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Criminal Lawyers in Colorado

Read Our Criminal Law Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Overview of the Felony Criminal Case Process Click on the chart to the left to enlarge and view an overview of the Felony Criminal Case Process.

Q: What is the difference between civil and criminal law?

A: Civil cases are brought by individuals or businesses, while criminal cases all are brought by the Government against either an individual or corporation. Also, in a civil case, no one goes to prison or jail whereas in a criminal case a person may very well be sentenced to jail or prison.

Q: What is the difference between a State criminal case and a Federal criminal case?

A: A State criminal case is brought by either the State Attorney General or the local District Attorney on behalf of the State. A Federal criminal case is brought by the United States of America through either the United States Attorney for the District or the Department of Justice.

Q: I conduct business in a foreign country. Is there anything I need to know about doing so?

A: If your company conducts business in a foreign country, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is something you need to know about. The FCPA covers all companies doing business in foreign countries. There are no ifs, ands or buts on this issue. If you want to protect your bottom line, you need to be in compliance with this Act.

Q: I have concerns about the people I am doing business with. What, if anything, can I do about that?

A: Companies need to be on the alert for warning signs when doing business overseas. When the parties insist on commissions or extraordinary payments, don’t seem to have an established reputation or that much experience in the venture under consideration, don’t wish to comply with FCPA compliance agreements or agree too quickly to sign the agreements, it’s time to do more in depth checking.

Q: Since we deal overseas, what do we need to know about internal accounting procedures?

A: All financial transactions need to be painfully clear and present a very precise picture of any payment or receipt in order to meet the books and records provisions of the FCPA. Understand that the burden of compliance is not just on the US company, but also on the foreign parties as well. In other words, they must have accurate documentation relating to their expenses, reimbursements and audits.

Q: My criminal case just went south. What can I do now?

A: You need appellate representation. This is the art of looking at the original case and all the documents, court papers and the decision, to find out if the law in the case was applied correctly. This is
painstaking and exacting work and you will need an attorney who is detail oriented and has the skills to track down all aspects of the law that apply to your case. Unlike a trial, an appeal is where a Court hears legal arguments, rather than a jury listening to facts. Thus, an appellate brief is where you, through your attorney, argue to the Court that the trial Court made a mistake in the application of the law.

Q: The government says my company is not in compliance with some rules and regulations? What does that mean to my business?

A: This issue refers to something called compliance counseling. Compliance counseling means improving your ability to do business ethically and in compliance with the law; how to prevent and detect any violations, to identify and manage risks and how to implement a complete corporate infrastructure well versed on ethical conduct.

Any regulator or prosecutor bringing a criminal or civil action is basing their decision, and the possible penalties (civil or criminal) on the quality and extent of a company’s compliance system(s). All the more reason to make sure your company is in compliance and all the T’s are crossed and the I’s dotted accordingly.

Q: I’m in compliance but still have reputation problems in the community. What can I do about that?

A: It isn’t just that your company needs to be legally compliant and ethically sound to be “acceptable.” There is also the public perception of what you do and how you do it. If public perception is less than stellar and regulators feel you’re internal controls are ripe for various charges, this tends to increase private claims against the company and may do untold damage to the company reputation. Consider Enron as an example of what you do not want to do with your corporate governance.

Q: What is the False Claims Act and how does it apply to my company?

A: The False Claims Act (1863) (FCA) even though it’s been around for many decades wasn’t used that much until the government recognized its potential to become a major tool to combat fraud relating to their
contracting processes. The FCA states a that business is liable when it makes a fraudulent or false claim and it either knows the claim is false or is deliberately indifferent or reckless in its regard to the claim
being false.

The False Claims Act is something you definitely need to know about and be aware of if you are running a business in the United States. Knowledge or the FCA is crucial to a robust compliance plan. Failure to understand the FCA could result in tremendous financial loss to a company on top of other civil and criminal sanctions.

Q: Something odd is going on inside my company, and I can’t use in-house staff. What can I do?

A: When in doubt about what is going on in your company, hire it out; hire out the investigation process because sometimes you need an independent attorney to look into issues in your business.

Discovering something “not quite right” is going on in your company if often an unsettling revelation not only for the person who discovers the questionable conduct, but for the person who may stand accused of
something they may not have done. It’s a smart option to have an impartial voice regarding an allegation of misconduct.

Where there is something of concern happening within an organization, and it has to be dealt with quickly, sensitively and expeditiously, but you don’t want to involve anyone in the existing company, you need an attorney not directly associated with the events that need to be investigated. Impartiality in cases like this is paramount.

Q: My company was informed we are under investigation for some sort of regulatory breach. What does this mean?

A: This is a very complex area of the law and many rules and regulations that govern how businesses operate are open to various interpretations. Unfortunately, the Government has many options, and nearly unlimited resources. It is crucial to act quickly to ascertain what the Government is interested in and how your business can best remedy the situation. In other words, you need a regulatory defense.

Regulatory defense is tied quite closely to compliance counseling, as the corporate governance of your business helps ensure that your business is operating within the bounds of the law. Whether the top management of your firm knows and understands the law or not, issues in the area of regulatory defense change rapidly.

When it comes to regulatory defense, Miller Leonard, PC, ensures your company is doing business ethically and in compliance with the law. What helps us defend you is that we know how to prevent and detect any
violations, to identify and manage risks and how to implement a complete corporate infrastructure well versed on ethical conduct.

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Miller Leonard, PC

14143 Denver W Pkwy
Golden, CO 80401‎

Phone: (720) 613-8783

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"Miller Leonard PC focuses on family law, federal criminal defense, Colorado state criminal defense, Colorado municipal criminal defense and select civil matters such as defending civil orders of protection or sealing records. We put quality before quantity in order to provide superior legal representation. We serve the state of Colorado including the Denver metropolitan area and Jefferson, Denver, Adams and Arapahoe Counties."