Criminal Defense FAQs for Your ‘OH CRAP’ Moments
If the cops stop me for speeding and I’ve had some drinks, what do I do?
If the police suspect any alcohol, they will attempt to establish probable cause to force you to do a chemical test, i.e. a Breathalyzer or Blood test. These tests are conducted at the police station or a hospital. Before they can require these tests, they must first establish probable cause to require you to complete one of these chemical tests.
They establish probable cause in several different ways. First, they might ask you have you been drinking….. DO NOT ANSWER. You are under no obligation to answer any questions. You are only required to provide them your license, registration and insurance documents. If you answer the police may determine that you have slurred speech and that your breath reeks of beer. Be smart. Keep your mouth shut.
The police may ask you to complete a series of roadside tests. These roadside tests are inherently subjective. They are designed to provide the police with the probable cause to require you to perform a chemical test. Don’t do them.
The police may ask that you complete a portable breath test. THIS IS NOT A CHEMICAL TEST. These Portable Breath Tests or PBT’s are not admissible in Colorado and there is a reason. They are not calibrated and simply designed to provide the police with a reasonable argument that you have been drinking. Don’t take it.
So what should you do?
a. Do not say anything. You are only required to provide them with your license, registration and insurance documents. Trying to rationalize with the police is a losing battle.
b. Refuse all roadsides or PBT’s. This allows you the opportunity to argue that the police did not have probable cause to force you to take a chemical test.
c. Be polite. Ranting and raving at the officer will not help your situation and will provide the police with the probable cause needed to require you to take a chemical test.
If you are ordered to complete a chemical test and you refuse your license may be revoked for at least one year. However, if it is later determined that the request to take a chemical test was unjust, not only may your criminal matter be dismissed but the civil order suspending your license might be rescinded.
So my ex just called and is accusing me of rape…
This is a pre-textual call. A “pretext phone call” is an investigative tool utilized in a wide variety of criminal investigations, especially sex assault investigations. A pretext phone call is simply a tape-recorded telephone call between the victim and the suspect. The call is usually initiated by the victim, under the supervision of a law enforcement officer — preferably the lead investigator or case agent. The suspect is unaware that the call is being recorded.
This technique may be referred to by different terms, including “confrontational calls,” “pretense calls,” “taping,” “consensual taping,” “monitored calls,” Normally, as a first investigative tool, the police will ask the accuser to call to try to trick statements or confession.
If you have received this type of call you have been accused of some inappropriate sexual behavior. The police are now trying to develop enough evidence to arrest you. Your ex is probably at the police station right now, using their phone. The police detective is sitting right next to her listening and recording your statements. Most likely the detective has written a script for your ex to follow with specific questions designed to get you to make incriminating statements.
What should you do?
If they left a message don’t call back.
If you mistakenly answer the phone, hang-up immediately. Don’t try to rationalize or engage in any conversation. Just hang up.
So, they won’t let me buy a gun….
Whether you can possess or purchase a gun is a mixed question between federal and state law. For instance, in Colorado it is against State Law if you possess a gun after you have been convicted of a felony. Thus the only way you will be allowed to possess a weapon is to petition and receive a pardon. In Colorado, if you have been convicted of a felony you will not be able to possess or purchase a weapon unless your conviction has been pardoned. If you have been adjudicated for a juvenile offense it may be possible to restore your gun rights however we will first need to expunge your juvenile record before we petition the Attorney General’s office.
If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of Domestic Violence, you will be prohibited from possessing or purchasing a gun under federal law and you will need to petition the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.