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Timothy Kelly & Associates, LLC  -  Attorneys & Counselors at Law
       600  17th Street, Suite 2800 South, Denver, Colorado 80202;   303.820.0840

 

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Frequently  Asked  Questions

  1. If I'm arrested, how do I enforce my rights and protect myself?
  2. When do I know for certain that I need a lawyer's help?
  3. How quickly should I consult with my attorney?
  4. What are my legal fees going to cost me?
  5. Who is my attorney?
  6. Are my discussions with my lawyer confidential?
  7. What are my lawyer's professional obligations?
  8. What responsibilities do I owe to my lawyer?
  9. Where is your office?
  10. What should I bring to our initial meeting?
  11. What will happen next?
  12. What happens if I am convicted; what penalties might I face?

If I'm arrested, how do I enforce my rights and protect myself?

Whether rightfully or wrongfully, you've still been arrested.  It's important to remember that fact.  The police will try to get you to make incriminating statements which will later be used against you.  If the police intend to question you, they must read you your Miranda Rights first.  You will hear that "You have the Right to Remain Silent."  USE  IT!  Make no statements about yourself or your case to anyone.  Do not make any statements to the police and do not make any statements to any cellmate. 

At the end of your Miranda warnings, the police will ask you, "Having these rights in mind, do you wish to talk to me now?"  Your answer must always be "No.  I want to talk to my attorney."  With that, all questioning must stop and the pressure is lifted from you.  If you are presented with a written form to initial and sign regarding your Miranda Rights, in the space for the answer to the question above, write "No.  Attorney only."

This is the best and most immediate way to protect yourself and enforce your rights.  The police will not ask you anything that they don't think is important for them to help them with their case against you.  They are NOT your friend.  They are NOT on your side.  They are NOT trying to help you.  NOTHING you say will help your situation.  NEVER try to play mind games, word games, or to outsmart the police.  You are in custody, possibly for the first time in your life, you're scared, your mind is racing, you are thinking about dozens of different thoughts all at the same time.  The cops are pressuring you to talk and you are at a severe disadvantage.  The police want you to talk for a reason.  They know that anything you say is going to benefit them.  And even if you were to say something that you think can only be interpreted as good for you, they will find a way to twist it all around, take it out of context and still use it against you.

Bottom line:  Keep Your Mouth Shut!  Ask for your Attorney .... then Clam Up!

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When do I know for certain that I need a lawyer's help?

Sometimes it's a no-brainer, such as when you get sued or when you’re arrested or charged with a crime.  But keep in mind that people hire lawyers for advice and expertise all the time, in all kinds of situations.  While you may be able to get through a legal problem without hiring a lawyer, you should always remember that when you represent yourself, you might have a “fool for a client,” as the saying goes.

One of the first things to ask yourself in deciding if you should consult an attorney is: "What's at stake?" When your finances or liberties are in serious jeopardy, the obvious answer is to get legal help. But what is serious? An ordinary parking summons is a brush with the law, but you don't necessarily need to consult with an attorney to pay the fine or even to fight it.  However, if you've accumulated a number of unpaid parking tickets and a warrant has been issued for your arrest, you would probably want to hire a lawyer to help you best resolve the situation, and perhaps save you money or even keep you out of jail.

In good times as well as bad, individuals and businesses rely on their lawyers’ advice to understand and secure legal rights and financial interests. Lawyers help clients with advance planning and business negotiations, strategies and transactions. With good legal advice, clients are better prepared to comply with and navigate through the complex mazes of governmental rules and regulations.

It's also a lot easier to rest easily after consulting with experienced lawyers for important undertakings such as business formation, criminal defense, drafting contracts, negotiating business deals and even pursuing personal family matters such as adopting children, or searching for an adopted child's natural/biological parents or siblings.

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How quickly should I consult with my attorney?

 

In many situations, it is obvious that you need to act fast.  But even if you think you have lots of time to consider your alternatives, deadlines sneak up on you and lawyers need time to prepare.  It’s always better to start looking for a lawyer sooner rather than later.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, keep in mind that there are time limits on your right to file a lawsuit.  These "statutes of limitation" depend upon the facts and type of each case. In some instances, the law requires a claimant to notify potential defendants about any injury within an extremely short period of time — as little as a few weeks or months.

If you sit on your rights, you could lose them. You might have been angry for years over your neighbor's fence encroaching on part of your property. But if you wait too long without objecting or taking some legal action, the law might give your neighbor the right in the form of a prescriptive easement to leave the fence there permanently.

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What are my legal fees going to cost me?

That depends on what type of case you have, or in a criminal case, what your charges are. Traffic tickets usually only cost a few hundred dollars.  Misdemeanors cost more.  Felonies cost more than misdemeanors.  Certain misdemeanor and felony charges cost more than other misdemeanor and felony charges because of their inherent sensitive nature, or because of the nature of the charge, they are particularly labor intensive.  Some charges are more labor intensive simply because you may be facing lengthy amounts of incarceration and we must work all that much harder to fight it.

However, depending on the type of case, we handle some cases on a flat fee basis, which means you pay one set price for our representation.  We handle other types of cases on an hourly basis, which means you pay a set amount for the amount of hours we spend working on your case, plus costs and expenses.  Other types of cases we take on a contingency basis, which means you may only have to pay certain costs and out-of-pocket expenses up front but no legal fees.  In contingency cases, we only get paid a percentage of the amount of money we recover or secure for you.

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Who is my attorney?

The simple answer is Mr. Kelly.  He operates under a Team Approach where he meets periodically to brainstorm with other attorneys about your case, while maintaining your confidentiality pursuant to the Attorney-Client Privilege.  All of the facts are recited, the applicable laws are discussed, and then he conducts a very open brainstorming discussion to try to come up with every idea possible to present your case in the best possible light.  As a result of these sessions, Mr Kelly is familiar with the facts of your case as well as with what your primary objectives are.  This better enables Mr. Kelly to step in and represent you at almost any stage of the case.  In fact, if you retain Mr. Kelly, in essence, you also retain all of the attorneys he consults with as well.  This way, you benefit from a vast, cumulative experience base.  It's just another way Mr. Kelly puts clients first.

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Are my discussions with my lawyer confidential?

Yes. When you speak with an attorney about a legal matter, your communications with that attorney are privileged.  This means that subject to some very limited exceptions, and unless you give permission, your attorney can't disclose any information you provide to any third party.  In short, your "secrets" will remain "secrets."

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What are my lawyer's professional obligations?

All lawyers are subject to strict standards of professional responsibility. Some lawyers adhere to these high standards far more readily and willingly than others. These standards are set forth in codes of conduct and rules of professional conduct that are established by the state bar association. Here are some basic ethical and professional rules your lawyer must follow, and which we strictly follow at Timothy Kelly - Attorney & Counselor at Law:

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Your lawyer must represent you zealously, but ethically, and within the bounds of the law.

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Your lawyer must competently analyze your legal issues and exercise his knowledge of the law applicable to your case to achieve the best possible result for you.  After all, the American system of jurisprudence is an adversarial system.

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Your lawyer must communicate with you in a timely and effective manner.  The attorneys at TK&A strive to send out confidential client letters within 24 hours of any event which has significance to your case in order to keep our clients informed of the progress of their case.

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Your attorney owes you, as the client, a duty of loyalty.  Your lawyer can't simultaneously represent you and another client with legal interests that conflict with yours.  An example of an obvious conflict of interest would be representation of both the landlord and the tenant in an eviction action.

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For so long as your lawyer continues to represent you, your lawyer is required to follow your directions in handling your case unless those directions are illegal, or contrary to the advice and legal opinions your lawyer has given you in that particular matter.  If you are failing to follow your attorney's advice and counsel, your attorney should promptly withdraw from further representation in order to avoid future ethical entanglements in your case.

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Your lawyer must keep your personal property separate from his own property.  This is typically accomplished by keeping your money in a Trust Account.  Any time you demand it, your lawyer must return your money or property promptly, unless there is a lien upon it.

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Except in rare circumstances, your lawyer is required to keep client confidences confidential.  This means that your attorney must keep your secrets "secret."  An exception to this rule is if you and your attorney later become involved in a dispute where you are on opposite sides of the dispute.  Then your attorney is permitted to testify to things you told him regarding your case in order to effectively present his position on the dispute.

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Unless he first obtains your informed written consent, your lawyer is prohibited from taking on additional representation, or new clients - that is, who have interests adverse to your interests.  This is why the lawyers at TK&A carefully screen all potential new clients for any potential conflict of interest with established clients.

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What responsibilities do I owe to my lawyer?

First of all, look at the Retainer Agreement that you signed when you hired your lawyer. These contracts/agreements will set out certain duties and responsibilities of the client.  By signing the Agreement, you are contractually bound to abide by both its terms and the duties and responsibilities set forth in it.  Such duties and responsibilities may include:

  • Being truthful with your lawyer

  • Being cooperative with and responsive to your lawyer

  • Being available to your lawyer and attending meetings and legal proceedings, as requested

  • Paying your legal bills in a timely manner

 

These duties and responsibilities are common sense, so they may be implied even without a retainer agreement that expressly reduces them to writing.  Regardless, your failure to abide by them may result in your lawyer deciding to terminate your attorney/client relationship.

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Where is your office?

Timothy Kelly & Associates, LLC is on the 28th Floor of the South Tower in the Dominion Plaza Building located on the southwest corner of Seventeenth Street and Welton in LoDo.  Seventeenth Street is One-Way Eastbound and Welton is One-Way Northbound.  There is metered parking all around the building.  There are Pay In Advance Parking Lots immediately south and west of the building and immediately east of the building across Welton.  You can also park in the underground garage at the Denver Pavilions shopping area on the southeast corner of Sixteenth Street and Welton.  Then just walk across the Sixteenth Street Pedestrian Mall and across Welton to reach the building.  Here is a Map and Directions to the Law Firm

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What should I bring to our initial meeting?

You should bring legible copies of everything you have that is pertinent to your case: all contracts, written documents of any type, and all supporting materials, such as photographs, videos or audio tapes.  Keep your originals in a safe place. 

If you have been charged with a driving offense, you should also obtain a current copy of your DMV driving record and bring it with you.  Your DMV record can be obtained from any DMV office for a mere $2.20.  Without it, we will be unable to give you reliable legal advice about your driving-related case.

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What will happen next?

In a criminal case, once retained, we will file an initial set of pleadings on your behalf informing the court and the district attorney's office that we represent you on your case.  This entitles us to demand Discovery materials (all written police reports and witness statements, tapes and photographs, chemical or scientific reports and analyses) so we can sit down with you and examine and discuss all the evidence the district attorney has against you.  In some cases we will also Waive Arraignment so you don't waste a day in court away from work needlessly.  We often enter a written plea of not guilty to commence the running of speedy trial time limitations. Some judges, however, refuse to accept a written guilty plea and insist that one be entered on the record in open court.  Finally, we demand a Jury Trial on all charges for which a jury trial is guaranteed as a matter of right.

Then, we'll research and draft the appropriate motions to dismiss or suppress, as allowed by the facts and evidence.   Of course, we will always keep you informed of all progress and advised on all issues on your case as it develops.

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What happens if I am convicted and what penalties might I face?

Colorado DUI penalties can be severe and quite harsh.  Read about them here.


 

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Copyright © 2009 Timothy Kelly & Associates, LLC - Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Last modified: 02/28/11

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