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Arrested for a crime that's no longer a crime? Know your rights

A criminal conviction can haunt you long after your case has cleared the courts. People with criminal convictions may find it harder to land jobs, take out loans and rent apartments. Even if you were never convicted, you could face unwanted obstacles simply for getting arrested.

In some cases, however, you may be able to may be able to seal your criminal record. This isn’t true for everyone, but for those who can take advantage of the opportunity, it means a second chance at a clean record. And the recent changes to Colorado’s marijuana laws mean that more people than ever can now have their records sealed.

Are you struggling to pay your child support?

If you are paying child support and do not have shared custody of the kids, it can feel like you got the short end of the stick. It’s not that you oppose the agreement or object to financially supporting your children, but when things get tight it can be difficult to make those payments.

Missing child support payments is a serious issue. Unlike other debts, there are few options for finding relief when you fall behind on your child support. This is why it is critical to reach out for help as soon as you realize your situation will not allow you to meet your obligations. You may be able to obtain a modification of your child support order.

Could your divorcing spouse be digitally spying on you?

In 2012, the Justice Department tried to determine how common stalking is in the U.S. They estimated that about 1.5 percent of all American adults had been victims of stalking. For people who were divorced or separated, the number was more than twice that, at 3.3 percent.

NPR recently published a story about a woman, referred to as “M”, who found out her husband was monitoring her movements and communications during their divorce. She figured it out when she noticed he always seemed to have up-to-date information about her movements and conversations. Thinking that a private investigator might be following her, she started changing the way she drove. Then she worried her husband, who she says had been abusive, might have installed a GPS tracker installed on her car.

Starting summer off with a parenting plan

Whoever said that summertime was for relaxing and living easy must not have been a divorced parent. Once the school year ends, all the rules change. The predictable schedule of school, activities and bed times go out the window, and this often means many changes to the parenting time schedule.

You may be dreading the summer break and the potential for conflict with your co-parent.  It is important to remember that kids often cherish their memories of summer. It makes sense for you and your co-parent to work out a way to make the season a positive one.

Confronting DUI charges with the right defense strategy

It can be frightening and overwhelming to face criminal charges, even a first-time DUI offense. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, do not underestimate the serious nature of your case and the way it is treated in the court system and through the administrative process. A DUI conviction could lead to penalties that include loss of driving privileges, fines and even time in jail. If you are in this situation, your need for a strong defense plan is real and urgent.

Where should you start with a DUI defense? Not only do you want to protect your long-term interests and stay out of jail, you will want to preserve your right to drive and your reputation. Evaluating the defense options available to you and determining the optimal way forward is one way to start this process.

What can happen if you are accused of domestic violence?

An accusation of hurting, threatening, or controlling a relative or intimate partner can be harmful in many ways. The state of Colorado does not take accusations of domestic violence (DV) lightly. If someone accuses you of committing this type of offense several things can happen — up to, including, and often starting with, jail time.

There is a common misconception that if police respond to a DV call, it is standard practice to arrest the alleged perpetrator. In reality, the police are required to arrest any person once the officers have established probable cause to believe that the individual has committed a crime of domestic violence. Because individuals suspected of committing a domestic violence related offense are required to be advised by a judge before bonding out of jail, they often spend at least one night in jail before they can appear before a judge the following business day. If you are arrested on a weekend or holiday, that can often turn into a longer jail stay.

6 common car crash scenarios and what you can do to avoid them

Roughly 6 million motor vehicle accidents occur every year in the U.S., including more than 40,000 fatalities. We know that driving drunk, getting distracted and driving too fast all contribute to crashes, but what, exactly do at-fault drivers do before a collision occurs?

Big Data is providing some new insights. Today, researchers perform naturalistic driving studies where sensors and cameras are installed in private vehicles so that ordinary driving behaviors can be observed. Dashboard-mounted cameras and other video monitoring contribute to our understanding. Combine those with a landmark 2008 analysis of the specific causes of nearly 7,000 actual crashes and we have more detailed information than ever before.

Study: Nearly 30% of drivers flagged for risky driving behavior

How many people are killed each year in U.S. traffic crashes involving cellphone distraction? It's difficult to say. The federal database that tracks fatal traffic accidents relies on local police to recognize distraction as the cause of a given accident -- but most police reports don't have a box to check when that is the case. In fact, the nonprofit National Safety Council recently estimated that less than half of distraction-related fatalities were coded as such in that federal database.

There may be a new way to track cellphone distraction, however. A startup company called Zendrive tracks both cellphone use and driving behavior for ride-sharing companies and insurers. After monitoring some 2.3 million drivers over the course of 5.6 billion miles driven, it can provide a great deal of insight into cellphone distraction and other problematic driving issues.

Study: Tackle football before 12 speeds onset of brain disease

After doctors determined that a series of seemingly minor concussions could cause the degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the families of 246 deceased football players donated their loved ones' brains for study. That research is taking place at Boston University and the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Those researchers have just released new findings. It appears that when players who play tackle football before age 12 develop CTE, they tend to develop the disease an average of 13 years earlier than those who started playing later. The earlier the player began receiving blows to the head, the earlier that player would develop the brain disease.

"Prenup" is no longer a dirty word

What makes for the perfect proposal? For starters, it’s the person you’re with. Love, kindness and trust, as well as shared goals, values and interests. A romantic setting is probably high up there, too. Maybe a trip to the ocean or a mountain hike. A ring is likely. But a prenup?

Prenuptial agreements may not yet have any place in the modern proposal, but they’re an increasing part of engagements, especially among millennials. It’s true they’re not romantic, but neither is marriage. You can have romance in your relationship, but marriage comes with all kinds of legal consequences. In many ways, marriage is a contract. And once you recognize that, you might understand why surveys have shown a surge in prenuptial agreements, driven mostly by millennials.

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