Steubenville Offenders Find No Reprieve Even after Serving Sentence

Denver sex crimes defense lawyerTwo young juveniles, who were convicted of the sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio, last year, are now back in school. However, they are finding that the spotlight on them continues to follow them even after they served out their sentence.

Malik Richmond and Trent Mays were found delinquent of the rape of the young girl in last year. Richmond was sentenced to time in a juvenile detention facility. He served time, and recently reenrolled back in high school. He even found himself a place on the football team.

However, Richmond like so many persons convicted of sex offenses and Denver sex crimes defense lawyers already know, is finding that the spotlight continues to follow him even after he served out his term. Local reporters are following him around the football field, and are capturing his workouts on video. Those videos are being posted on the Internet, and details of the crime are once again being analyzed in the media. This is even though he has paid out his sentence for the crime. On the Internet, pictures of him playing football have inflamed commenters, who believe that he should never have been allowed back on the football team because it sends out the wrong message to youngsters.

This kind of discrimination against persons who have committed sex offenses and served out their sentences is despicable, but hardly rare. In fact, it’s actually the norm as far as sex offenses are concerned. People simply assume that once a person has been convicted of a sex offense, he should simply drop out of society.

Rehabilitation of the person, especially a juvenile offender, and helping him to return to school and a normal life after the offense is very important to discourage recidivism. Estimates indicate that the majority, or 97% of all juvenile sexual offenders will never repeat the offense again after they have served out their penalties.

There are long-term consequences after the conviction of a sex offense. If you’re currently facing sex crime charges or are being investigated for sexual offenses, speak with a Denver sex crimes defense lawyer immediately.

Study Focuses on Link between Pet Abuse, Domestic Violence

Denver domestic violence defense attorneyAn Australian research team is making it easier for veterinarians to distinguish between the injuries that are linked to abuse, from those that occur as a result of accidents. That is being done so that vets can identify signs of domestic violence in the family.

Typically, domestic violence in a family is also accompanied by incidents of pet abuse. According to the researchers, domestic violence and pet abuse are very closely linked. In an environment of domestic violence, very often, the pet also suffers injuries as a result of violence and abuse. The researchers are trying to train vets to understand and recognize the differences between bone fractures and other injuries that are linked to accidents, compared to those that are caused as a result of abuse. The point is to identify fractures that could have resulted from abuse, so that the couple can then be screened for domestic violence.

The study is being conducted by the University of Sydney in association with an Australian agency. According to the researchers, statistics indicate that there is a very strong correlation between pet abuse and domestic violence. According to the data, as many as three -quarters of women who are in domestic violence situations at home, also report incidents of abuse involving their pets. In these cases, vets are the first to identify signs of abuse in the family.

In Colorado, great stigma is attached to domestic violence crimes. These crimes are treated as serious offenses, and very often, people assume that these crimes will be treated in a family law court, with no criminal charges attached. Denver domestic violence defense attorneys can assure you that that is not true at all.

A conviction of domestic violence on your record will make it harder for you to get a good job. You could even have your license for certain types of occupations, like for work at a care facility, revoked as a result of a domestic violence conviction. Additionally, your spouse can easily take out a restraining order against you, which will limit your contact with your family members and your children. If you are currently being investigated for domestic violence, speak with a Denver domestic violence defense attorney to learn how your rights can be protected.

Advocates Push for Business Crime Sentencing along Drug Crime lines

Denver Criminal Defense LawyerTaking examples from a federal effort to reduce stringent incarceration terms for minor, low-level or nonviolent drug offenses, a federal panel in charge of recommending policy guidelines for white-collar crime sentencing is also suggesting similar lenient sentencing for white-collar crimes.

White-collar crimes, or business crimes, involve tougher sentences. That was not always the case. In 2008, after the financial crisis, and widespread incidences of mortgage fraud and other types of fraud and business crimes came to light, there was a nationwide call for stringent penalties for persons convicted of investment and other types of fraud. Some high-profile persons who were convicted of securities or business fraud like Bernard Madoff were sentenced to many years in prison. Madoff is currently serving out a 150-year prison sentence for fraud worth billions of dollars.

As the penalties for white collar crimes have become more stringent and as prosecutions and investigations have increased, the federal administration has begun making efforts to lower incarceration rates and prison sentencing guidelines for drug offenses. Over the years, sentencing guidelines became too stringent and resulted in thousands of Americans being incarcerated for minor drug offenses like possession. Even a person convicted of possession of minor amounts of marijuana could be charged with federal crimes. Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers believe that this has resulted in mass incarceration across the country, and a federal prison system that is heavily overburdened and stressed.

Now the US Sentencing Commission recommends that similar changes be made to the sentencing guidelines that are currently being followed in the case of business crimes. Typically, the length of the prison term for a person convicted of a white-collar crime depends on the money that was embezzled. However, the Sentencing Commission and many officials privately believe that the guidelines are simply too stringent, and result in prison terms like Madoff’s 150-year sentence.

Whether these advocates will manage to gather the same kind of sympathy for persons convicted of business crimes, as persons convicted of drug offenses, remains to be seen. In the case of drug offenses, as Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers see that a majority of the convicts tend to be blacks or Hispanics, or people from lower social economic neighborhoods, and there is significant public empathy for the large scale incarceration in these communities. White-collar criminals, on the other hand, tend to be well-off, highly educated, and may not garner as much sympathy.

Penalties for Child Porn Possession Can Be Harsh

Denver sex crimes defense lawyerCharges related to child pornography are some of the most serious charges that Denver sex crimes defense lawyers come across. A person, who is convicted for the possession of child pornography, or distribution or production of these images, can face extremely stringent penalties that are aimed at punishing the person not just over the course of a jail sentence, but possibly over the rest of his lifetime. Few crimes carry the kind stringent penalties that sex crimes, especially those involving children, do.

Recently, a man in Seattle was arrested on charges of child pornography, after images of child porn were found on a cell phone. The man lost his cell phone last year. He had been making a call, and after he finished the call, he left the phone on top of the car, and drove off. Another motorist found the phone on the road. He contacted the owner to return the cell phone, but before doing so, he opened the photo gallery. He found several sexually explicit images of children on the cell phone.

The man immediately called law enforcement, and an investigation was initiated. The owner of the cell phone admitted that he had did have child pornography images on his cell phone, and had been viewing them for more than 15 years. As part of the investigation, officers conducted a sweep of his home, and found several images of child porn on his home computers, as well as videos of young children.

As part of his sentencing, the man will now be required to register as a sex offender, and will participate in counseling and treatment.

As part of the sentencing for a sex offense, offenders may be required to register in a sex offender registry. Depending on the crime, access to the registry may be public. That means that anyone can view details of your crime, including your name, address, contact information, the details of the crime.

If you are under investigation possession of child pornography, or any type of sex crime involving children, establishing a solid legal defense even before charges are filed against you, is important. Speak to a Denver sex crimes defense lawyer about the kind of defenses that can be mounted in your case.

How to Avoid Jail Time for DUI in Colorado

Drunk DrivingDUI charges are serious affairs, and a DUI conviction in Denver can result in a number of penalties. One of those penalties is jail time. There are a number of DUI charges that can be filed against you, depending on the offense. For instance, if it is the first time that you have been arrested for DUI, you may have a much better chance of getting away with no jail time as part of your penalty.

Every DUI charge in Colorado comes with a minimum and a maximum prison sentence attached. You can get a part of the sentence suspended, or even the entire sentence suspended. However, this depends on the specifics of each case. It’s very important for you to understand the consequences involved, and the legal options available for you by speaking with a Denver DUI defense attorney as soon as one is arrested.

You can also apply for alternate sentencing options in Colorado. One of those options is house arrest. Typically, a first time DUI conviction in the state of Colorado can result in a jail term of at least two days. You may be required to perform community service of up to 48 hours. However, your attorney could help get the minimum jail sentence possible for you in your case, or get jail time suspended from your sentencing altogether.

Possible alternatives to jail sentences for DUI are the Home Detention program, Work-Release, Work Crew, as well as the Multiple Offender DUI Program. In the home detention program, the person must remain at home instead of jail, and will be monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet. Electronic home monitoring is also considered an alternative to time in county jail as a condition of probation. As part of the Work Release Program, you will be allowed to work during certain hours, and must remain incarcerated during the other hours. The Multiple DUI Offender program allows individuals who have been convicted at least three times of DUI, to start off with jail time, and then move on to a work release program. Speak with a Denver DUI defense attorney about the options applicable in your case.

What Happens If I Refuse a DUI Test?

Denver DUI attorneyIt’s one of the more distressing situations for motorists. When a Denver police officer pulls you over, and asks you to step over to test for DUI, what do you do? Do you agree to take the test, thereby possibly providing the officer proof of your intoxication, or refuse to take the test?

Denver DUI attorneys know that it’s tempting to simply refuse to take the test, especially if you have been driving after having had a couple of beverages. If you’re not entirely sure if you will clear the test without any problem, it might seem tempting to refuse. However under Colorado law, you are required to take a breath test or a chemical test for alcohol content in your blood, if you are arrested for DUI. Further, under the “express consent” law in Colorado, a person arrested lawfully by a police officer who has a reason to believe that he was driving under the influence of alcohol, must consent to a chemical test for alcohol. Further if the police officer has probable cause to suspect that you were driving under the influence of drugs, he may ask you to agree to a urine test.

If you refuse to consent to the blood test or a urine test for drug use, you could face penalties. One of those penalties is the suspension of your license. If it is the very first time that you have refused to take the test, then you could stand to lose your license for 12 months. If it is the second time that you have refused the test, you could lose your license for up to to 24 months, and for a third offense, you could have your license suspended for 36 months.

If you refuse to take the test, there will be no concrete evidence that you were driving under the influence. Your test results are the most important piece of evidence that prosecutors will have against you. However, there may be other reasons the police officer has to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. Further, your refusal will not look so great to a jury which will automatically assume that you refused to take the DUI test, because you were driving under the influence of alcohol. Speak with a Denver DUI attorney about your   arrest and your defenses.

Senator Who Voted for Stronger Regulations on Ridesharing Apps Arrested for DUI

Colorado DUI attorneyA number of ridesharing apps have entered the market and have become very popular. Apps like Uber and Lyft, help users contact rideshares near them, and get a safe ride home. However, the apps have come under the spotlight, and lawmakers have been attempting to impose strict regulations on such programs. Recently, a California senator, who voted for stricter regulations on Uber, found himself arrested for DUI.

Uber has wasted no time commenting on the arrest of Senator Ben Hueso who was arrested for DUI recently. According to Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick, more widespread use of Uber could actually help reduce the incidence of drunk driving, because it offers intoxicated motorists a responsible way to get home safely. Uber has also offered statistics, which seem to indicate to Colorado DUI attorneys that in several parts of the country, the widespread use of the app has contributed to fewer drunk driving accidents, and a lower incidence of DUI arrests.

These apps have been fighting back against attempts to regulate the program. For instance, the proposal in California would subject drivers in the program to criminal background checking, drug testing, and driver fingerprinting. Uber is against these proposals, and has been critical of lawmakers like Hueso who have supported the regulations.

It’s hard to tell if ride-sharing apps like Uber really do help reduce drunk driving rates. However, it is fairly clear to any Colorado DUI attorney that if the Senator had used a ridesharing app to find a safe ride home, he probably would not have been arrested for DUI.

There’s no doubt that these services do offer an intoxicated motorist who has no other way of getting home, a safe way to so. Studies also seem to indicate that the peak use of the app occurs around midnight, which is also when large volumes of drunk driving does take place. For a new generation of motorists, who want to get home safely without being arrested for DUI, and without causing a drunk driving accident, ridesharing apps could be the 2014 version of the designated driver.

Allegations of Sexual Assault on Campus Plague Air Force Academy

Denver criminal defense law firmIt is not just regular American colleges, including several in Colorado, that are currently facing the heat over allegations of sexual assault. The Air Force Academy located in Colorado Springs, is also facing similar allegations involving star athletes.

Recently, at a ceremony marking the first day of classes at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, a number of generals and colonels spoke about their determination to restore the reputation of the Academy, and sympathized with victims of assault on campus. The reports of victimized cadets recently surfaced in the Denver Post which reported details of a house party in 2011. Several female cadets alleged that date rape drugs that were given to cadets at the party, after which they were sexually assaulted. The football players who perpetrated the crimes apparently also made threats to victims and their families.

The Air Force Academy initiated its own investigation, and a court martial of two football players. Others who were involved, were given lesser punishments. As many as 32 cadets were included in the investigation. Now according to the Academy, new leaders at the Academy will make greater efforts to protect female cadets from sexual predators. As part of the new efforts to help prevent such incidents at the Academy, freshmen are being trained about honor and integrity, and how integrity includes reporting immediately when classmates and friends do something wrong.

At colleges across the country, similar incidents of sexual campus are also raising an outcry. Denver criminal defense law firms have found Colorado colleges under pressure to strengthen their rules, to prevent such incidents. Colleges are bumping up their policies, and drafting stronger guidelines to clearly define sexual consent between students.

Unfortunately, Denver criminal defense law firms fear that much of the hysteria that is being raked up over college sexual assault could lead to an increased number of arrests, and false convictions involving young college students. Young males could find themselves accused of rape, especially in California where a recently approved bill would require conscious and affirmed consent before any sexual activity can take place.

Changes to Colorado’s Human Trafficking Laws

Denver criminal defense lawyerEarlier in July this year, new statutes that went into effect in the state of Colorado, modified the way offenders charged with human trafficking in Colorado, are prosecuted.

The changes come after years of calls by activist groups, who have called the trafficking laws in Colorado the worst in the country. According to law enforcement officers, the laws are very often difficult to interpret, and set a very high burden of proof for what defines human trafficking. The new revised laws are expected to strengthen the tools that are available to law enforcement officers.

As a result of these new laws, offenses that earlier were grouped in the category of prostitution, pimping or pandering could now also be considered as human trafficking. Those changes come as the result of a ruling that was delivered in a case in Colorado in March this year. The Colorado Court Of Appeals delivered a judgment in a trafficking-in-children conviction of a man who had been convicted of facilitating the sale of a teenage girl in 2010. He had been charged after he posted Internet ads, offering the teenager for sex. He set a price for her, arranged dates with clients and ferried her to those dates. In 2011, a jury found him guilty.

However, the appellate court ruled that his conviction was invalid, because of wording in the trafficking in children laws in Colorado. According to the court, he had not actually transferred physical and legal custody of the child permanently to another person, and therefore, he had not committed the crime.

Although the ruling was valid, it incensed anti-human trafficking advocates, who called for modifications to the wording of the law. In response to their calls, new statutes will now change the way that people are prosecuted, and charged with human trafficking cases in this state.

Under the new laws, sex trafficking involving a minor in Colorado is considered a sex offense against a child. As any Denver criminal defense lawyer will tell you, sex crimes against children have some of the most stringent penalties attached. These modifications make it imperative that you get in touch with a Denver criminal defense lawyer as soon as you are charged with a prostitution or pimping-related crime.

Alcohol Ads Contributes to High Underage DUI Rates

Denver DUI defense lawyerPeer pressure has a major role to play in underage drinking, which also contributes to college DUI. Recent research has also indicated to Denver DUI lawyers that underage DUI rates are very strongly linked to promotions and advertising by the alcohol industry.

One recent study recently found that when underage drinkers are exposed to alcohol advertising as part of their regular favorite television shows, they’re much more likely to drink, even though they are not of the legal drinking age. The study was conducted by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Public Health. The researchers analyzed the effect of exposure to certain alcohol commercials, during 20 popular television shows. They were looking for brand-specific consumption patterns, and they found that there was a definite association when young drinkers are exposed to brand-specific advertising as part of their favorite television shows, and the kind of alcohol choices that they make later.

The findings of the study were published recently in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. As part of the study, the researchers surveyed more than 1,000 people between the age of 13 and 20. In all the cases, respondents had drunk at least one alcoholic beverage over the past month. When participants were asked about the alcohol brands they had drunk during the past month, as well as the commercials for alcoholic beverages that they had watched during the past month, they found a very strong connection between consumption of a particular alcoholic beverage brand, and advertising exposure to the alcohol brand.

Underage DUI, or consumption or possession of alcoholic drinks by a person below the legal drinking age of 21, can have serious repercussions. A person who is below the legal drinking age of 21 can be arrested even for having a BAC level of .02 percent in his system, unlike an adult, who can have a maximum blood alcohol concentration level of .08% in his system. If you have been arrested for DUI, speak with a Denver DUI defense attorney.