blog Criminal Defense Standing Up for Out-of-State Defendants

Standing Up for Out-of-State Defendants

By Colorado Attorney-at-law on June 2, 2021

Breckenridge is one of Colorado’s most popular cities, inviting millions of travelers around the year to enjoy lively ski resorts, gorgeous hiking trails through the Rocky Mountains, and to discover its great historical heritage. With so many travelers visiting our area, there is bound to be an increase in crime as our police force can be stretched thin. For visitors, a sudden arrest can not only dampen your entire vacation, but have life-long consequences. Beating these charges requires an in-depth understanding of the Colorado criminal justice system, as well as the aid of an experienced Breckenridge criminal defense lawyer.

Do I Have to Remain in Colorado During My Case?

Being arrested out of your home state or county can have a major financial impact. You may assume you have to extend your stay in Breckenridge, spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on hotel rooms, and potentially have to serve a jail or prison sentence in Colorado. While there are harsh consequences for an out-of-state conviction, you may not have to remain in Colorado through the entirety of your case.

With misdemeanor charges like DUIs, petty theft, and drug possession, you can have a local attorney handle your case while you return home with permission from the court. This will depend on the nature of your charges, if you had to post bail, and the willingness of the court, but it is possible for you to return to your home state after an arrest. You may need to return for your trial, but many cases are handled during pre-trial negotiations between prosecutors and defense attorneys. If your attorney can get you a favorable plea deal or have your charges dropped before trial, you may not have to return to Colorado. This is also an option with infractions like traffic tickets, where you can handle your case through the mail.

You should not assume you can simply leave Colorado after an arrest, however. You will want to speak to your attorney first to understand your options, as leaving the state without permission from a Summit County judge can lead to you being extradited from your home state by the police and to further charges. You may have to remain in Colorado until the prosecution decides to charge you with a crime.

Will My Criminal Record Carry Over State Lines?

Unless you had a criminal charge expunged or your records sealed, it is likely that Summit County prosecutors will be able to pull records on any past crimes you have been convicted of. Depending on the nature of your charges and the specific crime, this can impact your current case. For example, a DUI conviction in Nevada can lead to increased penalties for a second DUI in Colorado. In addition, if you are convicted, your charges will appear on your permanent record for several years. You may be able to have your charges expunged down the line, but certain felonies are permanent.

Do I Need a Local Attorney?

There are several criminal defense attorneys who practice law across state lines, but you should always work with an attorney who understands the local courts where you were charged. At Whitaker & Penix, LLC, our lead criminal defense attorneys have served as prosecutors and now apply their knowledge of Summit County courts to defend Breckenridge residents and visitors. We know how the local police investigate criminal cases, how prosecutors negotiate plea deals, and how judges oversee trials. This expert knowledge gives us better insight into your case, especially over attorneys who are not familiar with Summit County.

We are also experienced trial attorneys and can represent you throughout every step of your case. From the moment you or your loved one is arrested in Summit County, we can begin reviewing the charges against you, negotiating with the district attorney, and advocating for a reduced sentence or complete dismissal of charges in a criminal trial. If you were arrested on vacation, your best option is to work with Whitaker & Penix, LLC, where a skilled Breckenridge criminal defense attorney can guide you through the local courts. To speak to an experienced lawyer today, call Whitaker & Penix, LLC at (970) 368-0602 for a free phone consultation.

Posted in: Criminal Defense