When most people think of theft, they envision a masked individual robbing a bank or jewels from a museum. While these are certainly types of theft, they are not the only ones.
Any time you take something without someone else’s permission – to deprive them of it – you are committing theft. This includes shoplifting, pickpocketing, and even some types of fraud.
Of course, not all acts of theft are equal. Some are much more serious than others and can result in felony charges. This is usually the case when violence is involved or when large sums of money or valuable property are taken.
Whatever the circumstances, if you are caught stealing in Denver, you can expect serious penalties. These may include jail time, probation, and restitution to the victim.
Read on for everything you need to know about theft penalties in Denver, Colorado, and how our team at The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, can help you avoid them.
In Denver, Colorado, theft occurs when a person knowingly and unlawfully takes or exercises control over another person’s property with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive them of its use.
Colorado law recognizes several types of theft, including shoplifting, burglary, identity theft, and auto theft. The penalties for theft can vary depending on the value of the property stolen, the type of property stolen, and how it was taken. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, have experience handling all types of theft cases in Denver and can help you understand the charges against you.
Often, people use the terms “theft” and “burglary” interchangeably. However, there is a key distinction between the two crimes.
Generally speaking, burglary requires unlawful entry into a building with the intent to commit another crime. This could mean breaking into a home to steal valuables, or it could simply involve trespassing with the intent to commit an act of vandalism.
On the other hand, theft is taking something of value without the owner’s consent. This could involve shoplifting, pickpocketing, or even identity theft.
If caught stealing in Denver, your penalties will depend on the property value or cash you took. If the value is more than $50 but less than $2,000, it’s considered a misdemeanor crime. The sentence you receive will be based on the value of the item taken and your criminal history.
The penalties for misdemeanor theft offenses are as follows:
If you’re stuck, a Denver theft lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and the penalties you may face. Talk to our attorneys at The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, to learn more about your options.
Felony theft charges in Colorado are serious business, and the penalties increase dramatically as the value of the goods or stolen cash increases.
If you commit a felony theft offense, contact a Denver criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you navigate the criminal justice system and fight for a favorable outcome in your case.
Colorado’s new firearm theft law is designed to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The law, which took effect in July 2020, reclassifies firearms theft committed during a second-degree burglary as a Class 3 felony.
As a Class 3 felony, judges can sentence convicted offenders to a fine of up to $750,000 and a prison sentence of four to 12 years. The bill was sponsored by Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly, although it did not quite gain unanimous support.
Before this law took effect, firearms theft was classified as a Class 4 felony punishable by a prison sentence of two to six years.
In other words, the new law doubles the time offenders could spend behind bars. The hope is that by increasing the penalties for gun theft, criminals will think twice before breaking into homes and businesses to steal firearms.
Only time will tell if the new law effectively deters crime, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Auto theft is a big problem in Colorado. In fact, the state has ranked number one in the nation for auto theft rates. And in the first six months of 2022, the trend has continued, with a 17.2% increase in motor vehicle theft. That means that criminals have stolen 24,044 vehicles so far this year – 3,463 more than the same period last year.
As you can imagine, the penalties for auto theft are quite severe. Colorado takes auto theft seriously – first-degree aggravated automobile theft is always a felony.
Depending on the vehicle’s value and the defendant’s criminal history, penalties include 1-12 years in Colorado State Prison and $1,000-$750,000 in fines.
Second-degree aggravated automobile theft is almost always a felony, with 1-3 years in prison and $1,000-$100,000 in fines possible.
The only time it’s a misdemeanor is when the vehicle is worth less than $2,000 and the defendant has no more than one prior auto-theft conviction – in which case the penalties are up to 364 days in jail and $1,000 in fines.
Steven J. Pisani, LLC is a Denver, Colorado-based law firm that provides high-quality legal representation to those accused of theft and other crimes. If you or someone you know has been charged with a theft crime, contact us today for a free consultation.
If you’ve been charged with theft in Denver, you must understand the possible penalties you may face. The severity of the charge will depend on the value of the property stolen and any previous convictions on your record.
A first-time offender can expect to pay a fine and may also have to perform community service. However, more serious charges can result in jail time.
If you’re facing theft charges, speak to our team of Denver criminal defense lawyers. We have extensive experience in this area of the law and can help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Call us today at (303) 529-2825 to schedule a free consultation.
Being charged with a DUI can be a confusing and scary experience. If you’ve never had any trouble with the law before, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Unfortunately, DUIs are relatively common in Colorado. According to the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), more than 26,000 impaired driving cases were filed in Colorado in 2019.
Most people with a DUI can avoid jail time and get their charges reduced or dismissed entirely if they work with a qualified DUI attorney. But even if you have a good lawyer, it’s essential to understand the laws surrounding DUIs to make informed decisions about your case. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the most important DUI laws in Denver.
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Driving under the influence (DUI) refers to operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. DUI is a criminal offense in most jurisdictions, and penalties can vary depending on the severity of the offense.
In many states, a first-time DUI offense is punishable by fines, community service, and mandatory alcohol education classes. More serious offenses can result in jail time, the loss of driving privileges, and even the seizure of a vehicle.
Driving under the influence is a severe offense in Colorado. If you are caught operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher, you will be charged with a DUI.
You can still be charged with DWAI, or driving while ability impaired, if your blood alcohol level is between 0.05 and 0.08 percent and you are deemed impaired by law enforcement.
This is a lesser charge than a DUI, but it is still a serious offense. If you are convicted of a DWAI, you will face fines, community service, and a possible license suspension. A Denver DWAI lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and avoid serious penalties.
Our attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, have represented clients facing DUI and DWAI charges in Denver and throughout Colorado. We know the ins and outs of Colorado’s DUI laws and can help you build a strong defense.
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In Colorado, we take our DUI laws pretty seriously. And rightfully so – drunk driving is a leading cause of road accidents, injuries, and fatalities. But what many people don’t realize is that, by getting a driver’s license, you give “expres s consent” to submit to a chemical test if you’re ever pulled over on suspicion of DUI.
In other words, if an officer has reason to believe you’ve been driving under the influence, you must submit to a breath, blood, – or face some stiff penalties.
These include the immediate revocation of your driver’s license and a suspension for up to 12 months. Next time you’re out on the town, plan and designate a sober driver. It could save you a lot of hassle (and money) in the long run.
If you have any questions about your own situation, consult a Denver DUI lawyer. For a free consultation, contact us at (303) 529-2825.
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Colorado has a zero-tolerance law for those under the legal drinking age of 21. That means anyone under the legal drinking age pulled over with alcohol in their system between 0.02 and 0.08 percent can be charged with a DUI.
Penalties for this offense include:
Denver DUI attorneys from the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, can help if you or someone you know is under 21 and charged with a DUI. We understand the Colorado zero-tolerance law and can help you fight your charges.
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In recent years, Denver has implemented sobriety checkpoints to crack down on drunk and drugged driving. While these checkpoints have effectively reduced the number of DUI-related accidents, they have also been controversial.
Some argue that sobriety checkpoints violate constitutional rights, while others argue that they are essential for keeping the public safe.
A checkpoint is an exception to the probable cause rule. This means that police officers do not need probable cause to stop a motorist at a checkpoint. However, checkpoint stops must be conducted to minimize the intrusion on motorists.
While sobriety checkpoints are not without their detractors, remember they are an effective tool for reducing drunk and drugged driving.
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A probable cause for a DUI stop in Denver exists when an officer reasonably believes that a driver is intoxicated. This can be based on the driver’s behavior, such as swerving or weaving, or the field sobriety test results. If an officer has probable cause to believe a driver is intoxicated, they can make a DUI stop.
At a DUI stop, an officer will usually ask the driver to submit to a chemical test, such as a breath test. If the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, they can be charged with DUI.
As discussed above, it is against the law to refuse to submit to a chemical test if you have been arrested for DUI. If you are convicted of DUI, refusing to submit to a chemical test can result in additional penalties, such as a longer license suspension.
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The legal drinking age in Colorado is 21, meaning anyone under that age cannot purchase or possess alcohol. However, there are also laws in Denver that prohibit anyone under 21 from having alcohol inside a car that is in operation.
Even if the driver isn’t drinking, it’s illegal if there’s alcohol in the car. These laws are designed to discourage underage drinking and keep our roads safe. If you’re caught violating them, you could face fines, jail time, and even the loss of your driver’s license.
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In Denver, the law is clear regarding DUIs and lookback periods. If you have been convicted of a DUI, the court can use that conviction to enhance your sentence.
This means that even if your previous DUI conviction was years ago, the court could still give you a harsher punishment.
The good news is that judges also have the discretion to be lenient if your prior DUI conviction is not recent. A Denver DUI lawyer can help you argue for a lenient sentence if you find yourself in this situation.
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The DUI laws in Denver are designed to keep our roads safe. You could face serious penalties if caught driving under the influence. These include fines, jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license.
If you are facing DUI charges, contact a Denver DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Our Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, offer a free consultation to discuss your case. We can help you understand your legal options and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
If you are charged with a crime in Colorado, you may wonder – what’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
In the criminal court system, there are three types of criminal charges:
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An infraction is a minor offense and is usually related to traffic. Examples include not stopping at a red light or speeding. Penalties for infractions usually include small fines and don’t ever include jail time.
Both felonies and misdemeanors are more serious offenses that can come with incarceration. Sometimes, a crime’s classification depends on its severity and other factors.
It’s important to understand the difference between misdemeanors and felonies in Colorado. Also, if you find that you are facing these criminal charges, having an experienced and reputable criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC can help you build a strong defense.
Misdemeanor criminal charges in Colorado are considered mid-level crimes. They can carry punishments of up to two years in the county jail and fines of up to $2,500.
Some common examples of misdemeanor crimes include the following:
The severity of the crime you are charged with determines if you will face jail time.
Along with potential jail time, the other types of punishments used for misdemeanors include driver’s license suspension, community service, probation, and paying restitution to the victim.
Even though misdemeanor convictions will go on your permanent criminal record, they will not be there forever. Usually, the offense will be removed from your record after you have completed the sentence.
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Being charged with a felony is serious. In fact, it is the most serious type of criminal charge you can face. The punishment felony charges in the state of Colorado include incarceration in state prison, fines reaching up to $150,000, and sometimes, for extremely serious cases, being issued the death penalty.
Some examples of crimes charged as felonies in Colorado include the following:
Felony convictions in Colorado will go on your permanent criminal record and come with other penalties. For example, once you are convicted of a felony, you are considered ineligible to hold public office or serve on a jury. You will lose your right to possess a firearm and be unable to vote in future elections.
Additionally, many employers will avoid hiring someone with a felony conviction on their record.
Colorado has clear and strict rules regarding driving under the influence (DUI) charges. Your first three arrests for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will usually be misdemeanor charges. However, if you cause property damage or a bodily injury, the charges will likely increase to felonies.
A Colorado law that was passed in 2015 resulted in anyone with three or more DUIs on their record facing felony charges for subsequent DUIs. This law helped to reduce the number of repeat offenders.
If you are facing DUI charges in Colorado, it’s smart to contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC. We can help you build a solid defense to help you with your criminal case.
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In the state of Colorado, some crimes are classified as both misdemeanors or felonies. These are referred to as “wobblers.” The crime’s circumstances will play a huge role in how they are charged.
The “Wobbler Statute” is something you should understand if you are facing drug charges in the state.
If you have been charged with a drug crime, you should know if the crime is considered a “wobbler.”
Don’t wait to contact an attorney, whether you or someone in your family who is facing Colorado drug charges. Our attorneys will investigate the charges against you and explore the possibility of reducing the charges based on wobbler plea bargaining.
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Sometimes there is a thin line between a felony and a misdemeanor charge. For example, if you threaten to assault someone but don’t do it, you will likely face misdemeanor charges. If you move forward with the threat and assault the person, then it can increase the charges to a felony in Colorado.
Sometimes, the prosecution can make mistakes and file felony charges even if the offense should be a misdemeanor. This is one of the top reasons you should have the services of an experienced attorney who can find these mistakes and make sure they are fixed immediately. It’s also worth mentioning that a previous conviction of misdemeanor offenses can result in an upgrade to any subsequent crime.
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Despite what many people believe, it’s not just minor offenses that are eligible for alternative sentencing. Sometimes, the judge will require a felon to attend anger management classes or drug treatment. If the individual finishes the course and the required counseling, the felony charges may be reduced to just a misdemeanor or even dismissed.
Any misdemeanor that carries the risk of violence or harm, and repeat offenders are those who usually receive a jail sentence. Jail is usually avoidable with other types of misdemeanors. This situation usually replaces it with home detention, probation, deferred sentencing, special restitution, or community service.
A class one misdemeanor can be sealed five years after the sentence is completed. For class two and three misdemeanors, the period is two years.
While this is true, any misdemeanor conviction for the following cannot be sealed:
The felonies that cannot be sealed in Colorado include the following:
If you have a felony charge dismissed, it can be sealed immediately. All the other felony convictions (besides a level two drug felony) can be sealed after two years. A level two drug offense offender must wait for five years before their record can be sealed in Colorado.
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If you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Colorado, contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC. We can review the charges you are facing and help you build a viable defense.
We will also determine if your criminal charges may be reduced or dismissed. The earlier you call, the sooner we can get involved with your case and help ensure you have the best defense possible for your case. Our goal is to help our clients achieve the best possible outcome for their cases and provide help and guidance at each step of the legal process.
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Being arrested in Denver is a scary and traumatizing experience. In situations where the circumstances around your arrest are unclear, the stress associated with the situation can be difficult to handle, confusing, and embarrassing all at the same time.
The police must follow a set process and certain procedures when you are arrested. The law establishes these. They must also inform you of your constitutional rights.
After doing this, they will take you into custody. You are not “free” to go, and you cannot walk away from the arresting officer.
Certain conditions must be present for you to be arrested, which include the following:
When you are arrested, reacting emotionally and angrily is not unusual. Unfortunately, these reactions can make an already bad situation worse.
If you are arrested, you have rights. One right is to speak to an attorney. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, our legal team can provide you with the legal representation you need to ensure you get the proper representation for your situation.
Along with contacting our attorneys immediately (or as soon as possible after being arrested), be sure to know what you should and should not do during the arrest process. This information will help you avoid more serious penalties.
This applies to any interaction you have with the police. You should always cooperate with the police.
When you are arrested, your rights will be read to you and you will be taken to jail. When you reach the detention center, you will be searched, and your fingerprints and photo will be taken. The police will create a report that details why you were arrested and other important information.
Never resist. Never use force against the police. Remain calm and cooperative.
The law states that you can face additional charges if you resist arrest. If you use force against the police or attempt to flee from them and cause an injury to an officer, you may face charges of battery on an officer.
It is never a good idea to sign a Miranda waiver when the police request you to do this. It would help if you waited to speak to the police until your lawyer arrived.
It is required that you provide the arresting officers with some information. This includes the following:
Beyond this basic information, you do not have to talk to the police or answer their questions.
Make sure you request a criminal defense attorney in Denver to represent you. Don’t talk to the police officers until your requested attorney arrives. You should avoid speaking to other people who are being held in the detention center, as well.
It’s important to remember that the police want you to talk. Everything you say can be used against you, so it is best to remain silent.
If you waive your Miranda rights, you may accidentally say something that will incriminate you somehow, which can exacerbate the situation. It’s best to talk to your lawyer first, which will help you determine what you should and should not say.
It would help if you didn’t try to make decisions about your arrest or the charges against you without your attorney present. Refuse to sign anything or be in a lineup until you talk to a lawyer.
When you are arrested, you should be able to call your attorney, your family, and even a bail company. Remember, when you are in jail, conversations are recorded. You should let your family know about your arrest, but don’t give any details about the situation.
Get in touch with our criminal defense team to represent you and ensure you take the right steps after arrest.
Sometimes, the police go “off script.” If this happens, your rights may be violated. If you believe this is happening to you, there are a few things you can do. One of the most important things is to pay attention to what is happening.
You must write down everything you can remember, including the authority’s patrol car numbers and officers’ badge numbers. You should also write down the agencies the officers were from and any other details you can remember.
If you are injured during the arrest, get medical attention, or request it when you can.
You should file a written report with the internal affairs division or a civilian complaint board.
If you are being arrested or arrested in Denver, you may have more than a few questions. Some of the most asked questions are answered here.
The simple answer to this is no. The police are not required to tell you why you are under arrest.
Within 48 hours, if you have not been bailed or bonded out of jail, you have the right to be seen before a judge and told what the charges are or released. When a judge sees you, that is when the charges filed against you are read.
While this is true, when you are arrested, the police will likely provide you with some explanation about why you are being arrested or taken into custody. It’s important to remember when talking to authorities they want to get as much information out of you as possible. You should remain silent.
The answer to this is probably one you don’t want to hear – it depends. Your arrest can be pending for as long as it takes the authorities to conduct a thorough investigation.
In the state of Colorado, the standard is around 20 minutes. If you want to challenge your arrest and detention, you can have your criminal defense lawyer argue that the authorities kept you longer than necessary based on the circumstances. If a judge agrees with this, then the criminal charges that resulted in you being detailed will probably be dropped completely.
It’s important to remember that when you are detailed, it is voluntary. This is true unless you have verbally asked to leave.
If the police detail you, you should ask them if you can leave. If the officer confirms that you are free to go, it is up to you to leave the encounter and scene. If you decide to stay, then the detention is considered legal.
The term “resisting arrest” is self-explanatory. If the police have probable cause to arrest you and you resist them in any way, you may face misdemeanor resisting arrest charges. Some examples of resisting arrest include running from the police or giving the authorities a false ID.
You should be aware that some officers may threaten you if you don’t comply with a search request or if you fail to answer their questions. Don’t fall for this. You have the right to refuse police searches and to refuse to answer their questions until your lawyer is present.
If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent. You also have the right to seek legal counsel. If you are arrested, do not rely on the police to let you know about your right to remain silent and get the services of an attorney. Instead, state that you want to remain silent and that you need a lawyer.
If the police continue to question you, repeat your wishes. This is your “legal shield.” You don’t have to talk and should avoid doing so since you may say something that incriminates you.
It is smart to contact a Denver criminal defense attorney immediately if you are arrested in Denver. Our legal team at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC, is ready to provide you with the legal representation you want and need.
Our Denver law firm has provided legal services for clients for decades, and we will aggressively fight for your rights. Contact us today if you are arrested and need a strong defense team. We are here to help with your situation.
Remember, the penalties for a criminal conviction can be severe. If you don’t have quality legal defense services, you may not have the representation needed to overcome these charges. Let us help you with our experience and resources. We can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case and situation.