Blurry fast turn at the icy snow road with one car in the foreground. Motion blur visualizies danger of the high speed and dynamics.

By Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

Black ice coats the roadways like a transparent sheet, making them very slick. Since the ice is clear, the black surface of the road shows through, thus the name “black ice.” If it’s raining when temperatures hover below freezing, ice will form on the roads, resulting in these dangerous conditions. Statistics show that black ice caused 477 deaths during the 2008 and 2009 winter season and 458 deaths during the 2009 and 2010 season.

While driving on these slick roads is dangerous anytime, combining drinking with black ice spells disaster and possible death for the motorist, passengers and anyone else unlucky enough to be caught in the aftermath. Driving on black ice requires extra alertness, improved reflexes and reaction times and increased focus on the road. However, alcohol reduces nearly all these responses just when they’re needed the most. When you combine the slackening in reaction time with possibly impaired vision caused by alcohol — and the difficulty in even spotting black ice in the first place — a DUI driver has a minimal chance of seeing and responding to this perilous hazard.

Worst of all, most Colorado drivers at least know to be on the lookout for ice and slick surfaces during the winter, but frosty conditions during the autumn months often catch drivers and pedestrians alike off guard.

Tips for Driving on Black Ice

Observe the following strategies to improve your road safety when confronting black ice:

  1. Do not drink and drive. While you shouldn’t drink and drive under the best of conditions, you need to be at your peak driving performance levels to manage ice.


  1. Be especially alert for ice in the mornings and evenings and after rainstorms. If it snows or sleets, you (and everyone else on the road) will know that ice hazards might exist, and you’ll adjust accordingly. But you (and others) might shrug off a November shower as a trivial event… not realizing that small amountss of runoff from that shower might freeze on the roads.


  1. Be aware of predictable places where black ice might form. Shady areas, back roads, overpasses and bridges hold an extra risk for black ice formation, so exercise special caution in these areas.


  1. Take your time turning and braking.


  1. During and after inclement weather, maintain a longer distance between your car and other vehicles on the road. That way, you will have more room to stop.


  1. Do not pump or lock your brakes if you have a newer car. Your vehicle will compensate for black ice by using a pulsating vibration in the braking system. Locked brakes sometimes worsen skidding and make controlling a vehicle even more challenging.

A Final Caution

Statistics released from Mothers Against Drunk Driving show that more than four times as many fatal crashes involving a drunk driver happen at night as opposed to during the day — 36 percent vs. 8 percent. Since black ice is especially difficult to see at night, use extra caution and exercise defensive driving tactics when driving at night.

If you or a loved one got hurt in as the result of a DUI driving accident and/or black ice related crash, call the Gasper Law Group team at 866-204-6973 or 719-227-7779 for a free strategic consultation about your




Colorado Flag on Cannabis background

By The Gasper Law Group
Staff Attorney

If police recently arrested you for marijuana DUI, or your daughter called from a jail cell after being stopped at a DUI checkpoint, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and scared. At the same time, you might also be curious about how Colorado’s recent legalization of cannabis has affected DUI rates and police enforcement attitudes.

The discussion below explores an overview of the changes.

Fewer Pot Arrests

Ever since Colorado’s landmark legislation allowed adults to possess, cultivate and privately use marijuana, unsurprisingly, there have been fewer cannabis-related arrests. Colorado state data show a dramatic decline in possession charges from 30,000 in 2010 to below 2,500 in 2014. In addition, an analysis of National Incident Based Reporting System data found a 41 percent reduction in all drug arrests during the past two years.

Police Shift Stance on Cannabis 

A Police One poll reveals evolving attitudes among law enforcement officials as well. In 2009, 64 percent of police opposed legislation legalizing pot. A recent poll shows that stance softening somewhat; today only 56 percent of law enforcement in the state think the law was a bad idea. Police do remain divided on the issue, but more and more officers now view cannabis in a nuanced light. Continue reading →

By Caryn J. Adams
Partner and Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

I often tell those who come to see me that a good criminal defense attorney plays two principal roles. On the one hand, a defense attorney does in court everything that you would expect a defense attorney to do: negotiate with the district attorney, argue your case to the jury, present you in the best light possible to the judge, file applicable legal motions (to suppress evidence, to preserve evidence, to reconsider a judicial ruling, etc). This is usually how people think of attorneys, and it’s often how attorneys think of themselves. When attorneys get together, the conversation often turns to the last trial won or last motion successfully argued in court. However, the courtroom is only half the job.

A good defense attorney plays a different role in the privacy of the conference room or the office when talking with her client. Outside of the court room, a good defense attorney is responsible for providing all of the information to a client required for a client to make a good decision about his own family and life. Criminal defense attorneys know that each person comes to the table with different priorities. A younger person accused with a crime might be more worried about keeping his record as clean as possible, so as not to lose out on any employment or educational opportunities down the road. A retiree accused with a crime might be more focused on mitigating the punishment, worried about how his health will affect his ability to perform community service or how his lack of employment might limit the jail alternatives available to him. Some folks need the ability to move or work out of state as soon as possible. Others are worried about being asked to leave their military careers, college campuses, or places of employment. In any case, it’s the attorney’s job to listen to and understand those needs and talk about the criminal case in the context of how the client’s goals can be met (or not). Continue reading →

By Caryn J. Adams
Partner and Managing Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

Several times in the past few months, I’ve talked with people, both clients and other acquaintances, with some odd misconceptions of what it’s like to serve a short jail sentence. And here, I’m talking about nothing more severe than a month or two in the county jail. Prison, of course, is a complete different creature. Some of the questions about jail were born of fear. Some were born of idle curiosity.

Now, a little disclaimer: For all that I’ve been inside the local jails in El Paso, Teller, Douglas, and Pueblo Counties many, many times, I’ve never actually served a jail sentence. Sure, I’ve been visiting when an emergency within the jail has kept me locked up an hour or two more than I expected, but I never had any doubt that the deputies would release me, eventually. I’ve never spent a night in a jail bunk, rather than my own bed.

In writing this blog, I called the jail and asked if someone could direct me to a FAQ sheet. Apparently, there wasn’t one of the kind I was seeking. However, Sgt. Gregory White, a Public Information Officer with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office was kind enough to answer some basic questions about the Criminal Justice Center, our local jail. His answers to the following questions I can confirm through my own second-hand experience: Continue reading →

By Caryn J. Adams
Partner and Managing Attorney
The Gasper Law Group

Drug Cases: Different Rules for Sealing

To every rule, there is an exception. To the rule that no conviction may be sealed, the exception is criminal conviction records for some offenses involving controlled substances. Pursuant to C.R.S. 24-72-308.5, as of July 1, 2008, a person may petition the court to seal the conviction records for drug offenses at the petty, misdemeanor, or class 5 or 6 felony level. There are, as you might expect, several conditions to be met:

1) The petition has to be filed no sooner than ten years after the final disposition or end of probation, whichever is later; and
2) The petitioner cannot have been charged or convicted for any criminal offense in the intervening ten years; and
3) For convictions entered before July 1, 2008, the district attorney must consent to the sealing of the records. Continue reading →

“You are under arrest for assault … you have the right to remain silent … “
So what exactly are they saying you did? I mean, all you really did was defend your honor in the bar when someone else said something to your girl, right?

Well, assault in Colorado comes in different degrees, but always represents some form of threats of physical harm, attempts to cause physical harm, and offenses actually causing bodily harm. If you use a “deadly weapon” during the assault, you’ll be facing felony-level charges, even if that deadly weapon is a bottle, or a piece of wood, or your own hands.
The penalties can be quite harsh.

Third Degree Assault is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, and it is also considered an “Extraordinary Risk Crime”; a defendant can face incarceration of up to two (2) years. If the victim of the misdemeanor assault is pregnant at the time of the assault, and if you know she’s pregnant, then you’re facing a mandatory six (6) month jail sentence. Continue reading →

“You are under arrest for Domestic Violence … you have the right to remain silent … “
By The Gasper Law Group, PLLC, Criminal Division Staff

Domestic violence” in Colorado is defined as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship”. ‘Domestic violence’ also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal … when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”
It’s true … you may not even have struck your spouse or girlfriend. All you did was put a hole in your own wall while busting up your hand in the process. Domestic Violence! Oh, and these crimes carry with them some pretty severe punishments. If you are convicted, your conviction may be posted on public databases for the rest of your life. No problem, you can just have your record sealed, right? Ah, not so fast. Currently, Colorado law prohibits the sealing of any domestic violence convictions. That means EVER. Continue reading →

By Brandon A. Prenger*
Hey welcome back. If you’re reading this you have decided that option number 1 is not going to work out. That leaves you with option 2. Let’s keep in mind, all the standard restrictions apply to option 2 just as option 1, so you still can’t contact the Protected Person in any way. This way is the long way for a reason; statutorily you have to wait 2 years from the issuance of the protection order to petition the court to dismiss it. This has recently changed from a 4 year waiting period to a 2 year waiting period, which highlights the ever changing laws and the need for an attorney to guide you through the process.

Once the 2 year waiting period has passed, the first step is to get fingerprinted. You need to get fingerprinted in order to conduct a fingerprint based background check. This can be done at your local police/sheriff’s office. You’ll need 2 separate fingerprint cards, one for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and one for the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI requires you to provide a few extra documents, but your attorney can help you with those. Once your cards are submitted to the CBI and the FBI, it’s a waiting game. It often takes several weeks to get these results back.

Continue reading →

By Brandon A. Prenger*
You’re probably wondering what this Protection order thing means. A Protection Order prohibits you from contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, touching, stalking, sexually assaulting or abusing any Protected Person, or from entering or remaining on premises, or from coming within a specified distance of a Protected Person or premises, or from taking, transferring, concealing, harming, disposing of, or threatening harm to an animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by a Protected Person, or any other provision to protect the Protected Person from imminent danger to life or health. Additionally, being the subject of a Protection Order may prevent you from owning or possessing firearms and ammunition.

Now you’re probably thinking “this is no good” or more likely “what do I do now”. First and foremost, follow the above paragraph. Failing to strictly abide by a Protection Order will result in you being arrested and charged with a criminal offense. Even indirect contact such as text messages or having someone else contact the Protected Person is considered a violation of your Protection Order. So again, just leave them alone completely until the Protection Order matter is resolved.

Once you have a Protection Order against you, there are two ways to handle it, the long way and the short way. Unfortunately, you only have control over the long way, but we’ll talk about that in part 2. So what’s the short way? It’s simple, you ask the Protected Person to drop it, well not you personally, but you know that already. That is where your attorney comes in. Your attorney can contact an opposing party to discuss the facts and possible outcome of a case. This allows your attorney to speak directly to the Protected Party. If the Protected Person agrees to drop the Protection Order, the process is relatively quick and simple. All that needs to be done is your attorney will file a stipulated motion that is signed by both parties and you are done. However, if the Protected Person does not agree to drop the Protection Order, you are forced into the long way. See Part 2.

* Brandon A. Prenger is an attorney with The Gasper Law Group, PLLC. The Gasper Law Group, PLLC serves Colorado Springs and surrounding counties in the areas of Criminal Defense, Divorce and Military Divorce and Personal Injury. You can reach the firm at (719) 227-7779.

www.gasperlawgroup.comFace the music today, or face something worse tomorrow—why you need to make your Court dates.

Question: “ I have a court date coming up. What if I just decide not to show up?”

Answer: “Bad idea. Really bad idea—unless you have a nice cabin deep in the woods.”

Regardless of the severity of the charges you face, from a parking ticket to a homicide case, the system has a response to anyone failing to show for court. In a nutshell, the more serious the initial charges, the harder the system will work to get you back, and the higher price you’ll pay for missing court. Let’s start with the light ones, and work up.

If you are charged with a simple traffic offense; say, speeding, you were likely issued a summons to appear at a certain time to address the charge. If you miss the date, the points will issue against your license by default, and you will still owe the fine and court costs. A warrant could issue by the court, so the next time you are contacted by law enforcement for any reason (maybe another ticket), you could be arrested on the spot, and be required to post a cash bond equal to the amount owed on the ticket to satisfy the debt you owed the court. Not worth it, was it?

In a misdemeanor case, generally a summons is issued. Once again, if you miss court, a warrant would likely issue, but this time an appearance bond would be set. You would then need to post the bond, either paying the full amount in cash, or through a surety, i.e. , a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman is paid a non-refundable fee by you, ranging from 10 to 20 percent of the face of the bond, in exchange for promising the Court that you will appear. If you miss court again, the bondsman has to pay the Court the full amount of the bond, but two things happen to you.

Continue reading →