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Is This Legal?

Author: Hebets & McCallin PC

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Some dynamic duos solve crime, some commit crime, and some just like to talk about it. Get comfortable and let premier Denver criminal defense attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin break down legal issues for you in a lighthearted, easy-to-follow style. Whether you're looking for advice that might help you out of a jam, or you're interested in legal current events from around the country, or you just want to sound smart at a party, the guys at Is This Legal? have you covered.Credit to Jason Tohtz for his stellar sound engineering and epic original podcast compositions.
66 Episodes
This week's Is This Legal takes a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to analyze the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Armed with an assault rifle, baby-faced teenager Kyle Rittenhouse took to the streets, answering a call to protect property. The night took a tragic turn as 2 men were killed and another wounded at the hands of Mr. Rittenhouse.  Russ and Colin break down Rittenhouse's case for self defense and give their best educated guesses as to whether he will be convicted.  All this, plus another fan-favorite round of Is This Legal and of course, the always hilarious Dumb Criminal of the Week for some much needed LOLs. 
Russ and Colin are back to discuss the tragic Ahmaud Arbery killing that spurred protests and outrage across the country. Is citizen's arrest a legal defense tactic? What evidence will be admissible at trial? Answers in this episode. Plus: A spicy round of "Is This Legal?" and our much-loved "Dumb Criminal of the Week."
Here is the sequel you’ve been waiting for. The boys are back and bringing you the newest developments in the tragic Gabby Petito case. Russ and Colin discuss strangulation, domestic violence, and whether the Moab Police Department are to blame for Gabby Petito’s death. Plus, we put a loyal listener to the test and bring you another Dumb Criminal of the Week.For anyone interested in helping bring some holiday cheer to children in need, please consider donating to
The discovery of Gabby Petito's body recently in Wyoming, and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie's unusual behavior in the weeks after her disappearance, raise legal questions: could Laundrie's parents be liable for helping cover up a crime? What tactics will authorities use to draw out information in the case? Also features an intriguing Is This Legal? issue to consider and a rollicking new DCOTW (Dumb Criminal of the Week).
Ooh boy, this one's a sizzler. First, the backstory: in episode 56, Colin and Russ discussed the widely-publicized assault on Karen Garner, an elderly woman with dementia, by officers of the Loveland Police Department in Colorado. In this episode, the guys are joined by Karen's attorney, Sarah Schielke, fresh off securing a three-million dollar settlement from the city of Loveland to recompense Karen for her hardship. Sarah breaks down the initial criminal case against Karen, the civil suit Karen's family appointed Sarah to handle subsequently, and the ongoing criminal cases against the Loveland officers involved in the assault. Get your popcorn, and settle in.
Here's one for all the true crime fans. Suzanne Morphew's disappearance has attracted a lot of media attention lately, and it's clear why: the story has a love triangle, mysterious circumstantial evidence, and plenty of room for juicy speculation. The case is now before a judge to decide whether there's probable cause to proceed to trial. What are the arguments the prosecution will use to advance the claim that Barry Morphew murdered his wife? What evidence will the defense use to exculpate Morphew? And just as importantly, will our guest Alex Stafford be able to answer the age-old question, "Is this legal?" Settle in and find out! Also, be sure to check out Alex's Instagram for pithy craft beer expertise.
The boys are back in town! After a little summer hiatus, Russ and Colin jump back on the mic to discuss a topic you've probably wondered about: why should we bother defending people who are obviously guilty? Why give them the chance to evade justice? Why should someone like Bill Cosby go free on a technicality, when he was already convicted in a court of law by a jury of his peers?  To help answer these questions, our intrepid podcasters turn to a guest speaker:  Don Clark, fellow attorney and author of the new book Summary Judgment. In that book, and in this interview, Don recounts his time appealing the sentence of a death row inmate in Alabama, offering  valuable insights into the justice system and our own moral code. Missing this one would be indefensible!
Chrissy Teigen's past social media activity has landed her in trouble recently. In 2014, the model and television personality directed unfavorable tweets at Courtney Stodden, including some that expressed a wish to see Stodden dead. Those tweets have now surfaced, and Teigen finds herself at the center of a renewed national conversation over cyberbullying. Colin and Russ use this incident as a starting point for the latest Is This Legal? episode, exploring the legal definitions and limits of cyberbullying, the consequences, and contrasting Teigen's troubles with the criminal case of Michelle Carter in 2015. Also features an interactive pop quiz for all you lovely listeners and a piping hot Dumb Criminal of the Week! #banger
Ready for more tips? Russ and Colin keep the legal tips flowing with more advice on what to do and what not to do when you're dealing with the police. If you see someone getting hassled unfairly, are you allowed to record the interaction? When do you have to answer questions that the police inevitably ask, and will it get you arrested if you don't cooperate?  What about your Miranda rights?  What if they didn't read you your rights?  All these questions and more are answered so gather the family around and let the elucidation begin!For the full transcript, click here.
Get your notepads out! Episode 57 is overflowing with useful advice. In this one, Russ and Colin go over what to say and do, and more importantly what NOT to say and do, when you're dealing with the police in situations that come up in criminal defense all the time. When the cops stop you on the street and ask your name, what should you say? When they execute a traffic stop and ask if you know why you were pulled over, what should you say? All these questions and more are up for review. Also, the guys interview Klint Rudolph and go through the ever-riotous Dumb Criminal of the Week segment. With an episode this good, it would be criminal to skip it!For the full transcript, click here.
In this episode, Russ and Colin take you on a tour of the Karen Garner case out of Loveland, CO, using it as a launchpad for a discussion of resisting arrest in general. Does the law uphold the decision of Loveland PD officers to tackle this elderly woman over a minor shoplifting offense, injuring her in the process? Plus, fellow podcaster Joy Parrish stops by to reminisce about her lawbreaking days and play "Is This Legal?" Should be a good one; don't resist the urge to listen!Find the full transcript here.
On April 20, 2021, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murdering George Floyd almost a full year before. Floyd’s death while he was restrained face-down on the street elicited nationwide protests, counter-protests, endless news coverage, and impassioned arguments from all sides on the nature of policing in America and the best way to bring law enforcement agencies into harmony with their host communities. In this momentous episode of Is This Legal?  Colin and Russ examine the Chauvin trial, talk about the strategies both sides employed, predict the outcome of Chauvin’s sentencing, and unveil a brand new interview segment that will feature guest speakers from far and wide. Sit back and enjoy a legal perspective on what in the future will no doubt be seen as a milestone in American history.For the full transcript, click here.
Taylor Swift called it: the haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate.  Episode 54 of Is This Legal? covers bias-motivated crime in America, from the history of and rationale for hate crime laws as we know them now, to the elements that make an offense go from merely illegal to legally hateful, including real world examples such as the Atlanta massage parlor shootings of this year.  With plenty of hypotheticals and thought experiments along the way, attorneys Colin and Russ break down this category of crime into bite-sized pieces for your delectation.  Bon appetit!To view the full transcript, click here.
Sydney Powell, ex-lawyer to Donald Trump, made numerous statements in the aftermath of the 2020 election accusing Dominion Voting Systems of election crimes. Now, Powell finds herself on the wrong end of a defamation suit filed by Dominion. What defense will she put forward? What elements are required for a successful defamation suit? What's the difference between defamation, libel, and slander? These questions and more are on the docket in this episode of Is This Legal? , along with everyone's favorite recurring segment, Dumb Criminal of the Week.For the full transcript, click here.
Calling all dog fans!  Denver attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin share their love of dogs in the latest lighthearted Is This Legal episode.  How are dogs treated under the law, how do dogs run afoul of the dreaded "dangerous animal" designation, and some of the all-time great dogs of pop culture are on the agenda.  Curl up with your favorite furry companion and enjoy!  For the full transcript, click here.
One result of the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 was a resurgence of public interest in Elijah McClain’s death several days after he was given an overdose of ketamine during police contact. In the push for criminal justice reform, McClain’s name has become shorthand for police misconduct and the damage it can do. In this episode of Is This Legal? Russ and Colin examine the detention and death of McClain, the subsequent internal investigations of the incident by the Aurora Police Department, and talk about what lessons this tragedy may hold for all of us as we navigate police contact in our own lives. For the full transcript, click here.
In the early 2000s, plucky entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of college and started a company called Theranos,  promising to revolutionize blood screenings for medical patients. By 2014, Theranos was valued at almost 10 billion dollars. Fast forward a few years, and Theranos is gone, while Elizabeth Holmes awaits trial later this year on multiple counts of wire fraud. What happened? Criminal defense attorneys Russell Hebets and Colin McCallin take a look at this fascinating case, the likely defenses Ms. Holmes' attorneys will use, and the problems with those defenses. Get your popcorn!For the full transcript, click here.
Russ and Colin dig deep into the Is This Legal mailbag to answer the best and brightest legal questions from our listeners.  Topics covered include eating marijuana edibles out of state, criminal charges and gun rights, and the introduction of our brand now segment: Dumb Criminal of the Week!  Don't miss out, it's going to be a fun ride!For the full transcript, click here.
Colin and Russ break down the criminal charges and other fallout from the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.  These charges will be investigated by the FBI in cooperation with other law enforcement groups such as the ATF and the Marshalls Office, and include a cavalcade of protesters turned rioters, some facing decades in federal prison.  They examine potential criminal charges of the insurrectionists as well as President Trump himself.  Check it out!
Your favorite legal analysts from Hebets & McCallin discuss the cash bond reform craze that is sweeping the nation.  From Michigan prosecutor Eli Savit's move to eliminate cash bail, to California's failed bid to remove cash bonds in the most recent election, states are increasingly including bond reform in their general criminal justice reform agenda.  Bondsmen and bounty hunters are voicing their objections locally and nationally, despite widespread acknowledgment of wealth and racial disparities in the cash bail system.
Comments (1)

Daniel Bingham

According to Andrew Branca, a leading attorney on the law of self defense ,said the Zimmerman case had absolutely nothing to do with Stand Your Ground. Zimmerman was having his head pounded on the concrete, which is considered deadly force, he was straddled by Trayvon Martin, unable to escape, he only option was to shoot to save himself. I suggest you take Andrew Branca's course The Law of Self Defense. Your lack of knowledge of this is appalling.

Oct 22nd
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