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Boulder Criminal Defense Blog

Responding To Road Rage

As the metro area continues to grow and road construction struggles to keep up with the increase in traffic, "road rage" incidents have become increasingly common. As traffic slows and tempers flare, it is important to know the steps that you should take as the victim of an aggressive driver and the risks you face should you be the one to lose your cool.

When faced with an aggressive driver, the best option is always to take steps to disengage and if necessary, call the police. If there has been an accident, make sure to get the other driver's license plate (if possible, take a picture of them and the car) and remain in your vehicle until law enforcement arrives. If the other driver takes off, do not follow them and remain on scene to provide the police with any information you were able to obtain. Following a driver will expose you to more dangerous driving and cause an already volatile situation to escalate quickly.

Junk Science In Court

"Junk science" isn't limited to the non-FDA approved supplements that claim one drop of their magical secret formula will make you bigger, stronger, faster, taller, smarter, and happier. As it turns out, much of the police work on shows like "CSI" has about as much validated scientific research behind it as the latest too-good-to-be-true scientific breakthrough to hit the late-night TV informercial circuit.

The most recent example of made-for-tv forensic evidence that has failed to meet scientific rigor is "toolmark" evidence. That is, the idea that it is possible to see the marks that something like a wire cutter left on a wire and say definitively that the wire must have be cut by the wire cutter found in the defendant's garage by a comparison of the two.

Understanding Minor In Possession Laws

For many college students, a "Minor in Possession" charge is their first- and hopefully only- foray into the world of a criminal defendant. While a first offense often has limited repercussions, it is important to know the laws surrounding underage alcohol and marijuana possession and use to avoid the risk of more serious consequences.

When it comes to those under the age of 21, Colorado treats marijuana and alcohol the same, with one exception: the law does not apply to those under 21 with a medical marijuana card. A minor found to have consumed alcohol or marijuana or be in possession of alcohol, marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia faces an unclassified petty offense and may be fined up to $100 with a $25 surcharge and ordered to complete a substance abuse education course. A first offense is automatically sealed from your criminal record if the charge is dismissed, including a dismissal through a diversion agreement or completion of a deferred judgement, or upon payment of any fine and completion of any court-ordered substance abuse education.

Are You Too High To Drive?

Recreational marijuana is highly accessible in Colorado. Those over the age of 21 may legally purchase it at a dispensary, and those under 21 often have easy access through friends, fake ID's, and the black market. Easy access to marijuana has also resulted in increased training for law enforcement to recognize, arrest and charge those found to be driving high.

Most young adults who consume alcohol understand - or can quickly find out - what a BAC above the "legal limit" of 0.08 means in terms of beer, wine, and liquor. Apps and websites give a rough estimate of a BAC based on weight, drinks, and time, and portable breath tests are available for purchase.

Alternatives to criminal arrests offer long-term benefits

When a high-profile, news-making arrest occurs, many of those hearing or reading about the story presumes guilt. The act of the police taking anyone - famous or not - into custody carries the assumption that the individual is responsible for a criminal act based on evidence.

Yet, few ask perhaps the most critical question. Was the arrest necessary?

How Truthful Are Lie Detectors?

From the moment that John Augustus Larson invented the lie detector in 1921, the device has had more than its share of scrutiny and outright controversy. With fine-tuning from protégé Leaonarde Keeler, the University of California-Berkeley medical student Berkeley Police Department officer patented it on January 13, 1931.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) eventually purchased the prototype of what would become the modern-day polygraph. Initially, it was used by the CIA to determine the truthfulness of applicants and existing employees. However, it was the McCarthyism era that gave the lie detector prominence.

Make Your Criminal Record Disappear

With the passage of House Bill 19-1275, Colorado has expanded the number and nature of prior convictions eligible for sealing. For those who have a criminal record but have since led a law-abiding life, the new law gives a chance to truly let the past be the past- and the future to no longer be tainted by a mistake that happened many years ago.

The most important aspect of House Bill 19-1275 is that it allows sealing of criminal convictions that were previously barred. While recent changes in the law provided for certain drug offense to be sealed and charges for people in special circumstances, such as victims of human trafficking, to have their record removed, those with a conviction faced the consequences of having a permanent mark on their record that could affect their opportunities for education, employment, and housing.

"But that's not domestic violence!"

Many people are surprised to learn how easy it is to be charged with domestic violence in Colorado. If domestic violence is reported to the police, Colorado law requires a mandatory arrest.

As a result, many couples learn after one of them is already sitting in jail about how easy it is to be charged with domestic violence. In addition, there are potentially harsh consequences after the arrest, including the requirement of "no contact" with the alleged victim, vacating the shared home, and domestic violence classes. Here are some of the easiest ways to find yourself facing DV charges.

Revisiting Statutes Of Limitations For Mandatory Reporting

Colorado law accounts for victims of sexual abuse who remain silent for months, if not years. Experts assert that admitting this type of exploitation does not happen overnight. It takes time to summon up the courage and turn to someone for help.

Mandatory reporters -- teachers, doctors and social workers - play a pivotal role in the disclosures relayed to them in any form. By law, these professionals are required to call a child abuse hotline, alert law enforcement, or contact the Colorado Department of Human Services within a set amount of time.

Honors & Memberships

Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms U.S.News 2018 american board of trial advocates superlawyers national board of trial advocacy - NBTA - established 1977 scott jurdem - Recognized by best lawyers Best Lawyers - Best Law Firms U.S.News 2020

Contact Jurdem, LLC, Today

For experienced legal counsel that can help you defend yourself against a wide range of criminal charges and protect your rights after you have been injured in an accident, turn to Jurdem, LLC, in Boulder. Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout Colorado. Call 303-800-3509 or toll free at 877-761-7852 or simply contact us online for a free telephone consultation concerning your criminal defense or personal injury matter. We accept major credit cards for our clients' convenience.

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