Criminal Defense and Record Sealing
- Immediate attention to your case
- Careful follow-up after acquittal or sentencing
- Advice regarding:
- Sex Offender Registration;
- Effect of conviction on voting and other civil rights;
- Restrictions on firearm/weapon possession because of convictions;
- Record sealing when allowed;
- Updating/correcting arrest records;
- Criminal case Opinion/explanation letters for client use with employers or other interested parties.
Most of us, including most of my clients, do not encourage or want criminal conduct in our community. However, I do strongly believe in and support the rights of persons accused of crime. Those rights are critical for our freedom. And sometimes we as a society over-react in our efforts to solve societal problems, by passing more and more criminal laws. Whether by trial, raising evidentiary legal questions, or seeking the least onerous sentence available, I strive to protect my clients’ interests.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested for a crime, you can contact me by phone at (970) 224-9281. If you are arrested on a weekend or there is other urgent need to speak with an attorney, I can be reached at that phone number evenings and weekends. I strongly encourage you to talk with an attorney before meeting voluntarily with the police or making any admissions. It may be too late afterwards to ask what your rights are, or what the best course of action is.
As an attorney, I can visit a client in jail without having to wait for public visiting hours, and can help that client get through the uncertainty and fear they may be experiencing. In Larimer County, bond is set on new arrests in court hearings held at 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. (Some bonds on less serious cases are set at night and over the weekend by pre-trial services “bond commissioners”). So a Friday night arrest can result in an uncomfortably long weekend in jail. The Larimer County Detention Center is pretty good as jails go, but it is still jail.
I have handled most types of criminal charges, representing clients in courts throughout northern Colorado and Denver. I am also experienced in dealing with legal matters relating to firearms. I have dealt with a variety of federal and state authorities including the FBI, DEA, ATF, local police, Dept. of Human Services, U. S. Attorneys, and County District Attorneys. I have seven years experience myself as an assistant District Attorney.
Unlike many attorneys, I also include in my representation the important step of seeing that state criminal/arrest records are correctly updated upon completion of the court case. The initial arrest record only shows the criminal charge filed at the time of the arrest. These are not the same as the court records, and sometimes are not automatically or correctly updated with the favorable or less serious outcome of the court case. And arrest records were generally not automatically updated at all for arrests before 2003 or so. These records are now available online to the public for a small fee. Proper updating can ensure that future checks by potential employers or police will show the actual outcome of the case when charges have been dropped or significantly reduced, the defendant is found not-guilty, or charges are dismissed after completion of a deferred sentence.
While not technically an “appeal”, Colorado criminal rules also allow for a request for sentence reconsideration, if not waived in a plea agreement. That request generally has to be filed within 126 days from the date of the court hearing where the sentence was imposed. SO DO NOT DELAY in talking with an attorney about that possible option. There are some possibilities for sentence modification after 126 days, if your original sentence included probation or a deferred sentence, or if you filed an appeal of your conviction.
Sex Offender Registration
I assist clients in petitioning to end the requirement to register as a sex offender, when that is allowed by law for certain less serious offenses. Please note that the registration requirement does not end automatically just because the five- or ten-year minimum period has elapsed.
ALSO, even if the Court in which you were found guilty allows you to stop registering, as the law now stands in Colorado and most other states you must keep registering if you live in another state, or start registering again if you move to a different state. To be permitted to stop registering, you also have to follow the laws of the state in which you now live.
Effect of Criminal Convictions on Voting Rights, Resident Alien/Immigration Status, and other Civil Rights
I help clients understand the effect of various types of criminal convictions on their voting rights, other civil rights, employment opportunities, and the like.
In Colorado, convicted felons can vote unless they are still serving time in prison or are on parole. BUT each state has its own laws on felons and voting rights. Some states never let a convicted felon vote again, and some require the passage of a certain amount of time after a sentence is completed before voting rights are restored.
If you are in the United States as a resident alien, foreign student, or you are otherwise not a citizen, it is critical that you speak with an attorney if you are charged with any crime, even a misdemeanor offense. U.S. immigration laws are very complex (I often consult expert immigration attorneys myself), and a criminal conviction or even a deferred sentence, can carry serious immigration consequences that you may not realize apply.