H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years 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 Search and Seziure Laws

Published on:

Colorado Criminal Law - Motion To Suppress Evidence - New 2015 Case Changes Burden of Proof.jpgBy H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Online Blog

Colorado Criminal Law – Motion To Suppress Evidence – New 2015 Case Changes Burden of Proof – For over 30 years the burden of going forward in a Colorado criminal Motion to Suppress Evidence hearing was on the prosecution. With the announcement of a new case People vs Cunningham – that burden – in many Colorado criminal courtrooms – now sits with the Defendant and his or her lawyer.

The Case of People v. Cunningham 314 P.3d 1289 (Colo. 2013), 13SA179,

Published on:

Colorado Cell Phone Searches.jpgCell phones – 91% of us have them. Cell phones are a modern marvel defying most of us to com close to fully understand how they function. They are truly highly complex “mini computers” containing vast amounts of personal information that should remain private and well away from the eyes of law enforcement.

Recently the United States Supreme Court has been asked – in the case of Riley vs California – to set the standard for searches “incident to arrest” involving the seizure – but much more importantly – the search of the contents of cell phones.

A petition to the Supreme Court asks the court to clarify whether – and under what conditions – law enforcement may access the massive amounts of personal information on all of our cell phones without a search warrant.

Published on:

Colorado Miranda Rights.pngOn June 17, 2013 the United States Supreme Court – in Salinas v. Texas – took a step back from the protections accorded by the Fifth Amendment’s Right To Remain Silent.

The Facts of Salinas:

Salinas – before being placed into custody – answered questions posed by a police officer in a homicide investigation. At the time he answered the questions he was not under arrest. Among the questions was a comment by the officer about the potential ballistics match as regards casings found at the scene.

Published on:

Colorado Mirand Rights Law.jpgBy Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney – Colorado Miranda Rights Law – H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado Miranda Rights Law is sometimes not only internally complex but is ever evolving for law enforcement since the original Miranda decision so many years ago.

Understanding the application of the Miranda decision – the imposition of the advisement and issues surrounding the waiver of your Miranda rights requires a close look at the law and what constitutes a valid waiver of those rights.

Published on:

The statewide “campaigns” known as sobriety DUI checkpoints to catch alleged drunk drivers is on again this Labor Day 2012. The idea is to “crack down on drinking and driving” but the question is always asked if these stops – not based on bad driving or any other illegal activity – are constitutional.. are they legal?

Unfortunately -yes they are. I have written extensively on Colorado DUI Sobriety Checkpoints and these roadblocks – if conducted properly – will not be struck down…. which begs the question.. If you have been arrested and charged – was YOUR Colorado Sobriety Checkpoint conducted pursuant to the guidelines set out by Colorado law? Always ask a Colorado criminal defense lawyer who practices in this area.

Since Memorial day this year the police have made 2,000 DUI arrests in Colorado utilizing the “sobriety checkpoint.” That is an average of 72 DUI arrests per day in the state.

Published on:

In a unanimous but confusing decision issued by the United States Supreme Court last week – the justices held that a 28 day use of a GPS tracking device paced on a suspects vehicle without the benefit of a search warrant – is unconsitutional.

The confusing part? Scalia did not hold that a warrant was always necessary. Walter Dellinger, who represented the Defendant Antoine Jones at the Supreme Court, said the decision means that any use of GPS technology by law enforcement without a warrant “would be a risky undertaking.”

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote majority opinion stating that it was the attachment of the device that violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

Published on:

In an important case decided recently by the Florida Supreme Court — the Court held that a dog sniff at the front door of a private residence was an illegal search… thus shutting the door to an expansion of the use of the “dog sniff” tool to invade the privacy of the home of the average citizen.

In Jardines v Florida, the police conducted a warrantless “sniff test” by a drug detection dog at Jardines‟ home and discovered live marijuana plants inside. The trial court granted Jardines‟ motion to suppress the evidence, and the State appealed.

An important point of law from the decision – says it all –

Published on:

A little known law that was quietly signed by the Governor of Colorado in 2010 requires some attention. Here is how it applies. In the past, if a police officer who has NO evidence that you have committed a crime, asks for your permission to conduct a search of your person or your car, he or she did NOT have to advise you that you have the right to refuse said search.

The new law requires the police officer to advise you that you have the right to refuse the search and he – she must obtain your oral or written consent to the search. Furthermore, this new law is critically important as it counters what I would term “the natural intimidation factor” when a police officer requests – based on no evidence – to search you or your car.

Here is a summary of the new law:

Published on:

Just a quick FYI and a reminder. A new law passed in Colorado requires the police – in the absence of a legal right to search your vehicle – prior to conducting a consensual search of your effects or your vehicle of a person – to inform the person that they are being asked to voluntarily consent to a search and that they have the right to refuse.

The targeted “searchee” must provide oral or written consent.

Again this requirement does not apply to searches conducted under other valid exceptions to the wsearch arrant requirement.

Published on:

The Colorado Supreme Court recently (in April 2010) revisited what the law requires to create probable cause – that standard of proof necessary to support a search warrant.

By Denver, Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

Probable Cause