Articles Posted in Felony Crimes

The latest report on crime rates in Parker, Colorado, notes that crime rates overall have increased slightly but that the rates of certain serious crimes have actually gone down, according to a recent article in the Parker Chronicle.


The Parker Police Department released the statistics for crimes in the area in 2011, along with an analysis of the numbers that discusses why certain rates went up from 2010 while others went down. For instance, the police department recorded a 17 percent increase in burglaries in 2011 over the previous year, which police officials attribute to an organized burglary ring that worked its way though many Parker residences in 2011. Police also noted an increase in “jump key” burglaries, or burglaries in which people used a type of master key that could open nearly any lock in order to get into homes that were not theirs.
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Wildfires blazing through the Waldo Canyon and Pyramid Mountain areas have left devastation in their wake. Now, investigators from the U.S. Forest Service are looking for any clues as to who or what may have started the fires. They are particularly interested in speaking to anyone who may have been in those areas on June 22, the day before the fires were first reported, according to a recent article in the Denver Post.


The investigators stepped up their efforts after the bodies of two people were found inside the remains of their burned Waldo Canyon home recently. If the fires were intentionally or negligently set, those responsible may face criminal charges, including homicide or arson charges. The results of the investigation and the circumstances it reveals will eventually determine whether anyone is charged and, if so, with what.
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If you’ve been charged with a felony in Colorado, you may have a right to a preliminary hearing. The purpose of this hearing is for the court to determine whether enough evidence exists in your case to send you to trial.

In Colorado, you have a right to a preliminary hearing if you are charged with a Class 1, 2, or 3 felony of any kind; charged with a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony involving violence or sexual conduct; or charged with a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony but not given the opportunity to post bond.

meeting-12319420.jpgIf you don’t fall into one of these categories, your case will be scheduled for a “dispositional hearing” instead. The dispositional hearing is more like a meeting, at which you, your attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge can try to work out a way to resolve your case without going to trial. You have the same right to go to trial, however, whether you are scheduled for a preliminary hearing or a dispositional hearing.
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The best lawyer in Colorado Springs fully understands that people who are charged with a felony crime under Colorado law have several legal rights. One of these is the right to a jury trial. During a jury trial, a panel of adult members of the community, known as the “jury,” listens to the evidence and makes the ultimate decision about whether the facts show beyond a reasonable doubt that the charged person is guilty of the specific charges.

Jurors are chosen from lists created by the State Court Administrator’s Office, which are drawn from voter registration and driver’s license records. Jurors must be at least 18 years old, U.S. citizens, and residents of the jurisdiction of the court they serve in. Jurors must also be mentally capable of understanding what’s going on in the case.


The jury in any specific Colorado felony trial is chosen by a process called “voir dire.” This is basically a “get you know you” process in which the attorneys for the prosecution and the defense ask a few questions of potential jurors. After each side asks questions, the judge will ask the attorneys who should be removed from the jurors currently seated.
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The filing of fraudulent tax returns using another person’s Social Security number has increased in recent years. Now, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is looking for ways to cut down on this new form of identity theft and protect those who try to file their taxes properly under their own Social Security numbers.

According to the IRS, tax refund fraud often follows a pattern: a tax return is filed using someone’s name and Social Security number along with fake tax information that shows the person is entitled to a refund. The IRS sends the refund to the address or bank account listed on the form. When the actual owner of the Social Security number files his or her genuine tax returns, the IRS’s systems show that a tax return has already been filed and a refund paid under that Social Security number.

Sorting out whose tax return is the genuine one and who owes money to whom can take months or even years. In some cases, the person who genuinely owns the Social Security number might even be suspected temporarily of being the fraudster.
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CO Felony CrimeColorado county jails are generally responsible for housing those convicted of misdemeanors and those awaiting charges or trials on a wide range of possible conduct. The costs of housing people in jails, however, can be quite high, according to a recent article in the Longmount Times-Call. When a person has multiple run-ins with law enforcement, these costs can add up.

The Times-Call article looked at the average costs of housing a person in the Boulder County Jail, which spends similar amounts to jails in other Colorado counties. Boulder County Jail officials estimate that each arrest costs between $250 and $1,000, depending on the complexity. These costs are separate from the costs of booking each arrested person brought to the jail, which runs about $30. If a single person is arrested and booked more than once, these costs apply each time an arrest or booking takes place.
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A bill that would make “fetal homicide” a felony criminal act has been put on hold in the Colorado legislature, after concerns were raised that the bill’s language was too vague and therefore Colorado citizens could not be sure if they were violating it or not, according to a recent article in The Republic.

The bill creates a separate criminal charge known as “fetal homicide,” which involves the killing of an unborn child, whether or not the woman carrying the fetus also suffers death. The Colorado state House approved one version of the bill in late 2011, but the state’s Senate has not yet voted on its own version. Rather, the bill is being held by the Senate Judiciary Committee until concerns are resolved.

Opponents are concerned that the bill would prohibit currently legal methods of medical abortion, or would confuse the law so that doctors would not know whether or not the medical treatments they provided to pregnant patients were legal. Opponents also point out that Colorado law already allows for enhanced sentencing for those convicted of harming a person who is pregnant. The bill’s supporters, however, believe that concerns over vague wording are unfounded.
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lady-justice9494202.jpgPeople who have served their sentences often have trouble re-entering the working world, according to a recent article in the Denver Post. Restrictions on jobs, housing, and other important opportunities and resources can make it very difficult for someone who has paid a debt to society to rejoin that society – increasing the likelihood that a person may reconsider going back to prison rather than continue to fight a losing battle.

A bill recently introduced in the Colorado legislature seeks to help people rejoin society after conviction by giving them a better chance at securing work and other opportunities. The bill calls for several small but important changes to the criminal justice system. These include sealing criminal records after three years of “clean living,” allowing employers to keep employees even if they have been convicted of a felony, and allowing courts to issue “rehabilitation certificates” that would show someone with a criminal record has served his or her sentence and gone on to avoid any further entanglements with the legal system.
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Most felony crimes in Colorado are classified in one of six different possible classes. Class One felonies are the most serious, while Class Six felonies are considered the least serious. Some felony crimes are not classified at all, however. Known as “unclassified felonies,” these crimes have sentences fixed by statute instead of by the class they fall into.

Some of the felonies that are currently not classified include:

  • Making a profit on public money by using it for any unauthorized purpose, if you are a public official.
  • Violating Colorado’s antitrust laws. A conviction for this kind of violation can mean a fine of up to $1,000,000.00.
  • Rioting in a detention facility can lead to 2 to 10 years additional prison time, if a person is convicted of actively participating in the riot.
  • Knowingly endangering air quality by releasing prohibited pollutants can lead to a fine of up to $50,000 per day, up to a total of $1,000,000.00.

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The Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) compiles a major crimes report each year, showing trends in convictions for various Colorado felony crimes in the state. In 2010, the last year for which a report is complete, the CBI found that “major crimes” – a category that includes homicides, forcible rape, robbery, burglary, and motor vehicle thefts – had, for the most part, decreased in Colorado in recent years. Convictions for forcible rape, however, have increased dramatically over the past several years.

In 2010, Colorado law enforcement agencies reported a total of 129 homicide convictions. This is a decrease of almost 25 percent from 2009, and a lower number than Colorado has seen in many years. Overall, homicide convictions accounted for 0.3 percent of criminal convictions in Colorado in 2010.

Law enforcement agencies also reported 3,131 robberies, 25,769 burglaries, and 11,114 motor vehicle thefts. All of these represented decreases from 2009 and were part of a trend of these types of criminal convictions decreasing in recent years.
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