Trial over Thanksgiving Day standoff ends with conviction for Denver man

The Sky-Hi News is reporting that a Grand County jury has found Brian Wilson guilty on all 24 charges stemming from a 2008 Thanksgiving Day standoff with police in Winter Park.  He has now been convicted on 5 counts of attempted murder with deliberate indifference, 6 counts of felony menacing, 2 counts of obstructing police, 3 counts of prohibited use of a weapon, obstructing a highway, driving under the influence and DUI per se.  More significantly, Wilson was convicted on 5 counts of committing a crime of violence, which will enhance the penalties for the attempted murder charges.

Wilson, 53, of Denver, faces 16 – 24 years in prison on each attempted murder count.

Wilson did not hire an attorney from 5280defense.com.

Colorado State Trooper charged with drunk driving, BAC twice legal limit | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

The Denver Post is reporting that Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies made a shocking DUI arrest on Monday.

Concerned motorists reported the erratic driving behavior of a Colorado State Trooper who was in his marked police cruiser.  Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies intercepted the vehicle, made a traffic stop, and identified the driver as David Dolan, a 21-year veteran of the Colorado State Patrol.  Dolan, 49, was in uniform at the time of the arrest.

Trooper Dolan was taken to the police station where he provided a breath sample of .194—more than twice the legal limit in the state of Colorado.

Dolan was charged with driving under the influence, and prohibited use of weapons.  He was released on bond, and a hearing is set for this coming Monday.

Dolan did not hire an attorney from 5280defense.com.

Ignition Interlock | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

The following is from the Colorado Department of Revenue – Division of Motor Vehicles:

Repeat alcohol offenders are required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle(s) before they can reinstate their driving privileges.  Reinstated licenses are restricted to the use of vehicles equipped with an approved ignition interlock device for a period of at least one year.

You will be required to have an approved ignition interlock device if:

  • Your license was revoked because of convictions for two alcohol-related driving offenses in five years.
  • Your license was revoked because of convictions for three alcohol-related driving offenses in your lifetime.
  • Your license was revoked because of your being designated an Habitual Traffic Offender and at least one of your underlying convictions was for an alcohol-related driving offense.

And

  • Your last offense occurred after 07/01/2000
  • Your blood alcohol level at the time of being stopped by a law enforcement officer was 0.17 or more. (For all stops after 01/01/2007.)

Drivers who fall into this category will be allowed to reinstate only with a restricted license that limits their driving to vehicles with an approved ignition interlock device.

Interlock paperwork can be faxed to 303-205-5625.

Colorado has contracted with the following four Interlock providers. Please contact one of them for further information. The restricted driver is responsible for all of the costs of the Ignition Interlock Device.

Interlock Providers:

Smart Start, Inc.
1-800-880-3394
Westminster, CO 80030

National Interlock Services Ltd.
1-800-475-5490
Aurora, CO 80011

Guardian Interlock Systems
1-800-499-0994
Denver, CO 80022

Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Inc.
1-800-332-6858
Denver CO 80216

Knowledge Center:

Ignition Interlock Program Brochure

Restricted License Ignition Interlock Agreement Affidavit

Example of burdens of proof in a criminal case | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

It’s a warm summer night and a homeowner has phoned 911 to report a burglary.  The homeowner says the burglar was wearing a mask, sweatshirt, and was carrying a bag.  The homeowner reports a missing DVD player his wife’s necklaces.

Minutes later a police officer observes a man running just two blocks from the homeowner’s address.  The man is wearing a dark sweatshirt and sweatpants, there is mud on his pants and shoes, and he has a bag over his shoulder. The officer now has reasonable suspicion to stop and identify this person.  However, there is not yet enough evidence (probable cause) to make an arrest.

The officer stops and questions the man and learns that he does not live in the area.  The officer observes that the man is visibly nervous and is sweating.  The officer looks inside the bag and sees electronics and jewelry.  The officer now has probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed and arrests the man.

A grand jury is later presented with the case.  If they believe that there is probable cause cause, then they will indict the case and send it to the district court.

In the district court, a jury is empaneled to hear the evidence.  To convict, the prosecutor must present enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

A brief overview of burdens of proof | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

Burden of proof is essentially the amount of proof needed to prove something.  The amount of proof changes depending on the type of case.  For example, to convict someone of a criminal offense and strip them of their freedom, you must have proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.”  This is the most proof required in any legal case—as it should be.

On the other hand, for a civil case where money is at issue, you need a “preponderance” of the evidence.  This is essentially enough evidence to tip the scales of justice only slightly.  Put another way, you will have a preponderance of the evidence if you have 51% of the evidence and the other side has 49%.

In between criminal and civil cases is “clear and convincing evidence”.  This is the amount of proof needed in child custody cases.  It’s less than the proof needed to take someone’s freedom away, but more than needed to win a money judgment against someone.

Burden of Proof | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorneys sometimes glaze over certain terms without making sure you fully understand them.  “Burden of proof” is one of those, and it will undoubtedly arise during your case.  This is one phrase that you must understand because can change depending on the type of case or even the proceeding.  The following is a brief overview of burdens of proof.

Criminal cases are more complicated

Criminal cases have three standards of proof: reasonable suspicion, probable cause and beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reasonable suspicion is the amount of evidence an officer needs to stop someone on the street and ask them questions.  For this, the officer must be able to articulate that a person has been, is, or is about to commit a crime.

Probable cause is the amount of evidence an officer needs to make an arrest.  This means that the officer must have probable cause, which is a reasonable belief that the person has committed a crime. Probable cause is not enough evidence to convict.  It is only the amount of evidence needed to make an arrest.  Probable cause is also the amount of evidence that a grand jury needs to indict a case.  This is why many cases are indicted, but fewer are able to be proven to a jury.

Beyond a reasonable doubt is the amount of evidence a prosecutor must present to a jury to obtain a conviction at trial.

Knowledge Center:

Example of burdens of proof in a criminal case.

Levels of proof chart: The following chart is helpful in explaining the levels of proof.

What happens to my Colorado drivers license if I’m under 21 and charged with drunk driving? | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

The law in Colorado is very strict for underage drinking.  If you are under 21 and drive after drinking, you may face very severe penalties.

If you are under 21 and are convicted of a drunk driving offense, your license will be revoked for not less than one year.

If you are under 21 and your BAC is 0.02 or above, then your license will be revoked for:

  • Three months for first offense;
  • Six months for second offense;
  • One year for third or subsequent offense.

What happens to my Colorado drivers license if my BAC is over 0.08? | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have provided a sample of your breath or blood and your BAC is over 0.08, then your drivers license will be revoked for:

  • 9 months for first violation;
  • 1 year for second violation;
  • 2 years for third or subsequent violation.

You will be able to apply for a reinstatement after 30 days.  However, you will need an ignition interlock for the remaining 8 months (2 years if you were 0.17 or above).

On your second offense, the license revocation is one year, and the ignition interlock will be required for two years after the reinstatement.

On a third or subsequent offense, the revocation is two-years.

Knowledge Center:

What is an ignition interlock?

What crimes result in revocation of my Colorado Drivers License? | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

Your drivers license will be revoked for not less than one year if you are convicted of:

    • Vehicular homicide;
    • Vehicular assault;
    • Criminally negligent homicide;
    • Driving a motor vehicle under influence of a controlled substance;
    • Driving under the influence / Driving while impaired / Driving with excessive alcoholic content;
    • Any felony in which a motor vehicle was used;
    • Failing to stop and render aid;
    • Perjury or false affidavit or statement under oath under any law relating to the ownership or operation of a motor vehicle;
    • Reckless driving three times in the last two years;
    • Two drunk driving convictions in the last five years.

      Colorado Administrative Drivers License Hearings | Denver Criminal Defense Attorney

      If you are arrested for drunk driving the police officer will confiscate your drivers license and provide you a temporary permit.  The officer will then send the state a report consisting of your license and an affidavit they’ve written of the facts surrounding your arrest.

      If you want to fight the revocation of your drivers license, you must request a hearing within 7 days of receiving the notice.  If you fail to request a hearing in that time it is waived officer’s affidavit becomes final.

      At the hearing, you have the right to subpoena the officer to testify.  This can be an excellent opportunity to “preview” what the officer will testify to at trial.

      The judge at the hearing considers law enforcement officer’s testimony, reports written by the officer, affidavits of other persons, and any other relevant documents needed to aid in the decision.  Facts determined at hearing are independent of a court where the underlying criminal charge arise.

      The standard of proof is preponderance of evidence.

      Adverse decisions may be appealed within 30 days to a district court.  If you are later acquitted of the charge, your license will immediately be reinstated.