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**Please note this Blog is merely informational and for educational purposes and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship nor is it intended to provide you with legal advice.  Should you want to seek legal advice, our firm is happy to provide you with a consultation.  Call LEE | LAW at 303.222.7068.

Hollow Miranda Warnings: You Must Invoke Your Right to Counsel

I watch the First 48 and think to myself, "what is wrong with these people? Why don't they ask for a lawyer?" The days of police and prosecutors respecting your Sixth Amendment right to Counsel are over. With new case law emerging, there is a potential that if you do not specifically invoke your right to counsel, you may not be entitled to counsel. Pursuant to new case law, you may be required to actually ask for an attorney and to do so in a timely manner. The days of the burden being on the police to protect your right to counsel are over. The burden is on you to clearly and unequivocally invoke your right to counsel. The police are required to give notice of your right to counsel, bu

The 411 on Grandparent's Rights in Colorado

The United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, set the burden of proof for grandparents very high. The 2000 Supreme Court opinion of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), limited grandparent visitation orders by holding that parents’ due process rights impose a “special weight,” a burden on the grandparent to overcome parental wishes when the court has before it a grandparent visitation petition. In acknowledging the presumption that fit parents act in the best interest of their child and noting that the 14th Amendment guarantees parents a fundamental liberty interest in the care, custody and control of their children, the Troxtel court held that a fit parent’s decision should b

Sword for the Pro Se Defendants: Arguello Advisement Could Get You a New Trial

Many pro se defendants (proceeding without an attorney) are pushed through the system with unfair results. Our firm successfully appealed a case for a client who represented himself in a municipal court proceeding in Denver. While it was a minor case, the judge sentenced him to 300 days in jail, even though teh District Attorney offered him a mere 30 days in jail. He hired our offie to appeal the decision and upon review of the record, we immediately noticed that he was never provided an Arguello Advisement. Many judges, particularly in municipal court, fail to properly advise the pro se defendants of their right to counsel, the maximum penatlies, etc. The Arguello Advisement is necessa

The 411 on Divorce in Colorado

Divorce in Colorado is essentially about the division of assets, determining if any party owes the other maintenance or any other financial obligations, and, if children are of the marriage, determining the allocation of parental rights and responsibilties. In determining the division of assets, many factors come into play. The first step is determining which assets are actually marital property. Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-113 regulates the division of marital property in a divorce. Marital property is defined as any property which either spouse acquires during their marriage, except for property acquired by gift, inheritance or property excluded by a prenuptial agreement. Contrary to p

What You Need to Know About DUIs in Colorado

The primary issue in a DUI case is whether probable cause exists for the arrest. You are not required to incriminate yourself to police when an officer asks if you have been drinking. The police are asking this question to gain probable cause to arrest you. The police will also ask you to do roadside testing (test conducted on the side of the road, such as, a portable hand-held breath test, the HGN, Walk & Turn, and One-Legged Stand tests). Such tests are not mandatory nor will refusing such tests cause your licensed to be suspended or revoked. Roadside tests are subjective and only help the police arrest you for a DUI. Police don't like to mention it, but these roadside test are volun

The 411 on Appeals & Post-Conviction Relief in Colorado

Appellate advocacy requires a firm understanding of the law and how the law should have been applied in your case. Appeals to a higher court are done to ask the higher court to review the proceedings in the lower court. The key appellate issues after conviction at trial are whether the defendant was properly advised throughout the process, whether the judge in the lower court made any rulings that need to be overturned and such rulings prejudiced the defendant, whether the jury instructions tendered to the jury were proper, were any requested jury instructions denied improperly, whether the defendant had effective counsel, whether the process itself was fair, whether jurors of the same rac

The 411 on Felonies & Parole Violations in Colorado

Felonies are the most serious crimes with a possible penalty of probation to life in prison or the death penalty (although not common in Colorado). Some common felonies are Arson, Assault, Burglary, Robbery, Murder, Forgery, Menacing, Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender, Theft, Possession, Distribution, and/or Manufacture of Controlled Substances, Manslaughter, Vehicular Assault, Vehicular Homicide, Sexual Assault, and Sexual Assault on a Child. A Class 1 Felony is punishable by Life in Prison or Death. The lower classes of felonies (Class 2 through Class 6) have presumptive sentencing and extraordinary sentencing ranges contingent upon whether aggravating circumstances exist. If

The 411 on Child Support in Colorado

When it comes to matters involving children the controlling standard is "best interests of the child". This means the court will do whatever is in "the best interest of the child". The court will apply this standard in deciding parental responsibilities and parenting time. It should be noted that a domestic violence conviction by one party may have an impact on parenting time for that parent as there is a presumption -that may be rebutted- that a parent engaging in domestic violence is not in the best interest of the child. Parenting time plays a major role in deciding child support. Parenting time can be agreed upon by the parties and approved by the court or the court can determine par

Civil Unions in Colorado: Marriage Equality or Not?

A Civil Union is legally defined as "a relationship established by two eligible persons pursuant to this article that entitled them to receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities of spouses.” Contrary to popular belief, Civil Unions are not just for same-sex couples. Adults 18 years or older (aduls with legal guardians must have legal guardians consent), regardless of gender, may enter into a Civil Union if: 1) Neither party is already in a civil union, 2) Neither party is married to another person, 3) nether party is related to one another, as incest is prohibted. The significance of a Civil Union is the ability to enjoy most rights enojyed by married coup

The 411 on Marijuana in Colorado

Amendment 64 has opened doors for many businesses in Colorado, but the federal government is not on board with the semi-legalization of marijuana in Colorado. As such, many dispensary owners have faced federal indictments in relation to operating a dispensary. Even in Colorado, caregivers who are not meeting the requirements of being a caregiver (merely providing marijuana is not enough to be considered a caregiver) are also being faced with criminal charges. While the industry is appealing, lucrative, and exciting, there are many risks involved with the distribution of medical and recreational marijuana. As such, it is important to have a firm that will educate you on the law, advise yo

No Ring, No Problem: Common Law Divorce in Colorado

Common Law Marriage: The law in Colorado is not definitive as to what actually constitutes common law marriage but we do have some guidelines all centered around whether the parties both agreed to be married. While many people won't have a written contract saying we are common law married, there are many things that can be evaluated to determine whether the parties intended to be common law married. Some factors that might be considered proof of the existence of a common law marriage include the following: 1. Introduction of each other to neighbors, friends, acquaintances or business partners as husband and wife; 2. Cohabitation of the parties as husband and wife; 3. Maintenance of joint a

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