Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 


GENERAL


1. Can I avoid a criminal record?

 

Whether you can avoid a criminal record depends on the facts of your case.  If you are found not guilty or the case is dismissed, you will not have a criminal record.  It would still be possible to avoid a record depending on the facts of your case or your situation.  In some cases, prosecutors offer “deferred judgment” plea agreements.  These are contracts between you and the state, whereby you plead guilty and have conditions placed on you.  If you complete those conditions, the state will permit you to withdraw your plea and dismiss the charges.  You should always consult with an Aurora Criminal Defense Attorney about the facts of your case, and the Lawrence Law Firm offers a free initial consultation.

 

2. Do I have a defense?

 

If you are reading this, you have already taken the first steps to defend your case.  You should always hire a criminal defense attorney to adequately protect your rights and defend you.  Each case is different, and a cookie cutter approach to your case is not always going to be the best approach.  There are, however, a few general things you should do as soon as possible:

  1. Write down in detail, and preferably in chronological order, what happened. There should typically be three main aspects to your statement. Focus on the circumstances leading up to the incident, what actually took place during the incident, and what has happened since the incident. Use maps and diagrams where applicable. Make sure you put a date on the statement;
  2. Ask any witnesses who have any bearing on the case to write down their version of events;
  3. Keep an ongoing journal of any dealings associated with your case so you can update your lawyer accordingly;
  4. Collect and maintain all documents issued to you by the police, the courts, or anyone else associated with your case;
  5. Take pictures of anything relevant to the case, whether it’s pictures of the scene, specific items, or yourself; and
  6. Start thinking about collecting information and documentation that casts you in a positive light, including any accomplishments in school, work, and your community.

Evidence is crucial.  An independent witness or pictures of your injuries in an assault case could mean a not guilty verdict.  It is important for you to always be proactive prior to hiring an attorney.  The police may not be as diligent safe guarding favorable evidence to you.  At an initial consultation, the Lawrence Law Firm will typically talk to you about the facts of your case and speak with you about the evidence you can work on securing that would be helpful in your defense.

 

3. How much does it cost to hire a criminal defense attorney?

 

The Lawrence Law Firm uses two types of fee agreement.  For criminal cases, we charge flat fees.   A flat fee is a set price depending on the level of representation.  A trial, for example, is more expensive than a case resolved through plea deal.  For more information concerning fees, do not hesitate to contact the Lawrence Law Firm.  Any initial consultation would be free of charge.

The Lawrence Law Firm handles personal injury cases on contingency fee agreements.  This is means a portion of any settlement is used to pay for the legal fees, and it is the typical arraignment used by personal injury attorneys in Denver and surrounding areas.  The main reason this agreement is used is the Lawrence Law Firm wants you to use any money you have on the expenses you will likely incur dealing with you injuries.


CRIMINAL


 

1.      How is my crime considered domestic violence when it isn’t a violent offense?

 

In Colorado, domestic violence is a sentence enhance.  “Domestic Violence” means any crime involving an intimate relationship involving an assault or act committed for the purpose of intimidation, harassment, or retaliation.  See C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3.  In short, the designation can be applied to any criminal offense and is applied as often as possible.  It can also apply to violations of municipal ordinances as well.

 

2.      What happens if the police did not read me my Miranda rights?

 

The answer typically depends. If the officers arrested you without questioning you, the failure to read you your Miranda rights doesn’t affect your case.   Miranda was established to prevent unlawful interrogation by government actors.  If they did interrogate you, the failure to advise you of your Miranda rights will depend on the facts of your case.

 

3.      What is the administrative hearing after a DUI?

 

After you get a DUI, your license will typically be revoked as a result of the Colorado express consent statute.  See C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1.  The hearing is only focused on your ability to operate a motor vehicle.  Since it is focused on your ability to drive, the standard of proof is lowered to a preponderance of the evidence as opposed to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  The evidence is typically the police officer’s testimony and reports.  If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me to discuss DMV. 

 

4.      Do I have a defense?

 

Whether you have a defense to a criminal case is dependent on the facts of your case.  I always advise people to speak to an attorney to determine what the best way to handle a case would be.  In my practice, I offer a free consultation to speak about the facts and provide as much information as I can.  If you have questions, call an attorney. 


 

PERSONAL INJURY

 


1.      Should I hire an attorney immediately?

 

Yes.  Most personal lawyers handle personal injury cases on contingency fees.  This means that their fee is paid out of any settlement or jury verdict.  It is the standard, we only get paid if you get paid type of phrases you hear.  In short, the attorney will not cost you anything to hire.  An attorney will take the stress out of dealing with the insurance company and knows how to get everything needed to prosecute your case.  At a minimum, you should always speak with an attorney.

 

2.      What happens if I was hurt before the accident?

People get hurt, and sometimes injured people get hurt.  The legal term for this is aggravation of pre-existing condition.  Put simply, a jury would have to determine the amount of aggravation and try to apportion the injury between the two injuries.  You should always document any new injuries and past complaints to your medical care providers.  Doctors are the professionals and they know how to properly document and treat you. 

 

3.      Should I sign a medical release for the insurance company?

 

No.  You have a right to privacy, and the insurance companies tend to seek blanket releases to have unfettered access to your medical records.  You will have to give up your privacy to make a claim.  You cannot ask for your medical records to be paid and not provide records, but a personal injury attorney would be able to get them for you and ensure that only records related to the injury are provided.  An attorney has a duty to you, and the insurance company does not.

 

4.      What are damages?

 

Damages are the actual harms and losses that you incurred.  These include economic, non-economic, and physical impairment damages.  Economic damages are anything you can put a dollar amount to.  This would include your medical bills and lost wages.  Non-economic damages are pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.  To the extend you are in constant pain, the law says that you should be compensated for that.  Finally, physical impairment are damages that are paid to compensate individuals who have been permanently impaired due to their injuries



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