It may begin with a summons in the mail or the click of the handcuffs behind you, but no matter the circumstances once you’re facing criminal charges your world is bound to change. You’re now faced with the reality that you could go to jail or even prison. Not only that, but news of your criminal activity could reach your employer, landlord, or licensing board, and cause you to lose your livelihood or home. Even minor criminal charges have the capability of changing everyday working people’s lives for months and in some cases years.
The Colorado judicial system is fast-paced and complicated. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you’re probably already overwhelmed by the process. To have a shot at reduced or dismissed charges you’ll need to file motions, inspect evidence, find experts or eyewitnesses, and formulate a strong defense that could undermine the prosecution. All of these actions take time, money, and skill to implement—all of which you don’t have time to learn.
That is why it’s within your best interest to obtain legal counsel for your charges. An experienced and knowledgeable Colorado criminal defense lawyer can provide valuable insight and then execute it for you in the courtroom. They can examine every part of and devote countless hours to your case in an effort to build an effective and efficient defense. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..
Denver Criminal Defense Attorney, CO
If you were accused of a felony, misdemeanor, petty offense, or municipal ordinance, then contact an experienced criminal defense Colorado attorney Matthew Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. With over 20 years of experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney, he can provide valuable information that no other defense lawyer can obtain.
Matthew Martin represents clients throughout the state of Colorado, including the city of Denver and the surrounding areas in the Front Range region including:
- Brighton in Adams County
- Centennial and Littleton in Arapahoe County
- Boulder and Longmont in Boulder County
- Broomfield in Broomfield County
- Castle Rock in Douglas County
- Golden in Jefferson County
During the initial consultation, you can discuss your case with attorney Matthew Martin. Learn more about the possible criminal charges, elements of the offense, and the best defenses to fight the charges. Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation today.
- Types of Cases We Take On
- Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
- How Does Bail Work in Colorado?
- Categories of Crimes in Colorado
- How Are Colorado Crimes Classified?
- Glossary of Legal Terms
- Additional Resources
Type of Cases Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. Takes On
- Drug Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Criminal Trespass
- Defacing Property
- Criminal Mischief
- Traffic Crimes
- Weapons Charges
- Sex Crimes
- Juvenile Defense
- Cyber Crimes
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
The first step to preserving your rights and freedom is to exercise your right bestowed on you from the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. That is the right to remain silent. During a criminal investigation, law enforcement will utilize every trick in the book to get you to talk and to keep talking. That is because every single word you say can and will be used against you. While many know this is true, they don’t take the fact seriously until they see the arresting officer on the stand using their own words as evidence.
You could be tempted to speak to law enforcement in an effort to clear your name. It might seem harmless and, in your mind, just a few sentences shouldn’t hurt your case. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Even your tone when saying something can be accounted as “evidence” by law enforcement. Plus, officers are trained to use confusing tactics in hopes it will draw out a confession from you. Their linguistic and interrogation training could cause you to make an incriminating statement and ultimately jeopardize your freedom.
Instead of endangering your future, remain silent with law enforcement and only ask for an attorney. Your defense lawyer can speak to law enforcement for you and can instruct them to stop interrogating you. They are obligated to refrain from negotiations the moment you request a lawyer. Once you’ve retained counsel, you can speak freely with them.
How Does Bail Work in Colorado?
The first question most people have in regard to the criminal justice system is how to get out of jail. If you can post bail, it’s important you do so as fast as possible so you can begin to work on your defense. Once you post bail, the court will temporarily release you. However, bail is a security interest by the court to ensure you return to all your upcoming court dates. If you fail to show up to a court date, you’ll have an automatic bench warrant out for your arrest.
You can either pay the bail yourself or use a bail bonds company to front the cost. Normally, you must pay a fee of 10 to 15 % of the bail amount as well as collateral. The reason for this is if you don’t appear in court the bondsman is now obligated to pay the full cost of bail.
How much the bail is will depend on a number of factors. The judge will set a bail amount based on the severity of the crime, the chance you’re a flight risk, and if granting bail is putting the community in danger of your actions. The court will also take into consideration your financial condition before deciding on a bail amount. In some cases, the court will not grant bail. It may be because the crime was too heinous, you have a high chance of not returning to your court dates, or you pose a risk to society.
Categories of Crimes in Colorado
The state of Colorado recognizes the following categories for crimes including:
- Municipal Ordinance Violations & Infractions
- Municipal ordinances are city laws passed by City Council
- For example, in Denver, the City Council passed the Denver Revised Municipal Code
- Municipal ordinances include:
- Curfew violations
- Defacing property
- Disorderly conduct
- Disturbing the peace
- Interference of a peace officer
- Non-alcohol traffic violations
- Open container violations
- Petty theft
- Violating park curfews
- Municipal ordinances are city laws passed by City Council
- Petty Offenses
- The least serious criminal violations of Colorado state laws
- The maximum penalty for a Class 1 Petty Offense is a fine up to $500 and/or six months in jail
- The penalty for a Class 2 Petty Offense is usually less than a Class 1 Petty Offense
- Examples of petty offenses include:
- Criminal trespass in the third degree
- Littering of public or private property
- Less serious criminal violations of Colorado state laws
- Punishable by a sentence of up to 18 months in county jail
- Misdemeanor offenses are divided into three classes:
- Class 3 misdemeanors are the lowest level
- Class 2
- Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious
- Examples of misdemeanors include:
- Assault in the 3rd degree
- Criminal mischief with less than $500 damage
- Domestic violence
- DUI and DWAI
- Forgery in the 2nd degree
- Indecent exposure
- Obstructing a police officer
- Prostitution and soliciting for prostitution
- Public fighting
- Resisting arrest
- Serious traffic offenses
- Theft less than $500
- Underage drinking
- The two classes of drug misdemeanors include:
- The most serious criminal violations of Colorado state laws
- Examples include: robbery, rape, and possession of controlled substances
- Felonies are divided into six classes:
- Class 6 are lowest level felony
- Class 5
- Class 4
- Class 3
- Class 2
- Class 1 are the most serious
- Drug felonies are divided into four classes:
- Class 4 drug felonies are the lowest
- Class 3
- Class 2
- Class 1 drug felonies are the most serious
How Are Crimes Classified in Colorado?
The way the crime is classified determines where the crime is prosecuted. For instance, misdemeanor cases are filed and tried in Denver County Court. Most felony cases begin in County Court but are tried in Denver District Court.
The Denver District Attorney prosecutes felony and misdemeanor crimes. Petty offenses might be prosecuted by the Denver DA, but many petty offenses are prosecuted under similar municipal ordinances by the City Attorney.
The Denver City Attorney prosecutes violations and infractions of Denver’s municipal ordinances.If the case is being prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office, then the case number will start with a year, followed by the letters “CR,” “M,” or “JD,” and then a number (for example: 20CR01234, 19M1234, or 18JD7891).
If the case is being prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office, then the case number will start with a year, followed by the letters “GV,” “GS,” or “D,” and then a number (for example: 20GS1234 or 19D1234). The paperwork might also say “General Sessions Summons and Complaint” if the case is being prosecuted by the City Attorney’s Office.
Glossary of Criminal Defense Terms
Age of Consent: The age at which one is legally considered capable of making the decision to become sexually active or participate in sexual activities. The age of consent in the State of Colorado is 18.
Age of Majority: The age at which one is legally considered an adult and capable of making independent decisions. The age of majority in the State of Colorado and throughout most of the United States is 18.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC): The measured percentage of alcohol or any other illicit substance in the blood stream that affects a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle safely or behave as a responsible person.
Domestic Violence: Domestic violence is any act of aggression or abuse that occurs within the family unit or within a shared domicile. Domestic violence most commonly occurs between spouses, parents and children and romantic partners.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Individuals apprehended behind the wheel or operating any motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or more are considered guilty of DUI.
Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI): Individuals apprehended behind the wheel or operating any motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) ranging from 0.05% to 0.079% are considered guilty of DWAI.
Drug Schedule: The drug schedule is a chart that separates illicit drugs into categories, based upon their characteristics. Schedule I drugs, for instance, are substances that have no legitimate medical use and have a high potential for abuse. Schedule I drugs include: marijuana, ecstasy, heroin, LSD and GHB.
Indecent Liberties: The commission of a sexual crime imposed by a warden or caregiver upon an individual placed in their care. This includes doctors who touch, molest or sexually assault their patients, while they are in their care as well as orderlies, nurses, foster parents and prison guards who have been given charge over individuals who are incapacitated or unable to refuse or contest their sexual advances.
Juvenile Law: This branch of the legal system was designed to facilitate the processing of crimes committed by individuals under the age of 18. In certain instances, however, depending upon the severity of the crime in question, juvenile offenders can be tried as adults.
Medical Marijuana: The State of Colorado made legislative concessions to allow individuals suffering from a wide range of chronic conditions or diseases to utilize marijuana as a part of their medicinal therapy. Individuals suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Tourette’s Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), chronic pain and nausea can petition prescriptions from their treating physicians and apply for approval for medical marijuana use. Individuals suffering from other types of diseases and illnesses can petition the medical marijuana review board for a review of their conditions and consideration for permissible marijuana use.
Molestation: The imposing of unwanted sexual behavior upon an individual who is either disinterested in such activities or too young to comprehend the implications of such activities.
Possession: Possession charges can be brought against an individual for being caught with an illicit substance on their person or within their control. Drugs do not necessarily need to be held in the hands or tucked within the coat pockets of any individual apprehended for possession. The drugs simply need to be within their reach and under their control.
Rape: A sexual assault involving an aggressor who coerces or forces another individual to participate in sexual activities or intercourse without consent.
Sex Crimes: These crimes are comprised of any type of behavior or action that is performed or imposed upon another individual for the sake of obtaining sexual gratification. This category of crimes includes rape, sexual assault, child molestation, indecent liberties, pimping, and prostitution.
Colorado Revised Statutes – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about their criminal code. Access the site to learn the judicial criminal process, different types of crimes prohibited by Colorado law, and possible admissible defenses to those offenses.
Colorado Criminal Defense Institute – Visit the official website for the Colorado Criminal Defense Institute is an organization dedicated to pursuing criminal justice reform. Access their site to see their goals at dismantling the prison industry in Colorado, read their articles on criminal reform in Colorado, and learn how to get in involved.
DUI & Criminal Defense | Denver Criminal Attorney in Colorado
As you already know, there’s a lot you stand to lose if you allow the prosecuting attorney to step all over rights. This doesn’t have to happen. Hiring the legal team at Matthew A. Martin, PC is your best chance at bolstering your legal defense in the face of criminal charges in Colorado.
Remember that the Colorado criminal justice system has all the cards stacked in their favor until you hire an attorney. Only then do you have a fighting chance. We know this is a stressful, upsetting, and tumultuous time. It can be difficult to think clearly in light of everything that’s going on. But, one thing is for sure: hiring Matthew Martin to represent your interests in court is the single best decision you can make right now.
Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation free of charge. We look forward to hearing from you.