Best Colorado Springs Criminal Lawyers
Best Colorado Springs Criminal Lawyers
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Colorado Springs, it is critical that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The legal system is complex, and prosecutors typically pursue maximum penalties. Having the right lawyer to advocate for you can make the difference between a dismissed case or reduced charges versus serious convictions and incarceration. This article explores how to find the best Colorado Springs criminal lawyers along with key aspects of Colorado criminal law.
Importance of Retaining a Colorado Springs Criminal Attorney
Trying to navigate the criminal justice system alone, without competent legal counsel, can have severe consequences. An experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands Colorado law and the local Colorado Springs courts can provide invaluable assistance such as:
- Conducting a thorough review of your charges and the prosecutor’s evidence and identifying any potential violations of your rights or other ways to get charges reduced or dismissed.
- Negotiating with the prosecutor to have charges dropped, reduced, or argued down to misdemeanors instead of felonies.
- Developing an investigative strategy and working with private investigators to uncover evidence and witness testimony that counters the prosecution’s version of events.
- Filing motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence so it cannot be used against you.
- Making persuasive legal arguments at pre-trial hearings aimed at having charges thrown out.
- If charges aren’t dismissed pre-trial, mounting a rigorous defense by cross-examining the prosecutor’s witnesses and presenting expert testimony and evidence that creates reasonable doubt about your guilt.
- Serving as your advisor and representative at every stage of the legal process and making sure your rights are protected.
The consequences of a criminal conviction can follow you for life and affect your family, career, finances, and reputation. With so much at stake, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side.
How to Choose a Top Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer
When researching criminal defense lawyers in the Colorado Springs area, here are key credentials and qualifications to look for:
Specialized Expertise in Criminal Law
Seek out lawyers who focus their practice primarily on criminal defense, as opposed to general practice attorneys. You want a lawyer who devotes their career to defending clients in criminal cases and has an in-depth understanding of Colorado’s criminal laws and court procedures.
Experience Handling Similar Cases
Make sure any lawyer you consider has specific experience defending against the charges you are facing. If you’ve been charged with DUI for example, you don’t want a lawyer whose background is solely in white collar crime. Look at the types of cases the lawyer handles on a regular basis.
Familiarity with Local Courts and Prosecutors
Opt for an attorney who routinely practices in your specific jurisdiction and is familiar with the prosecutors and judges in Colorado Springs. An attorney who is very experienced with the local courts will have insight into how best to approach your defense.
Successful Outcomes in Past Cases
Validate that the lawyer has a track record of success in getting criminal charges reduced, dismissed pre-trial, or won at hearings and trial. Ask about case results and read online reviews to gauge the lawyer’s history of achieving favorable outcomes.
Ability to Take Your Case to Trial
Even if you hope your charges will be dropped or reduced through a plea bargain, it’s wise to choose a lawyer with extensive litigation experience. The prosecution will know if your attorney is fully prepared and willing to take your case to trial if needed, which can strengthen your negotiating stance.
Now that you know what to look for in a criminal lawyer, here is an overview of some of the top criminal defense attorneys in Colorado Springs:
Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Colorado Springs
– 20+ years criminal law experience
– Former Chief Deputy District Attorney
– Specializes in DUI, domestic violence, and drug cases
– Skilled in plea negotiations and trial litigation
– 18+ years criminal defense background
– Strong track record getting charges reduced or dismissed
– Handles wide range of misdemeanors and felonies
– Known for meticulous case preparation and persuasive arguments
– 12+ years criminal defense experience
– Focuses on domestic violence and DUI cases
– Skilled negotiator able to secure favorable plea deals
– Rated superb 10/10 on Avvo rating system
– 25+ years as a criminal trial attorney
– Former JAG attorney in U.S. Army
– Handles cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies
– Known for aggressive litigation tactics defending clients’ rights
Overview of Colorado Criminal Law
Now that we have reviewed some top criminal defense lawyer options in Colorado Springs, here is an overview of key aspects of Colorado criminal law and procedure:
Criminal Court System in Colorado
There are several levels of courts in Colorado that handle criminal cases:
- County and District Courts have jurisdiction over felony, misdemeanor, and traffic violation cases.
- Denver District Court handles crimes committed in Denver.
- Court of Appeals hears felony and misdemeanor appeals from lower courts.
- Supreme Court is the highest appeals court in Colorado.
Common Criminal Offenses in Colorado
Some of the most common criminal charges prosecuted in Colorado courts include:
- DUI – alcohol and drugs
- Domestic violence – assault, harassment, violation of restraining order
- Drug crimes – possession, distribution, trafficking, manufacturing
- Theft – shoplifting, robbery, burglary, larceny
- Violent crimes – assault, battery, homicide
- Sex crimes – sexual assault, child pornography, indecent exposure
- Weapons charges – illegal possession, use in a crime
Colorado Sentencing Guidelines
Colorado has established sentencing guidelines and classifications for felonies and misdemeanors:
- Class 1 felony: 8-24 years in prison or up to $1 million fine
- Class 2 felony: 4-16 years in prison or up to $1 million fine
- Class 3 felony: 4-12 years in prison or up to $750,000 fine
- Class 4 felony: 2-6 years in prison or up to $500,000 fine
- Class 5 felony: 1-3 years in prison or up to $100,000 fine
- Class 6 felony: 1 year to 18 months in prison or up to $100,000 fine
- Class 1 misdemeanor: 6-18 months jail or up to $5,000 fine
- Class 2 misdemeanor: 3-12 months jail or up to $1,000 fine
- Class 3 misdemeanor: 0-6 months jail or up to $500 fine
Common Defenses to Criminal Charges
A skilled Colorado Springs criminal attorney will thoroughly examine the details of your case to determine any possible defenses that could lead to reduced charges or dismissal. Some potential defenses include:
- Illegal police conduct – Any constitutional violations by police during arrest or evidence gathering could result in evidence being suppressed.
- Insufficient evidence – The prosecution lacks enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Misidentification – You were wrongfully identified as the perpetrator.
- False accusations – The alleged victim fabricated the story.
- Self-defense – You acted in self-defense against threat of harm.
- Alibi – You have witnesses or evidence proving you were elsewhere.
Colorado DUI Laws
In Colorado, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for adult drivers is .08%. Key aspects of Colorado DUI law include:
- First DUI – Up to 1 year jail, up to $1,000 fine, 9 months license suspension
- Second DUI – 10 days to 1 year jail, $600 to $1,500 fine, 1 year license suspension
- Third DUI – 60 days to 1 year jail, $600 to $1,500 fine, 2 year license suspension
- Fourth or subsequent DUI – 6 months to 1 year jail, $600 to $1,500 fine, license revoked
Refusing a breathalyzer test also leads to severe penalties. Having an experienced DUI lawyer to defend against charges and minimize penalties is critical.
Colorado Drug Possession Laws
Like most states, Colorado strictly prohibits the possession, sale, manufacture and trafficking of illegal drugs. Even possession of small amounts can lead to criminal charges. Some key penalties for drug possession include:
- Cocaine less than 4 grams – Class 4 felony up to 3 years prison
- Heroin less than 4 grams – Class 3 felony up to 4 years prison
- Meth less than 2 grams – Class 3 felony up to 4 years prison
- Marijuana less than 6 oz – Class 1 misdemeanor up to 18 months jail and/or fine up to $5,000
- Hash less than 3 oz – Class 1 misdemeanor up to 18 months jail and/or fine up to $5,000
Finding the Right Colorado Springs Criminal Attorney
Being arrested and charged with a crime in Colorado can derail your future if you are convicted and saddled with a criminal record. However, the legal system is complex, and an experienced local criminal lawyer can advocate for you and help achieve the best possible outcome. Take your time researching attorneys’ qualifications before choosing legal representation. The right lawyer makes all the difference!