Larry D. Combs - Steamboat Springs Criminal Defense Attorney

Larry D. Combs

 
 
                                  
 
 

Recent Cases

Here are some of the recent cases I have tried and their outcomes.


  1. DWAI: Deferred Judgment Client was stopped for speeding and admitted that he had a glass of wine in the past hour. He did not perform the roadside maneuvers to the satisfaction of the arresting officer and he admitted to smoking hash daily. A review of the video footage showed the client to be solid, steady and stable which was contrary to the report of the arresting officer. A low blood alcohol level provided the opportunity for a Deferred Judgment with the minimum of Public Service hours and no fine, no supervised probation and no incarceration. Client's driving privilege was not revoked by either the DMV or the court

  2. DWAI: Deferred Judgment in 26 days Client was arrested on April 4 and charged with Driving While Ability Impaired. The traffic stop was the result of failure to dim headlights. There was also a charge of open alcohol container in the vehicle. Quick negotiations resulted in an agreement to a Deferred Judgment with the minimum hours of Public Service and the minimum fine. The Deferred Judgment was entered on May 1. Quick negotiations can result in minimum consequences and cost with an acceptable disposition.

  3. Dismissal of DUI and Refusal Revocation 18-year old Client was stopped on New Year's Eve for Speeding and was arrested after the trooper reported several indicators of intoxication and failure to perform the roadside maneuvers as a sober person. Client agreed to submit to a blood draw to determine his blood alcohol level. At the Emergency Room, Client was presented with an Admission Form to the hospital and instructed to sign the form as a requirement of the DUI blood draw. Client had difficulty in reading and understanding the form and the trooper then presented a second Consent Form and advised Client that he had to sign both forms. After a delay, the trooper said that Client only had to sign the second form. After further delay, the trooper declared a Refusal.

    The DMV Administrative Hearing resulted in a dismissal of the Refusal Revocation. Negotiations with the Deputy District Attorney pointed out that Client did not appear intoxicated on the video and that the blood draw was not accomplished because of confusion created by the trooper and the presentation of a form that did not apply to the DUI arrest. The DUI and Speeding charges were dismissed. The prosecution stated that a prima facie case for an alcohol related offense could not be presented and there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.

  4. Menacing and Harassment with a Domestic Violence Designation Client was charged with placing the victim in fear of imminent serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon and subjecting the victim to physical harassment with a Domestic Violence designation. The Menacing charge carried a Department of Correction felony sentence of 12 to 18 months upon conviction. Working with the victim and negotiations with the Deputy District Attorney resulted in dismissal the Domestic Violence Harassment and a Deferred Judgment of the Felony Menacing charge. Two years of supervised probation was ordered with no jail incarceration. Client was ordered to complete an Anger Management Class and perform 36 hours of Useful Public Service. This disposition avoided the jury trial that was scheduled and minimized all the threats and possible consequences.

  5. DUI and Weapons Charge for an 18 Year Old Client drove off the road and was contacted by Colorado State Patrol. The trooper observed several indicators of alcohol consumption and Client failed the Voluntary Roadside Maneuvers. Client refused to take a chemical test and was released to his parents since he was 18 years of age. The trooper found a rifle in the vehicle. Client was charged with Driving Under the Influence, Minor in Possession of Alcohol, Possession of a Weapon While Under the Influence, and Careless Driving. Negotiations resulted in a dismissal of the MIP and Careless Driving charges, and a Deferred Judgment on the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired. The Weapons charge was reduced to an Attempt. The prosecutor requested a 30-day jail sentence on the Weapons charge, but arguments to the Judge resulted in a 60-day suspended jail sentence. Client did not lose his driving privilege with the Deferred Judgment and avoided any incarceration and all sentencing conditions were minimized.

  6. Menacing with a Gun Client was charged with Menacing his wife and child with a firearm and Child Abuse. The Lethality Assessment was quickly obtained and videos of the wife's and child's interviews were reviewed. It was established that the gun was not loaded and the wife and child were aware of this. The Deputy District Attorney was convinced that the pair could not have been in fear of bodily harm when they knew that the gun was not loaded. Negotiations resulted in a clean Deferred Judgment for Misdemeanor Assault for one year with no incarceration. Working with the wife resulted in her supporting this disposition.

  7. 2016 Jury Trials There were four major jury trials in 2016. In January, Client was charged with Second Degree Assault and facing a mandatory prison sentence. A jury verdict of Not Guilty was returned with the affirmative defenses of self-defense and Make my Day defense. In October, Client went to trial on Sexual Assault with a jury verdict of Not Guilty returned based on the defense of consensual contact. One DUI jury trial resulted in a verdict of Not Guilty based on the defense of an emotional disorder as opposed of impairment by alcohol. Another DUI trial resulted in the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired based upon the attack of the reliability of the Intoxilyzer test results.

  8. DUI – Deferred Judgment and Sentence Client was stopped after the officer observed a number of moving violations. The officer reported detecting numerous indicators of intoxication and requested Client to perform the Voluntary Roadside Maneuvers. She exercised her right to declined and following her arrest, was advised of the Colorado Express Consent Law and she refused to submit to a chemical test. Negotiations involved educating the prosecutor as to the background and character of Client and the result was a Deferred Judgment with no jail, no probation and no fine. The character of Client was used to obtain the Deferred Judgment.

  9. DUI – Deferred Judgment and Sentence Client was visiting from Texas and got stuck in a snow drift. Law enforcement determined that Client had been drinking and he admitted to having three drinks over a period of four hours. Client did not have a driver's license. It was extremely cold and the police officer took Client into the garage of a homeowner to perform the Voluntary Roadside Maneuvers. The body camera stopped operating and there was no recording. Client was arrested and agreed to take a breath test. The Intoxilyzer was not working and the officer advised that a blood draw would be necessary. Client responded by saying "I hate needles." No blood draw was accomplished. Prosecutors do not like to reduce the DUI charge when there is a refusal of the chemical test. However, under these circumstances, negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment for the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired with no jail sentence, no supervised probation and no fine. Client did not have to return to Steamboat to bring his case to a conclusion. the financial and physical hardships upon the Defendant in returning to court in Routt or Moffat Counties.

  10. Out-of-Town Defendant Client was working in the county and was arrested for assault. He returned to his home south of Denver. Charges were investigated and witnesses were interviewed and negotiations resulted in a conviction to Harassment with unsupervised probation. This disposition avoided the Defendant having to meet with a probation officer and upon request, the Judge allowed the plea of guilty to be entered by mail, thus saving the Defendant the expense and time of returning to Steamboat to appear in court. Minimizing the consequences should also include the financial and physical hardships upon the Defendant in returning to court in Routt or Moffat Counties.

  11. DUI Arrest With No Driving Client was stopped earlier in the evening and given a warning ticket for a moving violation. Client parked the car, then went to a private residence and consumed alcohol. When she returned to the car, she entered a restaurant and the police was called because she appeared to be intoxicated. Even though no one saw her operating the vehicle, she was arrested for DUI. It was explained to the Deputy District Attorney that Client consumed alcohol after she parked the car and did not drive again. The Deputy District Attorney realized that the case could not be proven and the charge was dismissed.

  12. Menacing Client was charged with five counts of Felony Menacing. A group of young men gathered and decided to go to Client's residence and confront him regarding exchanges on social media. When the group arrived, Client came to the door and was pulled out of his residence. There was a brief fight between three of the individuals and Client returned to his residence and obtained a knife. He came out of the residence and confronted the group which quickly left the area. Client was arrested and accused of threatening members of the group with the knife. It was presented to the Deputy District Attorney that Client was acting in self-defense and that he had the right to use deadly force when he was threatened on his property. We were prepared to go to trial on these charges but the case was dismissed 30 days after Client's arrest

  13. Burglary and Contraband Client was arrested after being found in a condo where personal property had been disturbed. Upon being booked into the jail, drugs were found on the Client's person. Client immediately went into an outpatient substance abuse treatment program and submitted to random testing. Negotiations resulted in Deferred Judgments without any felony convictions. At the Sentencing Hearing, the Judge was persuaded not to impose any jail sentence and the Defendant was placed on two years of supervised probation with the requirement of volunteering Public Service hours each month. The Court was persuaded that rehabilitation and not punishment was the appropriate disposition.

  14. Driving Under the Influence Client was arrested when she entered a restaurant under the influence. The reporting party called law enforcement and Client explained that she had not driven for the past two hours. Upon closer investigation and interviewing the reporting party, it was established that the reporting party could not say when Client's vehicle arrived in the parking lot and could not say whether or not Client exited the driver side of the vehicle. Negotiations convinced the Deputy District Attorney that there was no probable cause for the arrest of Client and the case was dismissed.

  15. Assault on a Police Officer The police were called to a hospital where Client had been detained on a physician's hold. Client was acting erratically, was violent and uncooperative with the police. In an attempt to restrain Client, it was alleged that she assaulted a police officer. Investigation of Client's medical records established that she was having an adverse reaction to a medication that she had been given. Medical records and a review of videos clearly established that Client was not acting willfully and intentionally when the officer was struck. Negotiations resulted in a dismissal of the prosecution.

  16. Vessel Assault Client was operating a pontoon on a lake when a passenger fell off and was injured by the propellers. Client was charged with Boating Under the Influence and the felony offense of Vessel Assault as a result of serious bodily injuries being sustained. Investigation established that the victim was pulled off the pontoon boat by a wave and had been seated in an improper area. The felony charge was dismissed and Client pled guilty to Boating Under the Influence with no incarceration, no supervised probation and the minimum fine and Public Service hours.

  17. DUI Client was contacted after his vehicle crashed off of the road. It was reported that he did not satisfactorily perform the roadside maneuvers and following his arrest, he submitted to a breath test with a result of .085. Even with the accident, a Deferred Judgment was obtained to avoid a conviction for DUI. A plea of guilty to Careless Driving was entered and Client was placed on one-year of a deferred sentence without any jail sentence or supervised probation or loss of driving privilege.

  18. DUI Client was stopped for Speeding and Weaving and was unable to produce proof of insurance. The investigation led to an arrest for Driving Under the Influence after the failure to perform roadside maneuvers satisfactorily. Client refused to a chemical test of his blood or breath. Negotiations resulted in a dismissal of the moving violations and a Deferred Judgment on the charge of Driving Under the Influence. Client avoided a loss of driving privilege and was not required to pay any fine, serve any jail sentence or comply with supervised probation.

  19. Possession Requires Knowledge and Control Three individuals were contacted by law enforcement in a parked vehicle. An odor of marijuana was detected and the vehicle was searched, resulting in the discovery of marijuana and paraphernalia. All three individuals were charged with Possession and two of them entered pleas of guilty. My client denied that he knew that marijuana was in the vehicle or had any control over the substance. It was pointed out to the Deputy District Attorney that my client was not the owner or driver of the vehicle and that all three occupants had denied any knowledge of marijuana in the vehicle and the driver gave consent for the vehicle to be searched and there was no evidence that marijuana had recently been burned or ingested in the vehicle. My client was seated in the back seat and the marijuana was found under the front passenger seat and on the driver side. The law requires both knowledge and control to establish possession. The charges against my client were dismissed.

  20. Out-of-State DUI ArrestClient was visiting from California and was driving a rental car and did not have the headlights fully engaged. He was pulled over and the officer reported the typical signs of intoxication. After Client attempted and failed to perform the roadside maneuvers to the officer's satisfaction, he was arrested and provided a breath sample with a blood alcohol reported at .116 grams. Client returned to California and I advised him not to request an Administrative Hearing which would have prevented him from obtaining a duplicate California license. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment and the plea was entered by mail and the client did not have to return to Colorado. Client never lost his Colorado driving privilege and he will attend the alcohol classes and perform the Public Service hours in California. No jail, no supervised probation and no fine were imposed. The consequences for an out-of-state dui can be minimized if the case is handled correctly.

  21. Domestic Violence Husband and wife engaged in an argument that led to pushing and shoving and a hole being punched in a wall. Husband was arrested for Harassment and Criminal Mischief with a Domestic Violence designation. The Protection Order was modified immediately to allow mutual, consensual contact and the status conference occurred 24 hours after the Advisement Hearing. A Lethality Assessment was obtained within a week and the wife wrote a letter to the Deputy District Attorney explaining her feelings about the prosecution and requesting that the case be dismissed. The couple agreed to go into counselling and the case was dismissed. A Domestic Violence disposition may be avoided with proactive and immediate defense work.

  22. Client had three (3) pending felony cases that presented (3) Felony Thefts and Burglary. Client had no prior criminal history and negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment for the Burglary charge, an F-5 felony, and a Misdemeanor Theft conviction. A Psychological Evaluation was submitted to the Court and the Pre-Sentencing Investigation recommended a 30-day sentence. Following arguments at the Sentencing Hearing, the Judge placed Client on four (4) years of supervised probation and ordered him to perform 150 hours of Public Service. Client was sentenced to time served with no further incarceration. Restitution was the leverage to avoid a felony conviction and further rincarceration.

  23. Client had one felony case and two misdemeanor cases pending. In the felony case, there were six charges alleging Sexual Assault on a Child. The six F-3 felonies provided for a possible life in prison. The case was set for trial but negotiations continued resulting in a dismissal of the six (6) Sexual Assault charges and a plea of guilty to Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor pursuant to a Deferred Judgment. It was stipulated that this charge was not based on unlawful sexual behavior. Client was ordered to serve 90 days in jail within the next one year and perform 200 hours of Community Service. One of misdemeanor cases was dismissed and in the other case, Client pled guilty to Domestic Violence Harassment and was ordered to complete a Domestic Violence Evaluation and treatment program. There are always several dynamics in child sex assault cases and being aware of these dynamics and being persistent in negotiations can result in a disposition which avoids the devastation of the Client's life.

  24. Domestic Violence

    Officers were dispatched to an apartment as a result of a neighbor hearing an argument between a couple. The officer observed physical marks on the partner and Client was arrested for Third Degree Assault with a Domestic Violence designation. Negotiations resulted in a six-month Deferred Judgment for Harassment without a Domestic Violence designation and the only requirement was to perform twelve (12) hours of Useful Public Service. Working with the victim and negotiating with the Deputy District Attorney made this disposition possible.

  25. DUI Arrest with .178 BAL

    Deputies were dispatched to a one-vehicle rollover and the client had left the scene of the accident. Client was identified as the driver and refused to perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers and was arrested based upon the accident and the appearance of intoxication. The blood alcohol level was reported at .178. Negotiations resulted in a dismissal of the DUI per se charge and a plea of guilty to the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired. An additional three points were given as consideration for the reduced charge with a conviction for Improper Mountain Driving. There was no Administrative Revocation because the test was not accomplished within two hours and the reduced charge avoided loss of driving privilege from the disposition in Court.

  26. DUI Arrest with .183 BAL

    A 911 call reported client to be driving erratically and then parked and exited his vehicle. Upon contact by law enforcement, the usual observations of intoxication were reported. The client was arrested and complied with the Express Consent Law with a reported blood alcohol level of .183. Negotiations resulted in the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired to the slightest degree and a dismissal of the DUI per se charge. No erratic, reckless or careless driving was reported and the officers did not observe any moving violation. The reduced charge minimized the consequences and avoided loss of driving privilege from the disposition in Court.

  27. Client arrived at the Denver Airport from South Dakota at 7 o'clock in the morning and was given a ride to Steamboat. He had dinner with friends that evening and started driving to Craig. Unfortunately, he made a wrong turn and was driving on RCR 129 when he was stopped near Hahn's Peak Village for exceeding the posted speed limit. He told the officer that he had not slept for almost 24 hours and did not realize that he had made a wrong turn and was not driving towards Craig. Client was requested to perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers and as usual, it was the opinion of the two state troopers that he did not perform the maneuvers as a normal, sober person would. He was arrested for DUI and Speeding and with two previous convictions, he had no choice but to request a jury trial. This testimony established that he was driving a car that he borrowed from a person who believed that he was not impaired by alcohol. Client was from Utah and did not understand the Colorado Express Consent Law and therefor he chose not to take a chemical test. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the DUI charge and Client avoided the 60-day mandatory jail sentence and the other consequences of a third conviction. We were able to refute all the indicators of intoxication presented by the two state troopers and convince the jury that being lost and fatigue does not mean that you are driving under the influence of alcohol.

  28. Client was charged with assaulting her boyfriend during the removal of her property. The alleged victim claimed that she had attacked him for no reason and slapped him several times in the face. Witnesses were identified and it was their testimony that the alleged victim had been acting aggressively and threatening throughout the day and at one point, it appeared that he was going to strike one of the witnesses from behind. At that point, Client explained that she stepped in front of the alleged victim and struck him in order to prevent him from attacking the person who was helping her. The law of self-defense is an affirmative defense and you can defend yourself or a third person against the imminent use of unlawful force. Client was found not guilty of Domestic Violence Third Degree Assault and therefore was not required to be placed on supervised probation and complete the 36-week Domestic Violence Anger Management Course. This verdict of not guilty saved her professional career.

  29. Client was charged with Second Degree Assault alleging that he caused bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Upon conviction, he was facing a mandatory five (5) years in prison. Client had been threatened by the victim previously and upon the confrontation that led to Client's arrest, the victim was unarmed and did not verbally threaten Client. However, the Client testified that the body language of the victim as well as the expression on his face caused him to believe that the victim was going to attack him. Client struck the victim resulting in hospitalization but the jury found him not guilty.

  30. Client was charged with Second Degree Assault with a deadly weapon and Conspiracy to Commit Second Degree Assault when the victim confronted the Client and his cousin. Serious bodily injury was inflicted upon the victim but it could not be proven who caused the injury and it was not proven that there was a conspiracy between Client and his cousin to attack the victim. Client was facing a mandatory minimum of eight (8) years in prison. Client was found not guilty of Second Degree Assault and Conspiracy but was found guilty of the misdemeanor offense of Disorderly Conduct.

  31. Client unfortunately had an accident with two passengers seriously injured. A blood draw resulted in an alcohol level of .184. Client was charged with two felony offenses of Vehicular Assault, Driving Under the Influence, two misdemeanor charges of Careless Driving and Illegal Possession of Alcohol in a Motor Vehicle. Vehicular Assault is a strict liability offense if the driver is under the influence which resulted in injuries to others. This felony offense provides for a prison sentence of two to six years. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment on one count of Vehicular Assault and a plea of guilty to Driving Under the Influence. Two years of supervised probation was stipulated with 48 hours of Public Service and Alcohol Education. A maximum 90-day jail sentence was left to the discretion of the Judge. At the Sentencing Hearing, mitigating circumstances were presented as character reference letters and the testimony of family members. By educating the Court of the true character of the client, no jail sentence was imposed.

  32. Client had one felony case and two misdemeanor cases pending. In the felony case, there were six charges alleging Sexual Assault on a Child. The six F-3 felonies provided for a possible life in prison. The case was set for trial but negotiations continued resulting in a dismissal of the six (6) Sexual Assault charges and a plea of guilty to Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor pursuant to a Deferred Judgment. It was stipulated that this charge was not based on unlawful sexual behavior. Client was ordered to serve 90 days in jail within the next one year and perform 200 hours of Community Service. One of misdemeanor cases was dismissed and in the other case, Client pled guilty to Domestic Violence Harassment and was ordered to complete a Domestic Violence Evaluation and treatment program. There are always several dynamics in child sex assault cases and being aware of these dynamics and being persistent in negotiations can result in a disposition which avoids the devastation of the Client's life.

  33. Client had three (3) pending felony cases that presented (3) Felony Thefts and Burglary. Client had no prior criminal history and negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment for the Burglary charge, an F-5 felony, and a Misdemeanor Theft conviction. A Psychological Evaluation was submitted to the Court and the Pre-Sentencing Investigation recommended a 30-day sentence. Following arguments at the Sentencing Hearing, the Judge placed Client on four (4) years of supervised probation and ordered him to perform 150 hours of Public Service. Client was sentenced to time served with no further incarceration. Restitution was the leverage to avoid a felony conviction and further rincarceration

  34. An adult client was prosecuted in Juvenile Court on the allegations of sexual assault on a child (10) years earlier. The punishment if convicted for this offense was six months in the county jail, two years of Community Corrections or two years at the Department of Corrections. Trial preparation established that a brother of the alleged victim was in the room when the assault allegedly occurred. The Judge ruled that testimony that Client had physically harassed other children was admissible. However, because of the delayed outcry, the lack of any independent witnesses, the absence of any medical, physical or forensic evidence and the continued relationship between the alleged victim and Client, negotiations resulted in a plea agreement which placed Client on one year of unsupervised probation, no sex offense evaluation or therapy, no incarceration, and the requirement that he write a letter of apology and perform Useful Public Service hours. The scheduled jury trial was avoided.

  35. Client was arrested after he fired a gun into the front of his pick-up while it was occupied by two people. He was charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors. By quick negotiations and working with the occupants of the truck, a disposition was reached in approximately 30 days. Client pled guilty to one misdemeanor charge and was placed on supervised probation with three weekends in the Routt County Jail and Domestic Violence treatment. Client avoided a felony conviction and a 90-days jail sentence. Arrest to Sentencing took approximately 30 days and one court appearance. This was a good example of quick negotiations to obtain the desired results in the minimum amount of time.

  36. Client was visiting Steamboat with his family and law enforcement was called on a report of a domestic disturbance. Client was arrested for Criminal Mischief, False Imprisonment and Harassment, all designated as Acts of Domestic Violence. Working with his spouse and the Deputy District Attorney, the disposition involved a no contest plea to Harassment under a Deferred Judgment and Sentence. Supervised probation was not required and no jail sentence was imposed. Client was not required to perform any hours of Useful Public Service or pay a charitable contribution. Client completed the Anger Management Class and the case was dismissed and sealed after one year under the Deferred Judgment.

  37. Client was 18 years of age and on his way home. He wrecked his vehicle but was able to continue driving. He was stopped for a defective headlamp and when it was determined that he had been involved in an accident, he was charged with Failure to Notify Law Enforcement of an Accident, Careless Driving, Illegal Possession of Alcohol, No Proof of Insurance and Driving Under the Influence. Negotiations resulted in a plea agreement where Client pled guilty to the reduced charge of Underage Drinking and Driving and the other (5) charges were dismissed. The agreement provided for 60 hours of Public Service and the Alcohol Education Class. No jail sentence was ordered and no supervised probation was required. Client lost his driving privilege for only 30 days.

  38. Client was stopped for Speeding and arrested for Driving Under the Influence with a blood alcohol level of .227. Additionally, his THC was (10) times the limit. Client moved out of state. The negotiations resulted in an agreement where the blood alcohol level was stipulated to be less than .200 which avoided the 10-day mandatory jail sentence. Client was placed on one year of unsupervised probation and agreed to perform 65 hours of Public Service in the county of his residence and complete the Alcohol Education Class in his home town. Client was not required to make an appearance in the Routt County Court.

  39. Client became intoxicated and was involved in a physical altercation with her husband. The police were called and it was determined that Client was violating a Protection Order prohibiting her from consuming alcohol and she had physically assaulted her husband. Client was arrested for these two misdemeanor offenses and during the process, she assaulted four of the officers while in custody. The charges filed against Client included (6) charges of Second Degree Assault, (2) Violations of Protection Order and Misdemeanor Assault. The offense of Second Degree Assault While in Confinement requires a mandatory prison sentence of (4) years. Client submitted to an evaluation and negotiation resulted in a Deferred Judgment and Sentence to a reduced charge that does not require any prison sentence. Client was placed on two years of supervised probation and was ordered to serve 90 days in the county jail. The condition of the Client at the time of her arrest was used as a defense to the charges of Second Degree Assault. The Defendant was too intoxicated and emotional to be responsible for her behavior. Additionally, I did not believe that the law enforcement officers wanted to go to trial with the story that the four of them could not control and manage the arrest of the Client.

  40. Client was visiting Steamboat for business purposes from his Nevada residence. He was arrested for Third Degree Assault after a fight with a co-worker. Since he was out-of-state, it was important to avoid any jail sentence or supervised probation. Negotiations resulted in a no-contest plea pursuant to a Deferred Judgment and Sentence which required 24 hours of Useful Public Service and an Anger Management Evaluation. Probation was unsupervised and no jail sentence was ordered. He was never required to make a Steamboat court appearance.

  41. Client is an out-of-state resident and was visiting Steamboat for a work-related seminar. Client became involved in an altercation with a co-employee and was arrested for an Assault charge. Negotiations resulted in a clean Deferred Judgment, no supervised probation, no jail time and the only requirement was that the Client undergo a non-Domestic Violence Anger Management Evaluation. The physical and financial hardship on an out-of-state defendant returning to Routt County is substantial and negotiations should avoid any further contact with the Routt county and an appropriate disposition should be reached.

  42. Client was charged with Identity Theft, Trespass of a Motor Vehicle and Theft. Unfortunately, the Client had a prior felony conviction and there was videotape in the present case of him using a stolen credit card that had been removed from the vehicle. Because of a substance-abuse issue, the Client attended 99 days of residential treatment. The plea agreement allowed him credit for the residential treatment to be applied to the jail sentence of 90 days. The plea agreement placed the Client on supervised probation for two years with the requirement that he perform Public Services and upon completion, could request that his probation be modified to unsupervised status. Alternatives to a jail sentence should always be considered and residential treatment is more productive, appropriate and rehabilitative than incarceration in the county jail. The objective of negotiating should be the most appropriate and productive disposition.

  43. Client and alleged victim were the parents of an infant child but were never married and no Court Orders existed with regards to parenting time or custody. The mother accused Client of False Imprisonment when he would not allow her to leave his residence with the child and the charge of Negligent Child Abuse for pulling on the infant. On a subsequent date, the alleged victim accused Client of threatening to shoot her and commit suicide. A jury trial was held and cross-examination of the alleged victim established that she never complained about the false imprisonment and child abuse until she was contacted regarding the Menacing charge. There were no independent witnesses presented at the trial and no other exhibits existed to support the three accusations. Final arguments presented the alternative theory of the complaining witness wanting to control the parenting time of Client and that a "she said-he said" situation could not prove the accusations beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury returned verdicts of "not guilty" on all three charges and Client avoided incarceration, supervised probation and Domestic Violence treatment.

  44. Client was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance as a result of a controlled buy to a confidential source. Surveillance video captured the transaction and the confidential source was available to testify. The Defendant was charged with a Drug Felony (3) which provides upon conviction for imprisonment of not less than (4) years and not more that (6) years. As a result of negotiations, the Defendant entered a plea of guilty pursuant to a Deferred Judgment and Sentence which could be terminated after two years. We stipulated to a maximum 45-day jail sentence and 160 hours of Useful Public Service. Substantial effort was made to submit mitigation material to the Court for consideration in Sentencing. The Judge placed the Defendant on supervised probation and ordered him to serve 15 days in the Routt County Jail. This was a clean Deferred Judgment and upon dismissal of the case, he is entitled to have the record of this prosecution and sentencing sealed. The preparation and presentation of mitigation material can substantially reduce the statutory penalty.

  45. Client and complaining witness were in a relationship for 18 months and following an argument, Client was instructed to leave the residence. After a few months, two Felony Stalking charges and two Harassment charges were filed. Client was accused of repeatedly following, contacting and placing the complaining witness under surveillance in a manner that caused her to suffer serious emotional distress. He was also accused of making a credible threat against her. The two Harassment charges alleged communication and following the complaining witness in a public place with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm her. A two-day jury trial resulted in four (4) verdicts of 'not guilty.' The credibility of the complaining witness was challenged as well as arguing the lack of independent witnesses to support her accusations. It was also argued that there was no proof of emotional distress or that the Client had repeatedly made contact with the complaining witness. Even though accusations of Domestic Violence are personal, they can be defeated with effective cross-examination.

  46. Client and his wife had been having marital difficulties for a few months. The police came to the residence and advised that a relative of the wife had made a call advising law enforcement of domestic violence. The wife was interviewed and alleged that at unspecified times in the past there had been domestic violence in the relationship. Client was arrested for assault and harassment and taken into custody. After he was removed from the residence, the wife packed the car and drove to an out of state location. Shortly thereafter, she filed a dissolution action. Client entered a plea of not guilty and a trial was scheduled. Client refused to accept a deferred judgment with no probation or incarceration. A few days before the scheduled jury trial, the Deputy District Attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case and to vacate the trial date. The client has now filed a Petition to Seal the criminal records of his arrest and prosecution. Client maintained that he had been setup by the wife to be arrested so that she could leave the state. The first question should always be whether or not the alleged victim is available to testify.

  47. Law enforcement saw a client between two cars in an alley and alleged that he ducked between the car and they heard something drop to the pavement. Client was ordered to stop but started to run which resulted in a chase and his apprehension. Officers found a substance between the cars and in clients pockets. The substances tested positive on a field test but were not sent to the laboratory. There was also the legal issue as to whether or not the chase amounted to a illegal detention. Negotiations resulted in reduction of the felony charge to a misdemeanor offence with no incarceration and early termination of probation after completion of public service hours. This case was concluded within 30 days from the client's arrest.

  48. Client was driving home from work on a snowpacked road and when he met an on-coming vehicle, he steered to the right but felt his tires slipping over the edge of the roadway. He overcorrected and went into the ditch on the left and the vehicle rolled onto the passenger side. Client could not find his cell phone so he started to walk home but received a ride. Officers contacted the Client and returned him to the location of the accident where he performed the voluntary roadside maneuvers and was arrested for Careless Driving, Failure to Report an Accident and Driving While Ability Impaired. His reported blood alcohol level was .071. At the jury trial, it was argued that the accident was not the result of carelessness but rather adverse road and weather conditions. The Client did not contact law enforcement to report the accident because he could not find his cell phone and there was no obvious property damage to the vehicle. Finally, the Client testified that he had consumed alcohol upon arriving home after the accident. The Client was found "not guilty" of Driving While Ability Impaired and Failure to Report the Accident. He was found guilty of Careless Driving but avoided a jail sentence for a second offense and two years of supervised probation. No Alcohol Education or Public Service hours were required.

  49. Client was driving home after consuming alcohol and got behind a slow driver. He attempted to pass the slow vehicle but was unable to do so. The female driver got frightened and unfortunately pulled into the Client's condo parking lot. When he pulled in behind her, she called 911. Client was contacted in his condo preparing to go to bed. The officer accused him of being intoxicated and asked why he had harassed the other driver. This contact was recorded and the situation resulted in the Client being handcuffed in his condo. He was not asked to perform any roadside maneuvers and based upon the officer's observations, he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. A plea of "not guilty" was entered and a jury trial was scheduled for a Monday. On the preceding Thursday, a call was received from the Deputy District Attorney offering a reduced charge of DWAI pursuant to a one-year Deferred Judgment. With no jail sentence, no probation, no fine, and the minimum Public Service hours, this was an offer that the Client could not refuse. Because of his refusal to take a chemical test, he was required by the Department of Motor Vehicles to complete the Level II Alcohol Education Class.

  50. Client was stopped on Rabbit Ears Pass for driving too slowly and having a cracked windshield. Client admitted to smoking marijuana prior to his departure from Steamboat. The arresting officer reported that Client's eyes were pink, pupils were dilated and his speech was rapid and repetitive. Client did reasonably well in performing the voluntary roadside maneuvers and following his arrest, agreed to the blood test. The Lab Report indicated 13 nanograms of THC. The chemist testified that anyone over ten (10) nanograms would "likely be impaired" by the marijuana. During the jury trial, it was argued that considering all of the evidence, there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the Defendant was substantially incapable or even impaired in the safe operation of his vehicle. The Defendant was found not guilty of all charges. The defense presentation and cross-examination convinced the jury that even with the reported THC level, it was reasonable to conclude that the marijuana consumption did not impair the client's driving ability.

  51. Client became very intoxicated during the course of the evening and drove his truck until he hung it up on a fence. He abandoned the truck and started to walk. The police were notified of the accident and responded to the scene and located the client on a nearby hillside. The officers could not see his hands but did describe him as being very intoxicated. When he failed to respond to their demands, one officer drew his gun and the other officer drew his Tazer. While taking the client into custody, he was accused of Attempting to Disarm the one Officer and after he was handcuffed, he was accused of Obstructing a Peace Officer and Resisting Arrest. Client pled guilty to Driving Under the Influence and was prepared to go to trial on the felony charge and the remaining charges. It was argued that the client was too intoxicated to even consider taking the gun and it defied common sense. Prior to trial, negotiations resulted in the client entering a plea of guilty to the Obstruction charge and he was sentenced to one year of supervised probation with no jail. All other charges were dismissed. Client was not going to plead guilty to the felony charge and you do not get what you do not ask for.

  52. The police were called after Client, believing he was at his girlfriend's condo, opened the wrong door. The occupants were of the opinion that he was "extremely intoxicated" and reported to the police that they saw him driving to another condo building. When the police arrived, they found the client lying on the ground. It was their opinion that he was intoxicated and when it was confirmed that he had been driving his truck approximately (10) minutes earlier, he was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Client testified that after he parked his truck, he consumed a quantity of alcohol and that on his way to his girlfriend's condo, he fell and possibly hit his head. No law enforcement witnessed his driving behavior and the reporting party could not describe any erratic, reckless or careless driving. The elements of DUI require that the Defendant is substantially incapable, either mentally or physically, to exercise sufficient physical control, good judgment or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle. The Defendant was found not guilty.

  53. Client was contacted by law enforcement when she was unable to stop at an intersection because of slick pavement. The officer detected an odor of alcohol, unsteady balance and slurred speech. Client admitted to having a number of drinks before driving. Unfortunately, two children were in the vehicle. The breath test result was .236 and two charges of Child Abuse were filed. With a blood alcohol level greater than .200, Client was facing the mandatory 10-day jail sentence. Information was presented to the Deputy District Attorney describing the community activities of the client and her education and employment history. Client also enrolled in the Level II Alcohol Education Class before the court appearance. Negotiations resulted in a stipulation that the blood alcohol level was less than .200 and an agreement that (5) days would be served on two weekends in the county jail. No supervised probation was ordered, the fine was reduced by half and the minimum hours of Public Service were ordered. Most importantly, the two charges of Child Abuse were dismissed. This disposition was accomplished five (5) weeks after the arrest with one court appearance.

  54. Client was arrested for Identity Theft, an F-4 felony. He removed items from a parked car and a credit card that he used to make purchases. His identity was quickly and easily established. Client submitted to a psychological evaluation that confirmed that he engaged in impulsive behavior and needed medication management. Negotiations resulted in a clean Deferred Judgment for Theft with two years of supervised probation and no further incarceration or other consequences except compliance with his counselling. The case should be sealed within two years upon dismissal of the Deferred Judgment. Psychological evaluations can be a useful tool in explaining behavior and avoiding the consequence of a conviction.

  55. Client drove into the back of a vehicle that was making a left turn. She was arrested after the accident for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and agreed to a breath test with the result of .139. Client had no prior alcohol-driving conviction and had a good job which would be threatened by the loss of her driving privilege. Background information was sent to the prosecutor and negotiations resulted in a reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired with additional points for Improper Mountain Driving but did not result in the loss of driving privilege. The minimum fine and Public Service hours were required and the case was brought to a conclusion 33 days after the arrest. If an acceptable disposition is available, there is no reason to delay a case for months and waste time and money.

  56. Client was arrested by DUI. He had a prior DUI conviction in another state two years earlier. His blood alcohol level was above .200. The traffic stop was questionable and there was an issue with the breath test. Negotiations resulted in no probation and the $1,500 fine was suspended in exchange for more hours of Public Service. The charge was reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired. The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles did not discover the prior DUI conviction and therefore the only revocation was for (9) months and not two years on a second conviction. Client drove with the electronic ignition device for (4) months and reinstated with full driving privileges. It is important to review the driving record as reported by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

  57. Client was sentenced to probation in Routt County and it was transferred to another county with a Domestic Violence designation. Client was arrested and convicted in the resident county and sentenced to 60 days in the county jail on a Domestic Violence offense. Negotiations resulted in an agreement that the Client's Routt County probation was revoked and reinstated for the original term. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail to be served concurrently with the jail sentence in the resident county. He admitted that had violated his Routt County probation but no further consequences were imposed.

  58. Client received an Administrative Revocation for refusing to submit to a chemical test on a DUI arrest. The charge in court was reduced to DWAI but Client continued to drive under the Refusal Revocation without installing the electronic ignition device. He was contacted by law enforcement and arrested for Driving Under Revocation and was facing a 30-day jail sentence. Negotiations allowed Client to install the electronic ignition device and obtain a restricted license. The charge was reduced to a non-driving offense and Client paid a minimum fine. Client avoided a jail sentence and a one-year revocation of his driving privilege.

  59. Client had been prescribed a medication for several years. Client obtained a refill and then her medication was either lost or stolen. She returned to the doctor for a refill and was denied. She went to another doctor and got a refill but failed to admit that it was the second refill within 30 days. Negotiations and education of the prosecutor resulted in a disposition of the felony prescription charge with a clean Deferred Judgment, no jail sentence, one year of probation and Public Service hours. The Deferred Judgment will be sealed after one year.

  60. Client was pulled over for Weaving and Failure to Signal and it was discovered that his driving privilege had been suspended for Failure to Pay Child Support. During the traffic stop, the arresting officer noticed an odor of alcohol on the breath and slurred speech. The Client correctly refused to perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers and he also chose not to submit to a chemical test of his breath or blood. The Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Driving Under Suspension in addition to the two moving violations. The case was scheduled for trial and preparations produced an employer who would testify that the Client left work at 5:00 pm and the waitress who served him two beers during the 2½ hours that he was in the restaurant. On the morning of trial, an agreement was reached wherein the charge of Driving Under the Influence was dismissed as well as the two moving violations and the Client entered a plea of guilty to Driving Under Suspension. He avoided a jail sentence of 60 to 120 days and a two-year loss of his driving privilege. This case is a good example that negotiations are never concluded until a verdict is returned.

  61. Two guys were visiting a local hotel and after a few drinks were leaving. On their way out, they decided to remove two pieces of art work from the wall. Of course, security cameras recorded their every move and the receipts from the bar identified them. A search warrant was issue for the condo of one of the clients and one item was recovered, hidden on the property. A Felony Arrest Warrant was issued for Tampering with Evidence and Theft. The other client was arrested on a Felony Theft Warrant. We arranged a meeting with the hotel manager and a settlement was reached for expenses and both clients received Deferred Judgments on Misdemeanor theft charges without any supervised probation or jail. Working with the victim is a good way to avoid felony convictions and serious consequences in court.

  62. The client was on vacation from another state, staying in a local hotel with friends. After a few drinks, client got the idea of putting on a bikini and running in the hallways. A few guests and security personnel disapproved and client was arrested on three charges of Public Indecency which would require sex offender treatment and supervision if convicted. Providing background information to the prosecutor and negotiations resulted in a plea to the petty offense of Indecent Exposure, a non-sexual offense, with no jail, probation or treatment. The client never had to appear in court.

  63. The Client's condo was searched and five (5) grams of cocaine were found together with a digital scale and a large sum of cash. Client was charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and because of the amount of cocaine, he was facing a mandatory 8-year prison sentence. At the three-day jury trial, it was argued that there were no indicators that he was selling cocaine and a 33-point argument was presented to establish that he was not a cocaine dealer. It was argued that he was addicted to cocaine and had the financial resources to purchase a large quantity of cocaine and that he would use it for personal consumption over a period of time. The jury rejected the accusation that he possessed the cocaine with the intent to distribute and found him guilty of simple possession of cocaine. This avoided the mandatory prison sentence and allowed the argument that the Defendant should be given treatment instead of incarceration.

  64. The client was on vacation from another state, staying in a local hotel with friends. After a few drinks, client got the idea of putting on a bikini and running in the hallways. A few guests and security personnel disapproved and client was arrested on three charges of Public Indecency which would require sex offender treatment and supervision if convicted. Providing background information to the prosecutor and negotiations resulted in a plea to the petty offense of Indecent Exposure, a non-sexual offense, with no jail, probation or treatment. The client never had to appear in court.

  65. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and was facing his fourth conviction with a minimum jail sentence of 120 days and the loss of his driving privileges for two years. He was pulled over for speeding and performed the voluntary roadside maneuvers but refused to take a breath or blood test. Two state troopers testified that he was under the influence of alcohol. At the jury trial, testimony was presented that he had two beers with dinner three to four hours before he was arrested. It was argued that the physical observations of intoxication could be explained by other reasons and that his performance on the roadside maneuvers did not prove that he was unable to safely operate his vehicle. After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty of DUI or DWAI.

  66. Client was charged with Distribution of a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine, an F-3 felony. Upon conviction, he was facing a four- to twelve-year prison sentence followed by parole. The evidence against the client consisted of a videotape of a controlled buy by a Confidential Informant who was also available to testify at the Defendant's trial. The Defendant had no prior felony convictions and was married with steady employment. Plea negotiations began with a felony conviction and an open sentence which would have likely resulted in a prison term. Working with the Deputy District Attorney, the Defendant provided substantial assistance to law enforcement and a plea agreement was reached wherein the Defendant received an 18-month Deferred Judgment without any incarceration. At the Plea Hearing, the Judge accepted this disposition without a Pre-Sentence Investigation and the case was over. This case was a good example of working all the possibilities to avoid a felony conviction and incarceration.

  67. Client was charged with Felony Stalking, Violation of a Protection Order and Harassment. He already had a Deferred Judgment for a Felony Stalking charge. The accusation was that he made telephone calls from the jail to a third person who then communicated the statements to the Protected Party. The defense was that the communications were not of a subject matter that would have resulted in the harassment of a reasonable person. If convicted, the client was facing a prison sentence of six (6) years. The prosecutor was finally convinced that the client would not accept a plea agreement and that a jury would not believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the telephone calls would have caused a reasonable person to be emotionally distressed. A plea agreement resulted in one year concurrent probation and a 48-hour jail sentence

  68. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence with a reported blood alcohol level in excess of .200. The traffic stop was conducted as a result of an anonymous REDDI report and the officer did not observe any moving violation. Negotiations resulted in the reduced charge of Driving While Ability Impaired on the condition that the client complete a 30-day residential treatment program. The client was ordered to attend a Level II Alcohol Education Class and 42 hours of therapy and the residential treatment program satisfied the 42 hours of therapy. The client was a resident of Texas and did not lose driving privileges.

  69. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and a breath test result reported a per se violation. The client had two prior convictions and therefore was facing the mandatory 60-day consecutive jail sentence. The client appeared in court after consuming alcohol and was arrested for Violation of the Bail Bond Condition and was facing a mandatory six-month jail sentence. Negotiations resulted in the minimum 60-day jail sentence which was delayed for eight (8) months in consideration of the client's employment and scheduled surgery that was covered by employment health insurance.

  70. Client was arrested for Second Degree Aggravated Assault and upon talking to the Deputy District Attorney immediately following the arrest, a felony charge of Menacing was filed with the Court. Negotiations involved working with the victim of a stab wound and the client pursuing therapy for alcohol addiction. The plea agreement resulted in a clean Deferred Judgment with two years of probation and no jail sentence.

  71. Client was charged Vehicular Trespass, a felony which provides for a maximum prison sentence of 18 months. The client had a prior conviction for the same offense. The charge was based upon the accusation that the client had taken money from a vehicle. The defense presented the argument that it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that money was taken from the vehicle and there was no other damage committed to the vehicle. Negotiations resulted in a misdemeanor plea to Disorderly Conduct with no supervised probation and the requirement to perform 24 hours of Useful Public Service.

  72. Client ran off the road and his vehicle became inoperable. A considerable amount of time passed before anyone found the client and the law enforcement officers arrived at the scene of the accident. During that time, the client, being upset with the accident, started consuming beer that was in his vehicle. By the time that officers arrived, several empty beer cans were located in and out of the vehicle. Client was arrested and his blood alcohol level was reported at .146.

    The law provides that it is a misdemeanor for any person to drive a motor vehicle when a person's blood alcohol level is .080 or more at the time of driving or within two hours after driving. However, during a trial, if the state's evidence raises the issue or if a Defendant presents some credible evidence that the Defendant consumed alcohol between the time that the Defendant stopped driving and the time that the test occurred, such issue shall be an affirmative defense. The prosecution must then establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the minimum .080 blood or breath alcohol content was reached as a result of alcohol consumed by the Defendant before the Defendant stopped driving.

    In this case, with the presence of empty beer cans at the scene of the accident and the lapse of time between the accident and the arrival of law enforcement at the scene, negotiations resulted in a reduced charged and no supervised probation, jail time or enhanced penalties. Obviously, the availability of alcohol and the lapse of time are required to negotiate such a result.

    If the officer can establish sufficient suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, the driver is arrested and advised of the Colorado Express Consent Law which requires the driver to submit to a chemical test of either blood or breath to determine the alcohol level. In determining whether a driver has refused testing, it is the driver's external manifestations of unwillingness to or his or her outright refusal to take the test which is relevant. Client was arrested for DUI and initially refused to submit to a breath test. Upon understanding the consequences of a one-year Refusal Revocation, he agreed to provide a breath sample. During the first 20 minutes of observations, he burped at (6) minutes. This required the observation period to start again. The officer advised the client that if he burped a second time, the testing procedure would be over and a refusal would be reported.

    At 20 minutes during the second period of observation, the officer alleged that the client burped a second time and the officer declared that the testing procedure was over. However, the officer admitted that the client was not sitting across from him and was standing several feet away and possible had his face turned away from the officer. Of equal importance, it was determined that 35 minutes still remained within the two-hour deadline required by the DMV in obtaining a test result.

    When the client was advised that the testing procedure was over, he became upset and wanted to continue with the testing.

    The DMV Hearing Officer held that it was not proven by a preponderance of the evidence that the client had intentionally or did in fact burp a second time. Secondly, because 35 minutes were still remaining prior to the two-hour deadline, the officer should have given the Defendant a third opportunity to complete the testing procedure in order to avoid the one-year Refusal Revocation. Additionally, it was important that the client indicated that he was adamant about completing the test procedure in order to avoid the Refusal Revocation.

  73. Client was arrested for Driving Under Revocation for Refusing to Submit to an Alcohol Test. Upon the termination of the Refusal Revocation, the client was suspended for the accumulation of points. A hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles resulted in the period of point-suspension reduced from (12) months to (6) months. Negotiations in court for the charges of Driving Under Refusal Revocation and Speeding resulted in an agreement whereby no action would be taken in court so long as Client obtained his driving privilege at the end of the point-suspension. This agreement avoids the mandatory jail sentence and further loss of driving privilege.

  74. The Client was arrested for making false reports to the police. Client reported to the police that a gang was pursuing his family and that a friend had been kidnapped and possibly murdered. These reports proved to be false and the client was arrested for False Reporting to law enforcement authorities. This offense is dealt with harshly by the courts because such reports take law enforcement away for legitimate duties. Negotiations resulted in a Psychological Evaluation of the client and the agreement that he attend six months of counseling and perform 24 hours of Useful Public Service. The client's existing supervised probation was modified to include these conditions and the charge was dismissed with no incarceration.

  75. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs. Although Client performed very well on the voluntary roadside maneuvers, he was taken into custody and requested to provide a blood sample. Client tested positive for THC and had a blood alcohol level of .127. Negotiations emphasized that Client was a college student with a promising future and that a DUI conviction would damage his career. Additionally, there were discussions regarding the investigation at the State Laboratory and whether the reported blood alcohol level was reliable and accurate. It was also pointed out that the THC level was based upon inactive metabolites. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment and Sentence with no incarceration and no loss of driving privilege. Client agreed to complete the Alcohol Education Class and Public Service hours. A Reckless Driving charge was reduced to Careless Driving and a point-suspension was avoided for the underage driver.

  76. Client was contacted by law enforcement on a report that he had attempted to force another driver off the road. An arrest was made and the reported blood alcohol level was .209. This level required the 10-day mandatory jail sentence. The prosecutor agreed to reduce the blood alcohol level to less than .200 to avoid the jail sentence. However, a DUI conviction would have caused the client to lose his driving privilege and employment. An agreement was reached to allow the Defendant to attend a residential treatment program and upon his successful discharge, the DUI charge would be reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired and the Defendant would not suffer the loss of driving privilege either in the courtroom or by the DMV because the blood alcohol level was not determined within two hours of his driving.

  77. Defendant was driving home from work at 2:00 am and came around a curve and rear-ended a motor vehicle that was traveling much below the posted speed limit. The impact was not great but no one exited the other vehicle. The Defendant was concerned that his welfare was in danger. The Defendant also did not exit his vehicle and after waiting several minutes, he drove on to his home. He did not report the accident but law enforcement was able to identify his vehicle and made contact with him. The Defendant was charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Report an Accident and Reckless Driving. The prosecutor was convinced that the Defendant was in fear of exiting his vehicle and therefore did not make contact with the other driver. Negotiations resulted in a plea agreement for a conviction of Careless Driving and Defective Vehicle. The accumulated six (6) points avoided the 32 points on the original charges that would have resulted in a one-year point-suspension of his driving privilege.

  78. Client was stopped for speeding just one week before he was eligible to reinstate his driving privilege. He was under a one-year Refusal Revocation which means that a conviction would have caused him to suffer another year of no-driving privilege. The Deputy District Attorney was advised that the Defendant had not been able to secure gainful employment for 11 months and he was driving to a job when he was arrested. The prosecutor was persuaded to continue the case for a maximum of four months and if the Defendant was not arrested again for Driving Under Revocation, he would allow the Defendant to plead guilty to a non-driving offense. This disposition allows the Defendant to reinstate his driving privilege without any further delay or restrictions.

  79. Client was charged with (2) counts of Sexual Assault on a Child and the penalty enhancer of Pattern of Child Sex Assault which provides for a sentence of life in prison. During a four-day jury trial, it was argued that either the 7-year old child had been coached and instructed to make the accusation against the Defendant or that there was insufficient evidence that the Defendant has been the perpetrator of sexual abuse on the child. The child had delayed reporting the accusation for several weeks and during two interviews, had changed his story. The child then refused to testify in court. The jury deliberated for five (5) hours and advised the Judge that no decision could be reached with a vote of eight (8) not guilty. The Judge instructed the jury to continue with deliberations and after 10 ½ hours, the jury again advised the Judge that no unanimous verdict could be reached and the vote was still eight (8) not guilty. The not guilty votes of the hung jury allowed negotiations for an acceptable plea agreement to begin in an effort to avoid a second jury trial.

  80. Client was contacted to check his ID for underage drinking. Law enforcement officers believed the Defendant had provided alcohol to a minor and took him into custody. It was discovery that he was in possession of ecstasy and he was charged with the felony offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance. Negotiations presented to the Deputy District Attorney the accomplishments and college status of the Defendant and emphasized that he had never previously been arrested. The plea agreement resulted in a clean Deferred Judgment for two years which means the Defendant will be able to seal his criminal record and deny that he was ever arrested, prosecuted or sentenced for this felony drug offense. Any conviction of either a misdemeanor or petty offense under the case number would prevent the Defendant from sealing his record and any background check for the rest of his life would disclose this felony drug prosecution. The dismissal of the felony charge does not remove the case from a person's record. It is necessary that the Deferred Judgment be clean, without any other conviction, in order for the criminal record to be sealed from public review.

  81. Client was stopped by the police after two complaints had been received regarding his driving behavior. The client had three (3) prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence and was operating his vehicle with the electronic ignition device so alcohol was eliminated as a cause of impairment. The officer reported the usual indicators of intoxication and the client agreed to perform the roadside maneuvers which he failed in the opinion of the officer. Client advised the officer that he was taking a prescription medication and upon his arrest, client refused to submit to a blood test. Several arrest charges were dismissed and client was found guilty of the lesser offense of Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs. Every prescription medication carries a warning that dizziness and drowsiness may be caused by the medication. Upon sentencing, it was argued to the Court that the client was not impaired by alcohol but possibly by his prescription medication. The client had ended his use of the prescription and the Judge sentenced the Defendant to the minimum mandatory 60 days but allowed him to serve the sentence in the work release program of Moffat County.

  82. Client was driving back to Steamboat with a passenger. There was an accident and the passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and did not survive the impact. Client was charged with Careless Driving Causing Death. It was argued that the accident was not caused by the presence of alcohol or drugs and client was not exceeding the speed limit or driving recklessly. The Accident Investigation reported that the vehicle veered off the road very quickly and there was no apparent explanation. Investigation discovered that high wind gusts were reported in the area of the accident near the time of the accident. A Sentencing Hearing resulted in six months of probation with no jail and 48 hours of public service and grief counseling.

  83. Client was driving home late at night when his driver side headlight stopped working. When he approached an oncoming vehicle, he pulled over and drove on the fog line and then drove back into his lane and turned on his bright beam. An officer saw this maneuver and pulled him over for weaving. The officer reported the "usual suspects" of an odor of alcohol, bloodshot watery eyes and slurred speech. Client told the officer he had not consumed any alcohol and declined to perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers. Client was arrested based on his driving behavior and the observations reported by the officer. Investigation produced witnesses who said client had not consumed any alcohol and a repair bill for the headlight. Negotiations resulted in a deferred judgment with no jail, no probation, no fine and no public service hours.

  84. The wheels do not have to be turning for a DUI arrest. Here is a recent case where the client was in "actual physical control" of the vehicle while parked.

    Client pulled over onto the shoulder because the weather and road conditions were very bad. He attempted to walk home but the snow and cold forced him back into his car. An officer made contact for a welfare check and reported an odor of alcohol and bloodshot eyes. Client was asked to step out of the vehicle and perform the roadside maneuvers. The weather and ground conditions resulted in the client being arrested for DUI. Client initially refused to submit to a breath test but was allowed to do so after the two-hour requirement. This resulted in a violation of the Express Consent procedure and the Administrative Per Se Revocation was not ordered. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment with no conviction, no jail, no probation and no loss of driving privilege.

  85. The wheels do not have to be turning for a DUI arrest. Here is a recent case where the client was in "actual physical control" of the vehicle while parked.

    Client left the bar around 11:00 pm and had nothing more to drink. He got into his car and started the engine, turned on the heater and went to sleep. About four hours later, the police were called and tried to wake up the client. After several minutes and even rocking the car back and forth, Client was awakened and asked to step out of the vehicle. The usual signs of intoxication were reported but Client refused to perform the roadside maneuvers. He was arrested and requested to submit to a breath test, which he also refused because he was  not driving.  Witnesses were interviewed and the prosecutor was convinced that there was a good chance that a jury could be convinced that Client was not under the influence four hours after his last drink and if the officers had not woken him up, he would have slept for several more hours. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment with no conviction and no probation, jail or Public Service hours.

  86. Client and another person were stopped by the police as they were driving trucks loaded with stolen drilling pipe. Client was charged with Felony Theft and Felony Conspiracy. It has explained to the Deputy District Attorney that the Client was instructed by a third person to remove the pipe and he was told that the owner of the pipe had given permission to do so. It was also argued to the Deputy District Attorney that the circumstances of the removal of the pipe and the behavior of the Client was proof that he had no reason to believe that permission to remove the pipe had not been obtained and that he did not believe that he was committing an illegal act. Negotiations resulted in a plea of guilty to trespass and the Defendant paid court costs without any jail sentence, supervised probation or public service hours.

  87. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, Resisting Arrest, Careless Driving and Prohibited Use of a Weapon. He had three prior arrests for DUI and two prior convictions. The client was requested to submit to a chemical test and he chose a breath test. The arresting officer was advised that the Intoxilyzer was not working and instructed the client to submit to a blood test. Client refused the blood test and insisted on a breath test. The arresting officer issued a Refusal Notice and took the client to jail. After Client was booked into jail, the officer was advised that the Intoxilyzer was in fact working and he had received erroneous information. At the Administrative Hearing, it was argued that the false information given to the arresting officer was not an extraordinary circumstance under the statute which excused the arresting officer from allowing the client to submit to a breath test. The Refusal Revocation was dismissed. In court, it was argued that a Supreme Court case provided for a dismissal of the prosecution when the driver's selection of a chemical test was denied. A Deferred Judgment disposition for DWAI was offered to the client with a dismissal of all other charges. The client accepted the Deferred Judgment and waived his right to file a Motion to Dismiss. Client did not lose his driving privilege as a result of this arrest.

  88. Client was served with a Civil Protection Order at the time that his wife filed a Petition for Dissolution. Client was arrested for violating the Civil Protection Order and a Criminal Protection Order was issued and made a condition of his bond. The Client was arrested repeatedly for violation of misdemeanor and felony bail bonds and Protection Orders. Two Felony Stalking charges were filed and the final count was three felony cases and four misdemeanor cases which caused the Defendant to be faced with fifteen (15) years of incarceration in the county jail and state prison system. Fourteen (14) days of jury trial were scheduled in January, February, March and April. Aggressive negotiations resulted in a plea agreement to one charge of Felony Stalking pursuant to a Deferred Judgment and supervised probation and a guilty plea to a misdemeanor bail bond violation. A one-hour Sentencing Hearing convinced the Judge to accept the Protection Order agreement and the Client was sentenced to three (3) years of supervised probation under a Deferred Judgment and 53 days in the county jail. All other charges were dismissed.

  89. Client had a serious drug addiction and was selling cocaine to support his own use. A confidential informant was wired with a camera and microphone and approached client to purchase cocaine. The entire drug sale was recorded and client was clearly identified as the dealer. To protect the confidential informant, an arrest was not made for several months. During this time, client voluntarily was admitted to a residential treatment facility and successfully completed the program. Negotiations resulted in a plea agreement to a deferred sentence and three years of probation. The probation and prosecutor argued for a jail sentence. Client and I were able to convince the Judge that no jail sentence was necessary or appropriate. With an effective presentation, jail can be avoided.

  90. Client committed the selfish act of becoming intoxicated and driving. He collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle when he crossed the center line. The other driver suffered a broken leg and the total loss of his vehicle. The client was arrested for Felony Vehicle Assault While Driving Under the Influence. Three blood draws all resulted in alcohol levels above .080. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment and the charge being reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired. Client's driving privilege was not revoked. Client had started attending AA meetings and stopped drinking. At the sentencing, the Probation Department and the prosecutor argued for a substantial jail sentence. Client and I were able to convince the Judge that based upon the attitude and recovery of the client, a 10-day jail sentence was reasonable and appropriate. A Judge needs to be convinced of the remorse and responsibility-taking of the client.

  91. Client backed out of a parking space and struck the vehicle parked next to him. This was witnessed by a police officer. Client started to drive away from the accident but was stopped by the officer. Admission of drinking by client and physical observations by the officer resulted in an arrest for DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Failure to Report an Accident. Client did very well on the voluntary roadside tests and refused to submit to a breath or blood test. His Texas license was confiscated by the officer. Client returned to Texas and got a duplicate license and negotiations result in a dismissal of the two moving violations and reducing the DUI charge to DWAI. Client never lost his Texas driving privilege and never had to appear in the Routt County Court.

  92. Client was arrested for DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and False Reporting to the Police. Client and his brother ran from a one-car crash and client told the police that his brother was driving. Client had a prior DUI conviction and was facing a jail sentence and two years of probation. A jury trial was held and client was found not guilty of DUI or DWAI. A video recording of client performing the roadside tests was viewed and client admitted that he had consumed several beers prior to the accident. The jury was convinced that client was not impaired by alcohol and that alcohol did not cause the accident. Client was not sentenced to two year of alcohol probation and was not ordered to complete alcohol education or outpatient treatment. He will not be required to drive with the interlock device for two years.

  93. Client was arrested for Distribution of Synthetic Marijuana from his business. Client had attempted to comply with a Police Department Memo and checked with his wholesale suppliers and reviewed lab reports to comply with the law. However, a State Agent seized the products and charges were filed. The prosecutor was advised of client's efforts to comply with the law and it was argued that knowledge that the products were illegal could not be proven. The charges were dismissed.

  94. Client was employed as a private security officer for several businesses. He had been harassed by a group of teenagers while on the job. He confronted them and called for the police as back-up. To prevent them from leaving, he pointed his taser gun at them until the police arrived. Client was arrested on several felony charges of False Imprisonment and Menacing with a Weapon. The prosecutor was advised of the prior threatening conduct of the group and all felony charges were dismissed with no-jail sentence and minimum probation.

  95. Client was stopped for no front tag and no using his seat belt. He had been driving for more than 50 years without a DUI conviction and had a CDL. He was unable to perform the roadside maneuvers to the officerís satisfaction and following his arrest, an illegal blood alcohol level was determined. In order to save his CDL, a Deferred Judgment was obtained with no conviction and no jail sentence.

  96. Client was arrested when his infant child was taken to the hospital with a fractured leg. Client offered an explanation of how he thought the leg was accidentally broken. The doctor rejected the explanation and client was charged with Felony Assault. Arguments presented several medical reasons as to how the infant could have sustained a broken leg. The prosecutor was convinced that it could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the injury was intentional. There was no other evidence that the father had ever abused or neglected the child and no felony conviction resulted.

  97. Client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence and Reckless Driving following a one-vehicle accident. Client was contacted by police one hour after the accident and admitted that he had been drinking all day and might not be fit to drive. Client performed the voluntary roadside maneuvers that were recorded on a DVD. The case proceeded to trial with an examination of the police officers that there was no indication that alcohol was the cause of the accident and that the physical appearance of the client did not support a conclusion of intoxication. Furthermore, the clientís performance on the roadside maneuvers established that he was neither physically nor mentally impaired. Client refused to submit to a breath test and jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the charge of Driving Under the Influence.

  98. Client was contacted in a parked vehicle with passengers and alleged marijuana smoke. A search of the vehicle revealed marijuana, electronic scales and several glass jars. Client was charged with Felony Possession with Intent to Distribute the drug. A Suppression Hearing was held and the prosecutor was convinced that he could not prove the element of intent and the glass jars were not being used to distribute marijuana. The felony charge was dismissed and the disposition did not require any drug treatment or supervised probation.

  99. Client was followed out of town by an officer who saw client swerve to avoid a deer on the road. No traffic stop occurred and client stopped at his business to pick up tools. The officer drove on but parked and waited to see if client would drive again. Several minutes later, client drove by the officer who then made a traffic stop that resulted in a DUI arrest and an illegal blood alcohol level. Lack of probable cause was argued and negotiations resulted in no conviction with a deferred judgment and no jail sentence.

  100. Client was involved in a single vehicle accident and was taken to the hospital unconscious. Beer cans were found at the accident scene and witnesses reported that the driver had been drinking earlier. Client never regained consciousness and therefore could not give consent for a blood draw to determine his alcohol level. The officer ordered a blood draw and the specimens were sent to the State Lab where an illegal blood alcohol level was determined. A Motion to Suppress was filed and a hearing and legal arguments established that the officer did not have the required probable cause to obtain blood specimens. The test results were suppressed and the DUI was dismissed.

  101. Client was arrested on his fifth DUI and facing his fourth conviction. The law requires a mandatory 60-day jail sentence and the Judge routinely imposes a sentence of four to six months depending on the aggravating circumstances of the arrest. A Motion to Dismiss the case and a Motion to Suppress Evidence were filed and negotiations stressed the physical impossibilities of the alleged traffic violations and the presence of many indicators of sobriety. The plea agreement resulted in 90 days of residential treatment and no mandatory jail sentence with a minimum fine and public service hours.

  102. The Defendant was arrested for Driving Under the Influence twice within one month. The blood alcohol level on the first arrest was .263 and a Deferred Judgment was negotiated and there was a refusal to submit to a chemical test on the second arrest and the charge was reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired. There was no loss of driving privilege from the court action and residential treatment was substituted for a jail sentence.

  103. The Defendant was stopped for Littering and Weaving. Videotape of roadside maneuvers showed the Defendant solid, steady and stable. The Defendant refused to submit to a blood draw because of the hospital procedure. The case was set for trial and charges were dismissed the day of trial.

  104. The Defendant was arrested for Driving Under the Influence twice within one month. The blood alcohol level on the first arrest was .263 and a Deferred Judgment was negotiated and there was a refusal to submit to a chemical test on the second arrest and the charge was reduced to Driving While Ability Impaired. There was no loss of driving privilege from the court action and residential treatment was substituted for a jail sentence.

  105. Client was charged with two (2) Second Degree Assault charges alleging the use of a deadly weapon and serious bodily injury. Negotiations resulted in a Deferred Judgment by challenging how the injuries were sustained and sentencing resulted in a 16-day jail sentence by convincing the Judge that the client was not aggressive or a threat to society.

  106. Client was charged with Vehicular Assault and DUI and two counts of Child Abuse and three counts of Reckless Endangerment. The defense attacked the blood alcohol results reported by the hospital and the probable cause for the arrest. Negotiations resulted in amending the Vehicular Assault charge to Recklessness with a Deferred Judgment and a plea of guilty to Driving While Ability Impaired. Sentencing resulted in no jail time.

  107. Client was stopped for Speeding on Rabbit Ears Pass and charged with Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana. The defense argued several non-indicators of intoxication and challenged the test results. A Deferred Judgment was entered with no jail time or loss of driving privilege.

  108. During the week of May 7, 2012, I appeared in District Court on five (5) cases for felony sentencing. In each case, the Probation Department had recommended in the Pre-Sentence Investigation that a jail sentence of a maximum of 90 days be ordered by the Judge. I prepared a Criteria for Sentencing and Application for Probation in each case presenting to the Judge reasons that a jail sentence was not necessary or appropriate under the circumstances of each case. I presented mitigating circumstances, letters describing the character of the client and other considerations to avoid a jail sentence. At the end of the week, after the five sentencings, not one client was sentenced to serve a day in jail. Further, of the five felony cases, four the dispositions were with Deferred Judgments with no felony conviction entered. In the fifth case, a felony conviction had been entered in 2006.

    These five cases are good examples of educating the Judge with the presentation of information and reasons for no incarceration and no punitive component of the Sentence Order. I believe that in the practice of criminal defense work, you do not get what you do not ask for and you must convince the prosecutor and Judge why you should receive the disposition that you are requesting.

  109. Client was arrested for Second Degree Assault and Crime of Violence, with a possible five-year mandatory prison sentence. During a four-day jury trial, it was established that the defendant acted under a sudden heat of passion and the verdict returned a conviction on a lesser charge. At sentencing, the prosecutor requested a 36-month sentence because of a prior felony conviction but the defendant was sentenced to 22 months.

  110. Client was charged with felony offenses of Menacing and False Report of Explosives. Identity was established through the email that the client sent. A felony conviction was avoided with a Deferred Judgment and a 90-day county jail sentence was served.

  111. The police were called to the location of a drug overdose that resulted in a death. Law enforcement officers searched the residence without a warrant or consent and discovered controlled substances. Clients were arrested for possession and distribution and the argument was made that the officers did not have the legal right to search personal items of the clients that led to the discovery of the controlled substances. All charges were dismissed.

  112. Client was charged with numerous sexual offenses. During a three-day jury trial, it was established that the accusations were delayed by several months and that there was no other evidence, including medical, forensic or corroborating material to support the accusations. The accuser was a 12-year old child. The jury returned verdicts of not guilty on all charges.

  113. The client was charged with running a red light and Driving Under the Influence. By taking the Deputy District Attorney to the scene and establishing that the officer was not in a position to observe the traffic violation, the DUI conviction was avoided.

  114. The client was arrested for felony theft and by paying restitution quickly and working with the victim, a felony conviction and a jail sentence were avoided.

  115. The client was charged with three acts of domestic violence. During the jury trial, it was established that the victim was intoxicated and had assaulted the client. A verdict of not guilty was returned on the three charges.

  116. The client was arrested for a felony burglary of a local business and was identified by the janitor. During the jury trial, the janitor was challenged as to the accuracy of his identification. The jury was unable to return a verdict.

  117. The client was charged with three felony offenses of assault. During the jury trial, it was established that the Defendant acted in self defense and the jury returned a verdict of guilty on only one misdemeanor assault charge.

  118. The client was confronted by his employer for making several sales of marijuana at the place of business. Surveillance cameras recorded many of the sales and the Defendant was found in possession of numerous individual bags of marijuana. The felony charges of Sale of Marijuana and Possession with Intent to Distribute were avoided and the Defendant entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor Possession and supervised probation and a jail sentence were avoided.

  119. Client was charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Theft, an F-4 felony. Client had submitted a bid in a construction project and was accused of wrongfully including a fee for time and services. The prosecutor was convinced that this was customary in the business and that there was no attempt to unlawfully receive compensation for services performed. The felony charge was dismissed.

  120. Client attended a dance and requested a ride home from a friend. The driver was stopped for a moving violation and officers discovered several baggies of cocaine in the vehicle. Client was charged with Possession of Cocaine but it was established that the cocaine was the exclusive property of the driver and the Client, as a passenger, had knowledge but no control over the cocaine recovered. The felony charge was dismissed.

  121. Client was charged with three felony Criminal Trespasses for entering the residence of a former girlfriend. It was proven that the girlfriend did not see two of the entries and the third entry was with her consent. The three felony charges were dismissed.

  122. Client was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation. The driver admitted to being in possession of marijuana and officers were allowed to search the interior of the vehicle. Client's luggage contained ecstasy that was placed there by a third person without her knowledge. The felony charge was dismissed.

  123. Client was driving home to Craig and pulled over to sleep. He was awakened by State Patrol the next morning and accused of Careless Driving for causing an accident where he parked and Driving Under the Influence based upon the presence of marijuana. Blood test revealed that the Client had only prescription medication in his system. A driving conviction was avoided.

  124. Client was charged with Felony Menacing, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving, Trespass and three counts of Harassment based upon the accusation of three alleged victims. A jury trial resulted in a dismissal of the Trespass charge and the jury returned verdicts of "not guilty" on the Felony Menacing charge, Reckless Endangerment, Reckless Driving and two of the Harassment charges. The Defendant admitted that he did call one of the alleged victims offensive names. The jury was convinced that the accusations of the victims were false and the Judge imposed a $50 fine as punishment.

  125. Client was stopped for throwing a cigarette out the window and then was arrested for Driving Under the Influence. Client refused to perform the voluntary roadside maneuvers but did agree to submit to a blood test. However, at the Emergency Room, he was presented with an Admission Form to the hospital which he refused to sign and no blood was drawn. A plea of "not guilty" was entered and a jury trial was scheduled. Five days before trial, the DUI charge was dismissed and Client pled guilty to throwing the cigarette out the window.

Call me today (970-871-7400) to discuss your questions, needs and how the threatened consequences can be avoided.

Criminal Defense for Stamboat springs, Craig, Routt and Moffat Counties

"Over the last fourteen years, I have tried more jury trials than any practicing attorney in the 14th Judicial District (Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado including Steamboat Springs, Craig, and Hot Sulphur Springs) with consistent success."

       -- Larry D. Combs

See the 2014 Jury Trial Results

 

 

Attorney Larry Combs provides criminal defense within the 14th judicial district which includes Routt County, Moffat County, and Grand County Colorado. This includes the municipalities of Steamboat Springs, Craig, Hot Sulphur Springs, Oak Creek, and Hayden.

 

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