Experienced & Dedicated

I defend all municipal, local, and state misdemeanor and felony charges. From traffic offenses to domestic violence to sex assaults to homicides, I approach each of my cases with patience and rigor. I am an experienced and dedicated defender. Below are some of my most common practice areas, but I welcome phone calls from anyone who needs assistance with any kind of criminal charge or investigation. Some cases need to go to jury trial and some cases need to be negotiated for resolution. It takes an experienced and aggressive attorney to know which approach is required for a specific case with specific facts for a specific client.

Domestic violence is not a substantive offense. Rather, it is a “sentence enhancer” that creates specific additional penalties and rules when a person is charged with an offense against a current or former romantic partner. The most common offenses include assault, menacing, criminal mischief, and harassment. However, the domestic violence designation can attach to any kind of crime, from the lowest level misdemeanor to the most serious felony. When domestic violence charges are suspected, arrest is automatic. Bond cannot be set until the defendant appears in person before a judge.  A restraining order is automatically placed between the parties, whether or not the named victim requests or desires it. For these reasons, domestic violence cases benefit from the immediate involvement of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Zak has experience representing many clients facing DV charges of all levels of severity, from minor property crimes to murder. Please see the firm’s dedicated domestic violence website for more information about Colorado DV law, and the firm’s approach to defending domestic violence.

Perhaps more than any other type of offense, sex crimes create far-reaching consequences that require the skill and expertise of a dedicated defense attorney. ALL sexual offenses in Colorado implicate sex offender registration requirements. All sexual offenses in Colorado implicate sex offender treatment and counseling. Some felony sexual offenses in Colorado are punishable by indeterminate sentences up to life in prison. If you are being investigated for a sex offense, it is essential that you understand your rights and your risks from the moment an investigation begins. These cases have been in the news recently and are being pursued aggressively by prosecutor’s offices. It is important to distinguish your case and your facts and your circumstances from the cases in the media. Zak encourages anyone who is concerned about sexual offense charges to call him for a consultation as early as possible once a police officer makes contact.

Violent crimes are unique among all Colorado criminal charges, in that they call for mandatory prison sentences even for people who have never before been in trouble with the law. When a mandatory sentence to the Department of Corrections is at issue, the stakes are very high from the moment of arrest. Zak will challenge all the alleged facts that cause an offense to become a crime of violence. Where necessary, he also investigate and present circumstances like addiction, mental health, mental impairment, and other factors that call out for alternatives to incarceration even under the most difficult factual circumstances.

Zak Malkinson, attorney for Moises Mendez, gives his opening argument in Moises Mendez and Daniel Ortiz's trial for the murder of Nate Tallman at the Boulder Country Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado. Photo by Mark Leffingwell Staff Photographer September 15, 2015

DUI, DWAI and DUI/Drugs are some of the most common charges people encounter. However, the consequences of these charges are not only the potential punishment in the criminal courts, but the loss of your driver’s license from the DMV. Zak has experience navigating these two systems. Zak can spot issues, such as illegal traffic stops and Fourth Amendment violations, that might be unseen by clients but can have tremendous impact on their cases. Zak understands that losing your driver’s license can be the worst consequence of a DUI charge and will represent you in DMV hearings and walk you through how to get your driving privileges back.

If you are charged with theft, forgery, identity theft or burglary, Zak has extensive experience working with these crimes. Zak has successfully defended these cases in jury trials, but also negotiated outstanding outcomes for clients. Restitution—the amount owed to the victim of a property crime—is an important part of the negotiation when resolving these cases and Zak can walk you through ways to mitigate your property crime charges.

There has been some excellent legislation in Colorado in the last few years. An entirely new sentencing structure has been established for drug crimes. It is harder for courts to send people to prison for drug possession crimes. Many controlled substance charges can be reduced to a misdemeanor even after a conviction. Many drug convictions can be sealed. For clients with drug problems, Zak has found that getting involved with treatment early on in a case lead to a mitigated disposition. I will work with treatment providers to help get an excellent outcome on your case.