H. Michael Steinberg has 36 years of experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.

Articles Posted in Colorado DUI – Vehicular Homicide

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By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

Taking Your Blood In Colorado Criminal Cases - Involuntary Warrantless Blood Draws
The question of whether law enforcement can take your blood involuntarily in an alcohol-related criminal case is a critically important case to understand.  The involuntary taking of blood from an individual by the State calls into question serious and important issues of constitutional law.

Taking involuntary blood samples involves a compelled physical intrusion beneath the subject’s skin and into his veins for use as evidence in a criminal investigation. This kind of invasion of bodily integrity implicates an individual’s most deeply held expectations of privacy.

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Colorado Vehicle Homicide.jpgThe Charge of Vehicular Homicide – Manslaughter

The most devastating charge facing an individual who has made the unfortunate decision to drink and drive – is the charge of vehicular homicide. Colorado courts punish this crime much more harshly than several decades ago when I first starting prosecuting these cases. Back then – in the 1980’s and 1990’s – probation – possibly some jail and alcohol treatment of course was the “standard sentence.”

Today the sentence is much more harsh. It may be a sentence to probation with jail – usually the maximum of 2 years with work release authorized. Or more typically – in the more aggravated cases – it is a sentence to prison.

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As an ex Career DA and now as a Colorado criminal defense lawyer, I have been aware for more than 35  years of a loophole in the criminal law of Colorado that actually created an incentive for drunk drivers to flee the scene of car accidents.

That loophole has now been closed.

With the passage of House Bill 1084 – signed by the Governor on June 6, 2012 – the new law increases the possible penalties for leaving the scene of a serious bodily injury crash from a class 5 felony to a class 4 making it equivalent to possible penalties for drunk driving.

End the Incentive to Flee

The old Colorado law gave drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders, an incentive to not stop at the scene of a crash and call for help of injured people. It benefited drunk drivers with a lesser range of penalties for fleeing the scene and trying to hide out until they are sober. The consequence of this loophole at times might mean the life or death of someone needing immediate medical attention at the scene of a crash.

H. Michael’s Take:

Defending The Hit and Run Case In Colorado

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The Denver Post recently reported on a sentencing in a drunk driving death in Denver Colorado.

Sandra Jacobson, convicted on nine counts related to the Jan. 28, 2009 traffic deaths of two women taking a cab to Denver International Airport, today was sentenced to 36 years in prison.

Jacobson, whose BAC was estimated at more than three times the legal limit when her truck hit a cab causing the deaths of librarians Kate McClelland, 71, and Kathy Krasniewicz, 54, and injuring cabdriver Nejmudean Abdusalam, was convicted in April.