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Protecting personal rights when charged with theft in Colorado

Being accused of a criminal offense in Colorado does not constitute one's guilt. The justice system in the United States presumes every defendant innocent unless proved otherwise by the prosecution and confirmed by the decision of a judge or jury. Therefore, anyone charged with theft or other criminal wrongdoing will want to make every effort to ensure that his or her personal rights are being protected both during and following an arrest.

An interesting situation recently developed after a woman was accused of identity theft in another state. She apparently pleaded no contest to the federal charges against her. Authorities then requested a search warrant because they wanted to order her to use her finger to unlock an iPhone they believed she owned.

FBI agents had reportedly seized the device from the house of the woman's apparent boyfriend. That man is a suspected Armenian gang member. It is not clear what authorities thought they might find in the contents of the iPhone; however, the incident launched a contentious legal debate as to whether ordering a person to unlock an iPhone is potentially self-incriminating.

The penalties if convicted of any type of theft in Colorado can be quite severe. Anyone charged with this type of crime will obviously want to make certain that all laws pertinent to the matter are clarified in order to build a strong defense. Having an experienced criminal attorney by one's side under such circumstances would most likely increase one's chances of obtaining as positive an outcome as possible in court.

Source: pcmag.com, "Federal Judge Orders Woman to Unlock iPhone with Finger", David Murphy, May 1, 2016

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