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Navigating Class 3 and Class 4 Felony Assault Charges in Colorado
/ 21 December, 2023

According to Colorado law, assault is any situation that causes injury to someone else unlawfully. If you are facing assault charges, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The specifics of your case determine the severity of the charge.

As experienced criminal defense lawyers, we are ready to help you understand the charges you are facing and the potential consequences.

Understanding Felony Assault Charges

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we understand the seriousness of felony assault charges. The first step in building a solid defense is understanding the charges you face.

Class 3 Felony Assault

Class 3 felony assault in Colorado is a serious offense. It typically involves causing serious bodily injury to another person knowingly or recklessly.

If convicted of a class 3 felony offense, you may face the following penalties:

  • Four to 12 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 in fines
  • Mandatory parole period of three years

Class 4 Felony Assault

Class 4 felony assault is also a serious legal matter. It involves causing bodily injury to someone with a deadly weapon or with the intent to cause bodily injury.

If convicted of a class 4 felony offense, you may face the following penalties:

  • Two to six years in prison
  • $2,000 to $500,000 in fines
  • Mandatory parole period of three years

It is important to remember that the charges and penalties will vary in these cases. The specific charges and penalties depend on the specifics of your offense.

Potential Defenses for Felony Assault Charges

Facing felony assault charges is a serious matter. Still, it’s important to remember that there are potential defenses that can be explored to protect your rights and secure a favorable outcome.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will work to determine what defense strategy is best for your case and situation. Some of the options include the following:


One of the most recognized defenses is self-defense. If you prove that you acted in self-defense to protect yourself from imminent harm or bodily injury, your attorney may argue that your actions were justified.

Lack of Intent

In cases of Class 4 felony assault, proving that you did not have the intent to cause bodily injury can be a viable defense. This could involve showing that the injury was accidental or that you were unaware of the consequences of your actions.

False Accusations

In some instances, individuals may be falsely accused of felony assault. Your attorney can investigate the accuser’s credibility and gather evidence to demonstrate that the allegations are baseless.


If you have a strong alibi, such as being in a different location at the time of the alleged assault, this can be a powerful defense to refute the charges against you.

Insufficient Evidence

Your attorney will scrutinize the prosecution’s evidence to identify weaknesses or inconsistencies. If there is insufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, your attorney can argue for a dismissal or acquittal.

Constitutional Violations

If your constitutional rights were violated during the arrest, investigation, or trial process, your attorney may seek to have evidence excluded or the charges dropped.

It’s important to understand that each felony assault case is unique, and the success of these defenses depends on the specific circumstances of your situation. Therefore, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess the details of your case and determine the most effective defense strategy to protect your interests.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

Now that we’ve established the gravity of these charges, it’s vital to discuss why you need a criminal defense attorney in Colorado when facing Class 3 or Class 4 felony assault charges:

Legal Expertise

A seasoned criminal defense attorney specializes in Colorado’s criminal laws, including those related to felony assault. They understand the nuances of the legal system and can provide you with the best legal guidance.

Case Assessment

Your attorney will assess the details of your case, examining the evidence against you. They will identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and build a strong defense strategy.

Negotiation Skills

Experienced attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges or penalties you face. They can work towards securing plea deals that are more favorable to you.

Courtroom Representation

Your attorney will advocate for your rights in the courtroom and present a compelling defense. They will challenge evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and work to cast reasonable doubt.

Finding the Right Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado

When searching for the right criminal defense attorney to handle your Class 3 or Class 4 felony assault case in Colorado, consider the following factors:

  • Experience: Look for an attorney with a proven track record of successfully defending clients against felony assault charges.
  • Specialization: Choose an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and has expertise in handling assault cases.
  • Local Knowledge: Opt for an attorney familiar with the Colorado legal system and has experience in the local courts.
  • Client Reviews: Read client reviews and testimonials to gauge the attorney’s reputation and client satisfaction.
  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation to discuss your case with the attorney. This will help you assess their knowledge and communication style.
  • Fee Structure: Inquire about the attorney’s fee structure and ensure it aligns with your budget.

Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help with Your Case

Facing Class 3 or Class 4 felony assault charges in Colorado is a serious matter that requires immediate and skilled legal representation. A criminal defense attorney with experience in defending against such charges can be your greatest asset in navigating the complex legal landscape. By choosing the right attorney, you can increase your chances of securing the best possible outcome for your case and protecting your future.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, you can feel confident our attorneys will fight for your rights and help build a solid defense against the charges you are facing.

Understanding Juvenile Drug Charges in Colorado
/ 13 December, 2023

If you are under 18 years old, arrested, and face drug charges in Colorado, you will be prosecuted in Juvenile Court. Rather than facing a criminal conviction as adults do, you face delinquency proceedings.

Most juvenile drug cases are resolved through plea bargains; however, just like adults, those under 18 have the right to a trial. If you move forward with a trial, it is called an adjudicatory hearing and occurs in juvenile court. If you are found delinquent (by losing the hearing or taking a plea deal), the court will impose penalties based on the seriousness of your crime and if you have a prior record.

Just because you are not going to “adult” court does not mean these charges are less serious. Because of the potential penalties a drug charge can have, it is recommended that you hire a Juvenile criminal defense attorney.

Common Juvenile Drug Charges in Colorado

In Colorado, juveniles can face various drug charges, each with its legal implications and consequences. Understanding these common charges is crucial for parents and guardians to help guide their youth through potential legal challenges.

Possession of Controlled Substances

One of the most frequent charges among juveniles is the possession of controlled substances. This includes illegal drugs like marijuana (beyond the legal possession limit for minors), cocaine, heroin, or unauthorized prescription medications. The severity of the charge often depends on the type and quantity of the substance found.

Distribution or Intent to Distribute

Juveniles may also face charges for distributing drugs or possessing drugs with the intent to distribute. This charge is more severe than simple possession and suggests that the juvenile was involved in the sale or distribution of drugs, not just their use. The penalties can be more severe, especially if the distribution occurs near schools or other areas where minors frequent.

Drug Paraphernalia Charges

Another common charge is possession of drug paraphernalia. This includes any equipment that can be used to ingest, prepare, or store illegal drugs, such as pipes, bongs, or syringes. Even if no drugs are found, the possession of paraphernalia alone can lead to legal consequences.

Prescription Drug Charges

Prescription drug abuse is also a growing concern. Juveniles may face charges for possessing prescription medications without a legal prescription, especially if they are drugs known for abuse, like painkillers or ADHD medications.

Potential Penalties for Juvenile Drug Charge Convictions in Colorado

The consequences of a juvenile drug charge conviction in Colorado vary widely depending on the nature of the offense, the juvenile’s previous record, and other case-specific factors. Families and juveniles need to understand the potential penalties, as they can significantly impact a young person’s future.

Juvenile Detention and Probation

For more severe drug charges, such as distribution or possession of large quantities of controlled substances, juveniles may face detention in a juvenile facility. The length of detention can vary, but it often serves as a means of rehabilitation. In less severe cases, probation may be assigned, during which the juvenile must adhere to certain conditions, like regular check-ins, curfews, and possibly drug testing.

Diversion and Rehabilitation Programs

Colorado often focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment for juvenile offenders. Diversion programs are common, especially for first-time offenders or those charged with minor offenses. These programs aim to educate and rehabilitate rather than incarcerate, involving counseling, community service, and drug education classes.

Fines and Community Service

In some instances, juveniles might be required to pay fines or engage in community service. Fines can financially burden the family, while community service aims to integrate the juvenile positively into the community.

Impact on Education and Future Opportunities

A drug charge conviction can impact a juvenile’s educational opportunities, such as college admissions and scholarship eligibility. It can also affect future employment prospects, as some employers conduct background checks that reveal juvenile records.

Sealing of Juvenile Records

In Colorado, there is an opportunity to seal juvenile records, which can mitigate long-term consequences. This process is not automatic and requires legal action, emphasizing the importance of consulting with a juvenile criminal defense attorney.

Potential Defenses for Juvenile Drug Charges

When facing juvenile drug charges in Colorado, there are several defense strategies that a skilled juvenile criminal defense attorney might employ. These defenses are crucial in protecting the rights of the juvenile and can significantly impact the outcome of the case.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

One common defense is challenging the legality of the search and seizure that led to the discovery of drugs. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement violated this right, the evidence obtained could be deemed inadmissible in court.

Lack of Possession

Another defense is disputing actual possession. The prosecution must prove that the juvenile had control over the substance. If the drugs belonged to someone else or were found in a location accessible to multiple people, this could weaken the prosecution’s case.


Entrapment occurs when law enforcement induces a person to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed. If an officer coerces a juvenile into possessing or distributing drugs, this could be a viable defense.

Mistake of Fact

In some cases, a juvenile might genuinely be unaware that they were in possession of illegal drugs, perhaps mistaking them for a legal substance. This defense focuses on the absence of knowledge or intent.


Duress involves a scenario where the juvenile was forced or threatened into committing a drug-related offense. Proving duress can be challenging, but it can be a strong defense if there is evidence of coercion or threats.

Employing the right defense strategy depends on the specifics of the case. A knowledgeable juvenile criminal defense attorney can evaluate the circumstances and determine the most effective approach to protect the juvenile’s rights and future.

Get Help with Your Juvenile Drug Charges

If you are facing drug charges as a juvenile, seek guidance from a criminal defense attorney. At The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we can help you establish a strong defense.

Understanding Express Consent
/ 07 December, 2023

If the police pull you over for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, they will likely request you take a chemical test. This is based on Colorado’s express consent law.

Officers use different chemical tests, including urine, breath, and blood. Each one shows a person’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) or drug content.

Understanding your rights when you are pulled over, and express consent is necessary to navigate this process. If you need assistance, our experienced DUI lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani are here to help.

Understanding Express Consent in Colorado

Express consent refers to the implicit agreement by drivers to submit to chemical testing if suspected of DUI. This consent is automatically given when obtaining a Colorado driver’s license.

Refusal to comply with testing can lead to severe penalties, including license suspension and the presumption of guilt in a DUI case.

Understanding express consent is important for anyone facing a DUI charge in Colorado. It forms the basis of many legal arguments and can significantly affect the outcome of a case.

Consequences of Refusing a Chemical Test in Colorado

Refusing a chemical test in Colorado when suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) carries significant legal consequences. As mentioned above, this refusal directly ties into the state’s express consent law. Some of the potential consequences of refusing a chemical test when pulled over for DUI include:

  • License Suspension: One of the immediate repercussions of refusal is the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Under Colorado law, this suspension can last up to one year, significantly impacting daily life.
  • Evidence in DUI Cases: Refusing a chemical test can also be used as evidence against you in a DUI case. The prosecution may argue that refusal indicates guilt, potentially complicating your defense.
  • Increased Penalties: In some instances, the penalties for refusing a test can be more severe than those for a DUI conviction. This includes longer license suspension periods and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device upon reinstatement.
  • Legal Representation: Given these severe implications, consulting with a knowledgeable DUI attorney in Colorado is crucial. An experienced lawyer can help navigate the complexities of DUI laws, protect your rights, and offer the best defense strategy in light of a refusal to submit to chemical testing.

Steps to Follow When Pulled Over for DUI

Being pulled over on suspicion of DUI can be a stressful experience. Knowing the right steps to take can significantly impact the outcome. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Stay Calm and Polite: First, remain calm and cooperative. Avoid making sudden movements, and keep your hands visible. Politeness and cooperation with law enforcement can help de-escalate the situation.
  • Understand Your Rights: You have the right to remain silent. Politely decline to answer incriminating questions. You can say, “I wish to remain silent and would like to speak to an attorney.”
  • Comply with Legitimate Requests: Provide your license, registration, and insurance when requested. If asked to step out of the vehicle, do so calmly.
  • Chemical Testing Decision: Remember Colorado’s express consent law. Refusing a chemical test can lead to severe consequences, including license suspension. However, you can request to speak to an attorney before making this decision.
  • Contact a DUI Attorney: As soon as possible, contact a DUI attorney. They can provide legal advice specific to your situation and help navigate the complexities of DUI charges.

Taking these steps can help protect your rights and lay the groundwork for a more favorable outcome in the event of a DUI charge.

The Role of a DUI Attorney

A DUI attorney plays a critical role in defending individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Hiring an attorney to help with a DUI charge provides the following benefits and services:

Legal Expertise and Strategy

DUI attorneys possess in-depth knowledge of DUI laws, including factors that are not apparent to the general public. They develop strategic defenses tailored to the specifics of each case, challenging aspects like the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of breathalyzer tests, and the procedures followed by law enforcement.

Negotiation and Plea Bargaining

A DUI attorney will handle aspects of a DUI case, such as creating a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney. They can negotiate lesser charges or penalties, which is crucial in minimizing the impact of a DUI charge on an individual’s life.

Representation in Court

In court, a DUI attorney represents and advocates on behalf of their client. They present evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and strive to achieve the best possible outcome, whether it’s a case dismissal, acquittal, or reduced sentencing.

Guidance and Support

Beyond legal representation, DUI attorneys offer guidance and support throughout the legal process. They help clients understand their rights and the potential consequences of their cases and provide counsel on the best course of action.

Express Consent and a Colorado DUI Charge

Understanding express consent is crucial for anyone driving in Colorado, especially in the context of DUI laws. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in providing expert legal assistance in DUI cases, ensuring your rights are defended. For more information or legal assistance, feel free to contact us.

Holiday Drunk Driving Accidents in Denver
/ 29 November, 2023

When you think of the holiday season, you likely look forward to spending time with family and friends, parties, good food, and more. While the holiday season should be fun and enjoyable, there is a darker side that our criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani know about all too well – drunk driving accidents.

There is no reason you can’t enjoy a drink with family and friends. However, you should avoid getting behind the wheel. Doing so puts you and others at risk.

If you are involved in a drunk driving accident or arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), we are here to help. Our attorneys understand how criminal charges can hamper the holiday spirit. You can contact our office to learn more about your legal rights and options.

Understanding the Risk

The holidays are a time for joy and gatherings, but unfortunately, they also witness a spike in drunk driving incidents. The combination of holiday parties, family gatherings, and alcohol consumption can lead to poor decision-making and dangerous driving behaviors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is one of the deadliest times on U.S. roads due to drunk driving.

The Colorado Perspective

In Colorado, the situation is particularly concerning. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reports a significant number of drunk driving accidents during the holiday season. These accidents not only result in tragic fatalities but also cause serious injuries and extensive property damage.

Drunk Driving Laws in Colorado

Colorado law is stringent on drunk driving. A blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher constitutes driving under the influence (DUI). Penalties include fines, jail time, license suspension, and mandatory alcohol education classes. For drivers under 21, the state has a zero-tolerance policy, and punishments can be severe even for lower BAC levels.

The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney

In the unfortunate event of a drunk driving accident, securing a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is crucial. A skilled lawyer can navigate the complex legal system, ensuring that the rights of the accused are protected. They can guide plea deals, represent the charged in court, and work towards minimizing penalties.

Victim Rights and Personal Injury Claims

Victims of drunk driving accidents have rights, too. They can file personal injury claims to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. An experienced attorney can help victims understand their rights and guide them through the legal process of obtaining fair compensation.

Prevention of Drunk Driving Accidents This Holiday Season

The best way to avoid the consequences of drunk driving is prevention. Safe driving practices during the holidays include:

  • Planning Ahead: If you plan to drink, arrange for a designated driver or use ride-sharing services.
  • Hosting Responsibilities: If hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic beverages and monitor guests’ alcohol intake.
  • Community Programs: Participate in community sober ride programs and encourage others to do the same.

Colorado’s Efforts in Combatting Drunk Driving

Colorado has implemented various initiatives to reduce drunk driving accidents. These include sobriety checkpoints, increased holiday patrols, and public awareness campaigns. However, individual responsibility remains paramount in preventing these accidents.

How We Can Help

The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in criminal defense related to drunk driving accidents. Our team understands the complexities of Colorado’s DUI laws and is committed to providing comprehensive legal support. Whether you are facing charges or are a victim of a drunk driving accident, we are here to help.

A Call for Safe and Responsible Celebrations

As the holiday season approaches, it’s important to celebrate responsibly. Understanding the risks of drunk driving and taking proactive steps to prevent it can save lives and avoid legal complications. Should you need criminal defense legal assistance, remember that the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani are here to provide expert advice and representation.

Remember, the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, not tragedy. Let’s work together to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for everyone on Colorado’s roads.

Is It Possible to Beat a Probation Violation in Denver?
/ 17 November, 2023

Probation is an alternative to serving time in jail when you are charged with a crime. It’s a punishment for a crime itself, with many conditions. If you fail to meet the conditions, it can create new issues.

Your original criminal case is re-opened if you are accused of violating probation. In this situation, seeking legal representation from experienced criminal defense lawyers is best. At The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, you will find attorneys who can help you understand your situation and provide guidance through the legal process.

Understanding Probation in Denver

As mentioned above, probation is an alternative to spending time in jail. If you are given probation, you can remain “free” in the community. While true, you must adhere to certain conditions to remain on probation.

Individuals on probation must adhere to specific conditions set forth by the court. These conditions could include regular meetings with a probation officer, drug testing, community service, or attending rehabilitation programs.

What Constitutes a Probation Violation?

A probation violation occurs when an individual breaks the terms or conditions of their probation. The nature of these violations can range from failing to appear for a scheduled court date, not reporting to the probation officer, getting arrested for another crime, or even missing a payment for fines and restitution.

Can You Beat a Probation Violation?

The short answer depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation. However, with help from an experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer, you may increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Some of the ways legal counsel can help with this situation include:

Analyzing the Allegations

The first step a Denver criminal defense lawyer will take is to meticulously analyze the allegations against you. Every detail matters. Sometimes, what is perceived as a violation could be a misunderstanding or a miscommunication. For example, missing a meeting with a probation officer due to a legitimate emergency may not be a serious violation if adequately communicated and documented.

Building a Defense

Several defense strategies can be used in cases of probation violations. A Denver criminal defense lawyer may be able to prove that the violation was not willful or that the individual was not adequately informed of their probation conditions. In other cases, the defense could be that the accused did not commit a new crime, and the evidence against them is insufficient.

Negotiating with Prosecutors

An experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer can enter negotiations with prosecutors to potentially minimize the consequences of a probation violation. Sometimes, this can result in a reinstatement of probation rather than revocation, especially if the violation is minor or the individual’s first offense.

Representing You in Court

If the case goes to court, a defense attorney will be your advocate, presenting evidence and arguments on your behalf. They will aim to demonstrate your commitment to rehabilitation and your efforts to comply with probation conditions. The goal is to persuade the judge that you do not deserve harsh penalties.

Strategies for Avoiding Probation Violations

While working with a lawyer can significantly aid in beating a probation violation charge, it is crucial to avoid violations altogether. Here are a few strategies:

  • Understand Your Conditions: Ensure you thoroughly understand your probation’s conditions. If you have any doubts, ask your probation officer for clarification.
  • Stay in Communication: Keep in regular contact with your probation officer and immediately inform them of any changes in your situation.
  • Document Everything: Keep detailed records of your compliance with probation terms, such as meeting attendance, community service hours, and rehabilitation programs.
  • Seek Legal Advice Early: If you suspect you may be at risk of a violation, consult a Denver criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your options.

Understanding Your Legal Options After a Probation Violation

While facing a probation violation in Denver can be daunting, it’s important to remember that you have options. With the right approach and the expertise of a Denver criminal defense lawyer, it’s possible to beat a probation violation charge. It requires a clear understanding of the law, a proactive stance, and, when necessary, a strong legal defense.

The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani understand the challenges of probation violations. We are committed to providing our clients with a vigorous defense to help them achieve the best possible outcome for their case. If you or a loved one are facing a probation violation in Denver, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your case and explore your legal options.

Can I Be Arrested for a Drug Charge Because of a Social Media Post?
/ 08 November, 2023

Over the last decade, social media has become a prevalent part of almost everyone’s life. Users post about everything from what they had for dinner to information about breakups, children, and more.

While social media offers an effective way to keep in touch with family and friends, there are situations where over-sharing can lead to negative consequences. This is especially an issue if your post contains information about underage drinking or illegal drugs.

If you are charged with a crime because of something you posted on social media, contact an experienced Denver drug attorney from the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani for assistance. We can help you with your case and build a solid defense to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

The Reach of Social Media

Social media has become a huge part of our lives, impacting everything from relationships to job prospects. People frequently share aspects of their personal lives, including activities that could potentially lead to legal repercussions. The reach of social media is expansive, and yes, that includes the eyes of law enforcement agencies.

The Legality of Social Media Surveillance

It’s perfectly legal for police officers to view public social media profiles and act on the information found there. However, accessing someone’s private account deceitfully or without permission could violate privacy laws. When investigating drug-related offenses, Denver drug attorneys often examine the procedures used to gather evidence and will contest any methods that infringe upon your legal rights.

When Social Media Becomes Evidence

Posting pictures, videos, or comments about drug use or drug sales could serve as evidence against you. While a social media post alone might not be enough to warrant an arrest or conviction, it can certainly instigate a deeper investigation. For example, if a picture is posted of you with what appears to be an illegal substance, this could be used to obtain a search warrant for your property.

Case Scenarios in Colorado

Some of the situations that may result in criminal charges when posting on social media include:

  • Bragging About Drug Use: A casual post where you brag about using an illegal substance could prompt law enforcement to investigate you further.
  • Showing Off Stash: Posting photos of a drug stash could result in police involvement, especially if you are already on their radar.
  • Public Transactions: Announcing that you are selling or looking to buy illegal substances could potentially result in an arrest.

The Role of a Denver Drug Attorney

If you find yourself facing drug charges based on social media activity, contacting a qualified Denver drug attorney should be your first step. Not only can they guide you through the intricacies of Colorado law, but they can also challenge the legitimacy of the social media evidence against you.

Defending Against Social Media Evidence

Your attorney can explore various defenses against social media evidence, such as:

  • Questioning Authenticity: They may challenge whether the social media account or post genuinely belongs to you.
  • Consent and Privacy: If your account was accessed unlawfully, your attorney could argue for excluding the evidence.
  • Relevance and Context: A skilled lawyer can question the relevance of the social media post and argue that it was taken out of context.

When you retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer, you will have someone who can work to create an effective defense on your behalf.

The Takeaway: Think Before You Post

The age-old adage of thinking before you speak applies ever so fittingly to social media. In a society where a single post can go viral in minutes, it’s crucial to be mindful of what you share, especially when it comes to sensitive topics like drug use.

While a social media post alone may not be sufficient grounds for a drug charge, it can serve as a catalyst for legal complications. If you find yourself entangled in such a predicament, a competent Denver drug attorney can provide the legal guidance needed to navigate the complexities of the Colorado legal system.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, our experienced attorneys can help you understand the charges against you and the potential defenses. Call our office to schedule an initial consultation. 

What Should I Do After Being Charged with Embezzlement?
/ 26 October, 2023

Being arrested or charged with embezzlement can be a confusing situation. It can also bring about legal complexities and possible consequences that may impact your life and future.

In Colorado, embezzlement (a white-collar crime) comes with serious consequences if you are convicted. Because of this, knowing your rights and legal options is essential. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, our experienced criminal defense attorney is ready to help you fight Denver embezzlement charges.

You can learn more about these charges here and contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Retain a Criminal Defense Attorney

After being charged with embezzlement, the first step is to consult and retain a reputable criminal defense attorney. Navigating the complexities of Colorado law is no small task, and this is not something you should try to handle without expert guidance.

The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani can provide you with comprehensive legal support and advice to help you build a robust defense strategy.

Know the Charges Against You

Understanding the charges against you is important when facing embezzlement allegations. In Colorado, embezzlement is categorized as a type of theft governed by the Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-4-401. The law outlines different offenses based on the amount of money or property involved.

Petty Offenses to Felonies

The law classifies embezzlement charges on a spectrum, ranging from Class 1 Petty Offenses to Class 3 Felonies. For example, a Class 1 Petty Offense involves embezzling less than $50 and carries relatively minor penalties. However, if you’re accused of embezzling $20,000, you could face a Class 3 Felony with severe repercussions, including significant jail time and fines.

Severity Dictates Penalties

The severity of the charges dictates the penalties you could face. You might get off with a fine and some community service for lesser amounts. For larger amounts, imprisonment becomes a very real possibility. Restitution, or paying back the embezzled amount, is usually also part of the penalty, regardless of the severity of the charge.

By understanding the charges against you and how the law views embezzlement, you arm yourself with the knowledge to work closely with your criminal defense attorney to build a strong defense.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. After being charged, you may be tempted to explain yourself to the police. While it might seem like a good idea to “clear things up,” your words can be twisted and used against you. Consult your criminal defense attorney before speaking to the police or anyone else about your case.

Gather All Relevant Documents

When facing Denver embezzlement charges, gathering pertinent documents becomes crucial to your defense strategy. These documents can provide invaluable insights into the circumstances surrounding the allegations, and they are essential for your criminal defense attorney to formulate a robust case in your favor.

Financial Records

The first category of documents to focus on is your financial records. This includes bank statements, credit card statements, invoices, and other documents tracking money or assets. These records could reveal inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case or even exonerate you completely.

Employment-Related Documents

Collect any documents related to your employment, such as contracts, performance reviews, and correspondence that may be pertinent to the charges. These documents can provide context and may demonstrate that you had no motive or opportunity to commit embezzlement. They could also show a history of responsible financial management or possible errors or misunderstandings that led to the charges.

Transparent Communication

Once you’ve gathered all relevant documents, share them with your criminal defense attorney. Transparency is crucial at this stage; your attorney can only help you to the extent that they understand the full scope of the situation. With comprehensive documentation, your attorney will be better equipped to effectively challenge the Denver embezzlement charges you’re facing.

Having a comprehensive set of documents at your disposal could make the difference between conviction and acquittal. It’s an integral part of building a robust defense strategy.

Preparing for the Legal Process

Once you’ve retained your attorney and gathered your documents, it’s time to prepare for the legal battle.

Pre-Trial Procedures

Your attorney will usually start by conducting a thorough investigation to find any evidence that could work in your favor. Based on what is discovered, your attorney may attempt to negotiate with the prosecution to drop or reduce the charges. This is often the stage where an experienced criminal defense attorney can make a difference.

Going to Trial

If negotiations fail, the case will go to trial. Your attorney will present your defense and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. The complexities of embezzlement cases make having someone familiar with Denver embezzlement charges essential.

Potential Defenses

Defenses for embezzlement often involve showing a lack of intent, demonstrating consent from the owner, or disputing the amount alleged to have been embezzled. Your attorney will evaluate the specifics of your case to choose the most effective defense strategy.

Consequences and Penalties

The consequences for an embezzlement conviction can be severe, ranging from fines and probation for smaller amounts to long-term imprisonment for larger sums. Restitution to the victim will also likely be required. These penalties make it crucial to take the embezzlement charges seriously and consult a criminal defense attorney immediately.

Understanding What to Do When Facing Embezzlement Charges

Being charged with embezzlement in Colorado can significantly impact your life, personally and professionally. Your actions immediately following the charge can play a crucial role in the outcome of your case.

The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani specialize in defending against Denver embezzlement charges and can guide you through every step of the legal process.

If you are in this unfortunate situation, don’t hesitate to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney for a consultation. With the right legal support, you can navigate the complex legal landscape and make informed decisions to protect your future.

Will an Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Test Send Me to Jail?
/ 17 October, 2023

Field sobriety tests, FSTs, are used by police officers to determine if a driver is intoxicated. There are three tests used. They will test a driver’s balance, coordination, and if they can do more than one thing at a time without issue.

If you are pulled over in Colorado and asked to conduct a field sobriety test, you may wonder if the outcome can lead to your arrest. You may also wonder if the test is administered improperly, will it lead to your arrest and incarceration?

These common concerns are addressed here. If you have further questions about field sobriety tests and your rights, contact our DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani.

Potential Mistakes When Administering a Field Sobriety Test

If the police officer makes a mistake while they administer the field sobriety test you are taking, it cannot be used to support your arrest. Before officers can administer these tests, they must undergo specialty training and receive certification. This ensures they know how to administer the test correctly.

Every test has a specific protocol for it to be done correctly. If the protocol is not followed, an arrest based on these test results may be considered invalid or improper.

Several tests are used to determine if a driver is intoxicated. These include:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (you must follow an object with your eyes)
  • Rhomberg Tests (counting to 30 with your eyes closed and head back)
  • Walk-and-turns
  • One-leg stand

How to Know if Your Field Sobriety Test Results May Be Inaccurate

While field sobriety tests designed to be objective, various factors can influence their accuracy. Some things that may impact how accurate your test results are and give you cause to challenge them include:

  • Environmental Conditions: Adverse weather such as rain or snow, uneven road surfaces, and poor lighting can impact a person’s ability to successfully complete FSTs.
  • Physical Limitations: Medical conditions, age, injury, or fatigue can affect balance, coordination, and attention, all of which can influence FST outcomes.
  • Nervousness: The anxiety of being pulled over and assessed by an officer can lead to mistakes, regardless of sobriety.
  • Officer Error: The administering officer might not follow proper procedures or might misinterpret the results, leading to potential inaccuracies.

Inherent Limitations of FSTs

No test is foolproof. Even under optimal conditions, FSTs can produce false positives. Research has shown that these tests can sometimes misidentify sober individuals as impaired.

Consultation with Legal Professionals

If you believe that your FST results were inaccurate, it’s crucial to consult with a DUI attorney. They can review the specifics of your case, potentially gather evidence that supports your claim of an inaccurate test, and advise on the best course of action. They can also help create a defense strategy for your case.

Challenging an Improperly Administered Field Sobriety Test in Colorado

In Colorado, law enforcement officers utilize standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs) to determine if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These tests, however, must be administered in strict accordance with established procedures.

Grounds for Challenge

You will have grounds to challenge the test results if the following occur:

  • Improper Instructions: One of the most common grounds for challenging an SFST is that the officer provided incorrect instructions. Misleading the driver about how to perform the test can influence the results.
  • Environmental Factors: Colorado’s diverse terrain and weather can affect a person’s performance. Wind, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting can compromise the accuracy of an SFST.
  • Inherent Inaccuracies: It’s important to note that SFSTs are not foolproof. Factors such as age, weight, medical conditions, or even footwear can influence performance and may not be indicative of impairment.

Seeking Expert Testimony

Defense attorneys in Colorado often employ experts to testify about the limitations and potential inaccuracies of SFSTs. These testimonies can be pivotal in illustrating that the test results are unreliable.

How a DUI Attorney Can Help with a Defense Strategy for Improperly Administered FSTs

A seasoned DUI attorney is familiar with the protocols and procedures law enforcement should follow when conducting field sobriety tests (FSTs). They can quickly identify deviations or inaccuracies in the way the test was administered, providing a foundation for a defense.

Challenging Officer Credibility

When you seek legal assistance to challenge a field sobriety test, some of the things your attorney will look into and consider to determine if the test was improperly administered and therefore not accurate include:

  • Training and Experience: An attorney can question whether the arresting officer has received proper training and possesses the necessary experience to correctly administer and interpret FSTs.
  • Observational Errors: By examining the officer’s report and testimonies, a lawyer can pinpoint inconsistencies or potential biases in the observations.
  • Introducing Expert Witnesses: A DUI attorney has access to experts who can provide testimony on the limitations and potential inaccuracies of FSTs. These experts can present scientific data that challenges the validity of the test results, lending weight to the defense.
  • Highlighting External Factors: Lawyers can underscore external variables that may have influenced the FST results, such as environmental conditions, the defendant’s medical conditions, or even the type of footwear worn during the test.

Navigating the Legal System

With their intricate understanding of the legal landscape, DUI attorneys can ensure that all procedural rights are protected, file essential motions, and navigate the complexities of the court system to benefit their clients.

How Challenging an Improperly Administered FST May Help Prevent Jail Time

Highlighting flaws in the administration of a field sobriety test can be pivotal in a DUI case. When these tests are improperly conducted, their results lose credibility. By successfully challenging these inaccuracies, the core evidence against the defendant may be rendered unreliable.

This significantly increases the chances of reduced charges or even case dismissal. Consequently, what might have led to jail time based on flawed evidence can result in a more favorable outcome. It underscores the importance of thorough legal scrutiny in ensuring justice and preserving one’s freedom.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, our DUI attorney can help create a defense strategy for your case. Call our office to schedule an initial consultation.

How to Retrieve Property Taken by the Police
/ 06 October, 2023

If you’ve had your property seized by the police in Colorado, you may be feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and unsure about the next steps. Rest assured, you’re not alone. Many residents face similar situations every year and seek guidance from a trusted Denver criminal defense lawyer.

At the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, we are here to help you understand your legal rights and options regarding seized property. You can contact our office for an appointment or learn more here.

Understand the Basics of Property Seizure

Before diving into the retrieval process, it’s crucial to understand the circumstances under which the police can seize your property:

Evidence in a Crime

Evidence in a crime refers to items or information used to prove a legal assertion in a criminal proceeding. This can encompass tangible objects, such as weapons, drugs, or stolen goods, and intangible evidence, like witness testimonies or electronic data.

It is collected to establish a connection to the alleged crime, supporting the prosecution’s claims or the defense’s counterarguments. Proper handling, storage, and presentation of this evidence are crucial for maintaining its integrity in a court of law.


Forfeiture is a legal process where individuals lose their rights to property because it’s believed to be connected to criminal activity. This might occur even if the owner isn’t charged with a crime. For instance, assets acquired from illegal activities, like drug trafficking or fraud, can be seized by authorities.

The aim is to disrupt criminal enterprises by depriving them of the proceeds and tools of their illicit trade. To reclaim forfeited property, owners often have to prove it was acquired legally, which can be a complex process necessitating legal expertise.

Obtain a Property Receipt

Whenever the police seize property, they should provide a receipt detailing:

A Description of the Items Taken

This refers to a detailed account of the specific items that were confiscated by the authorities. The description typically includes attributes like the color, size, brand, model, or any other distinguishing features of the items. A clear and precise description ensures no ambiguity regarding which belongings were taken into custody.

The Reason for the Seizure

This outlines the grounds or justification for why the authorities took the items. It may state whether the items were suspected of being connected to a crime, considered evidence, or deemed assets obtained illegally, amongst other reasons.

The Officer’s Name and Badge Number

This information identifies the specific law enforcement officer responsible for the seizure. The officer’s name provides a personal reference, while the badge number offers an official, unique identifier. Together, they ensure accountability and a point of contact for any follow-up actions or inquiries.

The Case Number

The case number is a unique identifier assigned to a specific legal or investigative case. It acts as a reference, making it easier to track and locate all information related to that particular case within the justice or police system. This number is crucial for individuals seeking more information or wanting to retrieve their property, as it offers a quick way to pinpoint the specifics of their situation.

Ensure you keep this receipt safe, as it’s your primary proof of the property seizure.

Consult with a Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer

The laws surrounding seized property can be complex. To navigate them efficiently:

Consult a Knowledgeable Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer

This implies seeking advice or representation from an attorney in Denver specializing in criminal defense. These lawyers have comprehensive knowledge of the local legal landscape, nuances of criminal law, and expertise in defending clients’ rights. Consulting with such an expert ensures that individuals are well-informed and represented, particularly in cases that involve interactions with the criminal justice system.

The attorney can help you understand your rights and the best way to retrieve your property.

Determine the Nature of the Seizure

How you retrieve your property depends on why and how it was seized.

Classification of Seizure

Before taking steps to retrieve your property, it’s essential to understand the type of seizure. Seizures generally fall into two primary categories: evidence in a crime or forfeiture due to suspected criminal activity.

Evidence-Based Seizures

When items are taken as potential evidence, they serve as pieces of a puzzle in a criminal investigation. This could range from electronic devices holding data to weapons or clothing. In such instances, the property is held until a case or investigation concludes.

Forfeiture-Based Seizures

These are more complex. Here, properties believed to be linked to illegal activities can be seized, even if the owner is not necessarily charged with a crime. Assets that are the proceeds of crime or instrumentalities used in committing a crime fall under this category.

Next Steps

Once you identify the nature of the seizure, it sets the stage for subsequent actions. Patience might be the key to evidence-based seizures as you await case resolution. For forfeiture-based ones, legal intervention, guided by a Denver criminal defense lawyer, may be imperative to challenge the seizure and reclaim your property.

File a Motion for Return of Property

If your property isn’t automatically returned after a case resolution:

You must prepare a motion requesting to have your property returned. Your attorney can help you with this. Make sure you are specific about the property that was seized and provide any evidence that you are the true owner.

After the motion is filed, a hearing date will be scheduled. You and your attorney will attend this. They can advocate for you and help you fight to have your property returned.

Get Help Retrieving Your Property After Seizure

While having your property seized can be distressing, understanding your rights and the retrieval process can make a difference.

Partnering with a Denver criminal defense lawyer can further ensure that you navigate the complexities of Colorado’s legal system efficiently and increase the likelihood of getting your property back.

If you or someone you know is struggling with seized property issues in Colorado, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani for professional guidance and assistance. We’re here to help!

Is Jail Time Mandatory for a Colorado DUI?
/ 27 September, 2023

Seeing the red and blue lights behind you after having a few drinks is scary. You may know you should have called Uber or a friend but decided to try to make it home on your own. Now, you may have to pay the price.

Unfortunately, DUI (driving under the influence) arrests aren’t uncommon in Denver.  If you are arrested and charged with DUI, you may wonder, “Will I go to jail?”

You may go to jail for a DUI conviction. It is a possible penalty for DWAI and DUI convictions in Colorado. In some situations, jail time is mandatory. It is worth noting that jail time may also be served as work release for misdemeanor traffic DUIs, and house arrest or in-home detention are options for a first DWAI or DUI instead of jail time.

Understanding the law and your rights is the best way to navigate these scary and confusing charges. At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, our experienced Denver DUI lawyers can help you understand your options. Learn more about when you may face jail time and how our legal team can help with your case here.

When Is Jail Time Mandatory?

Jail time is mandatory if you have prior DUI/DWAI convictions. Detention time is also mandatory if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.20% within two hours of driving. For past convictions, receiving a second conviction in Colorado means a minimum of 10 days in jail, a mandatory sentence. You will face a mandatory 60 days in jail for a third DUI.

These are the basic laws for mandatory jail time in Colorado DUI convictions. However, there are aggravators and mitigators considered too.

If you take your case to trial and are convicted, the Judge may also give you a jail sentence. Aggravators include:

  • BAC level
  • Criminal history
  • Other charges during the same event
  • Bad driving
  • Leaving the scene

In some first-time DUI cases, active jail won’t be a part of the sentence. Instead, you may receive a suspended jail sentence. If you meet all the terms of your probation, you don’t have to go to jail.

Understanding Probation Conditions for DUI Convictions

In DUI/DWAI cases, you may receive a deferred sentence or probation for a certain amount of time to complete your sentence. One condition of probation for drunk driving convictions is to complete the terms that may take a few months up to a year to complete.

These terms include:

  • MADD Victim Impact Panel
  • No alcohol or recreational drugs
  • Alcohol classes
  • Random Urinalysis (UA), Breath analysis (BA) or ETGs
  • Fines and court costs
  • Useful public service (Community service)

The alcohol class you are required to complete is determined by “Tracks.” This determines how many alcohol classes are required as a term of your probation.

For example, with Level II alcohol education, you must complete a 12-week program that you attend once a week for two hours a week. You are also required to cover the cost of the classes, which is usually $15 to $25 per class, but this varies based on the agency you choose.

Once the education portion is complete, your trace determines how many hours of therapy you must complete. The track requirements include:

  • Track A: 42 hours
  • Track B: 52 hours
  • Track C: 68 hours
  • Track D: 86 hours

You can determine the classes’ length by dividing the total hours of your track by two. This will be how many weeks you must go to complete the requirement. Therapy and education are both two hours a week. You will not be allowed to double up on the classes.

How an Experienced Denver DUI Lawyer Can Help

Hiring an attorney is recommended if you face DUI charges in Denver (or anywhere) in Colorado. Some of the ways an attorney can help with your case include:

Determine a Viable Defense

Your lawyer will consider several factors to determine what they may be able to use as a defense in your case. Some options include:

Investigate the Arrest

The DUI lawyer you hire will review the arrest report to ensure the officer followed the rules and laws during your arrest. For example, if they pulled you over without cause or did not follow the procedure for arresting you, it may result in your charges being dismissed. The additional charges may be dismissed if the officer did not tell you that refusing a breathalyzer was a crime.

Chemical Test Flaws

Your attorney may also review the blood or breath tests taken when you were arrested. If the breathalyzer machine was not maintained or the proper procedures were not followed in the lab, the test results may not be used as evidence against you. Also, your BAC goes up naturally over time. If your breath test was taken several hours after arrest, it may show a higher BAC than you had while driving. This means you may not have been over the legal limit when you were behind the wheel, so the charges against you may be dismissed.

Other Defenses

If you are found alone in a vehicle, it is assumed you were driving. This is true even if you were sitting in the passenger seat. However, the prosecution must show you were driving with a 0.08% or higher BAC. If this is not proven, your charges can be dismissed.

Negotiating on Your Behalf

The prosecution hopes you plead guilty before going to trial. They may also try to pressure you to take a deal. Negotiating with the prosecutor can be challenging, especially when considering the potential penalties of a DUI conviction. With a DUI attorney, you have someone to handle negotiations on your behalf.

Your attorney will work to find weaknesses in the evidence against you. They will use this to help negotiate a better deal.

Dismissal is not always a possibility. If this is your situation, your attorney may work to change the DUI charges to lesser charges. This is often possible if you are a first-time offender. Besides reducing the charges, your attorney may also be able to argue for reduced punishment, such as no jail time.

Jail Time and Colorado DUIs

You may face jail time if convicted of Colorado DUI or DWAI charges. While true, hiring an experienced attorney may help you get reduced charges or a reduced penalty.

At the Law Offices of Stephen J. Pisani, criminal defense lawyers take pride in helping individuals fight criminal charges and protect their rights and freedom. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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