The criminal defense attorneys at Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C. represent people throughout the Denver Metropolitan Area who have been accused of committing a felony offense, from vehicular homicide to vehicular assault, drug related crimes, sexual assault, and the like.
A felony is traditionally defined as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment for more than one year, usually in a state prison or penitentiary as opposed to a city or county jail. Modern statues further distinguish crimes by categorizing as within one of many different classes of felony. For instance, in Colorado punishments range from one to two years in prison (plus one year of parole) for a Class 5 felony, to life imprisonment or death for a Class 1 felony.
Types of Felonies
The main categories of felonies are crimes against property and crimes against the person. Crimes against property include offenses such as arson, burglary, robbery, theft, trespassing, and criminal mischief (damaging property, vandalism). Crimes against the person include a variety of assaults (first, second, or third degree assault, vehicular assault, menacing, reckless endangerment) as well as kidnapping and false imprisonment.
The law also addresses a wide variety of sexual assaults. Conviction of most sex crimes will require the person convicted to register with the state as a sex offender, which limits where the person may live and what types of jobs the person may obtain, as well as imposing a number of other legal disabilities. Failing to register as a sex offender is itself a felony offense.
Although most traffic violations such as reckless riving and DUI are classified as infractions or misdemeanors, the felony offense of vehicular homicide can be charged any time a death is the result of driving in a reckless manner (Class 4 felony) or under the influence of drugs or alcohol (Class 3 felony).
The Uniform Controlled Substances Act criminalizes the manufacture, distribution, sale, and possession of a long list of controlled substances, including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and a long list of chemicals and drugs that have a narcotic effect or a high potential for abuse, such as codeine, morphine, and oxycodone (OxyContin).
A Strong Defense is Essential
Generally speaking, to be convicted of a crime, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury that every element of the crime was committed by the defendant. However, under the concept of lesser included offenses, a person could be charged and tried for one crime, but even if the jury did not think the case was proven, they could still convict the defendant on a lesser included offense.
The criminal justice system is weighted in favor of the prosecution in other ways. Despite constitutional protections for the rights of the accused, there exists in most people's minds a presumption that anyone arrested and charged with a crime is probably guilty. Also, the state has vast resources at its disposal in terms of money and manpower to investigate and prosecute crimes, including building a case against an accused defendant.
Having a strong defense lawyer advocating on your behalf is essential to avoiding a conviction whenever possible, or to negotiating a better deal when that move is in your best interests. For aggressive and experienced criminal defense attorneys in Denver and the surrounding areas, contact Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C.