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‘Porch Piracy’ During the 2020 Holiday Season in the Coronavirus Era

04 December, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic caused an uptick in deliveries of groceries and packages in Colorado and all across the country as millions of Americans have come to rely on safe package delivery services such as Amazon, FedEx, and UPS, and now online shopping is expected to surge even more during this holiday season. 

The combination of pandemic-fueled package delivery services and holiday online shopping seems to make the perfect environment for “porch pirates” who steal packages right from the recipient’s doorstep or porch. 

The risk of “porch piracy” during the 2020 holiday season in the coronavirus era is greater than ever given that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends delivery drivers to practice “contactless deliveries” to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease, leaving valuable packages and gifts unattended and vulnerable to theft.

Porch piracy during COVID-19 pandemic

Porch piracy has become a widespread type of theft in Colorado and other states across the country. As mentioned earlier, porch piracy occurs when a person removes a delivered package right from the recipient’s porch or doorstep. And this year, there are even more opportunities for these porch pirates to snatch packages due to an increase in unattended package deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A 2020 survey by Value Penguin found that nearly 1 in 5 consumers have become victims of porch piracy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the key findings of the survey include:

  • More than half (54%) of respondents reported that porch pirates stole multiple packages from them in the past year. 
  • A third of all consumers (33%) said they knew someone who became a victim of porch piracy during the coronavirus crisis. 
  • On average, victims of porch piracy lost $106. 
  • Less than half of respondents who became victims of package theft said the thief was caught. 
  • The vast majority of stolen packages (57%) were from Amazon. 
  • Residents of apartment buildings are more likely to become victims of porch piracy (40%)

Porch piracy and property crime rates in Colorado

According to national data gathered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, theft of personal property during December is 22% higher than the average rate for this type of property crime during all months combined. 

A 2020 report released by KDVR showed that porch and package theft is up in Denver, Colorado, outpacing the last five years. But which cities in Colorado have the highest property crime rates? According to Value Penguin, the following Colorado cities have the highest property crime rates per 100,000 residents: 

  • Denver (23,711);
  • Colorado Springs (18,175);
  • Aurora (10,786);
  • Pueblo (7,596);
  • Lakewood (6,892);
  • Fort Collins (3,808);
  • Thornton (3,296);
  • Greeley (3,219);
  • Westminster (2,987); and
  • Boulder (2,948).

Criminal charges for theft in Colorado

Like in many other states, porch pirates in Colorado face criminal charges of theft. The severity of theft penalties depends on the value of the stolen package or item. 

Penalties for misdemeanor theft in Colorado are as follows: 

  • Class 3 misdemeanor: The stolen item is valued at more than $50 but less than $300. Penalties include up to six months in jail and from $50 to $750 in fines. 
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: The stolen package or goods are worth at least $300 but no more than $750. Penalties include from three months to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. 
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: The stolen item is valued at $750 but does not exceed $2,000. Penalties include up to 18 months in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. 

If the stolen package or item is worth more than $2,000, the defendant will be charged with felony theft. Felony theft is punishable by up to 12 years in jail, a fine of between $1,000 and $1 million, and from one to five years of parole, depending on the value of the stolen goods. 

Consult with an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney

If you were arrested for porch piracy or any other theft crime in Colorado, do not hesitate to seek legal help from an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. A conviction of theft can ruin your life in an instant. In addition to criminal penalties, you could be fired, lose employment and housing opportunities, and face many other negative consequences. Schedule a free consultation with our Denver criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC to discuss legal defenses and options. Call our offices at (303) 635-6768.

How Are Juveniles Different from Adults in The Criminal Justice System?

10 September, 2020

In most states, including Colorado, juveniles often receive different treatment under the law, especially when they commit criminal acts. They are considered minors with little or no understanding of the law, and the criminal justice system hopes that they will soon or later ‘grow out’ of offending and embrace law-abiding lifestyles. That’s perhaps the reason why penalties imposed on minors often put more focus on rehabilitation and not punishment. In this article, we will explore several other ways in which juveniles are treated differently under the law. Before we dive in too deep, let’s first understand who is considered a juvenile under Colorado law.

Who is a Juvenile Under Colorado Law?

Under Colorado law, a juvenile is any person who is below eighteen years of age. However, it is important to note that the juvenile justice systems and juvenile courts have jurisdiction over children aged ten years and above if they violate:

  • Any state or federal law (except parks and recreation, game and fish, and non-felony state traffic laws or regulations);
  • Certain laws concerning marijuana and ethyl alcohol;
  • Specific laws regarding furnishing cigarettes or tobacco products to minors;
  • County or municipal ordinances, the punishment of which may include at least ten days in jail (except traffic ordinances); and
  • Any court or restraining order made with regard to the provisions of the juveniles’ code contained in

Differences Between Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice Systems

When it comes to juvenile and adult treatment under the law, there are several differences in how criminal justice systems handle them. Here are various ways in which juvenile and adult crime systems differ:

Delinquent Acts V. Crimes: unlike adults, juveniles are not categorized as “criminals,” or considered to have committed “crimes,” but rather, “delinquent acts.”

Disposition v. Sentence: A convicted juvenile receives a “disposition,” as the outcome of their hearing, whereas an adult receives a sentence as punishment.

Rehabilitation v. Punishment: the juvenile court system focuses on rehabilitating the young offender before they become an adult. The penalty imposed for juvenile offenders puts more emphasis on education, therapy, and treatment rather than punishment.

Conviction v. Adjudication: An adult offender who is tried and found guilty is convicted of that crime while a juvenile is “adjudicated delinquent.”

Complaint v. Petition: A petition is filed in a juvenile offender case, but a complaint is filed in an adult criminal case.

Open v. Closed Hearings: juveniles’ proceedings are often closed, unlike those of adults. In most cases, the only people allowed in a courtroom during a juvenile hearing include the child, family lawyers, and probation officers. The main aim of closed hearings is to make it easy to rehabilitate minors by not exposing their activities to the public record.

Jurisdiction of trial: a juvenile’s hearing is often moved to their country of residence while adults are typically tried in the country where they commit a crime.

Rules of Procedure: In juvenile court, criminal procedure rules may be more relaxed while the rules of procedure are strictly observed in juvenile court.

Trial by Jury: Unlike adults, juveniles do not have a right to trial by jury. A juvenile case will be heard by a judge who determines whether or not the minor is guilty of a delinquent act.

Expungement: when it comes to removing a charge or conviction from a criminal record, expungement rules are more lenient to juveniles than adults.

Are There Similarities Between Juvenile and Adult Criminal Justice System?

Although juveniles receive different treatment in the criminal justice system, most of the rights remain the same in both court systems. These include the right to:

  • Have the prosecutors prove your charges beyond a reasonable doubt
  • Know the charges against you
  • Not to incriminate yourself
  • Confront and cross-examine those witnessing against you
  • Hire an attorney

Can a Juvenile Be Tried as an Adult in Colorado?

The simple answer is yes. Nevertheless, the child must be at least 12 years of age and is facing either class 1 or class 2 felony charges. Under Colorado law, the chances of a juvenile being tried as an adult often increase as:

  • The child has a past history of delinquency,
  • When the offense is more severe,
  • The person’s age increases, and
  • The district attorney’s decision to transfer the case from juvenile court to district court

Contact Experienced Juvenile Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani

If your child is facing juvenile charges for any crime in Colorado, it’s completely natural for you to feel anxious about what next. But there’s no need to worry. The Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani have extensive experience in handling juvenile cases. Our Colorado attorney, Steven J. Pisani, takes serious felony cases in both the juvenile and district courts. Regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding your child’s case, he will help you build a compelling defense to challenge whatever evidence the prosecution has against your loved one. Give us a call today to schedule a confidential consultation and learn how we can help.

Here’s What Was Found In Background Checks Of Colorado Statehouse Candidates

28 July, 2020

The Denver Post recently ran background checks for all of the Colorado Statehouse Candidates for Colorado’s General Assembly.

Certain Colorado criminal records can be sealed, While many of the candidates do not have criminal records in Colorado, some of the backgrounds might surprise you.

For example, the Post reports the following case histories, such as a candidates 1971 arrest on charges of dangerous drug possession. The charges were eventually dismissed by the court, but the candidate never opted to seal his criminal record. Another surprising background was for an arrest on Misdemeanor Assault charges more than 20 years ago on another candidate.

Similar to the other candidate, charges were dropped, yet her record has not been sealed. This seems to be a pattern with several of the candidates,  some have charges of harassment were dismissed in 2003; or charges of petty Shoplifting that were dropped in 2000.

One would think that those running for the General Assembly would want to look as squeaky clean as possible and hire a lawyer for Sealing Criminal Records Colorado, especially given the amount of public scrutiny one faces in such a government position.

It seems strange that these candidates, as well as plenty of others, chose not to seal their records and prevent any of their youthful transgressions from being seen. Hopefully, this does not affect any candidate’s position amongst voters, although one could easily see how it might.

The Law Offices of Steven J Pisani specialize in sealing criminal records Colorado, expungement of juvenile records, DUI, traffic, and criminal defense. Call our Denver office today for a free consultation at 303-635-6768.

Colorado Statehouse Candidates Denver Post, Jackson Barnett, October 23rd, 2018 


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