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Get an education in secondary support

Your children are getting ready to head to college. You're excited for this new time, but affording college after a divorce can be difficult. Fortunately, you may not be alone when your children are looking at higher education.

Though the age of emancipation is 19, and the typical end of child support, you may be able to make the case for post-secondary education support.

Four tips for safe college drinking

As a college student, you face a lot of stress. Between heavy class loads, homework and a job to help pay the bills, you probably need to blow off some steam every now and again. You may be like many college students who choose to go out and drink to destress.

If you make unsafe choices while drinking, you may find yourself facing different consequences, like those associated with DUI charges. These consequences can often affect you for the rest of your life. Here are a few tips for staying safe when going out drinking:

A short FAQ on Colorado's restraining orders

All too often, divorce leads to heated conflicts. People can get angry and desperate, and they may show their worst. A spouse may become violent or menacing. Other people may stay clear of violence but may still threaten their spouses by stalking them or hiding things like keys to limit their movement.

Because these situations can leave people feeling unsafe, it’s relatively common for people going through divorces to seek protection. In Colorado, one of the ways people can address these concerns is by getting a protection order—also known as a restraining order—against the person causing the threats or abuse.

Is a plea agreement the end of the matter?

When the defense and the prosecution negotiate a plea bargain, the final step is going before a judge for approval of the plea bargain. There is no absolute guarantee that a court will accept any plea bargain agreed upon by the parties. Court are independent bodies, and part of the job of judges is to carefully review proposed plea bargains to ensure that they comply with applicable laws and that they are fair given the facts of the individual case, the history and circumstances of the defendant, and the aggravating and mitigating factors that exist in the particular case. So, when judges, perform this function, how can it affect a plea bargain that the prosecution and defense have agreed upon?

Plea bargains sometimes are an agreement that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser charge, and leave sentencing up to the judge. Sometimes, plea bargains include specific agreements about what the sentence will be. Sometimes they involve an agreement to a just a certain aspect of the sentence: for example, a plea bargain could include an agreement that a defendant will not be sentenced to prison, but will leave to the discretion of the judge exactly what the sentence will be. If you are considering a plea bargain, it is important to have a clear understanding of exactly what agreements the plea bargain includes, and what, if anything, will be left up to the judge.

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.

Bus and train passengers warned of police tactics

An online investigative news outlet recently published a report that may be of interest, or perhaps useful or alarming, to anyone traveling to or from Colorado by bus or train. The publication describes itself as "dedicated to holding the powerful accountable."

According to the article, federal law enforcement agencies commonly patrol Amtrak and Greyhound for passengers carrying illegal drugs. The agents take the opportunity presented by trains and buses to make arrests and seizures. Their tactics are disturbing to some civil liberties advocates even when legal, and they sometimes appear to be illegal, according to The Intercept.

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. 

What is overdose immunity?

When someone experiences an overdose, they and the people near them may feel that they have to make a hard choice between looking for help and avoiding authorities. In Colorado, that is a misconception. In Colorado, the law provides immunity for those seeking treatment for an overdose.

The Colorado Court of Appeals discussed the overdose immunity law in a recent case, People v. Harrison. The facts of the case surround a young woman who was taken to a hospital for treatment after employees at a fast-food restaurant found her unresponsive. She was then arrested and convicted of possession of drug paraphernalia, among other charges. The Court of Appeals vacated the conviction, because the manager of the restaurant had called 911 out of concern for the woman's symptoms, which were related to an overdose.

Don't believe the gray divorce stereotypes

So-called "gray divorce," or divorce over 50, is growing increasingly common in today's society. Although it's still more common for younger people to divorce than those in their middle years and later, the rate of gray divorce in the U.S. has doubled since 1990. At least some of this is explained by the aging of the Baby Boom generation, which has been less reluctant to divorce overall than previous generations.

Is divorce over 50 usually the result of a mid-life crisis? An empty nest? Does retirement make divorce seem inevitable? Doesn't divorce at that age usually lead to disappointment and regret?

What happens when the police conduct a warrentless search?

In most cases, the police need to have a search warrant issued by a judge before they can enter a private residence, search the residence, or seize items from the residence. If they do not have a warrant, they are not permitted to search a residence or seize items that they find in it without either consent or exigent circumstance.

What happens when the police don't follow these constitutional rules? How do their actions affect the evidence that prosecutors can bring to court? The general rule, called the exclusionary rule, is that illegally obtained evidence cannot be used against an accused person in court. The application of this rule can be nuanced and complex, as shown in the case of a man facing two felony DUI charges, recently reviewed by the Colorado Supreme Court.

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