Alleged Drunk Driver Crashes into Longmont Home

Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can be dangerous on a number of levels. Not only does it risk the life of the driver who is under the influence along with any passengers in his or her car, but it also puts everyone else on the road in danger. Sometimes, driving under the influence can pose a serious risk of safety even to individuals who are not sharing the road. According to the Longmont Times-Call, that was recently the case when a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol crashed his sport utility vehicle into the living room of a Longmont home, allegedly barely missing severely injuring some of the occupants.

The Accident

According to the article, there were six people in the home. Two of the individuals had just poured a glass of wine and were going to retrieve some things from another area of the home when they were forced to run from what they originally thought was an explosion. Slowly, all of the occupants in the home at the time emerged to find a sport utility vehicle had crashed into the living room wall leaving an eight-foot hole where the wall used to be.

Shortly thereafter, several other individuals rushed into the home to make sure everyone was OK. Among these people included the driver of another vehicle that had been hit by the sport utility vehicle a few moments prior to it crashing into the home. The article notes that this was the second time in a week that a vehicle had crashed into a home in Longmont, with another driver suspected of operating under the influence recently driving through a fence and a shed before colliding with another home.

DUI with Property Damage

If the driver is found to have been operating his vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, he will be facing serious consequences. However, when a DUI conviction involves property damage, especially extensive property damage like in the story above, then the penalties faced can be even more severe. A DUI with property damage can lead to a felony charge depending on the value of the property and the circumstances of the accident leading to property damage. There are several considerations when determining property damage charges, and working with a criminal defense attorney as early as possible in the DUI process can help you anticipate these charges.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

If you are facing a Colorado DUI, the consequences of conviction can be severe. If your DUI involves the injury or death of another person or any damage to property either intentionally or unintentionally, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense team that understands the nuances of Colorado law surrounding these types of charges. The Tiftickjian Law Firm focuses on working with clients facing these types of charges and understands the many approaches to defending against DUI charges in Colorado. For help with your Colorado DUI charge, contact the Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about the charges you are facing and how their criminal defense team can work to face those charges with you.

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Is DUI Expungement Possible?

With the consistent popularity of television programming focused on the legal field or the incorporation of legal aspects into television and movies, there are a lot of misconceptions about the law. Courtroom scenes on television and on the big screen are always dramatic, filled with fiery speeches and awestruck juries. The truth of the matter is that real life rarely mirrors these scenes, and that can lead to a lot of confusion when people find themselves in need of legal assistance. One such area of confusion is often expungement, and many people facing a Colorado DUI wonder if expungement of a DUI conviction is possible for them.

What is Expungement?

Expungement is a term often associated with juvenile court. Basically, expungement is a process by which a criminal charge is erased or removed from an individual’s record. Even in cases where you have not been convicted but have merely been arrested, you may have a criminal record. Expungement can be a helpful tool to keep employers from learning about criminal charges in your past.

Typically, expungement is left up to the states. That means Colorado has its own regulations when it comes to expungement. In Colorado, expungement may be an option if you meet the following qualifications:

 

  • Charges have not been filed against you;
  • Charges that were filed were later dismissed;
  • You were acquitted of charges filed against you that were not dismissed; and/or
  • A specified period of time – generally 10 years – has passed without any additional charges against you.

 

Even falling into one of these categories does not necessarily guarantee an expungement will be granted.

Expungement should not be confused with having a criminal record sealed. In sealing a criminal record, the record still exists and can be accessed through certain actions though they are not generally available to the public. With expungement, the criminal record is literally deleted. Juvenile records are typically sealed after the youth reaches a certain age if the charge depending on the circumstances of the case, and while expungement does not have an age requirement, it is often more readily available for issues arising when a defendant is a minor.

Can a DUI be Expunged?

Typically, courts will not entertain the idea of expungement for an adult DUI charge or conviction. In cases where an individual has admitted to or been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs resulting in a DUI conviction, then expungement is not a remedy available to that person. However, in rare circumstances, specifically those listed above, expungement might be a mechanism that can work for you – though you should not depend on it as a way to remove criminal charges from your record.

Legal Assistance with Your Colorado DUI

The best way to avoid having a DUI follow you around for life is to drive sober. Even one drink can sometimes put you over the legal limit to drive, so if you are drinking then you should have a plan of action in order to avoid the need to drive. However, if you are facing DUI charges then it is important to make sure you defend your rights. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney is an important step in advocating for your rights and defending against any criminal charges, including DUIs. If you are facing Colorado DUI or related charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more about the DUI process and what it might mean for you.

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The Government’s New Approach to Legal Marijuana

When Colorado residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana use through Amendment 64 in 2012, it was no secret that a lot of loose ends would need to be worked out. One of those things was that marijuana remained, and still remains, illegal under federal law. At the time, the administration provided a directive to the United States Department of Justice to more or less look the other way and let Colorado determine how to approach regulation and prosecution – within reason, of course. However, a change in Washington, D.C. brought some uncertainty to the future of recreational and medicinal marijuana in Colorado and states that have legalized it since then. According to a recent article from USA Today, the long-awaited word on the new administration’s approach to marijuana still leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

Moving Forward

The most recent federal action in relation to legalized marijuana use comes from the United States Department of Justice. According to the article, the past approach created what looked to be a “safe haven” by virtue of the federal directive to federal prosecutors not to interfere with a state’s approach to marijuana as long as doing so did not interfere with federal law enforcement policies. The current administration has rescinded that guidance, calling it “unnecessary” but providing little direction beyond that.

What this ultimately means is that the decision as to whether to prosecute charges related to legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana will, at least for now, be left up to federal prosecutors in states where marijuana use in any capacity has been legalized. While these attorneys have not been ordered to enforce federal marijuana law, they have been given the discretion to do so should they wish.

Those watching the situation are still unsure about whether there will be a rise in federal prosecution of marijuana-related cases, but some to do see this as a way to discourage the growing marijuana industry. According to an article in The Hill, some attorneys from states where medicinal or recreational marijuana is legal have already stated that they will not change their approach from the guidance provided by the previous administration. This includes the United States Attorney for Colorado. That means the current status quo will remain for now, though that may still be forced to change should the federal government initiate a more direct initiative moving forward with marijuana.

Marijuana-Related Crimes

Even in states where medicinal and recreational marijuana use is legal, it is still possible to violate the laws governing such use. In such instances, the consequences of conviction can be severe, and Colorado is no exception. If you are facing marijuana-related drug charges in Colorado, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure you understand your rights and how to work with your attorney to advocate for them. For legal assistance in handling Colorado drug-related crimes, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more about the charges you are facing and what options might be available to you in your defense.

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New Marijuana Laws Took Effect January 1, 2018

With the new year comes a host of new laws and regulations not just in Colorado, but around the country. While the newly enacted tax plan might have grabbed most of the headlines when it comes to new legislation, there are some important changes to Colorado’s marijuana laws that residents and visitors should be aware of. Keeping abreast of changing marijuana laws and understanding how those changes impact you are important parts of being proactive in engaging in the legal use of recreational marijuana, and a recent story from Denver’s ABC-7 sheds some light on exactly what those new changes entail.

Laws Governing Growing Marijuana at Home

In 2017, laws permitted residents to grow up to six plants per individual over the age of 21 living in a residence. Three of those plants could be flowering at a given time. However, new regulations limit the growth of marijuana at home to 12 plants total unless residents qualify for exceptions after certain conditions have met. These conditions are typically dictated by local municipalities, so it is important to be aware of city and county regulations governing growing marijuana at home. The plants must still be kept in a locked area that is enclosed and not openly visible, which means marijuana plants cannot be grown outside. Marijuana products grown and made at home cannot be sold.

Retail Sales

New rules governing retail sales at aimed at preventing people from engaging in “looping” when it comes to purchasing marijuana on a daily basis. “Looping” is a term used to refer to individuals that purchase marijuana multiple times a day in a given dispensary. Often, law enforcement officials have found that individuals engaging in this practice are illegally reselling marijuana purchases to others ineligible to purchase the products legally, such as minors or other people that might otherwise be barred from making a purchase.

These new regulations will limit sales in a dispensary to one per day per individual, preventing return visits. People purchasing marijuana will not only be barred from selling it to individuals who have met the legal purchase limit for the day, but will also be prohibited from transferring a purchase to someone that has already met the daily limit. Dispensaries will also be held accountable when employees knowingly violate these regulations, or otherwise should have known that an individual has already met his or her daily limit.

Legal Assistance with Colorado Marijuana and Drug-Related Crimes

Recently enacted laws leave individuals especially vulnerable to violating them. It is easy to make a mistake, forget, or not do enough research to find out what the local laws governing marijuana use are. In such cases, you might find yourself facing Colorado marijuana-related charges. Conviction on these charges can have serious consequences, which can make marijuana-related charges intimidating. However, you do not have to face them alone. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges against you as well as what options might be available to you in defending against them.

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Understanding Early License Reinstatement

When it comes to a Colorado DUI, consequences of conviction can be severe. Sometimes, a conviction on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is unavoidable. One of the mandatory consequences for a DUI conviction is suspension of driving privileges. When conviction happens, it is important to consider the options you have moving forward. In many circumstances, those convicted of a Colorado DUI will be eligible for early reinstatement of their driver’s license depending on the circumstances of their conviction.

First Offenses

For first offenders whose blood alcohol concentration is less than 0.150% at the time of chemical testing, your license will be revoked for a nine-month period, but you may be eligible for reinstatement after one month of revocation if you commit to an ignition interlock device for the remaining eight months. For those with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.150% or higher at the time of chemical testing, a driver’s license is revoked for a mandatory nine-month period and you are also eligible for reinstatement after completing one month of revocation. However, individuals convicted of the latter offense will likely need to maintain an ignition interlock device in their vehicles for at least two years. Your criminal defense attorney can help you understand the possible qualifications you will need to meet in order to request early reinstatement for your Colorado driver’s license.

Reinstatement Process

The reinstatement process often takes several weeks to work its way through the system, so you should consider beginning that process three or four weeks before you hope to gain reinstatement privileges. The state will not take additional steps to notify you of when you are eligible to request reinstatement, nor will they inform you of when a license revocation or suspension has ended other than providing that information on the initial correspondence related to the penalty.

You can start the reinstatement process online or you can go through the process through the mail, though doing so online can expedite the process a little. The process begins by completing the state’s Application for Reinstatement. You will also need to provide:

 

  • A check or money order (if requesting by mail) or other acceptable form of payment (if requesting reinstatement online) in the amount of $95;
  • Evidence of insurance and related SR22 verification (basically, certification of being a “high-risk” driver from your insurance company); and
  • Any other specific documentation that may be required by state law or your probation as a condition for reinstatement.

 

You will also need to have an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle you will be driving, and will likely have to provide proof of such installation. Failing to comply with ignition interlock requirements either because you register a blood alcohol concentration of a specified level on three separate occasions or drive a vehicle other than yours equipped with an ignition interlock device, or if you tamper with that device, then you will lose reinstatement privileges and your license will be revoked for a year or the remainder of the original revocation period, whichever is longer.

Legal Assistance with the Colorado DUI Process

It is important to keep in mind that all 50 states share licensing revocation and suspension information. If Colorado revoked your license and you do not complete the reinstatement process successfully along with other conditions of your probation, you will not be able to obtain a license in another state. It is extremely important to follow through with the conditions of your DUI probation and consider reinstatement when the time to do so is right for you. For more information about the potential consequences of DUI convictions, including information about the reinstatement process, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about the important questions you need answered.

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Alleged Drunk Driver Leads Police on Long Distance Chase

 

It is no secret that drunk driving can be dangerous. It poses a serious risk of injury to the individual driving under the influence, anyone in that person’s vehicle, and any other vehicles sharing the road. However, driving under the influence of alcohol can be even more dangerous when it involves a refusal to pull over while trying to evade law enforcement. According to a recent story from Fox 31 – Denver, that is just what happened recently when a suspected drunk driver led police on a 75-mile chase that ended in the driver’s arrest.

The Chase

The chase began in Jefferson County, just to the west of Denver. Law enforcement were notified that an individual was operating a vehicle in a way that made it seem as though he or she was intoxicated. When law enforcement responded and identified the vehicle that had been reported, the chase began. Ultimately, the chase would lead law enforcement over 75 miles from Jefferson County to Summit County over an hour later. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

Avoiding Additional Charges

This suspect is likely facing numerous charges in addition to driving under the influence if it can be established that driver was, in fact, intoxicated at the time of the chase. While authorities have not released a great deal more information, it is probable that the suspect will face charges ranging from evading arrest to reckless driving depending on the various factors that came into play throughout the chase. A conviction for driving under the influence can have significant consequences, but those consequences will be even more severe if they are accompanied by convictions for companion offenses.

If you are pulled over under suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, it is important to make sure you understand your rights as well as your responsibilities. Cooperation is key, but doing so within reason will help protect and preserve your rights. For instance, it is always in your best interest to be polite and cooperative with police but to not provide them with additional evidence to build a case against you. One way you can do that is by politely asserting your rights to decline roadside sobriety testing.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

Facing a DUI in Colorado can be intimidating. However, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney that focuses their practice on working with clients facing similar charges can help you navigate the process with more confidence. If you are facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, and especially if you are facing additional charges related to those actions, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney right away. For help with your Colorado DUI and related charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing and what options might be available to you in your defense.

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Drug Bust Yields Over 200 Pounds of Pot

With the growing legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana across the country comes a host of new issues for law enforcement to contend with. New laws regulating the use of marijuana must be developed and enforced, and that is no easy task with something that is still relatively new to the United States. As a pioneer of recreational legalization, Colorado laws and enforcement techniques are often in the national spotlight. A recent marijuana bust once again highlights the vigilance of law enforcement when it comes to ensuring regulations governing legalized marijuana are followed. According to a story from Denver’s ABC-7, this recent drug bust netted over 200 pounds of illegal marijuana.

The Bust

According to the story, the investigation started when a property manager provided a tip to law enforcement. The property manager had apparently been trying to reach the tenant renting the home where the bust took place by phone and email without success. When the property manager went to the property to make sure nothing bad had happened to the tenant, the property manager entered the home and found refined marijuana that was in various stages of packaging for likely distribution. The property manager then called the police.

Acting on that tip from the property manager, Colorado Springs police obtained a search warrant to enter the property and came upon more than 200 pounds of marijuana – 212 pounds to be exact – that they believe may be linked to a Mexican drug cartel. According to the news release the story is based on, law enforcement officials also found six handguns, including one weapon that had been reported as stolen by law enforcement personnel in California earlier in 2016.

Police have not released details of which cartel they believe the marijuana is linked to other than saying there was evidence inside the home of such a link. At the time that the property manager entered the home and later when police entered, nobody was inside. Colorado Springs police officials say they do have a suspect, though no arrests were immediately made.

Adhering to the Law

While medicinal and recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is essential that anyone engaging in its growth, possession, and/or use adhere to the laws that govern it. Some of those laws will change in 2018, so keeping abreast of them is an important part of partaking in marijuana responsibly. Law enforcement and municipalities across the state take violations of the state’s regulatory scheme seriously, and running afoul of those restrictions could land you in jail for a number of years in addition to other consequences like monetary fines and mandatory rehabilitation program attendance. The consequences are especially severe when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana, which is strictly prohibited.

With the nuances in Colorado’s marijuana laws and the changes that will inevitably take place, it is possible to violate the law unintentionally. No matter the reason for violating the law, facing drug-related charges is serious and requires an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney that understands your rights and how to best advocate for them. If you are facing Colorado drug charges, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation where you can find out more information about the charges you are facing as well as what options might be available in defending against them.

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Repeat DUI Offender Sentenced to Prison

In 2015, Colorado joined many other states in passing legislation that makes a fourth or subsequent lifetime DUI conviction – regardless of where previous convictions occurred – a felony offense. That means that repeat DUI offenders are eligible for lengthy prison sentences. However, the original law left some sentencing to the discretion of judges. This resulted in uneven sentencing across the state, with some repeat offenders receiving maximum prison sentences while others spent little to no time in jail. Lawmakers recently revisited the law to close critical loopholes, which means repeat DUI offenders are much more likely to face harsher sentencing in Colorado. A recent article from Fox – Denver highlights just how serious the consequences for repeat DUI offenders can be.

The Case

According to the article, an individual recently sentenced in Golden, Colorado had a history of seven DUI arrests with five convictions. His last conviction saw a year of work release, which typically means spending the night in jail but being allowed out for work and other restricted purposes. The judge also imposed mandatory attendance at a treatment program.

Prior to amending the state’s felony DUI law, even a third DUI conviction required mandatory jail time but there was no such absolute requirement for individuals facing felony charges. In this particular case, prosecutors had decided to seek only probation for the defendant’s fifth DUI conviction in 2016. However, as of August 2017, the state’s felony DUI law requires those convicted of felony DUI to serve jail time.

Probation

The defendant in the case above will be serving time in prison because of probation violations. Part of his probation sentencing included alcohol addiction treatment, with which the defendant failed to comply. As we have written, DUI probation violations can lead to serious consequences. If you are in danger of consequences related to DUI probation violations, it is important to work with your Colorado criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help minimize any consequences you could be facing. While no result is guaranteed, working immediately with an experienced Colorado DUI attorney can help you face DUI charges and probation violations with a dedicated advocate.

Legal Assistance with Colorado DUIs

Prosecutors, judges, and juries across Colorado take DUI charges very seriously, especially when it comes to repeat offenders. There is a great deal of debate about whether harsher sentencing actually has a positive impact on DUIs and repeat offenses, but if you are facing a felony DUI in Colorado, it is important to work with a criminal defense team that focuses their practice on working with clients facing similar charges. Whether you are facing your first DUI or qualify as a repeat offender, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out what options might be available to you in your defense. It is important to start ensuring your rights are protected as soon as possible, and working with an experienced criminal defense team can help you feel secure knowing they are advocating for you.

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Holiday Parties DUI Enforcement Sees 656 Arrests

In an effort to combat DUIs across Colorado, The Colorado Department of Transportation provides funding to law enforcement from across the state to provide increased DUI enforcement during several periods throughout the year when DUI-related incidents are traditionally at their peak. Known as “The Heat Is On,” one of the periods covered by the campaign targets holiday parties at the beginning of December. According to the Fort Morgan Times, 656 individuals were arrested during this year’s enforcement period – an increase of around 16% from last year’s total of 568 arrests.

By the Numbers

This year’s enforcement period saw 113 law enforcement agencies form across the state participate. Participation includes additional manpower patrolling for DUI offenders, additional sobriety checkpoints, and any number of public awareness campaigns. This year, the majority of the arrests were effected by the Denver Police Department with a total of 65. The Aurora Police Department and Colorado Springs Police Department were the next highest, with 40 arrests and 38 arrests respectively.

The article notes that preliminary data from across the state shows that 220 people have died this year due to impairment-related traffic accidents. That number already exceeds last year’s total of 197 deaths, and it is expected to rise before the end of the year. In November and December of last year, more than 20 deaths occurred because of impairment-related traffic accidents. It is not immediately clear what the breakdown of this year’s casualties will be as it will take some time for law enforcement agencies form across the state to finalize their yearly statistics.

Help with a Holiday DUI

Holiday fun with friends and family can easily allow people to drink more than they otherwise might, putting them over the legal limit to operate a vehicle – or a boat, bicycle, motorcycle, or other mechanized mode of transportation. That means taking extra precautions to make sure you have a designated driver or a solid back-up plan in place if you are unable to drive is just as important as it is throughout the rest of the year when you face the choice of whether to drive after you have been drinking.

It is easy to make a mistake, and many drivers facing DUI charges are only slightly over the legal limit to drive and likely thought they were under the limit. There are many alternatives available to trying to “guess” whether it is safe and legal for you to drive. For instance, personal breathalyzers are widely available at affordable prices. Recently, the Colorado Department of Transportation distributed these devices to participants in order to gauge their effectiveness. The results were promising, with many individuals saying knowing their blood alcohol concentration with a bit more accuracy than trying to do mental math helped them make safer choices about drinking and driving.

However, these personal breathalyzers are not always completely accurate and it is not always easy to remember the increasing availability of ridesharing services that can help get you safely to your destination. If you find yourself facing a holiday DUI, or a DUI at any point during the year, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands what you are going through. Contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out more information about the charges you are facing and what options might be available to you in your defense.

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The Importance of Legal Assistance for Minor Drug Charges

Ever since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana by passing Amendment 64 in 2012, there have been a lot of misconceptions about what is and is not allowed in Colorado. For both residents of the state and those visiting Colorado, it is important to understand the state and local laws governing marijuana growth, possession, and use – as well as drug laws related to other controlled substances – in order to avoid running afoul of those laws. However, it is still possible to make a mistake. Even when that mistake leads to what appear to be minor drug-related charges, it is important to secure experienced legal assistance because the consequences of a conviction can be severe.

Possible Consequences

Minor drug charges, particularly possession of a controlled substance, may seem inconsequential in the scheme of things. It may be tempting to try and handle such charges on your own. However, this can be a mistake – particularly for younger individuals dealing with these charges. Younger individuals convicted of seemingly minor charges could be risking a lot in their future. Scholarships and enrollment in higher education could be at risk, and it may be significantly more difficult to secure acceptance in advanced education programs like law school or medical school.

However, people of any age should secure the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney that understands the nuances of drug laws in Colorado. Attorney Jay Tiftickjian of the Tiftickjian Law Firm has written extensively on Colorado’s drug laws, including how to approach defending against drug-related charges.

Common Defenses

While the circumstances of every case are unique, there are some common approaches to defending against minor drug charges. Often these include challenging the search that led to the charge. Law enforcement is required to follow strict protocol when it comes to searching individuals, and failure to do so can result in charges being dismissed.

There are also strict rules governing the handling of evidence. Failure to comply with those rules can result in evidence being dismissed. Lack of evidence against you makes the state’s case a lot more difficult to prove. However, the rules of evidence can be very complex and it is important to work with a lawyer that understands those rules and how to apply them.

Depending on the circumstances of the charge, a defendant may also be eligible for alternative sentencing or other diversion programs aimed at helping individuals facing minor drug-related charges seek help for addiction and/or avoid serious criminal penalties that might otherwise accompany a conviction. Sometimes, successful completion of an alternative sentencing program can see charges against you be dismissed.

Legal Assistance

No matter how small a drug-related charge may seem, it will not simply disappear – even for individuals who are just visiting Colorado. Depending on the circumstances, some of the defenses discussed above or others that apply to your unique situation can be an important part of fighting minor drug charges. If you are facing minor drug-related charges in Colorado, or more serious drug-related offenses, contact the criminal defense team at Tiftickjian Law Firm to schedule a consultation and find out what options might be available to you. Experienced, dedicated legal assistance can be more effective than going it alone.

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