Denver Criminal Defense Attorney
Criminal defense is the legal practice of representing individuals and organizations charged with criminal offenses. It involves working to protect the legal rights of the accused and defending them against the criminal charges brought against them by the government. Criminal defense attorneys may work on various cases, ranging from minor offenses such as traffic violations to more serious crimes such as murder or theft. They may work in private practice, as public defenders, or as part of a legal team within a larger organization. The goal of criminal defense is to achieve the best possible outcome for the accused. This can be a dismissal of the charges, a reduction in the charges, or an acquittal at trial.
At The Law Center P.C., our Denver criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience in negotiating favorable outcomes for individuals charged with serious crimes. We understand the complexity of Colorado criminal law and strive to provide an aggressive defense that is tailored to meet our clients’ needs. Our highly skilled attorneys are committed to using their expertise to represent each client with integrity, empathy, and professionalism. We work diligently to protect our clients’ rights and seek to minimize the impact of criminal charges on their lives. From the moment you hire us to represent your case, we can fight on your behalf to help protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome in court. Contact us today to begin the process of securing solid legal representation for your criminal case. Your future is in our hands. Let The Law Center P.C. be the legal team you can trust.
What Cases Fall Under Criminal Defense?
Criminal defense attorneys can represent clients facing a wide range of criminal charges, including:
- Felonies: These are serious crimes that can be punished by imprisonment for more than one year. Examples include murder, rape, armed robbery, and sometimes domestic violence.
- Misdemeanors: These are less serious crimes that are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year. Examples include simple assault, petty theft, and driving under the influence (DUI).
- Traffic Violations: Offenses include speeding, running a red light, and driving without a valid license.
- Juvenile Offenses: These are crimes committed by minors, which are handled differently in the criminal justice system due to the offenders’ young age.
- White Collar Crimes: These non-violent crimes are typically committed in a business or professional setting for financial gain. Examples include fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.
- Drug Offenses: Offenses include anything related to the possession, distribution, or manufacture of illegal drugs.
- Cybercrimes: These crimes are committed using the internet or other forms of digital communication. Examples include hacking, identity theft, and online fraud.
- Terrorism Charges: These are serious charges that can be brought against individuals or groups accused of planning or carrying out terrorist attacks.
These categories of criminal defense encompass a wide array of offenses. Our criminal defense experts are adept at handling all these charges and any combination thereof.
Stages of a Criminal Defense Case
- Arrest: Law enforcement takes an individual into custody on suspicion of having committed a crime.
- Bail: After an arrest, a judge will determine whether the defendant should have the ability to be released on bail and, if so, how much bail should be set. The purpose of this is to ensure that the defendant will return to court for future proceedings.
- Arraignment: This is the first court appearance where the defendant is formally charged with a crime and enters a plea of guilty or not guilty.
- Pretrial Motions: During this stage, the defense attorney may file motions asking the court to suppress certain evidence or dismiss the case.
- Discovery: This is the process of exchanging information between the prosecution and the defense. The defense has the right to review all the evidence that the prosecution plans to use at trial.
- Plea Negotiations: The defense attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor to reach a plea agreement. If so, the defendant can plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.
- Trial: If the case goes to trial, the defense attorney will present evidence and arguments to the jury to prove the defendant’s innocence.
- Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will decide on a sentence based on the severity of the crime and any relevant sentencing guidelines.
- Appeal: If the defendant is not satisfied with the outcome of the case, they have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court.
What Makes a Strong Criminal Defense?
There are several key factors that can contribute to a strong criminal defense:
- Thorough Investigation: A strong defense begins with a thorough investigation of the facts of the case. This may include gathering and reviewing evidence, such as eyewitness statements, surveillance footage, and physical evidence like fingerprints or DNA. It may also involve interviewing witnesses, including those who support the prosecution’s case and those who can provide exculpatory evidence. In some cases, it may be necessary to consult with experts, such as forensic scientists or medical professionals. They can provide additional insight or challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
- Strong Legal Arguments: The defense attorney should be able to identify and address any legal issues or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. This may involve challenging the admissibility of certain evidence, such as evidence that was obtained illegally or through police misconduct. It may also involve pointing out inconsistencies in the prosecution’s arguments or demonstrating that the evidence is insufficient to prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Persuasive Communication: The defense attorney should be able to effectively communicate the defense’s case to the judge, jury, and other parties involved in the case. This may include making compelling arguments, persuasively presenting evidence, and effectively cross-examining witnesses to highlight inconsistencies or weaknesses in their testimony. Strong communication skills can also be important in plea negotiations, as the defense attorney must be able to effectively present the defendant’s position and advocate for a favorable resolution.
- Knowledge of the Law: A strong defense requires an in-depth understanding of the relevant laws and legal principles. This includes knowledge of constitutional law, criminal procedure, and the specific laws related to the charges faced by the defendant. For example, an attorney defending against a charge of murder should be familiar with the elements of the crime as well as any relevant defenses, such as self-defense or insanity.
- Experience: An experienced criminal defense attorney will have a deep understanding of the criminal justice system and can anticipate and respond to the prosecution’s tactics. This can be especially important in a case’s negotiation and trial stages. An experienced attorney may have established relationships with prosecutors and judges, which can help negotiate a favorable plea agreement or persuade a judge to rule in the defense’s favor. Additionally, an experienced attorney will have a track record of successfully representing clients in similar cases, which can reassure the defendant and give the attorney an edge in court.
What Are Common Defenses Against Criminal Charges?
There are many potential defenses to criminal charges, and the specific defenses available will depend on the charges’ nature and the case’s facts. Some common defenses include:
- Alibi: The defendant claims to have been somewhere else at the time the crime was committed and can provide evidence to support this claim. For example, if the defendant is charged with robbing a bank, they may present witness testimony or security footage showing that they were at work or at home at the time of the robbery.
- Self-defense: The defendant argues that they used force to protect themselves from imminent harm. To successfully assert this defense, the defendant must show that they had a reasonable belief that they were in danger of being harmed and that the use of force was necessary to protect themselves.
- Duress: The defendant argues that they committed the crime because they were threatened with harm if they did not comply. For example, a defendant who is charged with armed robbery may claim that they were forced to commit the crime at gunpoint by someone else.
- Entrapment: The defendant claims that they were induced by law enforcement to commit a crime that they otherwise would not have committed. This defense is typically raised when the defendant argues that they were enticed or coaxed into committing a crime by a law enforcement officer or informant.
- Mistake of Fact: The defendant argues that they had a reasonable belief that their actions were not criminal due to a mistake of fact. For example, a defendant who is charged with shoplifting may claim that they believed they had paid for the item in question and therefore did not intend to steal it.
- Insanity: The defendant argues that they were not responsible for their actions because they were suffering from a mental illness at the time of the crime. The defendant must typically provide expert testimony or other evidence showing that they were unable to understand the nature and consequences of their actions due to their mental illness.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure: The defendant argues that the evidence against them was obtained illegally and therefore should be suppressed. This defense may be raised with claims that the police conducted a search without a warrant or without probable cause. The defendant may also assert that their rights were violated during the arrest process.
- Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: The defendant argues that their previous attorney provided inadequate representation, resulting in prejudice to the defendant’s case. This defense may be viable when the defendant claims that their attorney failed to adequately investigate the case, failed to raise relevant defenses, or provided ineffective representation during negotiations or at trial.
- No Probable Cause: The defendant argues that there was no valid reason for their arrest or search, and therefore any evidence obtained as a result should be excluded. The defendant may claim that the police did not have sufficient evidence to justify the arrest or search. They may also allege that the arrest or search was based on discrimination or bias.
- Statute of Limitations: The defendant argues that too much time has passed since the crime was committed, and therefore the charges should be dismissed. The length of the statute of limitations will vary depending on the nature of the crime and the jurisdiction in which it was committed.
Should You Tell Your Defense Attorney Everything?
It is important to be honest with your defense attorney and to disclose all relevant information to them. Your attorney is bound by attorney-client privilege, which means that they are required to keep your communications with them confidential. This means that you can feel free to discuss the details of your case with your attorney without worrying that the information will be shared with others. This level of confidentiality allows you to have open and honest conversations with your attorney, which can be essential in developing a strong defense strategy.
However, it is important to note that your attorney cannot help you if they do not have all the necessary information. By withholding information or lying to your attorney, you may be hindering their ability to effectively represent you and prepare a strong defense. For example, if you fail to disclose important facts about the case, your attorney may not be able to identify and raise relevant defenses or effectively cross-examine witnesses.
It is also important to keep in mind that if you lie to your attorney and they later discover the truth, they may be required to withdraw from your case. This can be detrimental to your defense, as it may leave you without legal representation at a critical stage in the proceedings. It can also be damaging to your reputation and credibility, as it suggests that you are not willing to be truthful even with your own attorney.
In short, honesty and openness with your defense attorney are essential to ensuring that they can provide you with the best possible representation. It is in your best interests to disclose all relevant information to your attorney, even if you think it may be harmful to your case. This will allow your attorney to prepare a strong defense on your behalf and to protect your rights throughout the legal process.
How Much Does a Criminal Lawyer Cost in Colorado?
The total cost of hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado can vary widely depending on many factors, such as the complexity of the case, the lawyer’s experience and reputation, and the location of the case. Some Colorado lawyers may charge an hourly rate, while others may charge a flat fee or a fee based on a percentage of the total recovery in the case.
In addition to the lawyer’s fees, there may also be additional costs associated with a criminal case, such as expert witness fees, court filing fees, and the cost of obtaining copies of relevant documents. It is important to discuss the full range of costs with your lawyer before deciding to hire them and to understand what is included in their fees.
Keep in mind that the cost of a Colorado criminal defense lawyer should not be the only factor you consider when deciding to hire one. It is important to choose a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable working and who has the experience and expertise to represent you effectively. Investing in quality legal representation can significantly impact the outcome of your case and help protect your rights throughout the legal process.
The ABCs of a Strong Criminal Defense Lawyer
A strong criminal defense lawyer typically has the following characteristics:
A: Ability to analyze and interpret complex legal issues and apply them to the specific circumstances of a case
B: Bold and tenacious advocate for their clients
C: Confidence in the courtroom
D: Detailed knowledge of criminal law and procedure
E: Excellent communication and negotiation skills
F: Flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances and strategies
G: Good reputation and relationships with judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals
H: Honesty and integrity
I: Intellectual curiosity and a desire to stay up to date on legal developments
J: Judgment to advise clients on the best course of action
K: Kindness and compassion for their clients
L: Leadership ability to guide a case to a successful resolution
M: Memberships in professional organizations and continuing legal education to stay current on best practices
N: Necessary resources, including a strong support staff and access to expert witnesses
O: Objectivity and the ability to see all sides of a case
P: Persistence in pursuing every avenue to defend their clients
Q: Quick thinking and problem-solving skills
R: Respect for the law and the legal system
S: Strong work ethic and dedication to their clients
T: Thorough preparation for every aspect of a case
U: Understanding their clients’ needs and concerns
V: Vigorous defense of their clients’ rights
W: Willingness to do the best work possible for their clients
X: Experience handling a wide variety of criminal cases
Y: Youthful energy and enthusiasm for their work
Z: Zeal for justice and a desire to see their clients treated fairly by the legal system.
These qualities make a strong criminal defense lawyer and give them the expertise and knowledge to help their clients achieve the best possible outcome in their case. When seeking legal help for a criminal matter, it is important to choose someone who has these qualities and will provide you with the highest quality representation.
Questions to Ask Your Colorado Legal Defense Before Hiring
Here are some questions you might want to ask a Colorado legal defense attorney before hiring them:
- What is your experience with cases like mine? – This question helps you understand the attorney’s background and familiarity with cases similar to yours.
- How do you typically approach cases like mine? – This question allows you to get a sense of the attorney’s strategy and approach to handling cases like yours.
- What are your fees and billing practices? – It is important to understand the attorney’s fees and billing practices up front to ensure that you can afford their services and to avoid any surprises later.
- How do you communicate with your clients? – It is important to have clear and open communication with your attorney, so this question helps you understand how the attorney prefers to communicate and stay in touch with their clients.
- Can you provide references from past clients? – Asking for references can give you an idea of the attorney’s past performance and reputation.
- Do you have any specific expertise or credentials that apply to my case? – This question helps you understand the attorney’s specialized knowledge and skills that may be relevant to your case.
- How do you work with co-counsel or other attorneys on a case? – Depending on the complexity of your case, the attorney may need to work with other attorneys. This question helps you understand how the attorney handles collaboration.
- What is your availability for my case? – It is important to know how much time the attorney will be able to dedicate to your case and how available they will be to answer your questions and concerns.
- How do you keep clients informed about the status of their case? – This question helps you understand how the attorney will keep you informed about the progress of your case.
- What are the potential outcomes of my case, and how do you plan to achieve the best possible result? – It is important to have an idea of the possible outcomes of your case and the attorney’s plan for achieving the best possible result. This question helps you understand the attorney’s expectations and goals for your case.
Contact The Law Center P.C. Today
If you have been charged with a crime in Colorado, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and help you navigate the legal system. At The Law Center P.C., our experienced Colorado defense attorneys possess all the qualities listed above and more. Our goal is to provide our clients with the highest quality legal representation and achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Contact us today for a consultation. Our attorneys can answer all your questions and discuss your legal options. We look forward to helping you with your case.