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Arrest Warrant vs. Bench Warrant vs. Search Warrant: What They Mean For Your Colorado Criminal Case
/ 17 February, 2021

If a Colorado judge has issued an official document called a warrant, it means a law enforcement officer is getting ready to perform some type of activity related to a criminal case. Since there are different kinds of warrants, how are you supposed to know what each one means? 

Today, we’ll discuss several types of warrants including:

  • Arrest warrants;
  • Bench warrants;
  • Search warrants;
  • No-knock warrants; and
  • Blue warrants.

Remember, even though you may be accused of a crime, and a warrant has your name on it, you have rights. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani LLC has been defending the rights of Colorado residents for over a decade. We’ll clear up any confusion about warrants and work hard to protect your rights against them. 

What is an arrest warrant in Colorado?

An arrest warrant is the most common warrant. It authorizes police to arrest or detain a person, limiting the person’s freedom. Arrest records are considered public records and can be viewed by members of the general public at any time. 

For police to get an arrest warrant, they must show a judge that a crime was committed and they have probable cause for taking the person into custody. They will write a sworn statement of facts called an affidavit.  If the judge is convinced, he/she will issue an arrest warrant with the following details and terms:

  • Name of the person being arrested.
  • The crime that the person is accused of.
  • Where and when the warrant was issued.
  • The judge’s name and signature.
  • Bail amount that can be posted.
  • Where and when the warrant can be executed.

If the name of the accused person is unknown, the warrant must include a clear description of the suspected criminal. This helps to make certain that the police are arresting the correct person. 

Because it can take weeks, months, and even years for a suspect to be caught, arrest warrants do not expire and will go on the person’s criminal records. In the event you are arrested, remain silent until you’ve had a chance to talk to a skilled Denver criminal defense lawyer.

It’s important to note that there are times when Colorado law allows the police to make a warrantless arrest, such as when the officer witnesses a crime or officers have probable cause that a felony was committed. 

If you’re interested in searching to see if you have an arrest warrant in Denver, visit the Denver County Court Warrant Search website. Just enter your name and date of birth to see if you have any active warrants. 

Beyond arrest warrants: Other types of warrants in Colorado

search warrant
Search warrants give police the authority to search for specific items at a certain location such as your home.


Arrest warrants are often confused with other warrants in criminal cases such as bench warrants, search warrants, no-knock warrants, and blue warrants. The differences between each one is explained below:


  • Search warrant: Search warrants authorize the police to search or look for specific items or materials at a certain location, but not to arrest or pick up people.



  • Blue warrant: A blue warrant is issued for parole violations. Once this warrant is issued, the person can be arrested at any time and their parole privileges are taken away. Colorado Statute 17-2-103 determines when a parolee can be arrested. 

Preserve your freedom against all types of warrants with a Denver criminal defense attorney

Whether it’s an arrest warrant or bench warrant, having a warrant issued in your name can prevent you from moving forward in your life. Don’t live in fear. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC are passionate about helping good people through tough times. Give our experienced Denver criminal attorney a call at 303-635-6768 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work to recall the warrant or help you pay bail so you can get back to the life and family you love.

Traffic Ticket Laws: How They Work Differently In Colorado
/ 12 February, 2021

No one likes being pulled over by the cops. What’s worse than that? Receiving a ticket for speeding. Traffic violations like this require you to either pay or fight the traffic ticket. Maybe ignoring the ticket will make it go away, right? Wrong. Colorado traffic ticket laws are put in place to protect citizens and keep streets safe. 

Being handed a ticket can cast a dark cloud over your life and your wallet. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC have over a decade of serving the people of Colorado in traffic ticket defense. We know that mistakes are made. Not every traffic ticket is legit. And not every police officer follows the rules when issuing tickets. 

Because we care about preserving your rights as a driver, today we’ll discuss:

  1. The role of state and municipal traffic laws
  2. How Colorado traffic laws differ from other states 
  3. Colorado cities with the worst traffic fines, and 
  4. U.S. states with the harshest fines for traffic violations.

Colorado traffic ticket laws under the state vs. city government

You may think traffic laws only apply to the state or federal government. But every city and local government has its place in managing traffic.

Interstate and highways, like I-70, are controlled by the Interstate Highway System, which falls under the federal or state government.  

City and county laws address day-to-day life on roads and streets and are usually regulated under a municipal code. The City of Denver’s rules are known as the Municipal Code of the City of Denver

The city controls traffic situations like speed limits, skateboarding or electric scooters being left on sidewalks, parking in tow-away zones, and railroad crossings. When you’re faced with traffic violations, you’ll typically go to a city traffic court in Colorado. 

Sometimes state and local traffic laws overlap. But whenever there is a conflict or clash between the two, state laws usually always override city traffic ticket laws.

How Colorado traffic ticket laws differ from other states

man wearing headphones while driving
Colorado traffic ticket laws do not allow drivers to wear headphones while operating a vehicle.


If you live here, you know the Centennial State carries some of the most strict traffic ticket laws in the nation. Tourists, however, who are unfamiliar with the rules of the road like the left-lane law, may end up with an unwanted souvenir. 

Colorado’s left-lane law says that you should not drive in the passing lane (the left lane) of the highway when the speed limit is 65 miles per hour or more. The left lane is for passing; the right lanes are for normal driving.

You can only drive in the left lane when passing cars in the non-passing lane (the right lane), turning left, or when traffic allows you to safely merge into the right lane.

While traveling out of town and you receive a speeding ticket, the ticket will follow you back to your home state. This is possible because of the Driver’s License Compact, that allows states to talk to each other. 

But if you get a traffic ticket while traveling in Colorado, the ticket will not go on your driving record. 

This goes to show you that every state is unique. What is accepted in other states may be considered breaking the rules in Colorado. Denver News 7 shared some little-known rules of the road that can result in Colorado traffic tickets if you don’t follow them:

  • No cell phone for young drivers: If you’re under 18, you cannot make calls while driving.
  • No headphones: Wearing headphones while driving is illegal.
  • If you hit a parked car: You must do both: call the police and leave a note if you cannot find the vehicle owner.
  • Don’t slow traffic: Don’t merge if the flow of traffic has to slow down for you.
  • Driving on narrow mountain roads: Give right-of-way to vehicles going uphill on mountain roads.
  • Left turn on red: One-way left turn on red is allowed (unless otherwise posted).


man putting chains on his tires in the snow
Colorado’s Code15/Passenger Traction law requires mile high drivers to prepare their tires for bad weather conditions.


The most important and unique law of all is Colorado’s traction law. Code15/Passenger Traction law requires drivers to have one of the following: all-wheel or four wheel drive vehicles, snow tires, or all-weather tires with mud/snow designation. 

This law is key during the winter months and even when the winter season passes. The need for proper traction in the snow is important. 

Your tires need to be able to grip the road and handle the snow and ice. The last thing you want is to slip, slide, and lose control of your car. 

By following the rules, you can avoid hefty out of pocket costs. Failure to follow the Code 15 traction law could cost you more than $130. And if your car blocks the road because you don’t have the right equipment, you can expect a fine of more than $650.

How much will a speeding ticket actually cost you in Colorado?

speeding ticket
Depending on where you live in Colorado, a speeding ticket can cost you more in the long run than just the fine itself.


Speeding is a common traffic violation in Colorado and throughout the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that traffic congestion is one of the most contributing factors to aggressive driving habits like speeding

In 2018, Denver’s traffic congestion ranked 21 in the nation. By 2040, Denver’s traffic is predicted to grow by more than 40%, according to CPR News. 

Because of bumper-to-bumper traffic, drivers get frustrated. They attempt to make up lost time on the road by speeding to their next destination. 

The outcome? Sometimes speeding ends in a speeding ticket. Drivers are then left to wonder, “What should I do after getting a traffic ticket in Colorado?

Getting a speeding ticket in Denver or anywhere in the state of Colorado is expensive when you consider the whole package. The ticket itself is not the only cost that comes with breaking speeding laws. On average, Colorado drivers pay $135.61 more per year for insurance after getting a speeding ticket. Insurance rate increases can last for about three years, so Colorado drivers can end up paying an extra $406.83 for their insurance after just one ticket.

To make things worse, drivers in certain Colorado cities pay more than drivers in others. For example, a driver in Montrose will only pay $101.58 more in car insurance premiums after a ticket, while a driver in Fort Morgan with the same speeding ticket will pay $178.57 more per year! All the more reason to find out what are your legal options when it comes to traffic ticket defense in Colorado.

Colorado cities with worst traffic ticket fines

Denver’s Mile High Magazine unpacks Colorado cities with the worst and most expensive traffic tickets:

  • A speeding ticket in Colorado Springs runs up to $190
  • Running a red light in Denver will cost you $135
  • Following too closely in Denver is $165
  • Driving without a seat belt in Denver is $95
  • Riding a bike on a sidewalk in Colorado Springs is $50
  • Living in a vehicle in Boulder is $100

In addition to fines, it’s possible to have your license suspended or taken away, spend time in jail and more. For example, penalties for a Colorado DUI include alcohol education classes and community service. 

As you can see, there are levels to traffic penalties. Heavier violations require drivers to pay more amounts of money. But with an experienced Denver traffic ticket defense lawyer, you may be able to save yourself the trouble of dealing with any of the above.

U.S. states with harshest traffic ticket laws & fines

The financial consequences of receiving a traffic ticket is on the minds of drivers everywhere. 

We’ll show you the U.S. states that have the harshest fines. 

For example, California has some of the highest traffic fines in the nation. Here’s how other states stack up in traffic violations:

  • Distracted driving in Oregon is an epic $1000 with Utah at $750
  • Texting and driving in Colorado is $300
  • Speeding in California is over $237
  • Riding in the HOV lane in Arizona is over $400
  • Cell phone use in California is over $162.

It’s been reported that some California drivers can’t afford the growing costs of traffic tickets. In response, California is creating a statewide program to cut traffic fines by 50% or more. 

The Post-Journal indicates that New York is also assisting citizens. New York State is allowing drivers to make payment plans if they cannot afford to pay an entire ticket. 

Can you handle the financial burden of a Colorado traffic ticket?

You need a Denver traffic defense lawyer by your side

Much like anywhere else in the United States, traffic tickets in Colorado are expensive. Without a strategy, you may lose your license and have to pay higher insurance payments. Don’t be afraid to fight your traffic ticket with the help of a knowledgeable Denver traffic defense attorney. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC are here for you. We can help you build a strong defense and possibly get your charges reduced or dropped. Contact us today or give us a call to request a free case review.

Tips For How To Deal With Police Officers
/ 03 February, 2021

The thought alone of interacting with a police officer is enough to make you sweat. And that’s especially true if you’re being accused of a crime. You want to protect your rights but don’t want to cause conflict, so you might be wondering how to deal with police officers the right way?

Our experienced Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC has been enforcing the rights of Colorado residents for over a decade. He offers five tips you can follow when dealing with police.

Tip 1. Know your legal rights

When you know your legal rights (also known as your constitutional rights), it’s easier to protect yourself during any type of interaction with a police officer.

For example, the Fifth Amendment provides you the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. In other words, you’re under no obligation to speak to the officer and you have the right to consult with a legal professional. 

If you’re put under arrest, the officer is required to read you your Miranda rights as follows:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. You have the right to talk to a lawyer for advice before we ask you any questions. You have the right to have a lawyer with you during questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish. If you decide to answer questions now without a lawyer present, you have the right to stop answering at any time.

Tip 2. Don’t answer questions you don’t understand

This goes along with the tip directly above. An officer may ask you a variety of questions, all with the idea of confusing you so you say something they can use to put you under arrest.

If there’s a question you don’t understand or a question you’re not comfortable answering, politely decline. You don’t have to give an exact reason for declining. Simply let the officer know that you’re not comfortable providing an answer.

The only questions you are obligated to answer are:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your address? 

Just make sure the officer doesn’t trick you into saying something that incriminates you.

Tip 3. Don’t attempt to flee the scene

This is where many people make a big mistake. In Colorado, eluding the police can result in felony criminal charges. The penalties vary depending on if anyone was hurt during your attempt to flee:

  • Incident caused no bodily injury – Class 5 felony: 1 to 3 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or a fine of $2,000 to $100,000
  • Incident caused bodily injury – Class 4 felony: 2 to 6 years prison, and/or a fine of $4,000 to $500,000
  • Incident caused death – Class 3 felony: 4 to 12 years in prison, and/or a fine of $6,000 to $750,0005

For non-citizens, keep in mind that eluding police is a deportable offense. Rather than flee the scene, communicate with the officer while respectfully protecting your legal rights. Even if you’re able to run away for the time being, the law will eventually catch up to you. And that’s not something that you want hanging over your head.

Tip 4. Don’t be rude

This is easier said than done, especially if the officer is being rude. However, when you’re disrespectful in any manner—such as talking back or using obscene language—there’s a greater likelihood that the officer will put you under arrest.

While it’s not common, an officer can arrest you for using “fighting words” on the grounds of breach of peace or disorderly conduct

If you want to know how to deal with police officers without causing further conflict, stay away from using aggressive language that can be interpreted as provoking violence or being threatening to the officer.

Tip 5. Don’t resist arrest

person resisting arrest who doesn't know how to deal with police officers
Resisting arrest in Colorado is a class 2 misdemeanor with jail time and heavy fines.


Imagine a situation in which you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol

While the officer believes that you’re under the influence, you disagree. And for that reason, when they attempt to put you under arrest, you get the urge to fight back.

You should know that resisting arrest in Colorado is a class 2 misdemeanor, resulting in 3 to 12 months in jail and/or fines of $250 to $1,000.

Rather than resist arrest, follow the officer’s instructions while remaining quiet. You don’t want the possibility of additional criminal charges added to an already stressful situation.

Tips for non-citizens on how to deal with police officers

Immigration status adds another layer of challenges when dealing with police officers. Not only are you concerned about the crime you may have committed, but you’re terrified that your immigration or citizenship status could affect what happens next.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You have the same constitutional rights as a United States citizen.
  • You do not have to share your immigration status or related information with the officer.
  • Never provide fake documentation.
  • Your citizenship status, place of birth, or country of origin should not impact your legal rights.

An experienced Denver criminal attorney will deal with the police for you

When interacting with a police officer, there are steps you can take to protect your legal rights and hopefully defuse the situation.

However, if you’re put under arrest and find yourself moving through the legal system, you must consult with a knowledgeable Denver criminal defense attorney

Your legal team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC will review your criminal case and provide you with expert guidance. We’re passionate about helping good people through tough times and we’ll do whatever it takes to help prevent a conviction and the punishments associated with it.

As a bonus tip, remember to ask these questions during your first consultation with your criminal attorney:

  • What are my options in regards to a defense strategy, such as if arrested for DUI?
  • What is your opinion on my case?
  • What are the penalties associated with a conviction?
  • Is jail time possible?
  • What do you need from me?

These basic questions will help you better understand your legal rights, how your attorney can help, and what you can do to assist them.

Even though there’s no guarantee of success in the courtroom, you’re in a much better position when you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your free consultation. 

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