Articles Posted in Criminal Charges

The rates of all types of crime in Colorado have been going down every year for several years, and they continue to do so, according to the 2008-2010 Crime and Justice in Colorado report.

In 2003, crime rates in Colorado hit a twenty-year low, according to the report. The rate dipped again in 2005, and it fell an additional 6 percent between 2008 and 2009. The rate of violent crimes dropped as part of the falling overall crime rate, a pattern that has been copied in most states throughout the U.S. The report notes that homicides, or crimes involving the killing of a person in some way, have stayed steady at 150 to 200 incidents in Colorado each year.handcuffs-182036.jpg

In 2009, 186,030 arrests of adults were made in Colorado for a variety of suspected crimes. An additional 39,876 juveniles faced arrest in 2009. Both of those numbers represented a decrease from 2008, in which 190,499 adult Coloradoans and 46,395 juveniles in Colorado faced arrest.
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A Colorado man who has been imprisoned since 1996 after conviction for a Colorado rape and murder may soon be exonerated since DNA testing has shown that he was not the one involved in the original crime, according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune. The 51-year-old man is currently serving a life sentence for a crime the evidence now indicates he did not commit.

microscope-lab-16548241.jpgThe man was originally convicted in a case involving the death of a 19-year-old Palisado, Colorado woman, who was found in her bathtub. Evidence collected at the time indicated that she had been sexually assaulted and strangled. The evidence included DNA samples, but these were not analyzed at the time; instead, arguments at trial focused on whether or not a blood stain on the defendant’s shirt belonged to the victim. The man convicted was given a sentence of life without parole, which he has been serving for the past 16 years.

The DNA test was performed through Colorado Justice Review Project, which provides DNA testing paid for by a $1.2 million grant provided by the federal government. Both defense attorneys and prosecutors have applauded the project.
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The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime to pretend to have earned armed forces service honors that one has not earned, such as claiming to have a Purple Heart or other medal when one does not. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case that challenges the Stolen Valor Act on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment of the Constitution – the amendment that protects the right to free speech.soldiers_6379499.jpg

The Act, which became law in 2006, makes it a federal misdemeanor to lie about having earned war honors. The maximum penalty includes up to one year of imprisonment and a fine. About 60 people have been prosecuted under the law since it was passed, but the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that it doesn’t consider the law a high priority when compared to other issues, like drug smuggling or terrorism.
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Colorado Super Lawyer SelectionColorado Springs criminal defense attorney Timothy R. Bussey of The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has been selected for inclusion in 2012 Colorado Super Lawyers®, an honor given to only five percent of lawyers from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Every year, Super Lawyers selects the most highly recognized and accomplished attorneys, which honors their work and includes them in a list that can be used as a comprehensive list for lawyers and those in search of legal representation.

Super Lawyers honors attorneys from more than 70 practice areas, with candidates nominated by their peers and then researched by the organization and whittled down through an extensive process. Candidates must have made a significant impact in their practice areas, met ethical standards, received high recognition from peers, and achieved a high level of success. Criteria evaluated for selection include:
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Poaching, or hunting certain animals without a legal license to do so, happens in Colorado and other states. Here, elk often face injury or death from poachers. To stop poachers from threatening the health of Colorado elk herds, the Department of Wildlife has started employing investigation tactics like those you might see on a TV crime drama. Gun-sniffing dogs, blood splatter analysis, and other sophisticated forensic science tools have all been brought out to investigate potential poaching situations.hunting_4002293.jpg

One Nevada Department of Wildlife game warden warned poachers that DNA analysis would soon be used to investigate suspicious deaths of wildlife just as it is currently used in suspicious deaths of humans. Wildlife biologists may be able to pinpoint DNA markers in a killed animal to prove that it came from one certain hunting ground. If the hunter doesn’t have a license for that area, he or she may face criminal charges. Other evidence, such as bullet markings, blood splatter, witness testimony, and other facts may be used to round out these cases.
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The city of Broomfield, Colorado already ranks among the top third of Colorado cities in lowest crime rates in most years. This past year, however, Broomfield also saw a record low crime rate, leading city officials to declare it one of the “safest” years ever, according to a recent article in the Broomfield Enterprise.

According to a yearly report recently released by the Broomfield police department, Colorado felony crimes in Broomfield were down to 19 incidents per 1,000 residents in 1,000. This number represents a decrease from 21 incidents per 1,000 residents in 2010 and a significant drop from twenty years prior; in 1991, the rate was 50 incidents per 1,000 residents. The police department says that, in the 31 years it has been keeping track of felony crime statistics, the rate in 2011 represents the lowest number it has yet seen.

The police department says that crime is down for several reasons. First, they note that crime rates all over the country are decreasing, including in Colorado as a whole. Also, they point to the unification of the city and county law enforcement agencies and the support the community has given to its police forces in recent years.
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The number of people currently serving sentences in Colorado prisons after being convicted of a felony is about the same as it was in 2004. However, the amount of money the state is spending on its prisons has risen about $150 million since that time, a much larger increase than experts would have predicted given the stable size of the population of those living in state prisons. Now, Colorado legislators want to know why the number of dollars has increased when the number of people serving sentences has not – and what they can do about it.

Prison officials attribute part of the costs to inflation of fixed expenses, like utilities, which they cannot control – the lights must stay on in certain parts of the prison at all times, those living in the prison will always need water and sewer services, and so on. Medical costs for both prisoners and staff have also gone up. However, with changes in sentencing and an increase in alternative programs that keep people out of prison, Colorado is considering closing at least one prison entirely.
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The Denver police recently announced that they will review their computer database’s functioning, after it was revealed that information gathered in the early stages of a police investigation – including eyewitness descriptions of possible culprits – might be erased or overwritten by information put in later, according to a recent news article in the Denver Post.computer_853988.jpg

Currently, the database allows information to be revised or added only in certain parts of a police report or electronic case file. In other sections, information cannot be changed at all, or it has to be overwritten completely, destroying any information that originally appeared in that section. Although officers are trained to make careful notes of any changes they make in a file, the agency admits that it is far too easy for information to simply disappear, with no record of where it went or what it originally said.
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West Colorado Avenue has long been referred to as “no-man’s land,” especially between 31st Street and the Manitou Springs city line, for its patchwork of law enforcement coverage that has often left area business owners wondering which police officers, if any, would show up if they called for help. Recent efforts by patrols from various agencies have increased police presence in the area, however, and crime rates there are down, according to a recent article in the Colorado Springs Gazette.policecar12267621.jpg

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Springs police have both put patrols on West Colorado Avenue and surrounding streets in recent weeks, especially after business owners banded together asking for help. The business owners also encouraged the city to repair some streetlights in the area that had burned out. After several major arrests on suspicion of felonies, such as robberies, local business owners say that crime rates in the area seem to be going down.
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Being charged with or convicted of certain types of crimes in Colorado can result not only in jail time, fines, or other court-imposed penalties, but also in the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. If you rely on your license to get to work, take your kids to school, or do any of the other daily tasks of living, losing your license can pose a serious hardship.

Some of the criminal convictions and other situations that can affect your driver’s license include:

  • Alcohol-related convictions, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI).
  • Driving privileges that are suspended or revoked in another state. Colorado may not issue you a license, or may suspend or revoke your Colorado license, if your license in another state has been suspended or revoked.
  • Aggravated motor vehicle theft or felonies involving a motor vehicle – if you’re convicted of one of these, your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked as well.
  • Falling behind on child support payments. Colorado may suspend or revoke your license if you fall behind on child support payments. This situation can further prevent you from getting to work so that you can make the money you need to support your children.

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