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FAQ – Criminal Defense


FAQ – Criminal Defense

What is attorney-client privilege?

The attorney-client privilege is a concept that is designed to protect the communications between a client and their attorney. It exists to promote open and honest dialogue between an attorney and their client about the facts of the client’s case. This protection is not absolute, so it is important to find an attorney that understands the nuances of this privilege and how it can operate in the courtroom so that your rights are protected.

What if the victim doesn’t want to press charges?

In Colorado in a criminal case, it is not the victim that presses charges – it is the State of Colorado. In order to get a case dismissed, one must deal with the District Attorney assigned to the case – not the victim.

Am I required to talk to the police about an open investigation?
The short answer is no.

I have nothing to hide, should I talk to the police?
In any conversation, individuals sometimes hear what they want to hear. If you make the decision to speak with police about an open investigation, it is important to think about the implications of what you say or what you do not say. It is important to talk to an experienced attorney about your case BEFORE making statements – even those that seem innocuous. Virtually anything you say (or don’t say by omission) can ultimately be used against you in court.

What does a domestic violence (DV) charge mean to me?

Under Federal law, an individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charge is not permitted to possess a firearm. This Federal legislation can have profound consequences for hunters, individuals in the military, and law enforcement officers. Additionally, a domestic violence conviction can have significant consequences for a variety of individuals ranging from employment prospects to immigration status.

In Colorado, a domestic violence conviction is accompanied by a mandatory domestic violence evaluation and prescribed treatment. Depending on the evaluation and an individual’s criminal history, DV classes can range from anywhere from 6 months of classes to two years of classes.

What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

The primary distinction is that a felony carries a possible sentence to the Colorado Department of Corrections while a misdemeanor carries a potential sentence to county jail. Felonies range from Class 6 (least serious) to Class 1 (most serious). Similarly, misdemeanors range from Class 3 (least serious) to Class 1 (most serious). Depending on the charge, both misdemeanors and felonies can carry mandatory sentences.

What is a mandatory sentence?
If a crime carries a mandatory sentence that means that if convicted, an individual would be required by the court to serve a sentence with some form of incarceration. When dealing with felonies, a mandatory sentences means time in the Colorado Department of Corrections. A mandatory sentence on a misdemeanor means time in the county jail, but sometimes those sentences can be served on work-release depending on the charge. Simply being charged with a crime that carries a mandatory sentence does not mean that you are going to jail or prison. It is possible that a District Attorney will make a non-mandatory offer on serious cases.

What does it mean to be charged with driving under restraint?
Driving Under Restraint means that your privilege to drive has been suspended the Colorado. In order to reinstate your privilege, there are certain steps that you must go through with the DMV to get a valid Colorado driver’s license. At The Datz Law Firm, we can help you to navigate this difficult and sometimes frustrating process.

Do I personally have to appear for my court date if I live out-of-state?
That answer depends on the charge and the county in which you are charged. In some counties, hiring an attorney is sufficient to satisfy your appearance. In other counties, your appearance is required.

Does it matter which county I’m charged in?

Each county in Colorado has its own way of doing business. For this reason, it is important to find an attorney that is familiar with the judicial process in that county, the tendencies of the DAs involved, and the sentencing structures available to that county’s judges.

For example, in Broomfield County, a work-release sentence is not available as a sentencing option. Also, on a DUI/DWAI sentence the court could impose what is known as a “staggered” sentence. A “staggered” sentence is a complicated sentencing scheme that involves suspended periods of jail time conditioned on compliance with probation and treatment that is unique to Broomfield.

What is a work-release sentence?

A work-release sentence is one that allows an individual to leave the jail during the day for certain limited circumstances including work and/or full-time education.

I’ve been charged with a crime. Am I going to jail?

Unfortunately, the answer is never cut and dry. No attorney can promise you a particular result, as that is always up to the judge. At The Datz Law Firm, we evaluate the facts of your case, review any criminal history you may have, and look at the crime that you are charged with so that you have a full understanding of what is at stake.

How do I know what evidence the State has against me?

After charges are filed, the District Attorney’s office requests that all reports related to your case be turned over to them by the investigating law enforcement agency. These reports and additional information – known as discovery – is then made available to you and your attorney. At The Datz Law Firm, we will pick up discovery and make that information available to you so that you have the opportunity to review that information with us.

What should I look for when hiring an attorney?

Most importantly, you should look for an attorney that you trust. That person is going to be your advisor, confidante, and voice in the courtroom. If you feel that a potential attorney is more interested in talking about himself or herself than listening to your concerns, keep looking. The right attorney will care about you and your case – not just your ability to pay.

Money is pretty tight right now. Do you accept credit cards?

At The Datz Law Firm, we accept cash, check, and all major forms of credit card

I met with the DA and it’s a decent offer – do I even need a lawyer?

Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes the answer is no. At The Datz Law Firm, we offer a initial consultation. We want our clients to have a full understanding of their rights so that they can make an informed decision about whether they should hire an attorney.

How does an attorney help me to get a better “offer” on my case?

An “offer’ is either a reduction in the severity of the charge or some sentencing concession or a combination of the two that a District Attorney will offer in order to settle a case in exchange for a guilty plea instead of taking the case to trial. With any particular charge, there are often standard offers that a district attorney will make. An experienced attorney can help in a variety of ways – first, by evaluating a case and determining whether any constitutional violations exist. Constitutional violations can be brought to the District Attorney and the Court’s attention, which can result in beneficial results for your case. Second, they can work with you to help develop information to present to the DA to show the DA why the standard offer is still unfair in your specific circumstance. Finally, an experienced attorney can present your case to a jury if you do not receive a fair offer from the District Attorney. At times, last minute offers can come from the DA if there are issues that come up with the State’s case as a case progresses to trial.

How much does an attorney cost?

Criminal Defense Attorneys offer a variety of payment options. Some will charge what is known as a “flat rate” for representation. Others charge hourly for their representation. At The Datz Law Firm, we understand the difficult position that you are in, and we will talk through the options and help you to find a payment arrangement that makes the most sense for you.

Why would an attorney be helpful for my case?

An experienced defense attorney should know the law and the rules of evidence. More importantly, that attorney should know how to effectively present information to a judge and a jury. The experienced trial attorneys at The Datz Law Firm know how to properly evaluate a case to ensure that their client’s rights are protected in the legal system

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Contact Us Today

Let’s discuss your options for defending yourself against domestic violence charges and successfully resolving your case. To schedule an initial consultation, call us at 720-879-1114, or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

Although our office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., we make ourselves available anytime of the day or night to talk about your important legal matters – or simply to discuss your worries and concerns. The bottom line is that we are flexible, available, and responsive.

From our offices in Broomfield, we represent clients throughout the Denver metro area, as well as throughout Boulder County, Broomfield County, Denver County, Larimer County, Jefferson County, Weld County, Adams County, Arapahoe County and Douglas County.


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