One of the jobs of lawyers is analyzing, researching and investigating a case and using the data collected from a trial to settle or negotiate a plea of the bargain for the defendant’s freedom. People who have been accused of committing crimes will have a criminal defense lawyer, also called criminal lawyers, to defend them. There’s a broad spectrum of cases that they work on, ranging from violent crimes, domestic violence, drug crimes, driving under the influence (DUI), sex crimes, fraud, theft, and embezzlement.
Criminal Defense Lawyers are public defenders, and many of them are assigned by the court’s case; however, they can be contacted directly by the defendant.
SKILLS & COMPETENCIES
We all know that studying to be a lawyer requires lots of patience and hard work. To be successful in this industry you need to have skills and assets which can be a great advantage for you in the long run. Public speaking skills are a must if you want to be a lawyer, but to succeed as a criminal defense lawyer you must possess a few other things.
- Interpersonal Skills
A successful and effective lawyer has a strong relationship with the client. Building this connection requires excellent interpersonal skills. It is quite challenging on the defendant’s part to find a trustworthy and reliable lawyer.
That’s why they go through many criminal defenders before choosing someone they’re comfortable to work with. Interpersonal skills are essential to thriving in criminal defense practice.
- Investigative and Research Skills
Researching and investigating the case is necessary in building a strong defense.
- Experience & Legal Knowledge
Experience is always important in whatever industry we are talking about. Simultaneously, it is efficient and competent to have an in-depth understanding of court procedures, state, federal, and local rules, evidentiary laws, and the criminal justice system.
- Creative & Analytical Skills
To litigate complex cases, develop legal strategy, and analyze case laws you need ample creative thinking and analytical skills.
- Writing & Speaking Skills
Last but certainly not least, writing and speaking skills are vital skills to have as a lawyer. They’ll be representing their clients in the trial court, persuading the jury, and using verbal skills to argue the defendant’s case based on the information they have. Just as important as speaking, writing skills are essential to being a successful lawyer.
CRIMINAL LAWYERS SALARY
Private lawyers get paid higher than most public defenders. Due to the referral process general criminal lawyers have a higher caseload and lower salary rates since they are paid by the public defender’s office and not from other clients.
Criminal lawyers’ salaries commonly range from $30,000 to $500,000 a year; of course, it usually varies on the scope of the firm’s experience, geographic location, and the clientele the firm serves. Defenders who represent wealthy and high-profile defendants tend to be the highest-paid lawyers. Experienced criminal attorneys who work in a law firm earn the highest salaries.
DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The criminal lawyer’s duties and responsibilities are many. They are very well trained to negotiate on behalf of their clients, including revocation hearings, trials, plea bargains, appeals, post-conviction remedies, and bail bond hearings. Part of their job also includes;
- Filing to argue motions to dismiss, and suppress
- Procedural law, statutes, crimes codes, and research case law
- Plea bargain to negotiate to lesser charges
- Investigate the case and interview witnesses
- Argue appeals
- Advocate for the defendant at trial
However, they can do a lot more than that if it will benefit the case and their client.
Some criminal lawyers work as public defenders for the government or non-profit agencies to maintain a local practice. For attorneys with a national convention, frequent travel is required. At the same time, most of them work in either solo firms or private law firms. They frequently meet with the clients outside of their offices in prisons, courthouses, hospitals, and other venues. Criminal attorneys often work irregular and long hours.
Criminal lawyers represent their clients in the court of justice and most of the time the trial takes a lot of time. It is also not a secret that working in this industry requires a lot of patience, hard work, as well as skills that will set them apart from other lawyers.
While you are able to do so, impaired driving under the influence of alcohol or any other drugs, even legal ones, such as marijuana, is a crime in every state in the U.S. It is described under statute 42-4-1301, C.R.S. DUI. It is unsafe and illegal which is why if you’ve been caught driving while impaired, it can get you arrested. So to answer your question, yes, you do need a lawyer. Even though using marijuana is legal for adults in Colorado, police officers can still arrest you.
Let’s dig deeper into some questions that would help answer your question further if you do need a lawyer or not. What is the DUI of marijuana in Colorado?
DUI OF MARIJUANA IN COLORADO
Driving under the influence of cannabis is usually a misdemeanor. You are substantially incapable physically as well as mentally to safely operate a vehicle. There is no DUI test per se of marijuana, unlike alcohol, to prove that you were unable to drive safely. There must be evidence which might include the following:
- You were driving too slow or too fast.
- The police officer was able to smell weed from you or the car.
- There was marijuana or drug paraphernalia found in your car.
- You violated the state’s traffic laws.
- Your car was crisscrossing in & out of the lane.
- You had slurred speech and bloodshot or stoned eyes.
COLORADO’S DWAI BY MARIJUANA
When weed affects you in the slightest, DWAI (driving while ability impaired) with marijuana makes you less able both mentally and physically to operate an automobile than you ordinarily would have been. It doesn’t take much impairment to be guilty of this crime. However, unlike alcohol, no test can prove that you are or are not high.
The THC amount in your blood while getting arrested by an officer who thinks you are DWAI will be one factor for the law court to consider. The state of Colorado has no set limit for how many drugs, specifically marijuana, you can take when you drive.
The effects of cannabis vary:
- Experience with using drugs
- Strength or effect of the weed
- Strain of marijuana
- Other substances in your system
- If you have eaten or taken anything else
- Mode of administration (vape, tincture, smoked or eaten)
PENALTIES FOR DWAI / DUI OF MARIJUANA
Penalties and consequences of DWAI marijuana are the same as driving while ability impaired of alcohol. Similar to this, the DUI of weed is the same as DUI of alcohol: pay a fine, increased insurance costs, loss of your driving privilege, and jail time.
It also includes the following:
- Term of probation
- Suspension of the license for ninety days to a year
- Fine ($500 – $2,000)
However, laws vary from state to state that can influence sentencing. Defenses to this crime commonly depend on the facts of your case. These may include a blood test, or if there is no reasonable basis for suspecting you of drug use. Driving poorly could result from other reasons, such as being distracted, sick, tired, etc.
In Colorado, the driver needs to test positive for five nanograms of THC to be arrested for DUI of marijuana. If necessary, police can charge based on observed impairment. Don’t think that a prescription will keep you from getting cited for a DUI just because it’s medical marijuana.
When you’re about to travel, there are things you need to remember:
First, leaving Colorado with any federally illegal product is against the law. Second, since cannabis is still illegal under federal law, you can’t use marijuana on national parks and national forests or anywhere on federal land.
To sum it all up, you should definitely get a lawyer if you’ve been pulled over for driving high on weed in the centennial state. As stated above, it is a crime. Get help now and start looking for the right lawyer for your DUI case.
What Is The District Attorney’s Office (And Why You Need a Lawyer Who Understands Its Inner Workings)
The district attorney’s office works to prosecute felony criminal cases while representing the state. The prosecution includes investigation, apprehension, and even prosecution in court. A district attorney (D.A) is responsible for selecting the types of charges made against defendants or those charged with crimes after they’re arrested. They have the power to prosecute different cases, dismiss the case, or divert the individual to a treatment program or facility. They decide who to charge, if they want to offer a plea bargain, or whether to take it to trial. They control the majority of the decisions in the legal system, which impacts everyone across the state.
They often oversee other assistant district attorneys and are considered to be one of the most influential players in the criminal justice system. The position is an elected position with a four-year term and has the primary responsibility of pursuing justice to keep the community safe. Because they are elected, they work for the people. They’re also responsible for determining if any services are provided to survivors of crimes. They also decide if they’ll take your money, property, or personal belongings even if you haven’t been charged with the crime. They can also determine the length of time someone serves a sentence and whether the system treats someone differently based on their class or race.
Their influence isn’t just limited to the courtroom. D.A.s also influence reforms that can reduce over-incarceration and potentially save lives. Although their terms only last four years, they rarely face challengers or hold community forums where members of the public can question them. Without challengers, they can sometimes operate behind closed doors without accountability with their power.
When you’re looking for a law office to represent you and take on your case, it’s crucial to hire someone who understands a district attorney’s office’s inner workings. If they have extensive knowledge about the operations, they can know the right tactics to build a better defense.
The lawyer will know what to expect with how the district attorney’s office attempts to present the evidence to the jury and judge while they try to prove their case. They often understand the pattern that the district attorney’s office has had in the past with prosecuting people for specific types of crime to ensure they build a more robust defense.
The lawyer you use can have extensive courtroom experience and be familiar with the district attorney’s office’s techniques to ensure they have a more competitive advantage. They’re capable of foreseeing different methods that are used against your case to ensure they have the right techniques that are ready to be used.
Hiring someone who is acquainted with the local courts will also allow you to have someone backing you who understands the judge’s actions and can predict how the jury is prone to ruling. They can use different techniques to sway the jury because they know how they’ve already been influenced by the D.A.’s office.
They’ll also have an idea of how law enforcement works as they prepare a case, which will allow them to monitor how you’re treated. They can guide you through the complicated process and offer insight into what to expect to avoid any surprises.
You can have a higher level of representation with a lawyer who has experience with the district attorney’s office and knows the approach they’ll take with your case to ensure you have a greater defense. They’ll examine the evidence used against you and can also determine if any of your constitutional rights were ever violated. They’ll also help you to negotiate plea deals and find witnesses to prove that you’re innocent or that there’s overcharging that has occurred.