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Brian K. McHugh

Brian K. McHugh

Over 30 years experience in criminal law, procedure and the rules of evidence
  • Criminal Law, DUI & DWI, Domestic Violence...
  • Colorado
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I graduated from Colorado State University in 1984 and was on the Dean's List eight straight semesters. In 1987 I received my law degree from the University of Denver, receiving an Am. Jur. (American Jurisprudence) award for the highest grade in my legal procedure class. I have focused on criminal law and procedure for over 30 years, almost 23 of those years as a Deputy District Attorney and then Chief Deputy District Attorney in the 18th Judicial District - Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties.

Over the years, I have handled a wide variety of cases, from barking dog and minor traffic cases to DUI's, Aggravated Robbery, Kidnapping, Sexual Assault and 1st Degree Murder. While with the District Attorney's Office I was a member of that jurisdiction's Critical Incident Team, responding to officer involved shootings and in-custody deaths. I have taught classes on criminal law and procedure to law enforcement officers and prosecutors. I have testified before legislative committees on matters pertaining to criminal law and procedure and assisted in drafting proposed legislation in those areas. I have briefed and argued cases in the Colorado Court of Appeals and briefed cases in the Colorado Supreme Court.

In late summer 2009, I left the District Attorney's Office to go into private practice where I continue my focus on criminal law and procedure. I take pride in my knowledge of criminal law, criminal procedure, the rules of evidence and my skill and experience in the courtroom.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • DUI & DWI
  • Domestic Violence
  • Traffic Tickets
Additional Practice Areas
  • Sealing of Criminal Records
  • Expungement of Juvenile Records
  • Sex Offender De-Registration
  • Driver's License Suspension and Revocations
  • Free Consultation
    I do not charge a person seeking an attorney a fee to consult with me. The free consultation allows me to get an idea of the needs and goals of the potential client and at the same time allows them to learn about me. Then they can make an informed decision whether my experience, knowledge and skill are what they are looking for in an attorney.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Private practice specializing in criminal defense
- Current
Legal Intern, Deputy and Chief Deputy District Attorney
Office of the District Attorney, 18th Judicial District
The University of Denver Sturm College of Law
J.D. (1987) | Law
Honors: American Juris Prudence Award
Colorado State University
B.A. (1984) | Sociology
Honors: Deans List 1981 through 1984
Award of Exception Merit
Professional Associations
State Bar of Colorado # 16964
- Current
Colorado Bar Assocation
- Current
Arapahoe County Bar Association
- Current
Articles & Publications
DUI Handbook - A Guide for Colorado Prosecutors
Websites & Blogs
Law Office of Brian K. McHugh
McHugh's Criminal Law Blog
Legal Answers
42 Questions Answered

Q. Criminal mischief charges with domestic violence when I did no damage
A: Whether pulling the plug wires off would constitute damage to the car is an open question. It may be that the police believe the wires were damaged. As to joint ownership, so long as she was part owner, a charge of criminal mischief, or as Mr. Joyner noted, criminal tampering can be brought.
Q. When i turn 18 will an mip get expunged from my record?
A: Your age does not matter under the requirements for sealing an MIP. For a first offense, if the case was dismissed after completion of a diversion program or a deferred judgment and sentence, or if it was a conviction, after payment of the fine and upon completion of a court-ordered substance abuse education program, the Court is required to seal the record automatically. If it was a second or subsequent offense, after one year from the date of the conviction, you can petition the Court to seal the record. The petition must be accompanied by a current criminal history. The Court is required to grant the petition if you have not been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of, a felony, misdemeanor, or petty offense during the one year period following the conviction.
Q. If my roommate let's someone into my room while I'm sleeping and that person steals my truck what can I do? Denver Co.
A: You need report your truck as stolen to the police and then contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will require that you report the theft of your truck.
Q. Is ever appropriate for a k9 unit to be deployed on a suspect that is sitting in drivers seat?
A: There are not enough facts provided. The answer to a question such as yours is completely dependent on the facts. There are any number of scenarios where what you describe would be a reasonable and appropriate use of force and any number where it would be an unreasonable and inappropriate use of force.
Q. Charged with poss sched 2 in Co dont qualify for public def but I cant pay for a private
A: An excellent question and one the courts have struggled with. A more accurate way to describe the reality of the situation is "a public defender will appointed if you qualify based on their income guidelines". There are many people charged with crimes whose income is too high to qualify for a public defender, but who do not earn enough to hire a private attorney. One effort that has been made to help such people are attorneys who agree to accept cases at a reduce fee or who accept payment plans. Most courts keep a list of these "low pay/slow pay" attorneys. It is not a perfect solution by any means, but it does provide some assistance to defendants who don't qualify for the public defender, but can't afford to hire a private attorney at the going rate.
Q. I was decieved, lured in, driven to an unknown location, held,questioned, and left there. What should I do?
A: Not enough information provided. For starters, who did these things to you?
Q. Does a search warrant have to have an address if they are searching the house
A: Not necessarily. The search warrant must state with particularity identifying information which clearly identifies the place in to be searched. Usually an address is included in the affidavit for the search warrant, but it is not legally required. Other unique identifying factors can be used to describe the house. The identifying information in the affidavit is then used to describe the location to be searched in the search warrant.
Q. I have a 15 year old felony and I live in Colorado I want to know if I can own a black powder revolver
A: A black powder revolver falls under the definition of a firearm, so your possession of it is a felony offense.
Q. Is there jail time for 2nd degree burglary with a previous misdemeanor
A: With the exception of class 2 petty offenses and a few other crimes, jail is a possible penalty for a criminal offense. Having prior convictions increases the risk of a jail or prison sentence (county jail for misdemeanor offenses, prison for felony offenses). However, "possible" is the key word here. A defendant's criminal history is just one of several factors the judge will look at in determining whether incarceration is appropriate in any given case.
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Contact & Map
26 W. Dry Creek Circle
Suite 600
Littleton, CO 80120
Telephone: (720) 280-3929
Fax: (720) 528-7845