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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

June 14, 2017

People often use the terms theft, robbery, and burglary interchangeably, but this isn’t correct according to Denver criminal defense attorney John Buckley. These are actually three separate crimes in the state of Colorado, so it’s important that you understand the difference in the event that you ever face charges for committing one of these crimes.

Definition of Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

You commit theft if you knowingly steal another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the stolen items. Robbery is very similar to theft with one exception: the use of force. If you steal another person’s property using force, intimidation, or threats, then you have committed robbery.
Many people think that burglary is the act of breaking into someone’s house and stealing things, but that’s not necessarily true. A person commits burglary when he unlawfully enters a property with the intent of committing a crime—any crime, not just theft. For example, someone who breaks into a school with the intent of vandalizing the classrooms has committed burglary. Therefore, theft does not have to be involved in order for someone to be charged with the crime of burglary.

Penalties for Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Theft, robbery, and burglary are separate criminal charges in the state of Colorado and therefore each have unique penalties. The penalties for theft vary depending on the value of the property that you stole. If the value of the property is less than $50, you may face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, these penalties get much more serious as the value of the property increases. For example, when the stolen property is valued between $5,000 and $20,000, you may face up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Learn more about Colorado petty theft and other theft laws.
If you have been convicted of committing robbery, you may face up to six years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. These penalties are increased if you used a deadly weapon while committing robbery. In this case, you could face up to 32 years behind bars.
The penalties that you face for burglary charges will depend on whether you are charged with first, second, or third degree burglary. The most serious of these charges is first degree burglary, which carries a maximum penalty of 24 years in prison and up to $1,000,000 in fines.
Luckily, someone who has been charged with one of these crimes will not necessarily be convicted. It’s up to you to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight these charges and avoid these serious penalties.
If you have been arrested and charged with theft, robbery, or burglary, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.

Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Explains Everything You Need to Know About Assault Charges

June 7, 2017

In the state of Colorado, you can be charged with assault if you cause harm to another person. These charges carry serious penalties that may affect you for the rest of your life if you are convicted. Luckily, there are some defense strategies that a Denver criminal defense attorney can use to help you fight the charges. If you have been charged with assault, here’s everything you need to know:

First, Second, or Third Degree

In Colorado, assault is classified as either first, second, or third degree depending on the details of the crime. Third degree assault is committed when you knowingly or recklessly harm another person with the use of a deadly weapon. There are a number of circumstances that may lead to first and second degree assault charges. For example, you may be charged with first degree assault if you cause serious bodily injury to another person with a weapon or permanently disfigure another person. You may face second degree charges if you cause serious bodily injury to another person without the use of a weapon or intentionally drug someone without his or her consent.
Third degree is the least serious of the charges, while first degree is the most serious. However, it’s important to note that every type of assault charge should be taken seriously because of the consequences of a conviction. Learn more about Colorado assault laws.

Assault Penalties

The penalties that you face will depend on a number of factors, including which degree of assault you have been charged with. First degree assault typically carries a maximum penalty of 24 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. On the other end of the spectrum, third degree assault charges carry a maximum of 2 years in jail and $5,000 in fines. The penalties that you face may be enhanced, meaning more severe, if the assault is considered domestic violence. Besides these criminal penalties, an assault conviction can also affect your ability to find employment or housing in the future.

Defenses Against Assault

If you have been charged with assault, there’s no reason to give up hope. An attorney can review your case and determine the best strategy to use to fight your charges. For example, an attorney may be able to have your charges reduced or dropped if he can prove that you did not have a deadly weapon at the time of the crime. He may be able to show that you were not the aggressor, and in fact you were acting in self defense, and therefore should not face criminal charges. These are just a few of the defenses that may be appropriate for your case, but an attorney can help you determine the ideal defense strategy.
If you have been arrested and charged with assault, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.

What Memorial Day should mean to us all

By John Buckley - May 29, 2017

As we celebrate this Memorial Day, I'm reflecting on what our brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces have fought and died for. We often take for granted what an amazing country we live in and what makes it so amazing. Of course, we are a melting pot...a nation of immigrants and natives. We are an incredibly strong people. Other countries also have these qualities. I believe what truly sets us apart is our Constitution and, specifically, the Bill of Rights. It was an amazing addition to an already very powerful document. 

The First Amendment gave us the freedom of religion – where the government cannot favor one religion over another; the freedom of speech – right to criticize the government when we believe they are doing something wrong; the freedom of the press – so that there is always an outside body to investigate anything; and the freedom of assembly – so that we are able to associate with whomever we please.

The Second Amendment gave us the right to bear arms – so that we may protect ourselves and supplement our armed forces in the form of a state militia.

The Third Amendment is the least controversial...ever. It prevents the government from forcing you to house soldiers in your home. It has never been the subject of a Supreme Court decision.

The Ninth Amendment specifies that the specified rights in the Constitution are not exhaustive and the Tenth Amendment reserves other powers to the states.

The balance of the Bill of Rights are what a criminal defense lawyer fights for every day – the right to privacy in our homes and effects, the right to due process of law, to not be compelled to testify against oneself, the freedom from double jeopardy, the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, the right to confront your accuser, the right to assistance of counsel, to be free from excessive bail and fines, and to be free from cruel and unusual punishments.

As we drift off to sleep after a weekend of barbeque and family, please remember those who have given their lives for these freedoms. We owe them a debt we can never repay. May God bless them all and a country who loves them.

The Heat is On

Colorado DUI officers increase patrols and introduce sobriety checkpoints

By John Buckley - May 26, 2017

As we begin the Memorial Day weekend, DUI officers in Denver and throughout Colorado begin their annual "The Heat is On" campaign.  This means that additional officers will be on the road and setting up sobriety checkpoints this weekend - looking for drunk drivers.  

Specifically, Lakewood Police have announced that they will be setting up a checkpoint near Wadsworth and Alameda on Saturday evening.  http://kdvr.com/2017/05/25/lakewood-police-warn-of-upcoming-dui-checkpoint/

You have rights when you are coming up to a sobriety checkpoint. See the link here for more information.  http://duiattorneydenver.co/blog/8033/DUI-Checkpoint-Information-from-Your-Denver-Criminal-Defense-Attorney-

Please celebrate this holiday weekend responsibly.  If you plan to drink to excess, please have a plan to get home safely.

Denver Criminal Lawyer Discusses Sentencing Under New DUI Law

May 24, 2017

In August of 2015, a new DUI law went into effect in the state of Colorado. The new law made it a felony to acquire a fourth driving under the influence charge in Colorado. Prior to the law, Colorado was one of a handful of states that did not charge DUI as a felony under any circumstances. The new law was put in place to ensure that repeat DUI offenders would be punished more harshly than first, second, or third time offenders. But according to Denver criminal lawyer John Buckley, that’s not exactly what is happening.

Before this law was passed, anyone who had three or more DUI charges on their records would receive at least 60 days in jail. This mandatory sentence still applies to those who have three DUI charges, but if someone has four or more charges, the new law states it is now up to the judge to determine whether that person should receive jail time or not. Why? Lawmakers intended for this law to put those who are repeat DUI offenders behind bars, but they faced opposition. The opposition was not happy that the law stated that a fourth DUI conviction could lead to up to six years behind bars because they felt this would be too expensive for the state. To appease those who did not support the law, they had to make compromises. As a result, the law states that if you are convicted of a fourth DUI, you may face up to six years behind bars, but there is no mandatory jail or prison sentence that must be imposed. This means that a defendant’s fate depends solely on how the judge decides to punish him for his fourth DUI conviction.

According to The Denver Post, some judges are choosing not to incarcerate fourth-time DUI offenders, while others are choosing to hand out harsh sentences. The newspaper found that one in 12 defendants facing their fourth DUI conviction received no jail time at all, while others faced lengthy sentences for committing the same crime.

Because of this law, if you are a third time DUI offender in Colorado, you will face a mandatory sentence of 60 days in jail. However, if you are convicted for a fourth time, you may receive a sentence that ranges from probation to lengthy jail time. Read how habitual drunken drivers’ sentences vary wildly under Colorado’s new felony DUI law.

Clearly, there needs to be some consistency so everyone who is facing a fourth DUI charge is treated fairly by the courts. But until change occurs, it’s important to know about this law and how it may complicate your case if you are a repeat DUI offender.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, whether this is your first or fourth charge, contact the Law Office of John Buckley. We work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.