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Are parole and probation rules setting people up for failure?

People who have committed parole or probation violations make up a surprisingly large proportion of the prison population in the U.S. Some 280,000 parole or probation violators are incarcerated at any given time.

In 13 states, they account for a third of all prisoners. In four states, they make up half the prison population. Nationwide, they account for 45 percent of state prison admissions.

How do Standard Field Sobriety Tests work (and don't work)?

Just about everyone has heard of field sobriety tests that police administer to people they suspect of impairment during a traffic stop. You may be among those here in Colorado and elsewhere who think these tests are simply to determine whether or not a person is safe to drive.

During field sobriety tests, a person suspected of driving while impaired or intoxicated will be asked to perform certain actions for the police to observe. Some people may believe that they can fool the police or beat the test somehow with good balance or intense focus, but what police are doing is more subtle than that. Your actual performance on the test may not matter at all. 

Same-sex divorce has its unique challenges

Although the federal right to marry someone of the same sex has only existed in the U.S. since 2015, you and your partner may have been together for years, perhaps even decades. During that time, you may have lived as if you were legally married, perhaps purchasing property together, establishing joint bank accounts and sharing responsibility for debts.

When you finally had the freedom to marry, you took the opportunity to legalize your union to obtain the benefits married couples share. However, despite your past commitment to one another, you and your partner have decided to divorce. Unfortunately, as a same-sex couple, you may have complications that opposite-sex spouses do not.

How to co-parent effectively after a divorce

Divorce is a process of division. Couples split. Marital assets are divided. And in many cases, spouses take separate paths after the divorce. 

However, parents of minor children find it much harder to cut ties with their former spouses. Colorado courts determine decision-making and parenting time in the best interests of the child, and that typically means a balanced parenting time schedule. In short, if you have young kids in Colorado, you’re still likely to see your former spouse often.

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.

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