yourself in this situation is to avoid drinking and driving. However, if you are pulled over in Denver for a DUI, hiring a qualified and experienced attorney is a must. They can help review the evidence in your case and provide you with insight and information about what you should ensure your case succeeds. 

There is no question that being charged with a DUI can be a stressful and often scary experience. While this is true, with the help of an attorney, you can build a defense and reduce the potential penalties that you face. If you have questions about your case or need more information, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC by calling 303-529-2834.

How A Criminal Background Check Affects You In Colorado
/ 27 May, 2021

It is estimated that approximately one in every three Americans has a criminal record. If you fall into this group, you may find it hard to get a job or a place to stay. The sad part is that even convictions for minor offenses may reflect on your criminal record. If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado, it would be best to have a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Denver working on your case to help you protect your future.

What is a criminal background check?

A background check can be defined as the process of verifying that a person is who they claim to be. A criminal background check usually goes beyond ascertaining a person’s identity to check their suitability for employment based on their criminal record.

Employers and volunteer organizations usually conduct criminal background checks on candidates to verify their criminal records and establish their suitability for employment. When performing background checks, employers or organizations can enlist third-party screening services or invest in software designed to conduct background checks. In most cases, employers and organizations opt for using background check companies to carry out background checks on potential candidates.

How long does a criminal background check take?

The amount of time required to complete a background check depends on several factors that include:

  • The level of criminal background check, 
  • The number of states the individual in question has lived or worked in, and 
  • The number of requests made within an individual background check.

While some criminal background check results may be available in a few hours, for example, the national database search, it may take some days or longer to get results for other types of screenings.

Different types of criminal record checks

In Colorado, there are five primary levels of background checks that employers could be interested in when doing a background check.

1. National criminal background check

This type of check involves searching the digitized criminal records across all states. It reports infractions, pending criminal cases, misdemeanors, felonies, active warrants, and history of incarcerations across the U.S. It searches the digitized records only, thus faster but less comprehensive.

2. Federal criminal court check

This type of criminal background check searches across all the federal and appellate court databases for convictions and pending federal crimes charges. Employers usually use this type of check to uncover incidents of fraud, identity theft, or embezzlement in potential hires.

3. State court checks

This check reveals criminal charges and convictions on a state level, including law enforcement reports. It reports on felony, misdemeanor, and pending cases of an individual.

4. County court checks

This combs the county courts for pending cases and prior convictions. It provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about an individual’s criminal record in their current county of residence. 

5. Sex offender registry check

Upon a conviction with a sex crime, offenders are required by law to register with the sex offender’s registry on a national and state level. The sex offender registry check checks across all states nationally to report if a candidate is a registered sex offender.

How far back does a background check go in Colorado?

Colorado applies a seven-year rule in regards to background checks. This is in line with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which states that background check reports cannot include arrests that are more than seven years old which did not result in a conviction. However, this rule has some exemptions, which include:

  • If the individual being considered for employment will be making an annual salary of $75,000 or more, or
  • The potential employee is being considered for a sensitive position in the medical or educational field.

How to remove criminal records from a background check

criminal record expungement
An experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer can help you with the sealing or expungement of criminal records.

If you have a criminal record, you need to know that it’s possible to have your criminal record removed from public access. However, this can be a complicated process that calls for working with a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Denver to either:

  1. Seal your criminal record: Record sealing is the process of removing a person’s criminal record from public access. Upon sealing, a record can only be viewed through a court order.  
  2. Expunge your criminal record: Expunging involves petitioning the courts to have the criminal records deleted.  For this reason, the conditions warranting expunging a criminal record is higher than that of sealing.

The process of having your records sealed or expunged in Colorado is a long one and can take between three to six months to have the courts accept or reject your request.

Contact a Denver criminal defense lawyer to help with clearing your criminal records

If you’re struggling with finding employment or housing due to criminal background check results, reach out to the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC. With over a decade of experience helping good people through tough times, our firm can help you manage your criminal records and move forward in your life. Give us a call at 303-635-6768 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

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