?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> Fort Collins Criminal Law Attorney Blog tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2009-12-03:/blog/15759 2013-04-04T17:34:28Z Movable Type Enterprise 4.32-en Prosecutors reject plea deal in Holmes murder case tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.494762 2013-04-04T17:33:14Z 2013-04-04T17:34:28Z James Holmes and his attorneys offered Colorado prosecutors a deal in the murder case against him, stemming from last year's shooting in an Aurora movie theater. Holmes offered to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison.... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC James Holmes and his attorneys offered Colorado prosecutors a deal in the murder case against him, stemming from last year's shooting in an Aurora movie theater. Holmes offered to plead guilty in exchange for a sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors rejected the plea and will pursue the death penalty in his case.

The prosecutors are taking a risk, however. Accepting Holmes' guilty plea would have given them a guarantee that he be given a sentence of life in prison. Pursuing the death penalty and taking the case to trial maintains a possibility that he be given a lesser sentence, or even that his charges be dismissed completely. Many people following the case believe that Holmes may try to use the insanity defense, which would preclude a first degree murder conviction.

]]> In order to be found guilty of first degree murder a person must be shown to have acted deliberately, with the intent of ending another's life. The insanity defense can be used to show that a person was not in the state of mind to act deliberately. Such a plea has not yet been entered in this case but defense attorneys have called the defendant "mentally ill" and records show he was seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting.

This decision is particularly timely as it casts a spotlight on the ongoing debate over capital punishment in Colorado. Just last week a bill died in committee that would have repealed the death penalty for all new murder convictions. The bill's sponsors were optimistic but Gov. John Hickenlooper expressed doubts about the legislation, which may have led to its failure.

The death penalty seems to be losing ground in many states, with nearly 20 states banning its use. As people hear more stories about wrongful convictions and the death penalty's use against innocent people, many have grown skeptical over whether its benefits outweigh its risks and costs.

Source: The FindLaw Blotter, "James Holmes' Plea Rejected, DA Seeks Death," Andrew Lu, April 1, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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Will feds intervene in Colorado's marijuana laws? tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.474965 2013-03-27T15:36:54Z 2013-03-27T15:38:38Z We've written several times about Amendment 64 and Colorado voters' decision to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state last November. When the law passed it gave adults over the age of 21 the right to use, possess... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC We've written several times about Amendment 64 and Colorado voters' decision to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the state last November. When the law passed it gave adults over the age of 21 the right to use, possess and sometimes grow controlled amounts of marijuana for recreational use. However, these activities remain illegal under federal law.

In the past President Barack Obama said, "We've got bigger fish to fry" when he was asked if the federal government would intervene in this matter in Colorado. However, federal laws have not changed and marijuana users who are abiding by Colorado law may worry about the possibility of federal drug charges.

]]> These people may take some comfort in the federal government's financial situation. The federal budget sequester requires the United States Justice Department to cut more than $1 billion from its operations budget, which means fewer dollars to spend chasing smokers in states where marijuana is legal.

However, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has not made an announcement about what the federal government's policy will be regarding these states. Several weeks ago he said he expected to make an announcement "soon" but, until that happens, marijuana users in Colorado (and Washington state, which passed a similar law) may just have to cross their fingers and wait.

Whatever the federal government chooses to do, not everyone will be happy. Marijuana reformists - and voters in states like Colorado - appear to believe that the costs of treating marijuana use as a crime do not outweigh the supposed benefits. On the other hand, champions of the failed War on Drugs still argue that marijuana is a threat to public health and safety.

We'll keep you updated on Holder's decision and explore the implications for Coloradoans in a future post.

Source: The Columbian, "In Our View: Will Feds Rip New Pot Laws?" March 18, 2013

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Can Colorado enforce its new gun laws? tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.470002 2013-03-21T15:07:42Z 2013-03-21T15:09:34Z A Colorado sheriff has threatened to join with other law enforcement officials in suing the state to block two new gun control measures signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper yesterday. Colorado lawmakers have considered a number of proposals to... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC A Colorado sheriff has threatened to join with other law enforcement officials in suing the state to block two new gun control measures signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper yesterday. Colorado lawmakers have considered a number of proposals to tighten gun laws in the wake of a rash of deadly shootings in 2012.

The sheriff has criticized the laws for being "unenforceable," saying that in their rush to draft gun laws in the wake of these tragedies, the state's Legislature failed to craft laws that would actually be effective.

]]> One of the laws requires universal background checks for all gun sales, including private and online sales. This is meant to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. However, it is impossible for law enforcement officials to be aware of every single private and online gun sale that occurs, making the law nearly impossible to enforce.

"Criminals are still going to get their guns," the sheriff said, arguing that the $10 background check won't necessarily prevent guns from being used for violence.

The other measure, which bans ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, raises its own problems. It contains a provision banning magazines that can be altered to contain more than 15 rounds, which the sheriff said essentially prohibits all magazines because any of them can be modified.

Whatever happens to these new laws, the rest of the country will likely continue to watch as the gun control debate plays out in Colorado. We can hope the state will figure out a result that adequately balances public safety with people's rights to bear arms.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Colorado Sheriff Sys He Won't Enforce New Gun-Control Measures," March 17, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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DNA evidence collection debated before Supreme Court tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.464302 2013-03-14T02:21:34Z 2013-03-14T02:23:19Z Last week we discussed a proposed bill in Colorado that would expand DNA evidence collection in the state. Currently, law enforcement officials may collect DNA evidence from those convicted or arrested on felony charges but the bill would expand that... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC Last week we discussed a proposed bill in Colorado that would expand DNA evidence collection in the state. Currently, law enforcement officials may collect DNA evidence from those convicted or arrested on felony charges but the bill would expand that process to misdemeanor convictions as well.

This comes at an opportune time as the Supreme Court recently heard arguments in a case surrounding the National DNA Database. Some states collect DNA evidence from anyone who is arrested but this practice has been challenged before the high court. Civil liberties advocates say it is unfair to those who have not been convicted and improperly uses their presence in the database as evidence that wrongdoing occurred.

]]> There are several applications for DNA evidence in criminal proceedings. A major one, which is at the crux of the debate before the Supreme Court, is its use for linking criminal suspects to physical evidence in criminal cases. This helps law enforcement officials solve crimes committed by first-time offenders.

In addition, those who have been convicted of past crimes have their DNA retained in state and federal databases,. In the event that they are later accused of another offense, the evidence collected may be run through the database to connect known offenders. This helps law enforcement identify repeat and habitual offenders. Just as importantly, DNA evidence can be used after a conviction to exonerate someone who has been wrongfully convicted of a crime he or she did not commit.

If you have been accused of a criminal offense, it is important to act quickly to protect your rights. Consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you review the evidence and the charges while building an aggressive defense and pursuing the best possible outcome for you.

Source: The FindLaw Blotter, "National DNA Database Comes Under Scrutiny," Deanne Katz, Feb. 27, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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Colorado bill would collect DNA from misdemeanor convicts tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.460212 2013-03-08T17:57:40Z 2013-03-08T18:00:35Z Will Colorado be able to collect DNA from everyone convicted in the state's criminal court system? If a proposed bill is passed, the answer is yes. The proposed bill would allow Colorado to collect DNA samples from anyone convicted of... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC Will Colorado be able to collect DNA from everyone convicted in the state's criminal court system? If a proposed bill is passed, the answer is yes.

The proposed bill would allow Colorado to collect DNA samples from anyone convicted of a misdemeanor. The DNA samples would then be entered into a database that would compare the sample to other DNA found in unsolved crimes in Colorado. The DNA would be collected by a cheek swab and then sent to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to be tested and entered into a state database.

]]> If the bill passes, it could have a significant impact on criminal charges in the future. If the bill is approved, it would make Colorado the second state to have this type of law.

Colorado already collects DNA samples from people accused of felonies under "Katie's Law." These DNA samples are sent to state databases to be checked for other unsolved crimes in the state. Supporters of "Katie's Law," which collects DNA from those arrested for felony crimes, said that the DNA collection has helped solved many crimes and has stopped repeat offenders.

Supporters of the proposed law include Denver's District Attorney, who said that collecting DNA from individuals convicted of a misdemeanor can have a huge impact on Colorado crime because it would help solve other cases as well as possibly deter future crimes.

Opponents of the bill include the Colorado ACLU. Opponents said that collecting DNA from a majority of people who are arrested for a crime violates privacy rights and can severely impact a person's life even though they were only arrested for a minor offense.

If the bill is passed, it would impact a large group of people in Colorado. Last year, roughly 43,000 people were convicted of misdemeanors, which include drunk driving offenses to shoplifting.

Source: CBS Denver, "Bill Would Require DNA From All Misdemeanor Convicts In Colorado," March 5, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our criminal defense page.

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Repeat DUI may become a felony in Colorado tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.453418 2013-02-28T23:16:30Z 2013-02-28T23:19:26Z Being pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated is many people's experience in the criminal justice system. Some people believe that a DUI charge is no big deal and that their life will quickly return to normal after the... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC Being pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated is many people's experience in the criminal justice system. Some people believe that a DUI charge is no big deal and that their life will quickly return to normal after the case is resolved. However, that is not always the case. A DUI conviction can be serious - and would become even more so if a proposed Colorado law is passed.

Colorado lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would create a felony DUI offense. The bill comes in the wake of legislation that the state does not impose harsh enough punishment for those convicted of multiple DUI offenses.

]]> The legislature appears to have taken an active interest in matters of DUI prosecution. Just three years ago, it increased penalties for impaired driving, focusing on creating longer prison sentences for repeat offenders. The current bill would take that a step further by creating the felony offense.

The proposed law would have one provision that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, a trend that has been shown to both reduce prison population and prevent future offenses. There may be an alternative for offenders to undergo alcohol treatment and avoid prison time if they complete it successfully.

If you are facing accusations or charges of impaired driving, it is important to consult a criminal defense attorney with experience in DUI matters. He or she can work with you to review your case, defend against any charges and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Source: The Denver Post, "Colorado needs felony DUI law," Feb. 25, 2013

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Gun control package may hold gunmakers liable for crimes tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.448243 2013-02-22T04:06:42Z 2013-02-22T04:07:43Z A few months ago we discussed a package of gun control bills being worked on by Colorado's governor and lawmakers. A series of high-profile violent gun crimes in 2012 put gun control on the national radar and led many states... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC A few months ago we discussed a package of gun control bills being worked on by Colorado's governor and lawmakers. A series of high-profile violent gun crimes in 2012 put gun control on the national radar and led many states to introduce stricter gun laws. With these proposals, lawmakers are trying to balance Second Amendment rights with their obligation to protect innocent citizens.

Colorado's gun control package included measures to prevent mentally ill people from possessing firearms and banning handguns at the state's colleges and universities. However, these measures have come under criticism from those who believe they unfairly affect law-abiding gun owners who only possess weapons for self-defense.

]]> The legislation package also includes a bill that some people have called the most aggressive gun control measure in the country. It would allow gun manufacturers and sellers to be held liable for crimes committed with guns.

A federal law already exists that could conflict with that law. Colorado lawmakers and gun control advocates may try to get that law repealed but it will likely be an uphill battle. Enforcing these laws could also be expensive.

If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges, the presence of a weapon could lead to an enhanced sentence or other severe consequences. It is wise to enlist the help of someone who understands state and federal gun laws. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you assess the charges, defend against them and protect your fundamental rights in the criminal justice system.

Source: Fox News, "Colorado Democrats want gun manufacturers held liable for crimes committed with their guns," Barnini Chakraborty, Feb. 7, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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Colorado may outlaw violence against unborn children tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.443773 2013-02-15T17:36:28Z 2013-02-15T17:41:39Z Colorado's lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it illegal to kill or injure a woman's unborn child. Such an offense would probably often be connected to charges of violence against the child's mother, whose injury or death may lead... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC Colorado's lawmakers are considering legislation that would make it illegal to kill or injure a woman's unborn child. Such an offense would probably often be connected to charges of violence against the child's mother, whose injury or death may lead to the child's. This could change the way some cases of domestic violence are prosecuted in the state.

House Democrats support the idea of such legislation but killed a bill by a Republican representative in January before introducing their own version. While the idea of the bill seems to have widespread support, semantics and party priorities seem to be causing disagreement. The Republican version of the bill defined the unborn child in a way that implied personhood, which some worry could be used to try to prohibit abortion.

]]> The latest version of the bill has been proposed by the state's Democrats. If it passes, this legislation could make some criminal charges more serious by adding an additional count of violence. This could happen whether the perpetrator of the alleged violence knew about the existence of the fetus or not.

The proposed law could have significant implications for charges of domestic violence. If a domestic dispute turns physical, the violent party already faces severe consequences, including criminal charges that could result in jail time, no contact orders or worse. An additional count of violence added to the charges would only make those penalties worse.

If you are facing criminal charges it is important to work with someone who can help protect your rights. Consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help safeguard your interests.

Source: The Denver Post, "Colorado lawmakers debate bills to deal with crimes to the 'unborn child,'" Lynn Bartels, Jan. 28, 2013

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More motorists using personal breathalyzer devices tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.433013 2013-02-05T19:50:33Z 2013-02-04T19:51:28Z After a drink or two at happy hour, it can be difficult to tell if you are capable of driving yourself home or if you are impaired and should call a cab to avoid a DUI. And if alcohol has... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC After a drink or two at happy hour, it can be difficult to tell if you are capable of driving yourself home or if you are impaired and should call a cab to avoid a DUI. And if alcohol has impaired your judgment, that decision can be even more difficult to make.

To address this issue, more and more people are having personal breathalyzer devices installed in their vehicles. These devices allow (or may require) a motorist to blow into them before starting the car. They measure a person's BAC, which may be helpful in determining his or her level of impairment.

]]> However, a legal BAC is not a free pass to drive or a guarantee that you will not get pulled over. An officer may still stop you or determine that you are impaired even if your breathalyzer said you were not drunk.

Even the breathalyzer devices used by law enforcement officials are not foolproof. Any tool is only as effective as the person using it and breath testing equipment is no exception. An error by the person administering the test or reading the results could result in a wrongful DUI conviction. Similarly, if the machine is calibrated incorrectly it may show an incorrect measurement.

Breathalyzer results may only be one piece of the evidentiary puzzle in DUI cases. Depending on the state in which charges are being brought, prosecutors may have to prove impairment, which may mean something different for everyone in relation to their BAC. Field sobriety tests, visible evidence and blood testing may also be used as evidence.

For these reasons, it is important to seek legal help if you are facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He or she can work with you to understand your unique case, represent your interests in and out of court and deal with any evidentiary issues such as breathalyzer results.

Source: The Street, "Your Own Personal Breathalyzer," Jan. 17, 2013

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Court rules Colorado DUI doesn't count in out-of-state sentence tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.432315 2013-02-02T17:41:14Z 2013-02-02T17:42:27Z A court in another state recently ruled that a man's DUI arrest in Colorado could not be used to enhance his sentence for a similar offense in his home state. He had originally been sentenced to three to five years... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC A court in another state recently ruled that a man's DUI arrest in Colorado could not be used to enhance his sentence for a similar offense in his home state. He had originally been sentenced to three to five years in prison for a fourth DUI offense.

However, a state court recently ordered a new sentencing hearing, saying that the Colorado offense did not count as a DUI conviction in his home state. The Colorado law cites drivers with a blood-alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.08 percent, while the suspect's home state requires a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

]]> If you are arrested in a state other than the one you call home, things can get tricky. You may face charges in that state and law enforcement officials may also contact police in your home state. That can mean double trouble and extra penalties. In the case of DUI, for example, the other state cannot suspend your license but they may prohibit you from driving in their state.

You may also face penalties in your home state such as license suspension, mandatory treatment programs and even jail time. In addition, DUI charges can end up on a criminal record that follows you for the rest of your life.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to speak with someone who understands the complex criminal code of the state where you have been arrested. Consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can fight to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Source: The Journal Star, "Court: Colorado case can't count toward Lincoln DUI sentence," Jan. 25, 2013

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Guns and criminal charges in Colorado tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.424868 2013-01-25T18:14:30Z 2013-01-25T18:20:34Z In light of a series of tragic mass shootings during 2012, including one in a Colorado movie theater in July, gun control has been a hot-button issue on both a state and federal level in recent months. Advocates from both... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC In light of a series of tragic mass shootings during 2012, including one in a Colorado movie theater in July, gun control has been a hot-button issue on both a state and federal level in recent months. Advocates from both sides of the aisle have come forth to speak out either in favor of stricter gun laws or against impinging on Second Amendment rights.

Strong among those voices has been the National Rifle Association, which maintains that the Second Amendment is a critical protection of basic rights and should not be trod upon. They have made tireless efforts to keep guns available to law-abiding citizens.

]]> However, there is a provision of law that threatens gun rights in many states, which the NRA has largely failed to notice or speak out about.

In Colorado, a person who carries a gun regularly for self-defense under the Second Amendment may face harsher penalties if he or she commits a crime with that gun on his or her person, even if the gun is not used or intended to be used in the commission of a crime.

For example, a person may commit a burglary and be charged with second degree burglary. However, if the offender is carrying a gun for self-defense those charges may be upgraded to burglary in the first degree, a more serious offense - even if the gun stays holstered the entire time.

Carrying a gun during commission of a crime could lead to a longer jail sentence or even an upgrade of charges from a misdemeanor to a felony.

If you have been accused of a crime, it is important to work with someone who understands the law and can protect your best interests. Consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney who can build a defense and fight for your rights.

Source: The Huffington Post, "The Criminal and the Gun," Christopher Brauchli, jan. 17, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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Colorado court on "trustworthy" confessions tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.414300 2013-01-15T22:04:35Z 2013-01-15T22:05:40Z Two weeks ago we talked about issues that can cast doubt on confessions in criminal proceedings. We talked about how a confession may be thrown out if law enforcement officials violated your fundamental rights in the criminal justice system or... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC Two weeks ago we talked about issues that can cast doubt on confessions in criminal proceedings. We talked about how a confession may be thrown out if law enforcement officials violated your fundamental rights in the criminal justice system or if the confession was made as part of a privileged communication.

A recent decision by the Colorado Supreme Court took up the issue of "trustworthy" confessions and the role of a confession in criminal proceedings. Moving forward, the use of confessions as evidence by prosecutors could change dramatically.

]]> For more than 100 years, prosecutors have been required to supplement a confession with real evidence that a crime actually occurred. However, with the high court's new decision a trustworthy confession will be enough to support a conviction without additional evidence.

The case that prompted the change involved a man who confessed to his wife, his mother, his pastor and police that he had sexually assaulted a child. He was convicted using the confession as evidence but the ruling was overturned on an appeal because the prosecutors did not offer any additional evidence.

The Colorado Supreme Court did not reinstate his conviction but decided that in future cases with similar circumstances, a confession will be sufficient if prosecutors can prove that the confession is trustworthy and the facts given in the confession are true.

Sometimes people who are accused of a crime they did not commit will confess under pressure from law enforcement or because they believe it will result in a plea deal or lighter penalty. This new rule makes that particularly risky.

It is absolutely essential that people facing criminal charges seek help from a qualified defense attorney. Contact one if you have been accused of a crime in order to ensure that your rights are protected.

Source: CBS Denver, "Colorado High Court Rules on Trustworthy Confessions," Jan. 14, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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81 Colorado motorists arrested for DUI over New Year's tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.412960 2013-01-11T22:28:36Z 2013-01-11T22:34:10Z The weekend surrounding New Year's Eve is filled with festivity, including parties that go late into the night. A champagne toast to ring in the New Year may seem harmless, but drinking and driving can lead you vulnerable to charges... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC The weekend surrounding New Year's Eve is filled with festivity, including parties that go late into the night. A champagne toast to ring in the New Year may seem harmless, but drinking and driving can lead you vulnerable to charges of driving under the influence, as dozens of Coloradoans recently found out.

81 people were arrested on suspicion of DUI in Colorado around New Year's Eve this year. The Colorado Highway Patrol conducted additional enforcement efforts between Friday, Dec. 28 and Monday, Jan. 1.

]]> Fortunately, there were no fatalities caused by impaired drivers over the holiday weekend. However, the state patrol is investigating the New Year's Day death of a pedestrian who they suspect may have been intoxicated.

During holiday DUI crackdowns and increased patrols, law enforcement officials aggressively pursue motorists who may be impaired by alcohol or drugs. However, they may not pursue drivers so aggressively that they violate the fundamental rights afforded to all Americans.

For example, an officer may not order a breath or blood alcohol test without establishing probable cause that they may be under the influence. In addition, they must read suspects their Miranda rights and may not compel a driver to answer any questions against his or her consent.

Another essential right is that to counsel. If you are arrested and ask to speak with an attorney, police officers must respect that right and you may not be required to answer additional questions without speaking to a lawyer.

If you are stopped and questioned about a suspected DUI, or if you are facing charges for an alcohol-related offense, it is essential to work with someone who knows how to handle your case. Consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer who has experience in DUI matters. They can help you preserve your rights and work the fairest possible outcome.

Source: The Denver Post, "Eighty-one in Colorado get DUI tickets during New Year's holiday weekend," Jan. 2, 2013

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Confessions may not always be valid evidence tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2013:/blog//15759.407524 2013-01-05T20:50:06Z 2013-01-05T20:51:55Z A confession is a sworn statement by someone that they committed a certain crime. These statements may be made any time but are frequently made in court or to law enforcement officials. They may be used as evidence in criminal... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC A confession is a sworn statement by someone that they committed a certain crime. These statements may be made any time but are frequently made in court or to law enforcement officials. They may be used as evidence in criminal proceedings and can be quite compelling.

In television programs and movies about crime and criminal justice, a suspect's confession is often the climax of the story, a point of no return that seals their fate. However, little attention is paid to the circumstances under which the confession is made. And that can make all the difference in real-life criminal proceedings.

]]> If law enforcement officials do not act properly, a confession that they see as the end of the story could be a meaningless piece of evidence that gets thrown out by a judge. There are three common situations in which a confession can be made invalid:

  1. If police officers question a suspect unlawfully before advising them of their Miranda Rights, the suspect's answers are generally not admissible in court. It is wise to not answer any questions until you've spoken with an attorney.
  2. Confessions made as part of a privileged communication also may be thrown out. The law recognizes certain relationships that should be confidential so any statements made to a clergy member, spouse, attorney or a doctor for the purposes of treatment are privileged and confidential.
  3. Finally, involuntary or coerced confessions are invalid. If you are threatened by police officers or made to confess against your will, it should not be allowed as evidence.

Every American is entitled to certain fundamental rights in the criminal justice system. If you are facing charges or feel that those rights have been violated, contact a criminal defense attorney who can help make sure that your interests are protected.

Source: The FindLaw Blotter, "3 Ways to Get a Confession Tossed Out of Court," Deanne Katz, Dec. 27, 2012

To learn more about criminal charges in Colorado, please visit our website.

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GPS technology leads to drug arrest tag:www.gerijoneson.com,2012:/blog//15759.398742 2012-12-25T22:10:00Z 2012-12-20T22:46:18Z For decades now, the Global Positioning System has made it possible to pinpoint one's exact location with the use of a simple handheld device. Now an integrated part of cell phones, automobiles, and personal computers, GPS technology has made finding... On behalf of Joneson & Michael, LLC For decades now, the Global Positioning System has made it possible to pinpoint one's exact location with the use of a simple handheld device. Now an integrated part of cell phones, automobiles, and personal computers, GPS technology has made finding things easier for Americans both across the nation and around the world.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, GPS units have also made it easier for police and authorities to catch criminal activity as well. One drug operation that crossed in and out of Colorado was brought down earlier this year thanks to GPS technology, and the man arrested as a result appeared in court last week.

]]> A 27-year-old man of Mitchell, Nebraska agreed to a plea deal in Scotts Bluff County District Court that included attempted delivery of a controlled substance (a Class IV felony), possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The man and another companion who was also pressed with drug charges were stopped on their way to Colorado by state police. Tipped off by an informant that their vehicle was part of a drug trafficking operation criss-crossing the Colorado-Nebraska border, officers had placed a GPS tracking device on the vehicle, which led to the stop. Large and small bags of marijuana, oxycodone, and other paraphernalia was found in the man's car, leading directly to his arrest.

Sentencing for the man is scheduled for early February and could include up to five years in prison, $10,000 in fines, or both.

What may have seemed like a small, unknown drug distribution plan quickly turned into a serious set of charges and potential punishment for the Mitchell man. In light of new police technologies and methods, it's increasingly difficult to get away clean with drug possession, use, or distribution.

However, strong defense options and legal protection is available for all those facing drug charges. Getting in touch with a criminal defense lawyer can begin the process of exploring these options and working toward a "not guilty" verdict or drastically lessened charges.

Source: Star Herald, "GPS used in drug-trafficking case to net arrests," Maunette Loeks,

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