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What Steps to Take When Falsely Accused of Assault?
/ 27 May, 2022

If someone falsely accuses you of assault, the charge and potential conviction may impact your life in several ways. Just the accusation of this can cause issues for you at work, resulting in you losing your job.

Even just the accusation of assault can cause problems between you, your friends, and your family. If you face this situation, get in touch with our legal team at Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani right away. We can fight for your rights and help you overcome these charges.

What to Do if You Are Falsely Accused of Assault

When facing a false assault charge, there are a few steps you need to take to protect your rights. In this situation, we encourage you to do the following:

Use Your Right to Remain Silent

You aren’t legally required to disclose information besides your personal identification when questioned by the police. You don’t have to explain what happened or your side of things related to the event in question. You also don’t have to provide any type of written statement. Taking steps to protect your rights and remaining silent ensures that you aren’t providing information to the prosecution they can use against you to make you seem guilty of the crime.

Gather Evidence Related to the Situation

It’s a good idea to stay active and involved in your defense from the time you are arrested. If you are falsely accused of assault, then you need to begin gathering evidence to help prove you are innocent. Make sure to remember and tell your attorney about any witnesses who saw what happened. All this is going to be important when it comes to building a defense for your case.

Get in Touch with Our Legal Team

If you happen to be convicted of the assault charge, you can face severe consequences. Sometimes this even includes jail time. If you have been wrongly accused of assault, our team will start working on your defense right away. Our goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

Your Rights When Falsely Accused of Assault

No matter how someone makes you feel when you are arrested, you have rights. If you are falsely accused of assault, the rights that you have include:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to receive legal representation
  • The right to a speedy and fair trial
  • The right to gather and present evidence to defend yourself

It’s important to remember that with any criminal charge, you are innocent until the prosecution proves that you are guilty.

Tips to Help You with Your Case When Falsely Accused of Assault

If you are facing some type of wrong or false assault charge, it’s important to ensure you make smart decisions as you navigate through the legal system.

When facing these charges, we encourage you to:

  • Always cooperate with the police during your arrest. If you are aggressive or fight back, it may make you appear guilty.
  • Take advantage of the right you have to remain silent
  • Gather evidence to prove your side of the case
  • Don’t contact the person that accused you of assault
  • Never post on social media about the assault accusation, your arrest, or other related information
  • Show up for all your meetings with your lawyer and court dates

The Impact of False Imprisonment on Assault Charges

Something that is common in many assault charges in cases of false imprisonment. This occurs when someone prevents someone else from being able to move freely. If you are in a confrontation or argument with someone else, make sure you allow them to leave or walk away if desired.

Make sure to never keep them from leaving, which means don’t stand in front of an exit or door. Also, don’t force someone to stay in a spot or sit if they are trying to leave.

We Can Help You Build a Defense Against False Assault Charges

If you are falsely accused of assault, the legal team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani is ready to help with your case. We will investigate your situation and gather evidence to help prove your innocence. We have defended countless cases like yours and will work tirelessly and fight for your rights aggressively inside and outside the courtroom. The best thing you can do is to get in touch with us as soon as possible after you are arrested. This will give us plenty of time to build a strong defense for your case.

Read more: 

The Possible Impact of Social Media on Your Colorado Criminal Case

Is It Smart to Accept a Plea Deal in Your Denver DUI Case?

Court Etiquette and Your Criminal Charge
/ 26 May, 2022

Going to court to defend yourself against criminal charges is serious. When you are in the courtroom, the outcome of your case and, sometimes, your future lies in the hands of the judge or jury.

Because of this, you want to make a good impression. Part of making a good impression is following proper courtroom etiquette.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we work to prepare our clients for court, including helping them present themselves the proper way. Some etiquette tips that will go a long way for your day in court can be found here.

Turn Off Your Electronic Devices

There are signs in almost every courthouse in the area (and the country) that prohibit the use of phones inside the courtrooms. Even though these signs and warnings are seen everywhere, phones are regularly going off and disrupting the proceedings.

In some cases, the judge may even get so frustrated with this that they charge the guilty party with contempt of court. This isn’t uncommon and is something that has happened in the past.

Don’t Take Tobacco, Gum, Drink, or Food into the Courtroom

In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for attorneys and judges to smoke a cigarette or cigar in their chambers. In some cases, this even happened during the trial. Today, though, gum, drinks, food, tobacco, and other items like this are prohibited inside the courtroom. You should also leave your e-cigarettes at home.

Wear the Right Clothing

When you go to court, you need to dress in a way that shows respect and dignity – for yourself and the court. Don’t wear t-shirts with offensive pictures or words, cut-off shorts, caps, low-cut blouses, or spandex to court. Wearing pajamas isn’t a good idea either.

It’s also worth noting that there are some courts that have stricter dress codes than others, so it is best to know ahead of time what is expected.

Stand When the Judge Enters

The judge presiding over your case is the “authority figure” in the courtroom. However, they also represent the law. It is respectful and expected that you stand when they enter. When the bailiff says “all rise,” be sure to stand up to show your respect for the judge, court, and law.

Don’t Take Your Kids to Court

In most situations, the courtroom is not a place that children need to be. Not only will they have to sit quietly for an extended amount of time, but in some situations, the topics being discussed aren’t always kid friendly.

In fact, there are many jurisdictions that forbid children from being in the courtroom. Also, daycare service isn’t provided. Because of this, you need to make sure you have arranged for childcare on the date you are supposed to be in court.

Don’t Engage in “Inappropriate” Behavior

Remember, when you are in court, especially for a criminal charge, it is a serious place. You need to show respect for the authority and dignity of the court. Falling asleep, propping your feet up, and rustling newspapers is not respectful.

Avoid Outbursts in the Courtroom

It’s not uncommon for emotions to be high when you are in the courtroom. After all, the verdict or decision of your court case (especially for criminal charges) can change your life. Even though this is the case, part of courtroom etiquette is refraining from outbursts, facial expressions, or gestures.

Protecting Your Rights in Court by Following Proper Courtroom Etiquette

As you can see, there are a few things you should and should not do when in court. If you want to make a good impression and set yourself up for success, then following the etiquette tips here is highly recommended.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we are ready to help ensure you represent yourself well in court. We will go over proper courtroom etiquette and ensure that you don’t make any missteps that may hurt your case. Our goal is to help you achieve the most positive outcome for your criminal case possible.

Read More:

Understanding the Criminal Process in Colorado

The Possible Impact of Social Media on Your Colorado Criminal Case

The Possible Impact of Social Media on Your Colorado Criminal Case
/ 27 April, 2022

Today, social media is a huge part of most people’s day-to-day lives. However, you may not be aware of the implications that your actions and posts on popular social media platforms can have, especially if you are facing criminal charges. 

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we want to ensure that you protect your rights and minimize the possibility of making your criminal charge situation worse. Keep reading to learn more. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Social Media When Facing Criminal Charges 

After you are arrested, your emotions may be running high. It is easy to be caught up in the fear, frustration, and anger of the situation. However, sharing information about your arrest through social media can complicate your circumstances significantly. 

For those who are facing criminal charges, if you post to social media, it may actually help the prosecution’s investigation of the crimes you were accused of. If you are arrested, there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind after an arrest. These include:

Don’t Share Details 

You should never share the details about your arrest or the charges you face. Remember that this includes information regarding the arrest and anyone else involved. This includes other people who were arrested, witnesses, victims, police officers, and more. 

Don’t Post Any New Content on Your Social Media Platforms

This rule includes any type of content, including check-ins, shares, comments, photos, likes, location, tweets, and blog posts. It is best to stop posting completely during the pending criminal charges. 

Never Delete Something to Try to Conceal Evidence 

You should not delete past content on your social media accounts to try to bury potential evidence. It can be unearthed very easily. Also, if you delete content, it may be seen as a red flag or admission of guilt and result in an additional investigation. 

Avoid Accepting New Friend Requests or Connections 

Even if you have changed your privacy settings, the information that is shared with your friends, subscribers, and other communities on social media isn’t really private. Additionally, if a cooperating witness is part of your social network, they will have the ability to share the information you post with law enforcement and face no consequences. 

After an arrest, it is best to avoid using social media. This will help you protect your rights and avoid more serious issues. 

The Expectation of Privacy and Social Media

According to the Constitution of the United States Fourth Amendment, you have the right to privacy. This is called the expectation of privacy and is essential when distinguishing between what is a lawful search by the police and one that is not. 

Some people assume that anything they post on social media will have these protections – especially if they have activated the privacy settings. What you should understand is that this is not the case. 

Most government agencies, including law enforcement, will use different tools to gather evidence stored online. It is also no big secret that they will monitor these platforms to see if they can find potentially incriminating evidence. 

According to a recent transparency report from Google, the total government requests for user information by way of subpoenas, search warrants, and other types of court orders have grown significantly in recent years. The United States makes up about 40% of all requests. 

With that in mind, what is available through social media doesn’t require a court order or subpoena to access. The truth is that most evidence is gathered retroactively, which may damage your defense for the criminal charge. 

Protecting Your Rights When Facing Criminal Charges 

If you face criminal charges in Colorado, you need to protect your rights by reducing what you are posting on social media, if not eliminating it completely during your active case. This is the best way to protect your rights and avoid posting something that may be used against you by the defense. 

If you aren’t sure about social media and what you can and can’t post, reach out to our legal team. We can review your rights and help ensure you don’t post something that may impact your case. 

Contact Our Legal Team Today

Are you facing criminal charges? Are you worried about your rights and the information that has been posted on social media? Do you wonder if you can post on social media without harming your case?

If you answered “yes” to one or any of these questions, contact us today. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we are here to help you and ensure that your rights are protected. Let us build a defense that will help you with your charges and ensure you don’t make the situation worse. 

Is It Smart to Accept a Plea Deal in Your Denver DUI Case?
/ 06 April, 2022

Being arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) can cause a lot of stress. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, you may not know what to do or your options. 

One of the best things to do in these cases is to get in touch with our team of experienced DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani. We can help you decide how to move forward with your case while providing advice and guidance. 

While each case is unique, there are some situations where the prosecution may offer you a plea deal. It can be tempting to avoid going to trial for the case; however, before agreeing to anything, it’s best to have the agreement reviewed by your DUI attorney. 

The Purpose of DUI Plea Deals

The criminal justice system in Denver (and the entire state of Colorado) is burdened by all types of cases. Many criminal cases last for months or even years. Because of this, many prosecutors try to offer plea deals for some people to help save time. 

There are benefits to this. For example, both you (the defendant) and the prosecution have more control over what happens and how the case is resolved. If you happen to go to trial, the outcome is unpredictable since the final decision is put in the hands of a jury. 

Understanding the Plea Deal Process for DUI Charges in Denver

The plea deal you receive is dependent on the circumstances of your case. However, some of the terms that you may see in a plea deal for a DUI charge include:

Reduced Sentence

With this type of plea agreement, you are typically required to plead guilty to the charge, which means you are accepting it, or plead no contest, which means you aren’t contesting the charge against you. If you agree to this, then your sentence is reduced. The reduction amount depends on the specifics of your case. 

Reduced Charges 

For reduced charges, the plea deal will include dropping the original charge of DUI against you. However, you must plead guilty to a reduced charge. Usually, this will be reckless driving that involves alcohol. Usually, this deal is called a “wet reckless plea deal.”

Complete Dismissal of Your Charges

In some situations, you may be facing multiple charges, along with DUI. In this case, the prosecution may present a plea deal where you must plead guilty to one or several of the other charges you face while having the other charges dismissed or dropped. 

Important Information about Colorado Plea Deals

If you are offered a plea deal, there’s no obligation to accept it. This is true for DUI charges or any other criminal charges you face. There are no circumstances where the prosecution can try to coerce, threaten, or persuade you into accepting the deal, either. 

Also, remember that the plea deal you are offered is a compromise. Because of this, your attorney may be able to go to the prosecution and negotiate with them to help you receive an even better deal than what is offered at first. 

When discussing a plea agreement, be sure you don’t say anything to the prosecution that may be seen as an admission of guilt. What you say during the negotiation of a plea deal can (and will) be used against you if your case happens to go to trial. This is one of the most important reasons to let your DUI attorney handle negotiations for you. 

Avoid telling the prosecution anything about the defense strategy that you have created. They may try to convince you to reveal something by making promises of a great offer; however, you should never let them know how your attorney will defend against the prosecution’s case. 

Generally, it is best to leave all the negotiations and discussions to your attorney. 

Is It a Good Idea to Accept the Plea Deal for Your DUI Charge in Colorado?

There’s no way to know if accepting a plea deal for your DUI charge is good. That’s because each case is unique. 

Our experienced attorneys can review the charges you are facing, search for any loopholes or weaknesses in the case against you and determine if it may be possible to have the DUI charge dismissed or even have your case acquitted. 

If we believe we can fight successfully against the prosecution’s case, then it may be smart to turn down the plea agreement. However, if the prosecution has the needed evidence to secure a conviction, negotiating the plea agreement is smart. 

If you face a DUI charge in Denver, reach out to us today. Our team is ready and able to help you with your tu and provide you with knowledgeable advice and guidance along the way. 

Understanding the Criminal Process in Colorado
/ 22 February, 2022

Criminal procedures can be complex, laden with various steps that can be nearly impossible to navigate. In no other state is this truer than in Colorado. 

Colorado has one of the most complicated criminal procedures of any state in the country. If you or someone you know is facing criminal proceedings, you need a criminal lawyer who is well-versed in the state’s system. 

Hiring the right criminal defense lawyer is indeed a must to battle criminal charges, but it is half the battle. The other half lies in knowing what to expect during criminal defense proceedings. Colorado’s criminal process consists of eight steps, beginning with the arrest and ending with sentencing. 

Between these two points is when your criminal defense lawyer will be of most help. Read on to learn more about the steps involved in Colorado’s criminal process. 

1. Arrest 

The criminal process in Colorado begins as it does in many other states — with an arrest. The arrest involves a police officer taking a suspected offender into custody. 

If a police officer has a warrant of arrest, he or she can take a suspected offender into custody. However, there are situations wherein a police officer can make an arrest without a warrant. 

One situation is if the police officer sees the person in the act of committing the crime. For example, if a police officer was on routine patrol and sees an individual robbing another, he or she can go in pursuit and arrest the culprit. 

The officer, with sufficient reason to suspect an offender, can also make an arrest. In such a situation, the arrest would still be lawful even if the suspect was not caught in the act. 

During an arrest, the police officer may read an offender’s Miranda rights. This is not an absolute necessity, especially in situations when the offender was caught committing a crime. 

2. Advisement

There are two advisements during criminal case proceedings — the first and the second. 

The first advisement represents the first time the offender will be in court. During the first advisement, the offender — now the defendant — will be notified that legal action is being taken against him or her. 

The court will also inform the defendant that he or she will be under investigation. It is also during this time when the court informs the defendant of the charges. 

During the second advisement of charges, the court needs to ensure that the defendant understands the reasons for his or her arrest. Failure of the court to do this will constitute a mistrial, delaying the resolution of the case even further. 

3. Bond Hearing

The second advisement involves the judge setting a bond amount. The bond is an amount of money the defendant needs to pay. By paying the set bond, the defendant can be free temporarily. The defendant will not be in police custody throughout the resolution of the criminal case. 

As you might imagine, the bond can be worth a lot of money. The defendant with the aid of a criminal lawyer can challenge the amount and petition for a lower bond. 

Defendants in criminal proceedings are entitled to being free on a bond. The only exception is for defendants accused of homicide.

There are consequences for a defendant trying to escape the state or refusing to report back to court on a bond. If the defendant does either, he or she will be arrested.  

4. Preliminary Hearing

The preliminary hearing is where you will really need the counsel and representation of your criminal lawyer. During the preliminary hearing, your criminal lawyer can challenge the accusations and charges brought to you by the DA (district attorney). 

During the preliminary hearing, the judge will not be making any rulings. However, it is during this stage of the proceedings that your attorney can disprove any evidence the DA has against you. 

Doing this successfully will result in reasonable doubt in regards to your charges. This can take you a step closer to resolution and acquittal. 

5. Disposition Hearing

The disposition hearing takes place after your criminal lawyer’s full and comprehensive review of all evidence and records pertinent to your case. The disposition hearing is not a trial. Rather, it is time when your criminal lawyer can negotiate a plea with the DA. 

A plea bargain during the disposition hearing can have several outcomes. These can be: 

  • The reduction of a sentence
  • The dismissal of some charges
  • An agreement on the sentence

Because the disposition hearing is not a trial, the DA is under no obligation to present all evidence against the defendant. The accused will also not be in attendance and will not need to testify. 

6. Arraignment

Arraignment is when you either plead guilty or not guilty. A plea of “not guilty” sets in motion events that will culminate in a jury trial and final sentencing. 

If you plead guilty, on the other hand, you will be sentenced based on the terms agreed upon during your plea bargain. 

7. Trial Before a Jury (If You Plead Not Guilty)

The jury trial is the final step in the criminal process before sentencing. It is during this time that all parties involved in the case will be in attendance. It is also when the victim will testify, along with the DA’s complete presentation of his or her case against you. 

The jury trial takes place before a judge and jury. The jury will consist of six to 12 people, to whom your criminal lawyer and the plaintiff’s counsel will argue their respective cases. 

Once your criminal lawyer and the DA have presented their cases, the jury will convene for deliberation. The results of the deliberation will result in your exoneration or conviction. 

8. Sentencing

If the jury deems that the DA has not mounted a sufficient case and argument against the defendant, the jury will not find the defendant guilty. On the other hand, if there is sufficient evidence that points to the accused’s hand in the crime, the jury will find the defendant guilty as charged. 

After the jury’s deliberation, the judge will make a decision. The judge will decide on the defendant’s punishment or go based on the results of the jury’s consensus. 

Hire an Experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

The criminal process of Colorado can be lengthy and complicated. While the state allows for self-representation, it is not a course of action recommended by anybody. Going about fighting charges on your own will be an uphill battle — one you are likely to lose. 

The pivotal part of fighting off charges is by proving reasonable doubt. In other words, the ability to disprove the charges brought by the DA can make or break your criminal defense. For this, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the nuances of Colorado’s criminal court process. 

If you or someone you know is anticipating criminal proceedings, know that there is help available. For decades, we at Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC  have fought for clients facing criminal charges and won. 

Additional reading:

5 Questions to Ask Your Denver Criminal Lawyer

16 Terms You Need to Know in Criminal Defense Cases

Most Common Drug Arrest in Denver
/ 28 January, 2022

Denver is known for many things: its 300 days of sunshine, the 16th Street Mall, and its high altitude. One thing that often surprises people is that Denver is also home to a significant number of drug arrests. 

This has become a problem because it creates an environment where people are more likely to be convicted of a crime, even if they have not committed one. It also wastes law enforcement’s time and resources when they could be focusing on other issues. 

What does this mean for those charged with a drug crime? How can a drug crime lawyer help? How can you protect yourself if you are accused of a drug crime? Read on to find out.

Common Drug Arrests in Denver

The following types of arrests for allegedly possessing common illicit substances are most common in Denver:

1. Drug Possession Arrests

It is a crime to have any degree or amount of drugs on one’s person. If an officer sees you with even a small amount, he may arrest you for possession. You may also be charged with possession if an officer sees residue in a baggie, pipe, or bong that can be tested and identified as one of these substances. 

Possession charges often come about after a stop by police. Oftentimes Denver Police Department officers will get calls from concerned citizens about individuals suspected of trespassing or loitering in a park or other public place at night. If a suspect is approached by officers and appears nervous, the officer may order a search of their belongings.

2. Possession with Intent To Distribute or Sell

In addition to possessing drugs, an individual may be charged with this offense if they are found with what the police believe to be evidence of an intent to sell or distribute. 

These charges often come from leaving paraphernalia such as baggies, scales, pipes, etc., out in the open and visible and/or if there are large amounts of money present. These types of arrests can result from investigations that last for days and involve many undercover purchases by police officers.

3. Paraphernalia Possession Arrests

This type of drug arrest involves any individual caught using or possessing drug paraphernalia. The definition of drug paraphernalia is broad and may include any items related to the ingestion or storage of an illegal substance. 

If an officer believes that you have items used to ingest, plant, cultivate or store marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, or psychedelic mushrooms, he may charge you with this offense even if there are no drugs on your person.

How Can a Drug Crime Lawyer Help You?

Knowledgeable legal advice is critical to ensuring that your rights are protected throughout the criminal justice process. At this time, you might be wondering how a drug crime lawyer could help your situation. The following list provides nine ways that a drug crime lawyer can assist you:

  • A knowledgeable attorney will thoroughly review the evidence against you to identify potential defects that may help you avoid prosecution or win at trial if charges are filed.  
  • An attorney will attempt to negotiate a plea agreement on your behalf. If such an agreement cannot be reached, the attorney will represent you at trial and build a defense using all available evidence. 
  • A drug crime lawyer can help ensure that your rights are protected by advocating for a speedy trial or conducting discovery requests to gain access to valuable information in possession of the prosecution team.
  • Your lawyer may be able to have certain evidence or statements suppressed if it is determined that they were not properly obtained by authorities according to legal mandates and procedures. 
  • A drug crime lawyer can negotiate for more lenient punishment if there is enough evidence against you to establish guilt, but your cooperation in ongoing investigations would warrant it.

Pisani Law Can Help You Today

When you’re facing an uphill battle against some of the toughest laws in this country, make sure to get an experienced Denver drug crime lawyer on your team who knows what they’re doing and will use their experience and knowledge to work in your favor. If you want the best possible chance of keeping your record clean, then look no further than Pisani Law. 

We have been fighting for our clients at every turn from our office in Denver. In that time, we’ve garnered a reputation as one of the premier drug crime law firms operating today. Not only will you receive unmatched representation when you choose us, but you’ll also benefit from our collective experience.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Get a taste of first-hand experience by visiting us online or giving us a call today!

 

Is There a Statute of Limitations for a Denver DUI?
/ 24 January, 2022

The statute of limitations is a common phrase heard in the legal community. While it is commonly used for personal injury cases and in crimes like theft and murder, you may wonder – does it apply to DUI cases, too?

While the answer may surprise you, it’s “yes.” However, some factors will impact how long the statute of limitations is. Keep reading to learn more about this. 

Remember, if you are ever charged with a DUI in Denver, it’s in your best interest to contact a Denver DUI defense attorney right away. 

Misdemeanor DUIs in Denver

A misdemeanor charge occurs if you operate your vehicle with a BAC of 0.08%. It does not matter if you are impaired. The prosecution has 18 months to file charges for a misdemeanor DUI charge. 

If you are charged and found guilty of this crime (as a first-time offender), you may face up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Your driver’s license can be suspended for up to nine months and required to complete 96 hours of community service. 

Felony DUIs in Denver  

If you have three prior DUIs or are involved in a DUI that injured another person, you are charged with a felony DUI. Prosecutors have three years from the date of the incident to file this charge. If someone died in the incident, the time period increases to five years. 

Individuals who get a fourth DUI will face a Class 4 felony, which carries up to six years in jail. Any DUI that results in serious injuries to someone is also a Class 4 felony and carries the same six years in jail and up to $500K in fines. 

DUI cases that result in the death of someone are charged as Class 3 felonies. If you are found guilty, you may face up to 12 years in prison and have to pay fines of up to $750K. 

Contact a Denver DUI Attorney for Help

If you face DUI charges in Denver, it is best to call an attorney for help. They can review the facts of your case and work to help have the charges reduced or eliminated completely. While there are no guarantees about the case’s outcome, having an attorney will be an invaluable resource, especially if you have no prior experience with the court system. 

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