Criminal Defense FAQ
Criminal charges and the possible consequences of a conviction are rarely straightforward. This is a system that is stacked against a defendant from day one, which is why we recommend securing experienced and aggressive legal counsel as quickly as possible.
As someone who is either under investigation or recently accused of a crime, you need answers. The criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, know the legal system in Colorado Springs area intimately, and we’ll provide you with the answers and dedicated representation you need to fight this upcoming battle.
Please call our office today at (719) 473-9099 to schedule a free attorney consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About Colorado Criminal Law
Do I Need an Attorney If I’ve Been Arrested?
Regardless of the type of charges you’re facing, it’s vital that you have proper legal representation. The stakes are simply too high to risk handling something like this on your own.
Police and prosecutors vigorously enforce the laws in Colorado, and the penalties can be harsh in a criminal case. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, will aggressively protect your rights and work towards the best possible outcome in your case.
Should I Speak to the Police If I am Arrested?
It’s never in your best interests to speak with law enforcement without first discussing your situation with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Whether you’re under investigation for a crime or have been charged with an offense, you have rights.
The police will attempt to get you to make statements that could jeopardize your case. You have the right to remain silent when the authorities question you and also have the right to obtain the services of an attorney.
How Are Crimes Classified in Colorado?
Criminal offenses are classified from the least to the most serious in Colorado as petty offenses, misdemeanors, and felonies. Each of these classifications has subcategories and penalties assigned to them depending on the severity of the crime. A lower number is considered a more severe crime. For instance, a Class 1 Felony is the most serious type of crime, punishable by up to life in prison.
There are three classes of misdemeanors, with the lowest (Class 3 Misdemeanor) having penalties of up to six months in jail and fines of up to $750. There are six classes of felonies, and the least serious charge is a Class 6 felony, with penalties of up to 18 months in jail and fines of up to $10,000.
Can I Get an Affordable Bail Bond?
If you’ve been arrested and wish to get out on bail reasonably, you need a qualified criminal defense lawyer in your corner from the start. The prosecution is likely to argue that either excessively high bail or no bail is the best option to keep you behind bars until your case is concluded.
The experienced attorneys at Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, will advocate for an affordable bail bond with the judge. We can also help you negotiate the fairest terms with a bail agency to reach an agreement that fits the seriousness of the charges you are facing.
When Do I Enter My Plea?
Your first appearance generally takes place in District Court, and this is where you are advised of your rights. The next court appearance is your Arraignment date. At this hearing, the charges against you are read, and you enter your plea. If you go to a lower court – municipal and county courts – you may be asked to enter a plea at the first hearing.
Whether you plan to plead guilty or innocent at this hearing, it’s vital that you first discuss your case with a skilled criminal defense attorney. Being unrepresented in these matters leaves you open to being taken advantage of by prosecutors that are only after convictions and unfair penalties.
What is a Plea Agreement?
If you wish to resolve your case without going to trial, this might involve a plea agreement. The prosecutor might allow you to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to accept a deferred or reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.
If the prosecutor’s case against you is strong enough, this might be something we would recommend. Your attorney will always consider what is in your best interests and will use their skills to negotiate the most advantageous resolution possible.
What is a Deferred Sentence?
This is a form of plea agreement in which you waive your right to trial and agree to enter a guilty plea, accepting certain conditions from the state. For example, completing a substance abuse or domestic violence program and not committing additional offenses are common conditions. Once you’ve completed the terms of the deferred sentence, all charges are dismissed.
What is Criminal Record Sealing?
In Colorado, record sealing is the equivalent of wiping your record clean of a particular arrest or offense. This is not available for all arrests and convictions in this state as there are certain conditions for this program.
If you were found not guilty of an offense or completed certain diversion or court-ordered deferment programs, you may be eligible for record sealing. Everyone’s circumstances are different. Our office can review your situation and answer any questions about this program in confidence.
What Happens If I Violate Parole or Probation?
While it’s true that most parole and probation violations result from minor errors in judgment, the courts treat these events seriously. It might seem as if there is a no-tolerance policy with regards to these offenses, but an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help explain your situation to the court and even appeal a negative decision.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in Colorado Springs, this isn’t something you want to handle on your own. There’s simply too much at stake.
While you have certain rights, it often takes the experience of a seasoned criminal defense attorney to protect those rights and bring a case to the most favorable resolution possible. At Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, we provide personalized defense services throughout every stage of your case.
We understand that there is a sense of urgency involved and we are committed to defending your rights and freedom. Contact our office today at (719) 473-9099 to schedule your free consultation.