DUI/DWAI/DUID

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A DUI, regardless of the circumstances, is a serious charge, and you may be fearful of losing your license or suffering other harsh penalties after being arrested for drunk or drugged driving. A DUI is not a simple matter. Often, these are highly complex cases with scientific evidence and expert testimony. That is why it is so important to choose the right DUI lawyer in Colorado Springs (or in any other Colorado county in which you may have received a DUI charge).  Mr. Harris  has handled hundreds of DUI cases throughout the State of Colorado.  He has taken many of the toughest DUI cases to trial and in many of these cases he has obtained verdicts of "Not Guilty."  While Mr. Harris never fears a trial, he also looks to find reasonable options prior to trial so that, if possible, his clients may go about their daily lives (without the stress and cost of prolonged litigation).

Traffic Violations

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While traffic tickets may not seem as serious as DUI's or other criminal charges, our firm takes them very seriously. Traffic tickets can mean hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars in penalties and increased insurance costs. A major traffic violation conviction may result in driver's license suspension or revocation, fines, mandatory classes and/or jail time.  We defend all types of traffic tickets, including: reckless/careless driving, speeding, exhibition of speed, hit and run, texting while driving, Commercial Driving License (CDL) violations, and Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). Don’t pay your Colorado traffic ticket until you speak with an experienced Colorado traffic attorney (such as Mr. Harris). If you pay your ticket it’s an automatic admission and adjudication of guilt on your record. Moreover, if your ticket is a moving violation, you will receive points against your license.  Mr. Harris has handled hundreds of traffic cases and is often able to favorably resolve the case without the client ever having to go to court.

Drug Charges

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In 2013, all Colorado drug laws and their sentencing structures changed. Therefore, this area of the law has become extremely complicated and confusing. If you are facing a narcotics charge in the State of Colorado, it is crucial that you consult with a Colorado attorney who is highly experienced at handling drug and narcotics cases. Mr. Harris has over a decade of experience defending against drug charges (of all kinds). He has extensive knowledge of the Colorado drug laws-- including what kind of charges you are likely to face and which defense strategies have the best chance of working in your situation.

Sex Crimes Defense

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Sex crimes are taken very seriously in Colorado and in the United States as a whole.  A sex crime conviction can carry harsh penalties.  A mere allegation can do irreparable damage to your reputation and has the potential to literally ruin your life.  Being arrested for a sex crime will disrupt your entire life and put you in the most serious legal jeopardy,   You may feel embarrassed or ashamed if you’re accused of a sex crime, even if the allegations aren’t true, Don't  let those feelings  stop you from seeking out top quality legal representation.  Mr. Harris and his team have handled many cases involving serious allegations  of criminal sexual conduct.  Each of the cases are handled compassionately and with a non-judgmental approach.  Each client may rest assured that his/her case will be handled with respect and sensitivity (no matter what the accusations may be).  At the same time, Mr. Harris is never afraid to mount an aggressive and assertive defense in or out of court. Mr. Harris  has years of experience successfully handling sex crime cases, He has prepared strong, solid defenses for a wide range of sex crime charges involving such accusations as: Indecent Exposure, Invasion of Privacy, Sex Assault on a Child, Unlawful Sexual Contact, Internet Luring, and Failure to Register as a Sex Offender.  When you’ve been accused of something as serious as a sex crime, you should seek out an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.  NEVER  talk to the police, submit to a polygraph exam, or  make the decision to represent yourself (without first consulting with a qualified criminal lawyer).  

 

Violent Crimes Defense

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Violent crimes can mean assault, arson, armed robbery, and other more specific crimes, but in all cases, if you are convicted of a violent crime charge, the penalties will most likely be severe and life altering. A violent crimes charge can be associated with any number of offenses, and each case is unique and brings with it its own set of circumstances and variables.  Mr. Harris  has years of experience representing clients charged with violent crimes, including:

 

Assault

Battery

Vehicular Assault

Arson

Armed Robbery

Weapons Charges

Aggravated Robbery

 

Cases such as these tend to be "fact intensive" with numerous witness accounts.  If hired, Mr. Harris and his team will immediately start investigating your case (examining all evidence and interviewing all potential witnesses).  He will provide you with high quality, cost-effective legal representation.  You will experience  individualized, personalized service as our firm remains committed to achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

Domestic Violence Defense

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You and your partner get into an argument. Things get heated. They get loud. Tough words are exchanged. When the police knock on your door though, it surprises both of you.  By law, if the police feel that any crime has occurred, and that it is a domestic violence criminal charge in Colorado because it happened from one intimate partner against the other, then the law says that they must arrest whomever they are going to charge. You cannot get a ticket (called a summons) and have the police leave your house without an arrest. The law says that you must be arrested and you have to spend the night in jail without bail being set by a judge.  This is why it is so crucial that you hire an experienced domestic violence attorney. We have handled and successfully defended hundreds of domestic violence charges throughout Colorado.   We have seen how Colorado domestic violence laws and punishments can ruin families (often more than the heated family arguments that involve police). If arrested on a Domestic Violence charge, you may be ordered to move out of your own home and not see your spouse and kids.  Nearly any crime in Colorado can be charged with a domestic violence "sentencing enhancer," but some of the most common crimes that are  charged as DV are:


Domestic violence harassment 

Domestic violence assault 

Domestic violence battery 

Domestic violence threats 

Domestic violence false imprisonment

Domestic violence criminal trespass


We have experience in dealing with all of these types of charges.  When charged as Domestic Violence, the State will not dismiss a case just because the alleged victim wants the case dropped or  refuses to cooperate.  Your loved one  may have called the police, but the government is the one actually bringing the charges.  Victims DO NOT get to decide if a case is dropped (the decision is up to the prosecutor).  If you  are charged with Domestic Violence or if you called the police  on a loved one that  has resulted in Domestic Violence charges being filed, DO NOT speak to the police or prosecutor without first consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  If you or a loved one is facing a Domestic Violence charge, Mr. Harris has likely  dealt with situations similar to yours.  He has resolved many of these cases favorably for his clients and has often been able to get the Domestic Violence charges dismissed.  While we cannot guarantee the same result in your case, we can guarantee that Mr. Harris will apply his years of experience in this area to achieving the best possible outcome for you and your family.  

Juvenile Crimes Defense

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Arguably, the only thing worse than being charged with a crime is seeing one's child charged with a crime.  It is an impossibly difficult situation the parents.  On the one hand, you love your child and want to see him or her treated with compassion, fairness, and mercy.   You want to support your child but you also want him or her to learn accountability and to grow into an adult who lives by the rules of society.  Mr. Harris has spent years defending underage juveniles charged with crimes in criminal court.  He understands the "tight-rope" that parents of these children are forced to walk.    He knows how to mount an aggressive defense for the child and protect his or rights (while at the same time staying supportive and respectful of the parents).  In these cases, we never lose sight of the ultimate goal:  reunite the children with their parents. If your child is facing charges in the juvenile justice system it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney (who also has experience dealing with children).  Criminal charges can threaten both your child's freedom and his or her future opportunities.  Like with our adult clients, sometimes we go trial and fight the charges.  Other times, we work a settlement and  help find ways to improve the child's life situation with solutions such as therapy and counseling programs.  Ultimately, we never lose sight of the ultimate goal in these types of cases:  to get your child back home and on the right track again.  Whether a potential client chooses to consult our firm or decides to go elsewhere, our advice is always the same: get your child a responsible and capable juvenile criminal lawyer. The court-appointed GAL (guardian ad litem) is there to look out for your child's best interest but he or she is not there to defend his case.  GALs are not lawyers and they will not share police reports with you or handle a trial or litigation. That is not their job. They are there to check in on the child and report to the court.  Defense attorneys are there to protect your child's rights and to fight for a fair and favorable outcome to your child's case.  The defense attorney (unlike the GAL) works for your child (and your family's interest).  Juvenile convictions can have serious consequences and may prove difficult to expunge in the future.  Furthermore, sex crimes, and violent crimes will often "stick"  to a child's record and wind up hurting his her chances at job and/or education opportunities.  Schedule a free consultation with Mr. Harris and he will be happy to discuss your child's case and the steps he would take to protect his or future.  

Probation Violations

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Whether you are accused of failing a drug test or of going out of town without the permission of your probation officer, a probation violation can lead to serious consequences (including possible revocation and a long jail/prison sentence).   The first step in avoiding a bad outcome is to rehabilitate and start complying with the terms of your probation IMMEDIATELY. If you feel that you have been cited with a violation unfairly, you do have a right to a hearing in front of a judge.   Our office routinely represents clients at probation violation hearings.  If your Probation Officer (PO) has decided to "violate" your probation, you have a right to a hearing within 15 days. If you have been iput in jail on a no-bond hold, or if you just cannot afford to post your bail, DO NOT waive your right to a hearing until you have spoken to an experienced criminal defense attorney. In our experience, some probation officers are too demanding or are just unfair in how they are applying the terms of probation.  We are all human.   If what your probation officer asks of you is unreasonable or unrealistic, we can assist you in notifying the court of this and in asking the judge to modify your requirements.  Mr. Harris has assisted many clients with probation difficulties.   He has helped clients accused of  both "technical" violations and "substantive" violations. Technical violations are violations like missing an appointment, not finishing classes or community service, or testing positive on a drug or alcohol test (technical violations can actually be very serious and can result  in jail or prison). "Substantive" violations occur when someone on probation is accused of committing a new criminal offense. These types of violations are also very serious and can also result in harsh penalties.    They difference between "technical" and "substantive" violations can be very confusing.  That is why we are here help.   If you or a loved one is facing a violation of probation charge,  Mr. Harris is available for a free consultation.  He will review your rights with you and he will explain how he approaches these types of cases.  Whether you consult with Mr. Harris or another experienced criminal defense attorney, it is important to remember to NEVER sign or agree to anything until you first consult qualified counsel.  

Illegal Search and Seizure

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Over the years, Mr. Harris has built a reputation for successfully litigating the legality of police searches and seizure. Often, other lawyers and other law firms (throughout Colorado) will consult Mr. Harris for advice on how to best challenge the police and their law enforcement practices.   Mr. Harris has successfully litigated challenges to police road stops, driving arrests, homes/businesses/person searches, drugs/paraphernalia tests, school locker searches, search warrants, illegal police profiling, vehicle searches, and DUI checkpoints.  If you believe your rights were violated,  you have the option of scheduling a free consultation with Mr. Harris.  Many criminal cases can be attacked on the basis of search and seizure issues and improper police conduct. If evidence was obtained illegally,  it may be suppressed--possibly leading to the dismissal charges.  Everyone has rights (especially those accused of crimes).  These rights are guaranteed by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments of the US Constitution and by Colorado Law.  If you are accused of a crime, it is crucial that you seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is trained in both Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law.  Mr. Harris is highly experienced in both areas and offers free consultations for all criminal defense cases.  Whether you choose to consult with Mr. Harris or any other experienced criminal defense attorney, remember NEVER to speak with the police or prosecutor without first talking to your own qualified attorney.  


Protecting Gun Rights

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Colorado, as a Western State, has a long history of respect and appreciation of individual rights. The right to bear arms (guaranteed by the Second Amendment) is held in high regard in this part of the country.  Hunting, target shooting and  defense of one's property and loved ones represent legitimate uses of firearms and such uses are protected by the US Constitution.   Colorado has a long and proud tradition of responsible use of firearms.  Responsible gun ownership is an important part of Colorado's history and culture.  Unfortunately, in its more recent history, Colorado has had some terrible incidents of firearm misuse and this has led to law enforcement cracking down on all types of firearm activity (including legitimate constitutionally-protected gun ownership). If you are a responsible firearm owner who's right to bear arms is being challenged by the government, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.  If you are facing any type of gun charge or any charge involving violence (even misdemeanor) your rights as a gun owner could be taken away from you (possibly forever).  Mr. Harris has extensive experience dealing with crimes involving firearms.  He has successfully represented many Colorado gun owners who were in danger of losing their firearm rights.  Our firm offers free consultations for all criminal defense matters.  Whether you speak with us or another experienced Colorado criminal defense practice, it is crucial to seek legal advice quickly if you are a gun owner facing a criminal charge (as you may be in danger of losing your gun rights forever) .  

Bail and Arrest

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Following an arrest on a warrant, or even a warrantless arrest, you will appear in front of a Judge to address the question of bond (bail amount). Public defenders often are provided at these initial hearings.  We find that clients are often unhappy with the bonds set at these initial hearings.   The good news is that bond can be argued more than once in a case. Circumstances may change such that a lower bond is appropriate, or a different and more sympathetic Judge may hear your case and disagree with the first Judge to review your case and set the bond amount. The bond amounts are at least loosely based upon the bond schedules established by the court in which you are charged. Each county has their own bond schedules and these are viewable online.  However, bond schedules do not always accurately predict the amount at which your bond will be set. The amount of your bond will depend on your criminal history, ties to the community, any flight risk you may be deemed to pose, and any perceived danger to the community posed by your being out of custody. Conditions are often imposed on your bond, such as pretrial monitoring, or the wearing of a gps monitor or scram bracelet. Should bond conditions not be complied with, your bond can be revoked and you would need to repost a new bond which is likely to be higher – usually twice the amount initially posted prior to revocation. Oftentimes, a good bond argument can make the difference between a relatively low bond and a high one.

 If you have an outstanding warrant, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to assess your situation and to get a sense of what range of bond amounts to expect.  Additionally, should a bond have already been set at an amount too high for you to post, an attorney may be able to successfully argue for a reduction of bond. Similarly, an attorney can argue for a change in bond conditions – including the removal of any GPS monitor, a removal or reduction of sobriety monitoring, and the adjustment of any other conditions which may be burdensome.  It is a standard condition of bond that the defendant not travel outside the State of Colorado. A defense attorney can file a motion requesting that you be granted specific permission to travel out of the state while out of custody on a bond. If you have travel needs, your attorney will need to know where and when you are traveling, and receive a consent of surety from your bonds person. The court will also require that you sign a waiver of extradition, giving up your right to fight extradition proceedings should you not return to Colorado to appear in your criminal case.   Mr. Harris has helped hundreds of clients improve their conditions of pretrial release and and has successfully achieved lower bond amounts in many of those cases.  We offer free consultations for all criminal defense matters (including bond/pretrial release conditions).  Call us and we will be happy to review the facts and circumstances of your particular situation.  


Harassment Charges

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Harassment cases are some of the most challenging cases we handle.  We have found that Colorado Harassment laws are some of the hardest for juries to understand. Almost any action (from practical jokes to obscene gestures to loud noises and more) can be construed as harassment.  The law states that a person commits harassment in Colorado when with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she strikes, shoves, or kicks him or her, or follows a person in a public place, or directs an obscene gesture or language at him or her.  Someone can also be charged with harassment when he or she initiates computer or phone conversation with that person with the intent to insult, taunt, threaten, or annoy him or her. It is no wonder that we see this crime charged so often (it tends to serve as a sort of "fall back" charge--when no other charges seem to stick).   Most challenging is when harassment is charged as an act of domestic violence.   For example, a couple may be arguing and things get too heated.  One of them insults the other one and storms off.  We have actually seen this charged as an act of  domestic violence.  While the behavior that the charge is based on may not seem that serious, Harassment is a potentially serious charge ( in state court it is a class 3 misdemeanor (M3) and carries up to six months in county jail).  Our firm has a great deal of experience handling harassment cases.  We take these case very seriously and have a record of achieving very favorable results for our clients.  From day one, we start investigating all of the facts (as these cases are extremely fact intensive and even one small detail can make the difference between "guilty" and "not guilty").  If you are facing a Harassment charge in the State of Colorado, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.  We offer free consultations for all criminal defense matters (including Harassment). 

Theft and Economic Crimes

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Colorado criminal courts and district attorney's offices treat theft charges severely. In addition to lengthy prison sentences, some prosecutors and judges may try to impose tens of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution. They may even try to seize your assets.  Mr. Harris has years of experience defending theft and economic cases.  He achieved favorable outcomes for clients charged with burglary, sophisticated economic crimes (white collar crimes), identity theft, fraud, racketeering, embezzlement, conversion of property, employee theft, theft by receiving, shoplifting, mail theft and 

forgery and forged checks. Most of these crimes are considered "crimes of moral turpitude" by banks, lenders, employers, landlord, and government agencies.  That is why these types of charges can be particularly damaging to a client's life, future and career.  If you are accused of any kind of theft or economic crime, DO NOT speak with police or other type of investigator without FIRST consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  If you schedule a free consultation with Mr. Harris, he will explain the immediate steps he can take to address these very serious allegations.  If hired, our firm will work with you to achieve the best outcome possible with the goal of preserving your freedom and restoring your reputation.  



Federal Charges

Federal charges are often more serious than charges filed in Colorado state court, and federal prose

Federal charges are often more serious than charges filed in Colorado state court, and federal prosecutors are among the toughest and most experienced (many of them are former "star" state district attorneys).  In addition, the FBI agents who help prosecute federal crimes often  investigate their cases for years and often have more resources than state and local law enforcement. Penalties tend to be harsher in the federal system, the legal process is more complex and strict.  Our firm has helped many defendants accused of breaking a federal law.  Mr. Harris  is licensed to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.  We represent clients facing all types of federal charges.  Mr. Harris has achieved favorable outcomes for clients charged in federal court with drug crimes (including drug-trafficking), economic crimes, weapons violations. public corruption, racketeering. fraud, mail theft, and extortion.  If you are charged with a federal crime, your case will be handled in the federal system.  As a former NAVY JAG, Mr. Harris is extremely familiar with federal agencies and federal courts.  If you schedule a free consultation, he will review with how he approaches cases in federal court.  If hired,  our firm will  take the immediate steps to necessary to preserve your rights and ensure you are thoroughly prepared to make your best case in the complex and challenging environment that is federal criminal court. 

Municipal Crimes and Misdemeanors

Possibly the most underrepresented group of crimes in Colorado is municipal crimes. There are no fel

While maybe not as serious as felonies or federal charges,  these charges are often underestimated by those facing them.  So many make the mistake of going to court and taking the "first deal" offered by the district attorney (without ever consulting with an attorney).   These defendants are often happy to sign the deal because they being presented offers with no fines or jail times.  In their haste to "get the case over with" they assume they can represent themselves.  But, many of these charges ARE real criminal convictions.  Even if there is no jail or fine, pleading guilty will result in a criminal conviction and criminal record.  This can lead to all kinds of adverse effects and actions (from failing background checks associated with a job to having one's driving privileges revoked).  Crimes are crimes, and criminal records are very hard (if not impossible) to seal/erase.  Mr. Harris has represented hundreds of clients charge with municipal crimes and misdemeanors.  Our firm takes all cases and charges very seriously (from the 1st Degree Murder to a speeding ticket).   We know that municipal crimes  and misdemeanors are not always as minor as they seem.  We never recommend a client representing him or herself.  Before accepting any kind of plea offer for any kind of charge, it is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Mr. Harris has gotten many charges dismissed or prosecution of the case deferred where the initial plea offer was conviction (adjudication).  While there is no guarantee that he will be able to achieve the same result in your case, he will be happy to review the charges you are facing (and any pleas you have been offered) at a free consultation.  Whether you choose our firm or seek out the advice of another experienced criminal defense attorney, we always suggest that you speak with a lawyer before going to court (no matter how minor the charge may seem).  

Restraining/Protection Orders

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Restraining orders and orders of protection are meant to protect abused people from their abusers; however, like any legal action, they can be mistakingly applied. When this happens, family members may be wrongfully restrained from being in their own homes. If you or a loved one are facing such a situation, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.  Even if you do not agree with the restraining order, if one is in effect (even temporarily) you must follow it to the letter or you will very likely be arrested and  be criminally charged for the violation.  Micheal Harris is a former state prosecutor who understands the court system and judges' criteria for issuing and extending restraining orders. He can protect his clients' legal rights and explain their options when their life is hindered by a:


Temporary restraining order (TRO), which is often quickly issued by a judge after an allegation of family violence.


Permanent restraining order (PRO), which is an extension of a temporary order.


Mandatory protection order, which is a unique type of criminal restraining order that is issued against juveniles or adults once they are charged with a felony or misdemeanor.


We have seen it first hand: restraining orders have a dramatic effect on a client's life — they affect whom one can see and talk to, where one can live and what contact one may have with his/her children. Even if the person who applied for the restraining order against you changes his or her mind, the terms of the order still remain in full effect (until modified or removed by a judge). And, often, restraining orders are granted with very little argument to the contrary. The alleged victim only needs to convice the court by a preponderance of the evidence. Thefore, our firm approaches these cases aggressively. From the day we are hired, we look for ways to challenge both the prosecution and the accuser's story. Is the person filing the restraining order truly afraid of the other person? What is the motive for seeking a restraining order? The lawyers at our firm are skilled at putting together cases that can persuade the court in the alleged abuser's favor. In fact, often just having a lawyer shows the accuser that you are serious about fighting the order of protection, and as a result we find that many times we are able to resolve these cases without having to litigate.


In Colorado, there are two main types of restraining orders: civil restraining orders and criminal restraining orders.  Both Colorado state and municipal courts have the authority to issue restraining orders and they do so for a variety of reasons. If you are charged with a felony or a crime of domestic violence, then Colorado state courts will issue what is called a mandatory protection order CRS 18-1-1001. The law says that if you are charged with a violation of any of the criminal laws listed under Title 18, the mandatory protection order must be served on your person at the time of your arraignment or your first appearance before the court. You must be notified of the order, and often criminal courts will require you to sign the bottom of the protection order paperwork and give you a carbon copy where your restrictions and provisions to be followed are listed.  Some courts feel it is more appropriate to have a sheriff or bailiff serve you while others ask that your attorney or the prosecutor hands you the paperwork. Regardless of whether the circumstances are ones you agree with or not, it is very important that you follow every restriction without hesitation. Violating any of the provisions of a mandatory protection can result in some of the following consequences:


Your bail bond may be revoked and you may be sent back to jail.


You may be charged with misdemeanor violation of a protection order.


You may be charged with felony violation of bail bonds.


You may be charged with contempt of court.


You may be required to register with pretrial services.


You may be required to take random drug or alcohol tests.


While you may feel that the protection order is not fair, it is smartest to keep following  it.  If you want to challenge the protection order, you should only do so with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At our firm., we pride ourselves in understanding protection orders and making sure our clients do as well.  Mr. Harris has defended protection orders in criminal state courts and municipal and city courts throughout Colorado. Call us today to discuss your case and come in for a free consultation.


Child Abuse Defense

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Appeals and Record Expungement

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