The Role of Criminal Defense Lawyers: Protecting Your Rights in the Colorado Justice System

Posted by Casey Alexander | Jun 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

If you are facing criminal charges for the first time in Colorado, you may be curious about the role of a criminal defense lawyer. How can these lawyers help you? What exactly do they do? Can a criminal defense lawyer really help you mitigate legal consequences? Can they help you escape charges altogether? One of the most appropriate ways to learn more about these legal professionals is to book a consultation with a real criminal defense lawyer in Colorado. During this first meeting, you can get a sense of their strategies, role, and general philosophy toward criminal justice. With that said, here is a basic rundown of how criminal defense lawyers protect your rights in the Colorado justice system: 

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me in Colorado?

Criminal defense lawyers provide numerous legal services to their clients. Here are just a few examples:

  • Consultations: Your journey with a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado begins with a consultation. This is your first meeting with your lawyer, and it might occur shortly after your arrest. During this meeting, you can speak freely with your attorney without fear of incriminating yourself. Client-attorney privilege prevents your lawyer from reporting your statements to anyone else. You might also take this opportunity to ask questions, explain your situation, and consider various defense strategies. 

  • Investigations: Once you have decided on an appropriate defense strategy, your lawyer can begin investigating your situation in more detail. During these investigations, your lawyer might discover that your rights have been violated, that your arrest was unconstitutional, or that you were charged with the wrong crime. 

  • Finding Evidence: Experienced criminal defense lawyers in Colorado can help you collect all kinds of evidence during their investigations. This could be crime scene evidence, such as DNA or shell casings. Your lawyer might also find all kinds of records and documents as they fight for your rights – including cellphone data and video footage. 

  • Finding Witnesses: Witnesses can be quite helpful in criminal trials. Your lawyer might find an eyewitness who supports your alibi. Perhaps they will locate a witness who saw you acting in self-defense. Your lawyer can also call on “character witnesses” that support your good-natured personality. Finally, expert witnesses can help establish technical facts. Examples include doctors, psychologists, and many others. 

  • Filing Appeals: Even if you receive a guilty verdict, you might still have the ability to file an appeal with your criminal defense lawyer. When you file an appeal, you ask a higher court to examine the decision. Often, a higher court overturns or reverses a decision made by a lower court. 

  • Filing Motions: Your lawyer can also file motions on your behalf. For example, your lawyer might file a motion arguing that your right to a speedy trial has been violated. Countless other motions are possible depending on your unique situation. 

  • Cross-Examinations: If the prosecutors rely on a “key witness” to secure a guilty verdict, your lawyer can cross-examine this individual. Effective cross-examinations can expose inconsistencies in the witness' testimony. 

  • Oral Arguments: Closing and opening arguments are often crucial in criminal trials. This is your lawyer's chance to speak directly to the jury and express your side of the story. 

  • Plea Deal Negotiations: In certain situations, it may make more sense to negotiate a plea deal. With this strategy, your lawyer will attempt to secure a more lenient sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. 

How Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me Fight for My Rights?

Criminal defense lawyers are often very familiar with your various rights and privileges as a defendant. The United States Constitution provides many of these rights. Of particular note are the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments:

  • Your Fourth Amendment Rights: The government is not allowed to carry out searches or seizures without valid reasons. The Fourth Amendment ensures that police need “probable cause” before they can carry out these activities. This may form the basis of a defense strategy if your offense revolves around a traffic stop or search. If police violated your Fourth Amendment rights before searching your property, any evidence they uncover may be inadmissible. 

  • Your Fifth Amendment Rights: Your right to remain silent is very important in a criminal case. Many suspects choose to exercise their Fifth Amendment rights immediately after their arrests – and this is generally a smart move. Anything you say can and will be used against you. It makes sense to remain silent until you have a chance to speak with your criminal defense lawyer in Colorado. Note that your silence cannot be interpreted as a sign of guilt, and you can refuse to take the stand. 

  • Your Sixth Amendment Rights: You have the right to an attorney and a jury trial under the Sixth Amendment. You also have the right to a speedy trial and the right to face your accusers. Finally, the Sixth Amendment ensures that you will be tried in the district where the alleged offense took place. 

Fighting for these rights is not always easy, but a defense lawyer can represent you effectively in court. Many cases have been dismissed due to constitutional violations. 

Innocent Until Proven Guilty: A Foundational Democratic Principle

In the United States, you are always presumed innocent until proven guilty. This is one of the most important foundations of our democratic nation. Without this legal principle, we would devolve into a system of “kangaroo courts” and politically charged prosecutions. Anyone could accuse their enemy of a crime and have them thrown in prison without a second thought. This is exactly what happened in some of history's worst dictatorships. 

The presumption of innocence means that your accusers shoulder the burden of proof. Technically speaking, you are under no obligation to prove your innocence. In contrast, it is the prosecution's responsibility to prove your guilt. If they cannot accomplish this goal, you must walk free. In theory, you can escape charges without presenting a shred of evidence in your favor. If the prosecution does not present any compelling evidence, an effective defense is essentially guaranteed. 

Book a Consultation at the Law Office of Casey James Alexander, LLC

To learn more about the role of a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado, book a consultation at the Law Office of Casey James Alexander, LLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants in Loveland. Reach out today to get started on a defense strategy. 

About the Author

Casey Alexander

  YOUR ATTORNEY CASEY ALEXANDER Founding Attorney Prior to becoming an attorney Casey served in the United States Navy.  Now he serves the people of Northern Colorado and advocates for their legal needs. Bar Admissions Colorado PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS 01 Larimer County Bar ...


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