Criminal Defense: Defending your rights and assuring justice in the matters of criminal law, the attorneys at Elkus & Sisson, P.C., can play a vital role in any case. In the instance of DUI, Violent crimes, Sex crimes, Burglary / theft, Drugs, Reckless driving, Probation Violations or any other criminal offense in Denver, you need our help.

Denver Criminal Defense Law Firm

Throughout the course of their practice, lawyers at our firm have amassed experience through litigating hundreds of cases in criminal law. If you have been charged with, or are being investigated for, an offense in criminal matters you need fair and just representation count on us. The attorneys at Elkus & Sisson, P.C. provide a strength and integrity in defending your rights in any matter of criminal law. We will focus on assisting you throughout your case involving: DUI, Violent Crimes, Sex Crimes, Burglary / Theft, Drugs, Reckless Driving, Probation Violations or any other criminal offense in Denver.

How We Can Help

Legal issues can add unnecessary emotional and financial strain to your life.
At Elkus & Sisson, P.C., in Denver, Colorado, we are aware of the tumultuous nature of your situation and are here to help. If you have a legal concern, don’t hesitate to contact our firm online or call us at 303-567-7981 to learn how we can be of assistance. Free initial consultations are available for those who qualify.

Our Criminal Law Practice

The attorneys at Elkus & Sisson, P.C., focus their efforts on distinct areas of the law:


Violent crimes

Sex crimes

Burglary and theft


Reckless driving

Probation violations

Drug Charges

Your Rights

If you have been charged with possession, distribution or trafficking of illegal drugs near Denver, we are ready to represent your rights and interests. Our firm respects the fact that you are innocent until proven guilty and will fight to see that justice is served in your case.

Denver Drug Crimes Attorneys

Due to our tenacity and willingness to litigate, our Denver drug charge defense attorneys’ trial experience spans hundreds of cases and affords us a unique combination of skill and personal attention not found at many law firms.

The drug crime cases we handle frequently involve possession, distribution, trafficking or manufacture of Schedule I drugs such as:

  • Methamphetamine (meth)
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana and prescription drugs such a Ritalin, Codeine, Morphine and Demerol

If you have been arrested for a drug crime or paraphernalia possession, property such as your home or car may have been seized.

Our Denver drug charge defense attorneys have extensive experience handling cases within Colorado revised statutes involving Section 18-18-405 of the controlled substances act and Section 16-13-504 of the forfeiture of property in drug cases act.

We are ready to help protect your valuable assets and fight for your rights.

Drug cases can involve:

  • Possession with intent to distribute
  • Drugs and driving
  • Drug mules


Possession With Intent to Sell

Just the amount of a controlled substance that you have in your possession can be enough to get you convicted of intent to distribute drug.

Fact is, if you’re caught with illegal drugs in Colorado, your home, your job, your freedom and your whole future can be lost.

You need to know what your legal options are, and you need a skilled defense attorney to represent you.

Drug Distribution Charges Lawyers

Our lawyers handle many types of cases involving drug-related offenses. Because charges involving intent to distribute drugs are extremely serious, you need a law firm that’s both experienced and aggressive.

Colorado law categorizes drugs on the basis of their potential for abuse, whether or not they have a recognized medical use, and other factors.

This system of classification is referred to as a schedule. If you are facing intent to distribute charges, it is likely that you were arrested with Schedule I or Schedule II drugs in your possession.

If you were carrying substances that were packaged in ways that suggest they could be sold conveniently, or if you had such paraphernalia as plastic bags or scales, then you might be charged with serious felonies punishable by lengthy imprisonment.

Although possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in Colorado is a very serious charge, it can be one that is challenging to prove.

Evidence is crucial, and only a careful review and analysis of your unique situation can reveal opportunities to question the strength of the charges against you.

For that kind of in-depth examination of the facts, you need the lawyers who have extensive experience in handling drug-related cases.

Drug Trafficking

Someone who transports illicit drugs may be called a “drug mule.” Mules usually work as couriers to smuggle drugs from one place to another.

That may involve hiding illegal substances on their bodies, in their cars, in purses, bags or in other ways.

Even if you don’t use drugs yourself, you can face serious criminal charges if you act as a courier, or drug mule, by transporting illegal substances for someone else.

Depending on what drugs you’re carrying and how much you have in your possession when caught, the penalties can be significant.

 Drug Mule | Drug Smuggling Defense

When you’re facing a criminal charge for transporting illegal drugs, you need the advice and guidance of a skilled attorney.  Unless you have knowledgeable defense attorneys representing you, your future could be at stake.

Our legal staff is ready to sit down with you to discuss your situation and the legal alternatives available to you.

The state of Colorado refers to illegal drugs as “controlled substances,” adopting the federal government’s system of schedules to categorize illegal drugs.

That classification system rates substances on the basis of their likelihood of abuse, whether or not they have accepted medical applications, their level of safety in use and other factors.

What you intend to do with controlled substances in your possession can greatly affect the charges that are brought against you.

So can the quantity and type of drugs you transport. In some cases, the amount of controlled substance you possess may make it possible for you to be charged with intent to distribute, even if you don’t plan to do that. The point is that circumstances matter.

Our experience encompasses all aspects of criminal law, and our expertise is built on successful handling of numerous drug-related cases.

Colorado law sets out the circumstances that define drug possession and related violations, stating that, except as otherwise specified:

” it is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, dispense, sell, distribute, possess, or to possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute a controlled substance; or induce, attempt to induce, or conspire with one or more other persons, to manufacture, dispense, sell, distribute, possess, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute a controlled substance; or possess one or more chemicals or supplies or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.”

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

In the U.S., more than a million motorists per year are arrested for impaired driving. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that figure applies to drivers operating a vehicle under the influence of either alcohol or narcotics.

In Colorado, FBI figures show more than 17,000 arrests each year for various drug abuses. Certainly, there are plenty of opportunities for Colorado drivers to be placed under arrest for driving while impaired by drugs.

This is sometimes referred to as DUID – driving while under the influence of drugs. Regardless of labels, the state treats drug-impaired driving in the same ways it treats alcohol-impaired driving.


Our lawyers are well versed in the laws that apply to driving under the influence in Colorado – whether the substance in question is alcohol or drugs. Because the same state statutes govern both situations, you’ll be in good hands with our experienced defense attorneys. We’ll work for you to protect your rights and your property.

While drunk driving laws are very specific as to blood alcohol levels and legal limits, it can be somewhat more difficult to quantify just what constitutes impairment due to drugs.

There is not a specified blood level for drugs, and technology remains more limited in detecting the presence of drugs. Some substances may remain in the body for an extended period of time while others do not. In some instances, the ability of law enforcement officers to accurately identify the aspects of a driver’s behavior and appearance that might indicate drug impairment can be questionable.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that about 16 percent of people driving after dark on weekends test positive for drugs, whether legal or illegal. The agency says that 11 percent test positive for illicit substances. Further, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that as many as 10 million Americans may drive while under the influence of drugs in a year’s time.

It is important to know that driving under the influence of drugs doesn’t just refer to illicit drugs. If your doctor has prescribed medication and you’ve taken it legally, you can still be charged if ingesting the drug interferes with your ability to drive safely. If you’re stopped by a law enforcement officer, you may be asked to submit to blood or urine testing to determine the presence of drugs in your body. There is significant room for argument about the results of such tests, especially if officers find no evidence of drugs in a search of your car. Further, there is great variation in the ways people respond to drugs. In other words, a drug might affect you differently than it affects someone else who takes it. When your attorney defends you against a DUID charge, that variation can open avenues for argument.


” driving a vehicle when a person has consumed alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of alcohol and one or more drugs, that affects the person to a degree that he or she is substantially incapable, mentally or physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the safe operation of a vehicle.”

DUI Defense

What You are Facing

A conviction for drunk driving can result in suspension of your driver’s license, expensive fines and jail time. Additionally, your insurance premium is likely to substantially increase and, if your employer learns of your conviction, you could lose your job.

Working with an attorney who understands how to challenge your arrest, and how to work with the court to reduce the charges or sentence against you, is essential.


Drunk Driving Defense

If you have been charged with drunk driving, it is normal to have many questions about your arrest and charges. These issues need the attention of a skilled legal professional.

The Consequences of a DUI Conviction

The following penalties are attached to a conviction for DUI in the state of Colorado:

  • First-time conviction: No mandatory jail time; possible jail sentence from five days to one year; at least 48 hours of mandatory community service; a fine of $800 to $1,000.
  • Repeat offender: 10 days mandatory jail time; possible jail sentence from 90 days to a year; at least 60 hours of mandatory community service; $500 to $1,500 in fines.
  • Blood alcohol content (BAC) .20 or higher: 10 days mandatory jail time; possible jail sentence from 90 days to one year; at least 60 hours of mandatory community service; $500 to $1,500 in fines.

DUI Hearings – Protecting Your Interests

Attorneys at our firm are ready to be your knowledgeable advocate in your initial DMV hearings and throughout the entire process until your case is resolved. We are well versed in Colorado DWI laws and ready to help you obtain a work license or red license so you are able to drive to your job without being charged with driving under revocation.

Other DUI-related topics:

  • Breath test refusals
  • Colorado DUI statistics
  • DUI road stops
  • DUI traffic stop
  • Under 21 DUI arrests
  • Vehicular manslaughter
Breath Test Refusal

Deciding whether or not to submit to a breath test is a decision each person needs to make for him or herself. Failure to submit to the test will carry a 12-month license suspension, compared to the three-month suspension a first-time offender will face if convicted.

The rule of thumb among many Denver breath test refusal lawyers is that defendants should refuse unless they are a first-time offender convinced that they will test below .20, the threshold for enhanced penalties.

These marginal offenders are the only ones who could be subjected to harsher penalties for refusing to test than they would be had they been found guilty of DUI.

Colorado Express Consent

  • The express consent law presumes you have agreed to submit to a blood alcohol level if you are driving.
  • You have the right to avoid incriminating yourself and may refuse the test.
  • However, the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend your license for refusing the test — which is in and of itself a violation of driving laws – even if you are not convicted of DUI.

Breathalyzer Refusal

Whether or not you took a breath test, we will review your case and work to defend you against a drunk driving charge in Colorado or the surrounding area.

Those who test above .20 already face a 12-month suspension, as do those who have a previous DUI conviction. In such cases, a motorist faces no additional penalty for refusing to take the test and refusing will deny the state one of the key pieces of evidence it uses to prove your guilt.

Should you decide to take the test, there are many avenues for an experienced Denver drunk driving defense attorney to challenge the results: The experience and training of the tester, maintenance of the machine, and time elapsed between arrest and testing are just a few of the factors that can be used to challenge BAC results.

Requesting a blood test is another option. Colorado’s expressed consent law permits a motorist to choose between breathalyzer and blood testing. However, blood testing is frequently not available. And the failure of an agency to provide you with the testing method of your choosing (or the lapsed time in providing a blood test) may render the results inadmissible in court.

DUI Traffic Stop Defense

Motorists who are stopped and charged with drunk driving in Colorado should consult an experienced Denver DUI attorney to discuss their rights.

Being arrested for DUI in Colorado will start a two-stage process involving both the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and the criminal courts. First, motorists have just seven days to challenge a driver’s license suspension by requesting a hearing through the DMV. Failure to request a hearing will result in the automatic suspension of your driving rights.

Potential Colorado DUI Penalties

  • Jail time
  • License suspension or revocation
  • Fines and court costs
  • Mandatory treatment
  • Ignition interlock devices
  • Community service
  • Permanent criminal record
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Job loss

DMV Hearing Lawyers | Traffic Stop Defense

We offer comprehensive defense of DUI charges in Denver and the surrounding area, including Lakewood, Aurora and Colorado Springs. By challenging your case before the DMV, our attorneys will get a good first look at the criminal case against you and will begin preparing a case aimed at keeping a DUI conviction off your record.

Colorado DMV Hearing

At the DMV hearing, the arresting officer may be called to testify and other evidence against you may be presented. The hearing is designed to determine whether there was probable cause to stop your vehicle and place you under arrest for DUI; whether your blood alcohol sample was legally obtained and whether it tested above .08; and whether you were properly advised of your rights under the law.

Your license will be revoked through the administrative hearing process if it is determined you were operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of greater than .08 or if you refused to submit to blood alcohol testing. (The threshold for drunk driving is between .02 and .05 for commercial drivers and those under the age of 21.)

But this process is completely separate from the criminal case. An experienced Denver drunk driving defense attorney will often use the DMV hearing as a means of exploring the case against a client. For instance, how credible is the arresting officer? How solid is the probable cause for the traffic stop? Using weaknesses exposed through the DMV hearing process can be a great way to build a criminal defense.

Typically the DMV hearing will be scheduled within 45 days of arrest for those who request it.

Colorado DUI – Criminal Case

The same evidence used in the DMV administrative hearing process will be used in the criminal case. After your arrest, you will be issued a summon that notifies you of your court date for arraignment. (In the event you are held in jail, you will be taken to arraignment, at which time bond will also be set.)

Hopefully, you have hired an experienced DUI defense lawyer by the time of your arraignment, and he or she will help you through the rest of the process. Typically, your criminal case will consist of arraignment, pretrial, suppression or motion hearings, and trial. During pretrial, your attorney will discuss the possibility of a reduction in charges or other plea agreement with the prosecution. If no agreement is reached, your attorney may challenge evidence during a suppression hearing, including results of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer examination. If successful, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed. At that point, you and your attorney can discuss whether it is in your best interest to take the case to trial.

DUI Statistics

Drunk Driving Statistics

The number of DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) arrests in Colorado that have occurred over the past decade for which data are available show some variation, from a high of more than 30,000 in 2006 to a low under 20,000 in 2003. Colorado lowered the legal blood alcohol limit from .10 to .08 in 2004 in an effort to tighten the state’s DUI laws.

Law enforcement agencies and citizen’s groups, alike, are mounting increasing numbers of aggressive campaigns to crack down on drivers who drink. Those efforts sometimes mean that traffic stops or arrests for DUI may occur under questionable circumstances. At Elkus, & Sisson, P.C., our Denver DUI lawyers are just as aggressive and motivated when it comes to defending your legal rights. We know how to challenge the elements that figure into DUI arrests.

About 20 percent of Americans say that, within the past year, they drove within two hours of consuming alcohol, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. NHTSA data show that the number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in Colorado hover around 30 percent of all crash fatalities. In the most recent year for which figures are available, traffic fatalities involving drivers with blood alcohol levels in excess of .08 numbered 173.

Although the number of people who die in traffic crashes in Colorado each year is on the decline, alcohol plays a deadly role in many accidents that result in fatalities. Latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the annual number of deaths on Colorado roads at 548 people. More than one-third – 37 percent – of drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, and most of those had blood alcohol levels in excess of .08, the state’s legal limit.

Estimates place the average expense for a drunk driving conviction at anywhere between $7,000 and $10,000. Costs associated with DUIs can include such factors as fines, court costs, insurance rate increases, car towing and storage, bail, fees for license reinstatement and more.

Motorists charged with drunk driving can find themselves facing a confusing array of circumstances, along with emotional and financial issues.  Our expertise can make a real difference in challenging the legality of a traffic stop, sobriety testing and the other elements that figure into a drunk driving charge. When you need DUI attorneys with a proven track record of success, call on Elkus, & Sisson, P.C. As a part of our commitment to superior customer service, we’re accessible online 24/7. Or call our offices at 303-567-7981 and ask about a free consultation. We promise you knowledgeable, experienced attorneys and personalized attention.

Colorado DUI Statistics | DUI Arrests in Colorado

  • 1998: 27,093 arrests
  • 1999: 20,564 arrests
  • 2000: 23,725 arrests
  • 2001: 23,579 arrests
  • 2002: 23,039 arrests
  • 2003: 19,715 arrests
  • 2004: 21,253 arrests
  • 2005: 24,444 arrests
  • 2006: 30,862 arrests
  • 2007: 27,969 arrests
  • 2008: 28,198 arrests

Sexual Assault

What You are Facing

We know that criminal charges of a sexual nature can ruin lives and devastate reputations and families. It is a big mistake to plea before discussing your charges with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The decisions you make now could have a significant impact on your future, including where you work, where you live and how you are viewed by your neighbors and peers.

 Rape Defense | Sexual Assault Defense

Our Denver sex crimes defense attorneys represent people facing serious sex crimes cases involving issues such as:

  • Solicitation of a minor
  • Criminal sexual conduct
  • Child molestation
  • Child porn
  • Internet luring
  • Rape
  • Statutory rape/date rape
  • Sex offender registry
  • Juvenile sex offenses
  • Federal sex offenses
  • Statutes of limitations
  • Lewd acts in a public place
  • Indecent exposure
  • Prostitution/loitering/solicitation
  • Sexual battery
Criminal Sexual Conduct

Criminal sexual conduct in Colorado can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the charge.

In either case, a defendant charged with a sex crime faces a stigma not associated with many other types of criminal offenses.

Our Denver criminal sexual conduct lawyers  understand the embarrassment and confusion that often accompany being charged with a sex offense. Job loss, divorce and loss of reputation among friends and acquaintances can be a common consequence.

Too often, a defendant will decide the best option is to plead guilty in an attempt to put an incident behind him.

Our experience tells us that it is frequently a mistake. Sex offender reporting requirements can last for decades, and can even be required for life. Likewise, probation can be ordered for life.

These obligations frequently result in violations that can result in jail time with little or no opportunity for defense.

Reporting requirements can result in notification being sent to your neighbors and your name in state and national databases as a convicted sex offender.

More than many other types of crimes, a conviction for a sex crime in Colorado, such as child pornography offenses, can have lifelong consequences. Even in cases where a defendant is offered probation or sentencing options in lieu of jail time, the complex nature of sex offender laws in Colorado and elsewhere in the nation requires that a Denver criminal defense attorney thoroughly reviews the implications of any plea agreement and ensures that the best interests of a client are protected at each stage of the criminal process.

Juvenile Sex Offense

If your teenager is facing a juvenile sex crime in Colorado, we encourage you to consult an aggressive and experienced law firm as soon as possible.

You will need an attorney who understand the impact being accused or convicted of a sex crime can have on a young person’s future. The truth of the matter is that inappropriate sexual conduct between children is wrong.

But the tolerance – indeed the common sense – of law enforcement and school officials has grown so scant in recent years that a teenager may face the life-altering consequences of a sex crime for some truly silly infractions.

Teenagers texting pictures of themselves in various stages of nudity have been charged with distribution of child pornography.

Teenage boys have been charged with sexual assault under truly questionable circumstances. Date rape charges are alleged with little or no proof. And statutory rape allegations are made between teenagers and young adults.

Unfortunately, parents sometimes fail to take juvenile charges seriously enough, and this includes sex crimes. A conviction for a sex crime will not magically disappear in adulthood. Instead, teens may face sex offender reporting requirements and a conviction as a sex offender for the rest of their life.

Hiring a juvenile attorney can be critical for variety of reasons. Such cases often hinge on the testimony of the defendant and victim.

As such, it is not unusual for investigators to work statements about the crime out of a defendant, either by approaching in a friendly, confidential manner, or by making an arrest and attempting to scare a defendant into confessing. Teenagers can be particularly susceptible to falling for either tactic.

A defendant is not obligated to cooperate with law enforcement. And a teenager or his parents are not qualified to determine all of the possible consequences of making statements or providing other cooperation.

Lewd Acts Charge

Sometimes referred to as public nudity or indecent exposure, a charge of lewd acts in a public place can be an embarrassing intrusion of government into your life and private affairs.

Our lawyers understand such charges can be embarrassing and will explain the Colorado criminal law you have violated. And, while typically misdemeanors, a conviction on your record can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life and your ability to hold certain jobs or be involved in certain organizations, certainly those involving schools or children.

Lewd acts of public include:
  • Intentional exposure
  • Mooning or streaking
  • Unintentional exposure
  • Garment issues (wardrobe malfunction!)
  • Sex acts between consenting couples

While these cases may involve intentional exposure of the type we hear about where someone walks up to a stranger, they are much more likely to be innocent or inadvertent. College incidents, often fueled by alcohol, are one example. Other examples include skinny dipping in a hotel swimming pool or enjoying a romantic interlude that turns out to be less private than anticipated.

In still other cases, a wardrobe malfunction may be involved, as swimmers have been charged at public swimming pools. Charges of public nudity or indecent exposure may result. Each carries specific consequences. Often an officer does not choose a charge that best identifies the alleged circumstances, which can result in a defendant facing a tougher penalty.

Our lawyers know these charges often involve the overzealous reach of law enforcement or a lack of common sense. In the many cases not associated with intentional criminal activity, the problem becomes the fact that a conviction does not differentiate. If you are found guilty of lewd acts in public, it may have occurred with a girlfriend in a secluded park, but to a potential employer looking at your record it may as well have involved an overcoat and the local mall.

Those who quickly plead guilty in an effort to put an embarrassing incident behind them are forfeiting the possibility of beating the charge and keeping it off their criminal record. An experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers can frequently negotiate for a reduce in charge. Disorderly conduct, for example, does not carry near the negative stigma as a charge of lewd acts or indecent exposure. In other cases a dismissal of the charge may be possible.

Prostitution and Solicitation Defense

An arrest for prostitution or solicitation of prostitution in Denver is often cause for much embarrassment.

It is one of those criminal charges where the social ramifications can be quite serious, including job loss, divorce, shame, loss of friendships and strained relationships with relatives.

Our attorneys understand. We know most simply want the charges to disappear. We will work in as quiet and confidential a manner as possible to resolve your case.

However, we encourage those facing charges of prostitution, or solicitation of prostitution, to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Denver before choosing to plead guilty to the charges.

Solicitation Defense Attorneys | Loitering | Prostitution

In some cases, a vehicle used to engage in prostitution will be seized. Often, the local media publishes photos and details of arrests. Risking a criminal conviction in an attempt to keep an arrest quiet is often foolhardy.

You may plead guilty, only to find the disposition of your case written up or listed in the newspaper. Or you may be left with a charge on your criminal record that will be virtually impossible to hide from anyone with a computer.

Charges of prostitution or solicitation will also often impact your ability to hold certain jobs or even rent an apartment in some complexes or neighborhoods.

Such arrests are often the result of a sting operation in response to complaints about prostitution from residents in the neighborhood. Such cases can lead to entrapment or other issues, which are best left to an experienced lawyers.

Frequently, allegations of prostitution or solicitation do not make for strong cases, particularly when the arrested parties exercise their rights to remain silent. Unfortunately, a defendant is too often eager to attempt to talk his or her way out of trouble and avoid the embarrassment of a prostitution charge.

This rarely, if ever, happens. If you are being questioned during a prostitution sting, you are all but certain to be arrested. Your best bet is to remain silent and wait to speak to your attorney. The best evidence against a defendant is too often his or her own statements upon arrest.

You have the right to remain silent: Use it.

Colorado Prostitution Law and Penalties

  • Prostitution charge in Denver: Alleges an offer or agreement to engage in sexual conduct for compensation. The charge is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
  • Solicitation of prostitution: Propositioning another for sex in exchange for compensation. The charge is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
  • Pimping: Class 3 felony punishable by up to 12 years in prison and a $750,000 fine. Any person who knowingly lives on, in whole or in part, compensation made through an act of prostitution.
Rape Defense

If you have been charged with rape or sexual assault, or have reason to believe you are being targeted by an investigation, please call our office immediately for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Sexual Assault Defense| Unlawful Sexual Contact Defense

Our defense attorneys understand what it takes to successfully defend someone against a rape allegation and early representation can be critical; even in cases where a client has not been charged, our attorneys can move aggressively to protect his rights.

Recent decades of court actions and societal developments have made it increasingly challenging for someone to defend himself against a rape allegation. Despite what we hear and see on television, these crimes rarely involve a stranger.

Instead, they are most likely to involve an ex-spouse or girlfriend and are frequently alleged during a contentious breakup.

Traditionally, rape has been defined as unlawful forced sex between a man and a woman and did not apply to incidents of marriage.

Modern standards are much different and the law has also diversified to include charges such as sexual assault. Force or a physical struggle is often no longer required to prove rape. Additionally, "shield laws" have been put in place, which frequently prevent a defendant from presenting evidence about an alleged victim's own course of conduct.

In other words, court can quickly become a "she said-she said" affair without an attorney who has the necessary skills and experience to properly defend a client under the restrictions imposed by modern laws and rules of evidence.

The stakes are high: Those convicted of rape in Colorado commonly receive a prison sentence ranging from four years to life behind bars.

The familiarity of the victim and the defendant frequently renders useless modern technology like DNA evidence (though the prosecutor may still use it). Reliable witness testimony is rare. Most frequently, such cases are decided based upon who is the most believable: The victim or the defendant.

More than many other types of crimes, your credibility is everything in the midst of a rape allegation. You only have one chance to get it right. Don't waste it.

Sex Offender Registry

Being subjected to mandatory reporting as a convicted sex offender essentially means you may be forced to pay for your crime for years or even decades after you have completed your sentence.

Those who are labeled as sexually violent predators face mandatory lifetime reporting and will have to endure law enforcement notification of neighbors, schools and community centers whenever they change jobs or residences.

Our attorneys understand the stigma associated with such reporting. More importantly, we know that violating registration requirements or probation stipulations can constitute a separate offense, which can result in jail or prison time with little or no chance to present a defense. Failure to register as a sex offender can be charged as a separate and distinct felony offense.

We join many advocates in decrying this system as double jeopardy (forcing a defendant to pay twice for the same crime) and a violation of a defendant’s right to privacy.

Unfortunately, as a result of public zeal for punishing “sex offenders,” the court of public opinion and the courts of law, where judges are often subject to election, have not agreed.

Thus, it is critical that an experienced attorney aggressively argue to minimize the impact and length of time a defendant must be subjected to such discrimination in the event of a criminal conviction.

Colorado law requires registration for:
  • Any person convicted of an unlawful sexual offense in Colorado, including enticement of a child or Internet luring of a child
  • Any person convicted of a crime in another state that would require registration if the conviction occurred in Colorado
  • Any person released from jail for such an offense after the law went into effect on July 1, 1991
  • Any person convicted or receiving a deferred sentence for such an offense on or after July 1, 1994
Sex crimes for which registration is required:
  • First, second or third-degree sexual assault
  • Sexual assault on a minor
  • Sexual assault on a minor by a person in position of trust
  • Sexual assault on a client
  • Incest
  • Aggravated incest
  • Trafficking in children
  • Sexual exploitation of a child
  • Solicitation of child prostitution
  • Child prostitution/pimping of a child
  • Patronizing a child prostitute
  • Promotion of obscenity to minors
  • Unlawful sexual contact
  • Attempting, soliciting or conspiracy to commit any of the above offenses
  • Child enticement
  • Indecent exposure
  • Maintaining a place of child prostitution
  • Sexual conduct in a prison
Solicitation of a Minor

Solicitation of a minor in Colorado is among the most serious sex crimes involving children who can be alleged by police or prosecutors.

Those charged with solicitation of a minor face the threat of significant prison time and classification as a sex offender that will require registration with authorities upon their release.

Our attorneys know that such charge can ruin lives and devastate reputations and families. While some defendants quickly plead guilty to such charges, in an effort to put the incident behind them, we know that can be a big mistake that has lifelong consequences.

Additionally, conditions of release and sex offender registration can forever impact your quality of life, where you can live, what kind of work you can do and with whom you can spend your time. For instances, requirements can prevent you from having contact with children, which can make something as simple as going to the park a crime.

In short, few charges can be as disruptive or embarrassing as the allegations that you have acted inappropriately with a child. Our solicitation of a minor attorneys understand the need to protect your rights. Sometimes, that may include a quiet plea agreement or otherwise disposing of the charges.

In other cases, we may be able to seek a reduction or dismissal of the charges on your behalf. Or we may decide, after a thorough review and in consultation with you, that the charges should be fought in court.

In any event, hiring an experienced lawyer can have a positive impact on your case. With sex offenses, defendants face the added burden of lengthy probation and sex offender registration requirements.

We will work with you to argue against intrusive court mandates that will needlessly impact your quality of life or lead to the possibility of violations and additional legal problems in the future.

Regardless of the charge, if you are facing allegations of inappropriate conduct with a child, we encourage you to contact our office today to discuss your rights.

Even if you have not been charged or even if the case is still under investigation, having an aggressive and experienced law firm at your side at the earliest stage of a case can have a positive impact on the outcome and on your ability to protect your freedom, your reputation and your quality of life for years to come.

Statutory Rape Defense

Statutory rape cases are delicate criminal matters that often result when a defendant has consensual sex with someone under the age of consent. Frequently, these cases should not even be brought – and represent the overreaching arm of the state attorney’s office as it interjects itself into the affairs of others. As its name suggests, statutory rape is defined as rape according to law, or statute, not according to the parties involved.

Our knowledge and experience to aggressively defend clients facing statutory rape charges. In Colorado, the age of consent is 17. Those who engage in sex — even if the sex is consensual — with someone under the age of 17 may face criminal charges, particularly if there is a significant age difference between the parties. Essentially, the law claims those under a certain age are unable to consent.

If you have been charged with this sex crime – or if you believe you are being investigated – it is important to speak to a criminal defense lawyer experienced in handling statutory rape cases in the Denver area.

One of the first things authorities will attempt to do is to take a statement from you. Unfortunately, defendants sometimes do not appreciate the seriousness of the situation or believe they can talk their way out of it. Investigators may approach you in a manner that suggests they are on your side, or are treating the situation as little more than a nuisance.

It is important that you not speak with investigators without your lawyer present. In many, many cases, it is a defendant’s own statement that provides some of the strongest evidence against him. You are not obligated to provide such a statement. And, no matter their demeanor, law enforcement investigators are not your friend.


Violent Crimes Defense

Questions and Concerns

Being charged with a crime can be a stressful, often overwhelming experience. What will happen to your freedom? Will you spend time in jail or prison? How will you be able to move forward with your life? If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need to talk to the skilled and aggressive defense lawyers. We are ready to represent you against these charges and fight to protect your rights.

Criminal Violence Charge Lawyers

We represent clients throughout Colorado against a variety of violent crimes charges, including:

  • Domestic violence
  • Resisting with violence
  • Colorado weapons and firearms charges
  • False imprisonment/kidnapping
  • Homicide

Violent crimes charges usually carry with them some of the most severe potential criminal penalties, including significant jail time and fines. Your future, freedom and reputation are on the line. We will do everything we can, including using our many years of criminal defense experience to successfully defend you.

Burglary Defense

Burglary and theft charges range from misunderstandings over property ownership and mistaken possession of stolen property to organized larceny of valuable items like jewelry, cars and cash.

Theft charges can also involve white collar crimes where misunderstanding of investment, accounting and other business law is common.

We know how government prosecutors work and how to protect your rights within the criminal justice system. We will work to defend your freedom, lessen or eliminate your charges, and keep your record clean.

Theft Defense

Our team, has significant experience working in a number of Colorado courts, and it is familiar with the tactics of prosecutors in Colorado and the Denver area.

Burglary and theft charges encompass a broad range of criminal violations, including:
  • Shoplifting
  • Felony theft, for property over $500
  • Employee theft and stealing
  • Embezzlement
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Armed robbery
  • Car theft
  • White collar crime
  • Insurance and bank fraud
  • First-, second- and third-degree theft
  • Identity theft and credit card theft

Colorado Weapons Crime

Colorado Weapons Offenses/Concealed Firearms

Being convicted of a firearms offense in Colorado can have a dramatic impact on your rights to own firearms in the future and on your ability to hold certain jobs, including service in the military or as a law enforcement officer.

Firearms Charge

We understand the importance of aggressively fighting for the rights of clients to keep and bear arms. It is one of our most cherished constitutional rights.

Unfortunately, it is a right that a law enforcement officer may decide is not yours to assert. It is such overreaching by those who have firearms that is the primary reason gun rights have been so important since our nation’s founding.

Just since 2003 have citizens had the right to carry concealed weapons under Colorado’s concealed carry law. In some cases, citizens have been charged with carrying guns in restricted areas, such as schools, or facilities that are guarded by weapons screenings.

In other cases, the overreaching arm of law enforcement has slapped citizens with weapons violations despite the fact that they were well within their rights. These can be serious charges, which can not only lead to jail time, but can also result in the revocation of your right to carry a concealed firearm for the protection of you and your family.

In other cases, a client is charged with carrying a weapon despite lacking a concealed carry permit. Or with carrying or owning a weapon as a convicted felon or in violation of the terms of probation or other court supervision.

Defendants may also face violations for owning firearms, explosives or military surplus gear that is in violation of state or federal law.

In each of these cases, the common thread is that the government is attempting to limit your rights as a gun owner. Fortunately, gun rights advocates fight daily to ensure that most of the nation’s gun laws are broadly interpreted in favor of the gun owner.

However, failure to hire an aggressive and experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer often results in a weapons conviction on your permanent record.

Once you are convicted of a gun charge, significant and lifelong consequences will ensue. Being convicted of a felony can prevent you from owning guns in the future.

Violating a concealed carry permit can result in the revocation of your license. And having a gun violation on your record can prevent you from holding many types of jobs or occupational licenses, including those involved with law enforcement or the penal system.

Domestic Violence Defense

If you have been charged with domestic violence or sexual assault in Colorado, you need to talk to one of our experienced domestic assault defense lawyers.


Spousal Abuse Defense

Having handled hundreds of cases, our lawyers are ready to represent you throughout the entire legal process. Our proficiency spans a variety of matters, including:

  • Domestic violence/spousal abuse
  • Sex crimes/sexual assault
  • Felony assault and battery
  • Restraining orders/orders for protection
  • Preliminary hearings
  • Modification of restraining orders

We routinely represent victims and those accused of domestic abuse.

If you have a restraining order placed upon you and wish to use a firearm for a vocational or recreational purpose, we can advise you.

Our firm frequently assists police officers and hunters with modifications of restraining orders to allow them the use of a firearm on the job or while hunting.

False Imprisonment

Charges of kidnapping or false imprisonment in Colorado can lead to very serious criminal penalties and a felony conviction on your record that can forever impact your quality of life.

Too often, employers, landlords and family members cannot look beyond such charges. Never mind the fact that standing in front of the door during a domestic argument can result in being slapped with such a charge.

Kidnapping Defense

We know that these charges most frequently involve a domestic altercation. Often a contentious divorce or child custody case is being litigated and allegations of kidnapping or false imprisonment are made maliciously as a spouse attempts to use the criminal justice system to assist a civil court case.

In other cases, police officers can overcharge a defendant at the scene.

False imprisonment is typically a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. In cases where violence or the threat of violence is involved, or when the victim is detained more than 12 hours, felony false imprisonment can be charged, resulting in up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Kidnapping in Colorado can be charged under either state or federal law and carries a penalty of up to life in prison.

If you are facing charges of false imprisonment or kidnapping in Denver or the surrounding area, we have the knowledge and experience to defend your rights. In some cases, these charges can be challenged and a reduction or dismissal is possible. In other cases, when an allegation of violation of custody or order relating to parental responsibilities is alleged, serious felony charges may also result. In such cases, when a child custody or divorce case is pending, an experienced law firm can fight the criminal charges while working to protect your parental rights.

Homicide Defense

Homicide is the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another person and includes such crimes as murder and manslaughter.

People accused of homicide have the same rights as any other criminal defendant, including the right to a lawyer, the right to a jury trial, the right to cross-examine witnesses, the right against self-incrimination and the right to produce evidence.

We always maintain your innocence while defending your charges, keeping in mind that not all homicides are crimes, particularly when there is a lack of criminal intent.

Noncriminal homicides include such things as killing in self-defense, hunting accidents or a car accident where someone is killed, but there was no violation of the law such as reckless driving or DUI. Many times, arguing self-defense, insanity or other affirmative defenses that may result in an acquittal can defend manslaughter or murder charges.

As experienced homicide attorneys, we can provide you with the criminal defense you need to protect your freedom.


Dedicated to Justice

With over 15 years of experience, Elkus and Sisson, P.C., strives to give each of our clients the personalized attention they would get from a smaller firm with the experience and knowledge that a collaborative firm has to offer.

No matter what your legal issue, our responsibility is to provide you with individualized attention to help guide you through the legal process while keeping your goals in mind. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding your legal concerns and to learn how we can assist you in finding solutions to your legal issues.

Donald Sisson

Lead Counsel

Reid Elkus

Lead Counsel

Steve Mandelaris

Litigation and Appeals Attorney

Zachary Wagner

Complex Civil Litigation Attorney

Michael L Cheroutes Jr.

Family Law Attorney

Lucas Lorenz


Professionals of Elkus & Sisson, PC

Mr. Elkus’ representation of his clients range from individual and small businesses to very large corporations in several areas of the law. Having litigated a vast array of cases in matters including: complex security cases; breach of contract; breach of partnership matters; constructions defect, personal injury and criminal matters, Mr. Elkus provides confidence in every … Continue reading "Criminal Defense"
Donald Sisson is an accomplished lead counsel with many successful outcomes in various areas of practice including Complex Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Real Estate Litigation, Corporate Disputes, and Police Defense. Bringing confidence and poise to every case, Mr Sisson has provided numerous clients winning litigation practices. For the last several years, Mr. Sisson has represented … Continue reading "Criminal Defense"