Now that the holiday 2020 season is officially upon us, Colorado is likely to begin to see an uptick in common holiday crimes. As Colorado criminal defense attorneys, we see first-hand the increases in certain crimes around the holidays and are here to help. We have extensive experience defending people charged with the crimes discussed below as well as others. The combination of the holidays and colder weather tends to lead to increased incidence of these five common holiday crimes. Back when the broncos were playing better football, we’d also see an uptick in certain kinds of crimes come Monday morning… But, as it is, we still anticipate seeing many more of the following kinds of crimes. Read on to learn more about what to do if you or a loved one is charged with one of these types of offenses.
The “Cycle of Violence” underlying most incidents of domestic violence can naturally find new energy during the holidays. Stressors are higher and budgets are tighter all around during the holiday season. So, naturally, the first phase of the cycle involves increased tensions among couples. Now more than ever due to COVID-19 we are couped up under the same roof with others for prolonged periods of time, which can exacerbate tensions. At Nicol Gersch Petterson, we have extensive experience defending people charged with domestic violence. We also know the ins and outs of mounting a self-defense claim, and we thrive in defending those accused with this type of offense. We also provide other resources to help couples–talking to alleged victims about the offense, helping to modify protection orders, and even suggesting appropriate counseling and therapy for folks. We’ve written about the various aspects of domestic violence as well as domestic violence criminal defense. This knowledge is helpful every year at this time of year.
Burglary and Trespass.
When temperatures drop, criminal activity finds its way indoors more frequently. Burglary occurs when a person enters into a building without consent with the intent to commit a crime inside. Trespassing is a lesser-included offense of burglary, and includes illegal entry into a dwelling, land, outbuilding, or other building without consent of the owner. During the holidays, in particular, the crime that is alleged during a burglary is most often theft (illegal entry with intent to commit theft inside). If you are charged with burglary, you can be charged in 1st, 2nd or 3rd degrees, which impacts the penalties faced for this crime. We recently published a new eBook, What You Should Know About Holiday Theft, discussing burglary and more. Penalties vary greatly for burg cases based on the level of the offense, the ability to pay restitution, and the prior criminal history of the accused. Here at NGP, we’re cognizant that not every situation is as cut and dried as it seems. We work with a homelessness nonprofit and sometimes just getting out of the weather can lead to a trespassing charge. We have a wide variety of resources available to folks who are facing these kinds of offenses.
Theft and Shoplifting.
During the holidays, theft of packages delivered to homes, employee theft, and retail theft tend to increase dramatically. In fact, statistics show that 46% of retail theft occurs in the winter months. Financial and other pressures can drive a person’s decision to commit theft and land them defending criminal charges, paying restitution and/or fines, and more. We have successfully defended numerous cases brought against people charged with various forms of theft and can help you or someone you know who has been charged with such crimes. See our new eBook, What You Should Know About Holiday Theft, to learn more about these crimes.
A downside of holiday gatherings and celebrations can be finding yourself facing a variety of criminal charges relating to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Although in-person holiday gatherings have been discouraged during COVID, we are still seeing DUI cases coming in. As with any additional stressor, we find many of our clients are self-medicating underlying conditions and trying to treat themselves with drugs or alcohol. DUI can carry penalties involving fines, license revocation, and jail time, among others. Check out this article for more information on the costs and consequences of DUI and how to avoid them. We’ve also written about driving under the influence of drugs. Nicol Gersch Petterson can help you or someone you know when facing DUI or DUID charges.
In the colder, winter months, an unattended idling car makes an irresistible target. And, even in the age of COVID-19 when more people are staying closer to home, car theft has already seen increases over other forms of crime in Colorado. Economic instability fueled by the pandemic, along with increased financial pressures during the holidays, may contribute to increased auto theft crimes this season.
Still Need Help?
The holidays can bring just as much stress as it does joy. The holidays can be a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. But the holidays carry stress, too, and particularly so this year amidst the backdrop of COVID-19. We are here to help if you find yourself facing criminal charges for any of these common holiday crimes in Colorado. Be sure to review the resources linked in this article, including our new eBook exploring What You Should Know About Holiday Theft. If you find yourself needing legal advice this holiday season, consider reaching out to Nicol Gersch Petterson for a free 30-minute consultation. Find more information at https://CoLawTeam.com or call 970.670.0738 any time.
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