Denver DUI Attorney – Blood Tests vs. Breath Tests

Denver DUI Attorney, Thomas Nellessen, presents the latest Supreme Court ruling on alcohol testing.

There have been numerous issues to question when dealing with alcohol testing issues:

1. Which test more reliable,

2. Do I have to take a test,

3. What if I refuse the officer’s request,

4.  What will DMV do if I refuse a test, etc.

Well, the United States Supreme Court just ruled on a very important issue that will probably cause extra confusion for a while.  The case is BIRCHFIELD v. NORTH DAKOTA.   This case was argued on April 20, 2016, but the final decision just came down today, June 23, 2016.  (Please note that there were 3 cases involved here.  Together with the Birchfield case were the cases of Bernard v. Minnesota, on certiorari to the Supreme Court of Minnesota, and Beylund v. Levi, Director, North Dakota Department of Transportation, another North Dakota case.  Each of these cases involved a person being arrested for DUI and then being asked to comply with the “Expressed Consent” laws of the particular states.  In both North Carolina and Minnesota, it is a separate crime to refuse an alcohol test related to a DUI charge.

The United States Supreme Court held that in part that  the “taking a blood sample or administering a breath test is a search governed by the Fourth Amendment.”   Clearly, Blood and breath testing are quite different.  Breath tests are fairly non-intrusive and merely involve blowing into a tube to get a breath result.  However, a blood test is much more intrusive as there is a piercing of the skin to extract a blood sample.  This is much more intrusive to a person; and thus, the Supreme Court held that the “Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests.”  Because of the intrusiveness of the blood test, a warrant is required.

This new ruling will apply throughout the country, including here in Colorado.  Soon you will see procedures created for law enforcement officers to obtain warrants on the fly.  It may take some time before these new procedures are developed, but look for them in the very near future.



Less Than One Percent?

In recent months (and in very recent days), the call for banning “assault rifles,” or banning Muslims has run rampant.  Do people really think that banning a certain type of weapon or a specific religious group will solve a the mass shooting problems we have here in the US?  In just the past few days, 49 people were killed and another 53 injured by a “Muslim” with an “AR-15.”

First off, this Muslim was an American citizen, born in New York and residing in Florida.  How does stopping Muslims from entering the country resolve the issue of American born terrorists killing people?  Talk about a political end run.  Sounds like a very straight forward equation:  1=1=Thursday.  Keep in mind, the Fort Hood shooting was committed by an American born Muslim, as were several other shootings.  We as a society should probably stop blaming everything on immigrating Muslims and Mexicans and start looking within.

Next, to ban an entire religion for the problems of 1% (in tis case, more like 1/100th of one percent) makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  But, that is the tone we are getting out of one side of the political stream.  This is merely an excuse to divert attention away from the real problem, our country cannot get anything don to help and protect its people when Congress is full of a bunch of self-serving morons who sit on party lines without regard to how working together might help this country.  We are living in a time of the worst congressional sessions in the history of this great country.Congress should be completely ashamed of the mess that they have caused over the last 10 years.

Next, when we look at the issue of the “AR-15” used by the Orlando shooter, we see that the media and our politicians are completely ignorant.  The AR in AR-15 DOES NOT stand for “assault rifle,”  it stands for “ArmaLite,” which is a gun manufacturer.  It should also be noted that the weapon used WAS NOT an AR-15…it was a Sig Sauer MCX carbine.  The media, and our politicians should figure out these facts before they start spounting off about gun issues.  It is as if they believe that anything that is a long gun/rifle is an AR-15.  This is akin to calling my HP VP9 a Glock.  It is nothing of the sort.

Now our political “leaders” start arguing that the ability to purchase guns needs to be curtailed and Muslims need to be banned from entering the US.  As mentioned earlier, the Muslim issue is clear.  These politicians want to ban an entire religious group for teh actions of 1/100th of 1 percent.  Does this really make sense?  Diverting the issue and blaming a religious group in total is nothing more that political rhetoric that serves no purpose but to rile up supporters.

Then we look at the “gun control issue.”  That term says it all: CONTROL.  How can you justify infringing on the constitutional rights of people when less than one percent of the people cause a problem.  As you may be aware, well over 99% of all gun owners use their weapons for lawful, non-violent means.  I use to be of the opinion that there was no need for an AR-15 type weapon… but now, after Paris, San Bernadino and Orlando, my thoughts have changed.  I would not want to be in a position of having to lawfully protect my family with my HK VP9 against an intruder with an assault rifle.  It would be like taking a knife to a gun fight.  That is why we have the 2nd Amendment.  We all know that if a person wants to use a high powered weapon to commit a crime, they will get a high powered weapon.  New guns laws cannot stop that.  So why punish the 99% pf the people who use their weapns for lawful and non-violent purposes?  Again, the argumentsaround “gun control” make no sense.  If we keep weapons out of the hands of the 99% when we know the 1% will be able to access them, we have done nothing but put our citizens in a vulnerable position.  Will closing “gun show loopholes” help?  Maybe.  Will refusing to sell to people on a no-fly list help?  Maybe. What we do know is this, if we limit the ability of the everyday citizen to ensure their own protection, we have done nothing but made our nation weaker and more vulnerable to attacks from both outside and within.

Think of this:  If you were in a dangerous situation like the Orlando setting or the San Bernadino setting, would you be one who would just lay there and wait for the inevitable?  Or, will you be one who will fight back to help yourself, your family and your friends?  I made the choice that I will not be the one laying on the floor waiting for the inevitable.




Arapahoe County DUI Attorney

Our Arapahoe County DUI Attorney video was recently released on YouTube. Please like and subscribe if you would. The Nellessen Law Office is always here to assist you with all of your criminal and DUI needs.

New Website

We are happy to announce that our new website has been launched. There are a few minor kinks in it still; however, for a self-made site, we do think that it came out fairly well. We will be adding more pages as we go along, but for now, please let us know what you think of the site.

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Adams County DUI Video : Nellessen Law Office


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I am Adams County DUI Attorney Tom Nellessen of the Nellessen Law Office, and I have been
successfully representing dui clients in Adams County for over 20 years.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Adams County, this is your battle field. The Adams
County Justice Center located in Brighton, Colorado.
And this is no place for you to be without a skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable
Adams County DUI attorney. Why, because the person who sits at that bench can put you
in jail. If you are looking for high quality legal
representation at an affordable cost, call the Nellessen Law Office today. You will be
happy with what we can offer you.

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Denver Criminal Defense Attorney: Developing a Defense Strategy

Legal Books and Gavel

As a Denver criminal defense attorney I am often asked the following question: “How does a criminal defense attorney develop a defense strategy in a case?’ Clearly, each case is different; however, most all cases have similar basic starting foundations.

Developing a defense strategy is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle at times. The defense attorney, with input from the client, strives to create the strongest scenario to produce a satisfactory outcome for the client. The defense strategy is developed to make the strongest case for a verdict of not guilty, a verdict of guilty of a lesser charge, or an acceptable plea bargain. Here, it is important to thoroughly review all “versions of the truth.” In every case, different witnesses see different things; thus, their “versions of the truth” will all differ in some way, shape or form. Clearly, it is important for the client to be open and honest with the defense attorney. Clients will usually benefit from fully advising the defense attorney the truth as the he or she perceive it. Since multiple versions of truth can coexist in the defense of any criminal case, the client’s version of the truth may be differ substantially from the versions supplied by the victim and/or witnesses in the case.

Generally, , a defense strategy will begin to emerge after the defense attorney receives and reviews the “discovery” in a specific case. Discovery may include police reports, witness statements, video and audio recordings, etc. Clients need copies of this information if they are to tell an accurate version of the events in question that does not leave out information potentially helpful to the defense. The defense strategy emerges as the defense attorney finds out about the prosecution’s evidence against the client, and couples that with the client’s version of events… the “client’s truth”

Once the general information is gathered by the defense attorney, the defense attorney must help the client develop the strongest theory of defense. Typically, a client is requested to draft a narrative of his or her version of the events. This will help stimulate the client’s memory and will assist in fully developing a fact pattern for the defense theory. Defense attorneys will also coach a client by fully explaining the charges against them and by detailing where the Client’s fact pattern differs from the information received from the prosecutor’s office. Comparing the information received from the prosecutor’s office with the defendant’s fact pattern and with the fact pattern of other witnesses gives the defense attorney an idea of where to focus when viewing the issue of reasonable doubt.

Clearly there are several more complex strategy techniques that may be used in a specific case; but, discussing the basics starting points gives an idea of how defense strategies emerge. More in depth defense strategy techniques would include scientific theories, independent and expert witnesses development, etc. What is important to understand is that the goal of any defense strategy is to show that the prosecution’s case against your client is weak and cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If this can be accomplished, one may be able to persuade the prosecutor to agree to the defense’s desired plea agreement or to have the case dismissed.

Until next time,

Thomas Nellessen

Nellessen Law Office

The Nellessen Law Office is a DUI and criminal defense law firm in Denver, Colorado. If you are seeking high quality criminal defense representation at a reasonable cost, contact us at the Nellessen Law Office. Our initial consultations are ALWAYS FREE of charge, and our attorneys are experienced, knowledgeable and highly qualified to handle your legal matters.


Nellessen Law Office You Tube Page

As many of you are aware, I have started a new business marketing YouTube videos for clients in many different professions, from lawyers to bondsmen to people in the medical field, etc.  Please visit my YouTube page today.  Subscribe to my channel and LIKE my videos if you don’t mind.Here is the link to my YouTube channel:

The Nellessen Law Office You Tube Page

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Tom Nellessen

The Nellessen Law Office

Denver DUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys| The Nellessen Law Office

Arrested at Roadside

If you get arrested, call the Nellessen Law Office TODAY!The Nellessen Law Office is a Denver DUI defense and Denver criminal defense law firm. We are located in the LoDo area of Denver, Colorado,  and we are here to help you through the most difficult times in your life. With are experience in handling DUI and other criminal matters, the Nellessen Law Office is a ready to fight for you. We have been providing skilled legal representation for over 20 years to individuals facing DUI and criminal charges.  Whether it is a DUI or DWAI offense, a drug related charge, cases involving weapons, domestic violence, prostitution, or all other felony, misdemeanor and traffic matters, we will work for you./ Contact us through our website or through this blog, or call us at 303-284-5781.Remember, no offense is minor when you are the one charged, so it is very important that you speak with an experienced DUI or criminal attorney. Experience is crucial for an attorney representing individuals in criminal cases.  Incompetence in a criminal case may be particularly devastating to the client’s freedom and liberties.  Perhaps more than any other area of law, retaining an attorney early on in a criminal defense case is of utmost importance.  The longer your attorney has to handle and prepare your defense.  So, contact the Nellessen Law Office TODAY!

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