Call for a FREE Consultation (303) 444-4251

Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs

<p>Read the Boulder Colorado Law Advice blog archives of The Clark Law Firm to find out noteworthy legal news and stories in Colorado and how they affect you.</p>

What’s The Difference Between a DUI and DWAI?

What’s The Difference Between a DUI and DWAI?

By on May 26, 2015 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

The Difference Between A DUI and DWAI  In the State of Colorado, there are two charges you may face if you are caught drunk driving. The first is Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and the other is Driving While Intoxicated (DWAI). So, what’s the difference? When you get pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving, you may blow into a breathalyzer that tests the percentage of alcohol that’s inside of your bloodstream. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level result is the main criteria that differentiate a DUI from a DWAI. What Your BAC Levels Dictates For drivers over the age of 21, if you are pulled over and your BAC is between .05% and .08%, then you will be charged with a DWAI. However, if the breathalyzer shows that your BAC is .08% or higher, then you will be charged with a DUI. If you are under the drinking age, then anything above a .02% will mean a charge of either a DWAI or DUI. Compared to the rest of the country, Colorado has very unique drunk driving laws. The legal BAC limit in Colorado is .05%, which means that you can technically drink and drive as long as you’re under .05%. However, Colorado is also a no tolerance state, which means that even if you get pulled over and blow a BAC level that is lower than .05% it is up to the officer whether or not they give you a DWAI. How Much Trouble Are You In? Let’s say you get CONVICTED of a DUI or DWAI, then what are the penalties? On a first offense, a DUI can land you up to a year in jail while a DWAI can put you in jail for up to 180 days. You will be fined up to $1000 for a DUI and up to $500 for a DWAI. Further, a DUI charge will get your license suspended for 9 months but a DWAI will not receive a suspension at all. What do you do? The reality is that if you are convicted of either a DUI or a DWAI, then your life can get messy at the very least. Once charged with a DUI, you have seven...

Read More
Burglary? Robbery? Theft? What’s The Difference?

Burglary? Robbery? Theft? What’s The Difference?

By on Oct 25, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs | 0 comments

It’s not uncommon to use these words interchangeably. How often do you hear someone talking about how his or her car was burglarized or a jewelry store was robbed in the middle of the night? While we may understand the main point of these stories, it is important to understand the differences between all three, and the difference consequences of each. Burglary A burglar can be best understood as a home or building intruder with the intent of committing a crime or felony. Note that this does not necessarily mean the suspect stole anything from you, although it is the common motive. A burglar can also break in expecting to commit murder or destroy your property. The sentences provided for a burglary case vary, depending on the state and intensity of the crime. If the offender committed a third-degree burglary, he or she can generally expect a much lower sentence than those who commit first degree. Other considerations, such as criminal history and testimonials of the offender’s character, can also affect the outcome of the case. Robbery You come home from vacation to a window opened; your heart sinks. You unlock the back door and it looks like a bomb had been dropped in your home — lamps shattered, 55” Samsung television is no where to be found, cabinets left open all over the kitchen, and the front door is wide open. Welcome to a scene of a burglary, not a robbery. Why is this not a robbery? While your things may have been stolen, no one was hurt or threatened in the act. This doesn’t mean the crime is any less severe, but the legal term for the crime committed is burglary. Robbery means you were intentionally or accidentally injured or threatened by the robber while theft was being committed. This can happen on the street or in your very home. If injury does occur, the crime will often be elevated from robbery to “aggrevated robbery.” Robbery charges are sentenced based on a number of factors, including: Presence of a deadly weapon Whether there was a murder involved or attempted Premises robbed The most serious type of robbery is a bank robbery. While most robbery cases fall under...

Read More
Some Other Dude Did It! Mistaken Identity In Criminal Defense

Some Other Dude Did It! Mistaken Identity In Criminal Defense

By on Oct 15, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs | 0 comments

Of all the strategies a criminal defense team can employ when representing their client, one of the most interesting is known as the “SODDI” defense, standing for “Some Other Dude Did It”. This defense is used when the defendant claims even though the crime itself was indeed committed, someone else did it. Broadly regarded as the “mistaken identity” defense, SODDI can and has been used in a variety of different cases, from DWI to Murder. Mistaken Identity Generally, mistaken identity defenses work by attempting to undermine the evidence, usually witness testimony. By casting doubt on the perceptions or memories of a witness, the defense can cause reasonable doubt among the jury. This defense can be tricky but very effective when done well for this reason. Undermining Evidence The main thing to keep in mind with SODDI is that the crime was definitely committed, but not by the defendant. SODDI is used in cases where police find evidence in a residence, vehicle, or other location that is used by multiple people and the defendant can easily claim that because the evidence was found in a common area and someone else committed the crime. Keep in mind that this cannot apply in assault or murder cases in which the defendant is also asserting self-defense. Witness Testimony SODDI has been a popular defense because of the amount of evidence discounting witness testimony. Researchers have been able to prove that quite often, bystanders are unable to recount events in an accurate way. It has been reported that the great majority of overturned convictions had a false eyewitness testimony component. The reliability of witness testimony has plummeted in recent years as its credibility is compared with the new “gold standard” of DNA testing. One study that discounted witness testimony was performed by a cognitive psychologist who studied witness memory. She showed subjects a video of a car wreck, and then asked them follow-up questions about what they’d seen. When she asked “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?”, subjects estimated a much slower speed than when asked: “How fast were the cars going when they smashed each other?”. The study supported that the phrasing of the question can influence a...

Read More
Getting A DUI In The Army

Getting A DUI In The Army

By on Jul 22, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs, DUI Blogs | 0 comments

Being Involved with A DUI in the Army Facing a DUI as a civilian is already a serious offense and it only becomes worse for the military. As a civilian, the punishments for a first time DUI offender usually include probation, a fine and a driver’s license suspension; however, a conviction of a DUI in the military will lead to a dishonorable discharge for the offender. Getting a DUI in the army is the quickest and most sure-fire way to end a career. When the consequences of a DUI are this severe, it is important to remember that the best way to avoid a DUI is to not drive drunk. Instead, ask a sober friend to serve as a designated driver. When a person’s career is on the line, the consequences of a DUI offense far outweigh any potential benefits. Difference between Civilian DUI and Military DUI There are several important differences between receiving a civilian DUI and a military DUI charge. First, a military DUI is tried in a military court that has a different set of rules and regulations. As opposed to a civilian DUI, where the blood alcohol level must be above a certain level to be charged with a DUI in the military that limit is lower than the state’s legal limit. Essentially, if the military court believes that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was high enough to impair safe driving than the individual can be charged with a DUI. Consequently, it is military court’s discretion as to what blood alcohol level constitutes a DUI. In the military, intoxication can occur when there is any amount of alcohol found in a person’s blood. Punishment for a Military DUI If found guilty of a DUI while serving in the army, the soldier will be subject to the same punishments and consequences of a DUI under the state’s laws. Therefore, in California the offender would be responsible for a fine of about $500, probation, mandatory attendance at a DUI school and a driver’s license suspension. Additionally, the DUI will more than likely end the person’s military career. Traditionally, the military court will issue a dishonorable discharge if the soldier is found guilty of a DUI. A court-martial...

Read More
Colorado Ends Test Taking Online For Concealed Weapons Permits

Colorado Ends Test Taking Online For Concealed Weapons Permits

By on Jun 27, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs | 0 comments

Apparently, and strange even for pro-gun advocates, Colorado once allowed for individuals to take their concealed weapons permits classes online. Beyond that, they could even pass the test and be certified to carry a concealed weapon. Currently, there are 6 states which still allow for these online concealed permit tests to be taken: Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Iowa, Missouri, and Virginia. In every other state, including Colorado now, you must provide proof of your training in order to receive your concealed weapons permit. An instructor must have shown you how to load, unload, clean, handle, and store a weapon in order for advancement to occur. This makes sense, at least to most, as to verify that you know how to load or unload a weapon if you are certified to carry a concealed weapon. Problems With Not Taking Test With A Physical Instructor There are a handful of potential problems that arise when a person can take their concealed weapons permit classes and tests online. In all honesty, they are numerous, so for our purposes we are only going to name the most critical and important. You can’t be certain the person taking the test is who they claim to be. There are courses which can give you a certificate in less than an hour, with only a handful of questions that need to be answered. How much “training” can occur? They say that people can get a college education, purchase vehicles, and any other number of things online but when it comes down to it, none of those things inherently are created to harm/kill people, therefore, you can’t quite classify them the same way. They say the importance of in-person gun training is debated!? All you ever hear military people say is you train like it’s real life so that when something does occur, you’re ready and not caught off-guard. How can you even come remotely close to training like real life sitting behind your computer? You can’t. At all. Which makes the above statement the most asinine of them all. They say you shouldn’t take away from the convenience of taking an online test, especially for those who have had training, been in the military, or has history...

Read More

The United Surveillance States Of America: Dramatic Perhaps?

By on Jun 21, 2013 in Blog, Boulder Colorado Law Advice Blogs | 0 comments

Freedom Or Safety? Cause You Can’t Have Both! Unless you live under a rock, and in some cases that might not be so bad, there is no doubt you are aware of the NSA scandal that was created by the whistleblowing of former defense contractor and consultant Edward Snowden. It’s big news, with even larger implications. But what is most alarming is that most citizens are surprised by the news, as though not a soul knew or was aware. But ignorance of laws passed before can be forgiven, even when such outrage should have taken hold when these laws were being passed originally. Since people are once again aware of what is going on, the same stupid questions are being asked as before. “Well what would you prefer, freedom or safety? Because you can’t have both.” Now I can’t speak for everyone, but our countries forefathers made great attempts to warn us of this. So many prominent American figure heads have spoken directly to this point, and if we are unable to head their warning, than what exactly are we to do? As an example of this, let’s reference a few for the sake of argument. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” -Benjamin Franklin “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” -Samuel Adams “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. ” -Thomas Jefferson   Now, this list of quotes could go on for pages, and we would only be speaking of our forefathers. In essence, what is agreed upon is that regardless of the dangers we face as a nation or as individuals, under no condition should we allow our rights to be restricted. However, after the attacks of 9/11, it’s understandable that people were afraid and wanted more safety. But what was the...

Read More