Criminal Law

Mounting a criminal defense requires a thorough knowledge of many very detailed laws, and knowing how judges have interpreted these rules in past cases.  Skulborstad Legal Group, LLC is dedicated to providing clients with the highest level of quality representation, no matter what they face. The personal attention we give to each case helps ensure clients have a defense solution tailored to their unique needs with the goal of protecting their legal rights and representing their best interests.

Our criminal attorneys strongly believe that our clients come first and our priority is to always work to achieve the best possible result in their case. We tenaciously fight for these outcomes and leave no stone unturned when helping our clients through trial.

Contact our criminal lawyers today, and let us do a professional investigation of your case. We have the willingness to take a case to trial, when the charges aren’t valid. We understand how to craft strong defenses, and have a track record of success.

Our Strategy

We’re proud that our law firm offers top-notch legal services for a nationwide affordable pricing! With us you’ll never feel like the lawyers are just robbers in suits, besides, we win 98% of all cases. So with us, your chances of winning are as high as they possibly can be!


Achieving maximum case productivity with limited wasted effort or expense


Insight, knowledge, and awareness of the law and analysis and strategy within these parameters


Anticipating and shaping events, decisively guiding a case to the desired outcome

Criminal Law Services


A single DUI or drug arrest in Colorado can seriously jeopardize your job, your freedom, and your reputation.  If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, you cannot afford to delay your defense. The penalties are harsh, you need a DUI lawyer who knows how to aggressively defend your rights. 

Our team thoroughly investigates the circumstances leading up to your arrest. Just because you failed a breathalyzer test or a road-side does not mean you are guilty. Even burping can skew the results of that specific test, making it a piece of evidence against you that is not entirely reliable. Similarly, standard field sobriety tests have also been proven to be less-than-reliable means of determining whether or not someone is intoxicated. Our DUI attorney can challenge the evidence against you and fight for the best possible outcome on your behalf!

Domestic Violence

Cases that involve domestic relations can be very personal and emotional, making it important that you have all the information relevant to your case when preparing your defense. Our domestic violence lawyers are experienced with these types of cases and can help you prepare your legal strategy. Let a domestic violence lawyer in Colorado advocate on your behalf and help you minimize the harm of a domestic violence charge.

Our team of Colorado domestic violence attorneys provide clients with services based on the particular charges involved and the circumstances of each client’s case. These services include:

  • A full case assessment;
  • Investigation of the facts and evidence;
  • Development of legal strategies;
  • Guidance on addressing preliminary matters; and
  • Preparation for court dates.

We can provide you with knowledge and support to prepare you for your day in court.

Domestic Violence Can Include:

  • Assault (CRS 18-3-202 – 204)
  • Stalking a.k.a. “Vonnie’s Law” (CRS 18-3-602)
  • Harassment (CRS 18-9-111)
  • Child abuse (CRS 18-6-401)
  • Sexual contact (CRS 18-3-404)
  • Menacing (CRS 18-3-206)
  • False imprisonment (CRS 18-3-303)
  • Elder abuse (CRS 18-6.5-103)

Anyone accused of domestic violence may also be served with a protective order that restricts or prohibits his or her contact with certain family members. The important thing to remember is to stay calm and follow the directions of the order completely. Violating a protective order (CRS 18-6-803.5) in a criminal case is a class 1 misdemeanor.  The penalty is:

  • 6 – 18 months in jail, and/or
  • $500 – $5,000 in fines.3

Since DV is an enhancement, the punishment depends on the underlying charge. The judge may order that the defendant be evaluated and complete a DV treatment program. The judge may also extend the restraining order.

Note that a fourth conviction involving DV labels the defendant as a habitual domestic violence offender. This is a class 5 felony, carrying:

  • 1 to 3 years in Colorado State Prison (with mandatory 2-year parole), and/or
  • A fine of $1,000 to $100,0006

This sentence is in addition to the one for the underlying crime.

If your rights, freedom, and reputation are at stake, you need to be certain that you are doing everything you can to protect yourself. Retain adept legal representation as soon as possible, so that our legal team can better preserve your future freedoms while protecting your rights and reputation.


Property Crimes / Theft / Burglary

The most commonly prosecuted property crimes are theft, burglary, criminal mischief, and trespassing.  But, they also include robbery, arson, vandalism, and extortion. 

Sometimes, the only way the police can establish that a person committed a theft, burglary, criminal mischief, or trespass is by getting a confession from the person. Police know this, and sometimes, because they are so intent on getting a conviction, they forget to follow the law.

When the police detain and question a suspect, they must read that person his or her Miranda Rights.  If a police officer does not read a suspect his or her Miranda rights before questioning, our  experienced property crimes attorneys can file a motion to suppress statements. Sometimes, the very filing of a motion to suppress can lead to a reduction of the charge or even the dismissal of the case.

If you or a loved made a statement to the police concerning a property crimes investigation, it's important to speak with an experienced Colorado property crimes attorney so that the attorney can determine whether or not a motion to suppress is appropriate. Colorado property crimes attorney Thomas Nellessen is well versed in the law surrounding the Miranda rights. 

A person’s freedom is one of the most important rights to be preserved. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Colorado Springs or the Denver Metro Area, it is crucial that you understand what is at stake. It is imperative that you retain an experienced and knowledgeable criminal lawyer who will fight to get your charges dropped or reduced, and who will ensure that your rights remain protected.

Hate Crimes

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is a threat or act of intimidation, harassment, or physical force that is motivated by bias against a person or group based on their actual or perceived: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, and physical or mental disability.

What does Colorado law say?

There are both federal and state laws that protect victims of hate crime. Colorado law breaks hate crime into two categories, “Bias motivated harassment” and “Bias-motivated crime.”

Here in Colorado – the Hate Crimes Law is as Follows:

Colorado Hate Crimes Law CRS § 18-9-121

Statute text

  1. The general assembly hereby finds and declares that it is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation to be secure and protected from fear, intimidation, harassment, and physical harm caused by the activities of individuals and groups. The general assembly further finds that the advocacy of unlawful acts against persons or groups because of a person’s or group’s race, color, ancestry, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation for the purpose of inciting and provoking bodily injury or damage to property poses a threat to public order and safety and should be subject to criminal sanctions.
  2. A person commits a bias-motivated crime if, with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, he or she:
    1. Knowingly causes bodily injury to another person; or
    2. By words or conduct, knowingly places another person in fear of imminent lawless action directed at that person or that person’s property and such words or conduct are likely to produce bodily injury to that person or damage to that person’s property; or
    3. Knowingly causes damage to or destruction of the property of another person.
  3. Commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in paragraph (b) or (c) of subsection (2) of this section is a class 1 misdemeanor. Commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this section is a class 5 felony; except that commission of a bias-motivated crime as described in said paragraph (a) is a class 4 felony if the offender is physically aided or abetted by one or more other persons during the commission of the offense.

    1. In determining the sentence for a first-time offender convicted of a bias-motivated crime, the court shall consider the following alternatives, which shall be in addition to and not in lieu of any other sentence received by the offender:
      1. Sentencing the offender to pay for and complete a period of useful community service intended to benefit the public and enhance the offender’s understanding of the impact of the offense upon the victim;
      2. At the request of the victim, referring the case to a restorative justice or other suitable alternative dispute resolution program established in the judicial district pursuant to section 13-22-313, C.R.S.
    2. In considering whether to impose the alternatives described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5), the court shall consider the criminal history of the offender, the impact of the offense on the victim, the availability of the alternatives, and the nature of the offense. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the court to impose the alternatives specified in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3.5).
  4. The criminal penalty provided in this section for commission of a bias-motivated crime does not preclude the victim of such action from seeking any other remedies otherwise available under law.
  5. For purposes of this section:
    1. “Physical or mental disability” refers to a disability as used in the definition of the term “person with a disability” in section 18-6.5-102 (3).
    2. “Sexual orientation” means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status.

Traffic, Suspension, or Revocation


It’s OK. Everyone at one time or another has been guilty of speeding and maybe even running a red light or stop sign.

Clearly, you’re not public enemy #1 after a traffic ticket. At the same time, you might not fully understand some of the potentially harsh consequences if convicted of certain offenses.  

Minor infractions (traffic tickets) can lead to bigtime insurance headaches, especially if you have a bad driving record and/or if Colorado DMV suspended your license due to points or DUI.  

We offer legal advice based on years of experience, compassion, and hard work.

We’re more than willing to explain things like insurance points vs motor vehicle points, how a driving history can affect your license, and the implications of accidents, relative to traffic tickets.


If you are facing more serious traffic charges, ones that may result in your license being suspended or revoked or possible jail time.  If you’ve been arrested for one of these offenses, it’s a good idea to contact an experienced defense attorney. A qualified lawyer can help you understand how the law applies to your case and advise you on how best to handle your situation.

  • vehicular homicide
  • misdemeanor driving offenses where someone was seriously injured
  • using a vehicle in the commission of a felony
  • making a false statement to the Department of Transportation about owning or operating a vehicle
  • being deemed incompetent to drive
  • using a driver’s license unlawfully or fraudulently
  • driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • refusing to submit to an alcohol test in violation of the state’s implied consent laws
  • failing to pay a fine or serve a sentence for a criminal traffic offense
  • failing to appear for a criminal court hearing in certain circumstances, or
  • being convicted of an offense that contributed to an accident in which someone was killed or injured or property was seriously damaged


Drug Crimes

In the state of Colorado, a conviction for a drug related crime could result in loss of driving privileges and professional licenses, steep fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a permanent criminal record which could limit future opportunities to obtain financial aid for college or secure employment. Drug crimes are considered very serious offenses in Colorado and if you have been charged it is essential that you secure representation from a criminal defense attorney.

It does not matter if you have been charged with simple possession of a controlled substance or the distribution, trafficking or manufacture of one. In any of these cases, a conviction could result in less than favorable outcomes. To successfully defend a drug charge, your lawyer should be experienced with negotiating criminal defense cases.

Violent Crimes / Assault

When people think of assault, they probably think of it as a single criminal charge with a single definition. Most people learn about the crime of assault from TV and movies, and this idea of assault being a single offense is not entirely correct. Assault encompasses several different kinds of offenses.  There are many different degrees of assault, each of which carries its own unique penalties, legal considerations, and sentencing guidelines. Criminal charges for assault will change depending on the circumstances surrounding the assault, such as injuries sustained by the victim or if any weapons were used.

Assault charges should be taken very seriously, no matter what the exact nature of the charges is.  Anyone involved with a physical altercation in Colorado may be charged with either misdemeanor or felony assault.  Regardless of your charge, it is in your best interest to secure the services of a reliable Colorado criminal defense lawyer.

We love to fight the state.  It’s what we live for.  That means that we will not plea as quickly as possible just so that we can move on to the next case.  We will take your case all the way if necessary and make sure that the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand the importance of choosing the right lawyer. We invite you to explore the breadth and depth of our capabilities.

The length of a case, from the initial consultation and filing the initial documents through to the resolution of the case by settlement, court order, or jury verdict, depends on several variables.  For this reason, it is not possible to say exactly how long a case may take.  Most courts can move pretty quickly if matters are settled and not contested, for example, the case may be resolved in 90 days.  If matters are unresolved, and experts are required, cases can exceed a year.  

If you have been arrested, you may be able to “post bail” in order to be released from holding until your next hearing. If you cannot afford to post bail, then you will have to remain in holding. Some individuals are not even granted bail do to reasonable fear that the defendant poses a threat to the public. Bail is granted and denied on a case-by-case basis.

Also called a plea deal or a plea agreement, a plea bargain is a two-way agreement between you and the prosecutor. You agree to plead “guilty” or “no contest​” to a particular charge, and you receive an agreed upon sentence.  That agreement could be reduced sentences or pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Accepting a plea bargain could be a favorable option, but it is not for everyone.

  • Plea bargain pros: When you accept a plea bargain you know exactly what sentence you’ll get. You have the peace of mind of being done with the process and avoiding the expense of trial.
  • Plea bargain cons: A plea bargain means you now have a DUI—or some other charge—on your criminal record. You have to serve the sentence, and your insurance rates will likely go up.

A plea bargain should only be entered into under close attorney advisement and after thorough legal counsel.


After you are arrested, you have an absolute right to not speak to the police.  In fact, it is advised that you do not speak with the police without first consulting an attorney.  

There are certain things that the police are allowed to ask you and that you do have to answer. But that’s more things like routine booking questions. You know, like after they decide to arrest you: name, date of birth, address, things like that. The type of information that they have to have in order to book you into custody.

But, anything regarding the case or anything that might incriminate you, absolutely have a right not to answer it and we would strongly advise you to use that right and not talk to the police.

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