After serving a four year enlistment as an infantry sergeant, I elected to go to law school instead of Ranger school. Reluctantly, I left Colorado and attended Southwestern Law School, participating in the honors mock trial program and ultimately a judicial internship with the Honorable Robert M. Takasugi, United States District Court Judge, Central District of California.
I graduated in 1984 and was successful on passing the California Bar on the first attempt. I was recruited out of law school by Bottum, Rady and Faliton as an associate in a rapidly growing insurance defense firm specializing in civil litigation. In my first year of practice I tried my first civil jury trial and after three weeks, the jury agreed my client was not responsible for the plaintiff’s damages.
I was fortunate enough to get involved in police litigation where officers were accused of violating people’s civil rights and was immersed in police tactics, training, and protocols. In addition, I was certified by Los Angeles Police Department to conduct horizontal gaze nystagmus testing to detect alcohol impairment in suspected intoxicated drivers.
After four years of practice in California, I was ready to return to Colorado Springs. I applied to the El Paso County District Attorney’s office, awaiting Colorado Bar results. However, without results until October 1988, I was actually recruited by both the Army and Air Force Judge Advocates program.
I was blessed to join the ranks as an Air Force JAG officer and assigned to Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. In four years I had risen to the rank of Chief Trial Counsel advising the Commander of criminal prosecution and conducting over twenty court martials. In addition, I also coached Falcon High School’s first mock trial program and successfully brought an all female team of student litigators to the Colorado State championship, taking second in state.
While in the Air Force, I was involved in the El Paso County Bar association, and was recruited by Jeanne Smith, Assistant District Attorney to join in civilian prosecutions. In slightly over two years I had conducted over one hundred jury trials to completion, argued on behalf of the people before the Colorado Supreme Court, and was instrumental in training countless young lawyers to become strong advocates.
During this time I became engaged to a Deputy District Attorney and decided it was time to establish my own firm. In October 1994, I married Joy Carnahan and set up my firm the same month. Over these past nineteen years we have had the privilege of representing countless clients at a time when their legal troubles were overwhelming their lives.
Almost one half of our clients are active duty. Including soldiers from Fort Carson, airmen and officers from Peterson and Schriever Air Force bases, and especially cadets at the United States Air Force Academy. Our practice has been devoted to criminal defense with a predominant emphasis in alcohol and drug related driving offenses.
Originally from Washington state, I moved to Colorado in 1998 and am proud to make Colorado Springs my home. I graduated from Colorado Springs Christian High School in 2002, received my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2006, and graduated from the Western New England University School of Law in 2010.
While in law school, I was selected for an internship at the Hampden County District Attorney’s office and worked as a prosecutor under Massachusetts’ law. When home in Colorado, I interned at the 4 th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. In 2010, after passing the bar on my first attempt, the 4th Judicial DA’s office hired me as a full time prosecutor. I was assigned to the El Paso County Court, handling misdemeanors and traffic cases. In 2011, I volunteered for a placement as the lone Deputy DA for the Teller County Court, handling all misdemeanor, traffic, and juvenile cases for Teller County. This has given me a familiarity with Teller County law enforcement and courts that few have. Eventually, I returned to the El Paso County District Court , to prosecute serious felony cases.
In 2013 , I decided to start a new chapter in my life and joined Anderson and Carnahan, switching my area of practice to criminal defense. This has also given me an opportunity to pursue my passion in firearm laws, representing people through the current political assaults against lawful gun owners.
When it comes to criminal defense work, I take a very hands-on approach with your case. The criminal justice system is a very confusing and frightening place to find yourself, and not knowing what’s coming around the next corner with your case makes it even worse. As your attorney, it’s my job to make sure you know what is happening every step of the way from the moment of arrest or ticket, first appearances, pre-trial conferences, trials, and sentencing. I will be there to help put you at ease throughout this trying process.
My biggest responsibility in your case is to ensure the best possible outcome. The majority of my clients are good, honest people who made a mistake, and don’t need oppressive punishments added onto their sentence. As a former Deputy District Attorney I’m intimately familiar with what their guidelines for plea-bargaining are, and what evidence and arguments it will take to move those negotiations in your favor.
Other clients I have are wrongly accused. The police, and the District Attorney’s Office are made up of human beings, and they do make mistakes. It’s my job to fight tooth and nail to ensure that when you are wrongly caught up in law enforcement’s net they are not punished for things they didn’t do. As a Deputy DA , I tried over 50 trials, ranging from traffic infractions, DUI’s, and misdemeanor domestic violence; all the way up to felony level organized theft rings and assaults with deadly weapons. I will put all my courtroom experience to work for you to ensure a fair and just outcome at trial.
I also practice in all areas of firearms related law. As a lifelong hunter, competition shooter, NRA life member, and a Federal Firearms License holder, I have a passion for all things related to guns and shooting.
If your local sheriff has denied your application for a concealed carry permit, or if your permit has been revoked, I can guide you through the appeal process to have your rights restored. Likewise, if your background check to purchase a firearm was denied, I will work to ensure your constitutional right to purchase a firearm.
I am intimately familiar with the National Firearms Act and the process for purchasing or building Title II (also called Class 3) guns and devices. If you’re looking to build or buy a short-barreled rifle (SBR) or shotgun, silencer, machine gun, AOW, or destructive device, I can guide you through the maze of ATF forms. I can also set up unique legal entities for your firearms, such as trusts and corporations, to ensure that you, your family, and your generations to come can enjoy your NFA devices.
If you are applying for an FFL, I have been through the process myself and can guide you through the paperwork, and provide the legal advice to ensure that your business is in compliance and your application is approved. If you are already an FFL holder and have questions on compliance with ATF regulations, are being harassed by excessive ATF inspections, or are facing revocation or suspension of your FFL, I can advise and represent your business through this process.