Friday, September 25, 2015

Domestic Violence Colorado – Must Know Facts

Domestic violence accusations are far too common that you might think. While it is true that many of these are actually made out of impulse without much forethought, once made the accusation itself cannot be taken back during the immediate or later legal proceedings. From then onwards, the situation is handled by law enforcement professionals and prosecutors.

Like any other place in USA, Colorado also has its own set of laws in regards to domestic violence. Often, these laws are very strict and inflexible on what takes place after an accusation has been made. In case you need help with such cases, do not hesitate to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney with sufficient experience in handling domestic violence cases under Colorado law. 

What is the Definition of Domestic Violence?

Any person looking for help with a domestic violence case first need to understand that under Colorado law it is not regarded as a standalone allegation and can be associated with numerous other felonies or misdemeanors that can affect the final statement or trigger other legal methods. Domestic violence cases are thus often referred to as an “aggravator” or a “sentence enhancer”. The bulk of domestic violence cases are also associated with offences like menacing, harassment, third degree assault, false imprisonment and violation of restraining orders. For instance, a domestic violence case may be filed when a harassment charge has been filed by one person against another and the two individuals have been in an “intimate relationship”. 

Domestic Violence Colorado – Must Know Facts

Critical Aspects of a Domestic Violence Case

Once a person is accused of instigating domestic violence, the individual will be required to spend some time in jail. This is particularly true if the law enforcement officials feel that a confrontation has led to domestic violence and that it can be further repeated. The police mainly make an arrest as they feel that the violence may ensue again after they have left the scene. The person imprisoned will remain in jail unless the bond is set personally by the judge. 

Furthermore, it is not possible to dismiss a domestic violence charge once it has been made unless the prosecutor announces in the court that the case cannot be proven true beyond a shadow of doubt.     

Domestic Violence Sentencing

In case a person is found guilty of domestic violence, the person will be subjected to the following sentences:

•    If convicted, a restraining order can be issued in the name of the accused preventing further contact with accuser or any other witness during the duration of such a case;
•    Counseling and treatment for domestic violence;
•    Terms of probation which might vary depending on the offence, the jurisdiction or any other aspect of the sentence 

Getting convicted for a domestic violence case can also affect the accused individual’s parental rights, ability to obtain loans and professional licensure opportunities. Furthermore, domestic violence convictions also give rise to certain federally-mandated provisions and restrictions associated with gun ownership, government employment, military service, security clearances and deportation.

Domestic Violence in Colorado: Certain legal aspects

The scope of domestic violence cases

While most people think that domestic violence cases attribute to situations where one partner is violent towards another within an intimate relationship, the scope of such cases is not only limited to that. Domestic violence can also be said to have occurred when acts of coercion, punishment, control, intimidation or revenge are involved against a partner with whom one had an intimate relationship. Damage of personal property within intimate relationships is also held as domestic violence. 

Mandatory Arrest Laws for domestic violence cases

While for most other crimes a Colorado police officer is allowed discretion as to when he or she can charge or arrest someone, in cases of domestic violence the officer must arrest the individual suspected of the crime. In fact, the legislature commands the officer to arrest the suspect then and there without any delay. 

Victims cannot simply decide to drop charges

If in case the person who has reported the crime decides that he or she does not want to press charges any more, the case will still be not dismissed under the law of Colorado. All crimes that are committed in Colorado are believed to affront to the dignity and peace of the State. Hence only the DA responsible for prosecuting the case has the requisite authority to decide whether the case should be dismissed or not. Even the judge does not have the right to dismiss the case unless in certain special occasions.

Domestic Violence cases are treated as victim's rights cases

All cases of domestic violence are seen as victim's rights cases, which means that victims has several rights such as the right to speak to the DA while addressing the bond or attending to any offers. They also have the right to express their opinions during sentencing and be notified about the time when the defendant is released. While it is true that a victim does not have the power to control a prosecution, he or she can greatly influence the way a case eventually turns out. 
Domestic violence convictions always impacts gun rights

According to the federal law, any individual convicted of domestic violence cannot carry or possess a gun or firearm. If a person previously accused of felony is further convicted for a domestic violence, then the state law also makes it a felony for the individual to possess a gun. These bans stay active for a lifetime. 
What to do when you are accused of domestic violence?

If you are accused of domestic violence under the Colorado law, it is advisable that you immediately get in touch with a professional lawyer who is adept at handling domestic violence Colorado cases. This is so because as a layman you might not be aware of all the legal aspects of such cases and unwillingly complicate your position in regards to such matters. Only a trained and experienced legal practitioner can help you to deal with all the circumstances associated with cases like these.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Step By Step Procedure For Sealing a Criminal Record

Having a criminal charge, conviction or arrest on your name can have a major effect on your life. You might choose to live a decent life by getting a good job and supporting yourself. However, such a thing would be impossible for you to do if your prospective employers find out that you have a criminal past. If you plan to open up a business and you need to get a loan from a bank, then the bank professionals could deny your loan request when they find out about your past. Even landlords may not be ready to rent out a property to you.

In today’s world where information is just a click away, it is much easier than ever before to go online and have access to all of your criminal records. This will enable them to see all the details about your criminal past and any charges, convictions or arrests in your name even if they have occurred many years ago. In short, you will never have an opportunity to start anew and be a better person. However, Colorado law allows people to seal their criminal records under specific circumstances. Once sealed, these records won’t be accessible to the general public, which means that bank professionals, landlords and employers won’t be able to find out about your criminal past.

Sealing criminal record does not mean that they are destroyed; the records can still be accessed by courts, criminal justice agencies or law enforcement officials. However, the information pertaining to sealed records won’t be divulged to common public. In all day to day practices, a criminal record, once sealed or expunged can be treated as if it never happened. This naturally increases your chances of finding success when you are looking to get a job, a loan or a property.

The Role of Criminal Lawyers in Sealing Records 

Sealing a criminal record Colorado is a complex process and therefore it should always be supervised by a professional lawyer. A lawyer who has been handling such cases can help you from the first steps of sending an application to seeing it through the end that your records are sealed from the common public. It is not possible for a layman to know the various complex procedures associated with the sealing of criminal records, and only a lawyer well acquainted with such procedures can assist a client in getting his or her records sealed in the best manner.

Procedure for Getting Criminal Records Sealed

At first, a petition needs to be sent to the District Court asking to seal all the criminal records. All the legal agencies that maintain these records should also be provided with notices for the same and offered the chance to reject such a request in case anyone wants to do so for a valid reason.

If this petition to seal the criminal records is approved by the Judge, then the person in question will not be obliged to further disclose any information contained within the sealed criminal records to any local or state government agency, employer, officials, educational institution and employees for any interview or application. Moreover, if any person associated with employment or any other business matter inquires about any kind of criminal records that might have been sealed, then the person can legally claim to the contrary, stating that such a thing never happened and no such record actually exists.

In case any inquiry is called upon, all the criminal justice agencies will declare that no such criminal records ever existed. Apart from certain exceptions, once a criminal record has been sealed, these documents can only be examined by you or the prosecuting attorney when a petition to the same effect has been presented to the Judge and it is then granted by the Judge. Nevertheless, the arresting agency or individual is allowed to share vital information contained within the sealed record in case a criminal justice agency puts forth an inquiry for the same.

To know more about the process, you can always consult criminal lawyers Denver Colorado.
However, you need to remember that sealing criminal records is possible in only a handful of cases. Not all criminal cases are entitled to such a closure. Here is a brief look at the various instances when the criminal records can be sealed.

Dismissed or Non-Conviction Cases

•    When all charges have been dropped or a person is acquitted of all the charges; this may also include instances where a person has properly completed a deferred prosecution or a deferred sentence;
•    Only arrest record is present but no charges were actually filed and statute of limitations for it has expired;
•    When a case has been dismissed because of a plea agreement in a different case and 10 years or more time has passed since then without any additional criminal charges on the name; 
Criminal conviction records for certain drug offenses only
•    More than 10 years have passed since final disposition of all the criminal proceedings against the individual or the person has been released from legal supervision regarding any criminal conviction; whichever comes later;
•    The person has not been convicted or charged for criminal offenses for 10 or more years since final disposition date of all the criminal proceedings or date of release from legal supervision, whichever comes later

Records of Municipal Code Violations and Petty Offenses
•    Municipal code violation or a petty offense;
•    Three years or more have passed since date of conviction as well as the last day of the court supervision;
•    The person has not been convicted or charged for misdemeanor, felony, or a misdemeanor traffic offense over the last 3 or more years from the conviction or the last day of the court supervision

If you want to have more in-depth legal support that pertains to your specific case, then it is highly recommended that you get in touch with an attorney experienced in criminal record sealing. Only a professional lawyer experienced in such cases can give you the best expertise.