Direct Examination and Cross Examination

Posted on: November 18, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense attorneyDuring a trial, attorneys will present evidence, and will begin by presenting witnesses at the trial. Your criminal defense attorney will be given the chance to ask questions of his witness first. This questioning is referred to as a direct examination. A direct examination is conducted by your own attorney. The purpose of a direct examination is to get evidence, and facts that directly support your case.

Your attorney cannot ask all types of questions, however. Leading questions are not allowed. In other words, your Denver criminal defense attorney cannot ask the witness questions that are guaranteed to prompt a particular answer. Witnesses are not allowed to draw conclusions from the evidence presented. However, they can identify evidence in the form of photographs and other items.

Once the examination is concluded, the opposing lawyer will subject the witness to a cross examination. The cross examination will aim to minimize the credibility of the witness. The opposing lawyer will try to establish that the witness suffers from some sort of bias, and that his testimony is unreliable. He may try to establish that the witness is untruthful, or does not know enough about the facts. The opposing lawyer may also try to establish whether the witness benefits from an outcome of the case in favor of the defendant. The whole point will be to destroy the witness’s credibility.

Remember, the opposing lawyer may use much more aggressive tactics during a cross-examination. For instance, leading questions may be asked. However, the questions may be limited to the testimony already provided by the witness.

If you have been arrested for an offense, get in touch with a Denver criminal defense attorney immediately. It’s important to secure your release, and get working on your defense as soon as possible.

What Can You Expect at a Jury Trial?

Posted on: November 16, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerA trial by jury is one of your most important rights. A jury of your peers will make a decision on your innocence or guilt. It’s important to know what to expect at a jury trial.

Typically, there may be six or 12 jurors who will be charged with determining whether you are guilty or innocent. First, there is the process of jury selection. Jurors are typically picked up from the community randomly, and once they have been selected must appear in court on the date of the trial. Jurors may be selected from property ownership lists, vehicle registration lists, voter registration lists, and from a number of other sources.

Once the jurors have arrived at the courtroom, your Denver criminal defense lawyer, the judge, the District Attorney and others will ask the group certain questions related to the case. Questioning will result in some persons being excused from jury.

Once the jury has been finalized, your Denver criminal defense lawyer as well as the prosecuting attorney will address the jury. These opening statements will explain what the evidence will show.

This is followed by questioning of witnesses. The witness is questioned by the lawyer who represents the witness. Once these are witness has been questioned in a direct examination, the opposing lawyer will subject the witness to a cross examination. During the cross examination, the opposing lawyer will attempt to establish that the witness is unreliable, or has a bias.

After this, closing arguments are presented, and the jury is allowed to deliberate. During the process of deliberation, the jurors discuss whether the prosecutors have presented enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you have been arrested, get in touch with a Denver criminal defense lawyer immediately. It’s important to protect your rights immediately, and without the right kind of legal guidance, you might make mistakes that could jeopardize your case.

What to Do If You Are Taken to the Police Station

Posted on: November 13, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense attorneyThe police after questioning you or stopping you may arrest you or take you to the police station. In this case, it is important for you to continue working to safeguard your rights. If you have not spoken to the officers much, it is best to continue that behavior even at the police station.

Provide the police officer with your name and identifying information, and inform the police that you want to remain silent and that you want to talk to an attorney. You have the right to call to arrange for legal representation by a Denver criminal defense attorney, and it is absolutely imperative that you exercise that right immediately. Don’t say anything to police officers until your lawyer arrives at the scene.

Don’t provide explanations in the hope that police will believe you, and will let you go. The police have absolutely no interest in letting you go. Also remember not to discuss your citizenship or immigration status with anybody, not even with police officers. If asked, simply reply that you will not say anything until you have a lawyer present. Remember, being arrested for certain offenses can be an immediate trigger for deportation. If you are not a US-citizen, you could find that you are sentenced to deportation for certain offenses.

If you have been arrested, you can expect to be photographed and fingerprinted. You may also be searched at the police station. If your family members arrive at the police station, you can expect that any conversations that you have with them will be monitored or even recorded. However, police cannot record conversations between you and your Denver criminal defense attorney.

The right to a lawyer is one of the most important rights that you have after an arrest. Don’t speak to police officers until you have consulted with your attorney.

Judge Proposes Treating Drug Cases on Par with White-Collar Crimes

Posted on: November 9, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense attorneyThe seeming unfairness of the penalties involved when persons are involved in nonviolent drug offenders, can seem even more painful when seen in the context of the treatment that many corporations often get for being involved in fraud. Often that fraud is worth millions of dollars, but that doesn’t stop prosecutors from offering easy settlements to these corporations.

At least one judge believes that persons, who have been charged with certain types of nonviolent crimes, should also be given second chances, just the same way as corporations are.

US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan recently proposed this in a case that was filed against two corporations. That case was settled, and as part of the settlement, the companies that had been charged with bribery were able to settle the charges without pleading guilty and without facing a trial, as long as they agreed to avoid such behavior in the future. Basically, these corporations are getting a second chance, in exchange for a promise to clean up their act.

The judge wants to know why it is impossible to use the same kind of treatment for nonviolent drug offenders, who might have made a single mistake and should be given a second chance to clean up their act. The judge, like so many Denver criminal defense attorney attorneys and advocacy groups, have noticed a clear disparity in the way the legal system treats corporations that have defrauded ordinary Americans of millions of dollars, and nonviolent criminal offenders who have been charged with minor drug crimes. In other words, these offenders also deserve a chance at rehabilitation.

If you were arrested for a drug offense, you are at risk of stringent penalties if convicted. Those penalties could include prison time. Speak with a Denver criminal defense attorney immediately and determine your legal options.

What Are the Benefits of Accepting a Plea Deal?

Posted on: November 6, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerDepending on your case, there may come a time in the proceedings against you when your attorneys and the prosecution will arrive at a settlement. Your team will be involved in negotiations with the prosecution team, right from the very outset. However, a plea deal may not be reached in every case.

In the event of a settlement that seems to be the most favorable outcome for you, your attorneys will advise that you accept the deal. In most cases however, a plea deal will require you to enter a guilty plea to a criminal offense. In spite of this, there are several benefits to accepting a plea deal.

For one thing, you may have concessions in the kind of sentencing that is imposed on you. As part of a plea deal, you may have lower sentences, or may be able to avoid prison time altogether. For many persons, avoiding prison is one of the primary considerations in the decision to accept a deal.

In other cases, when it is not possible for your Denver criminal defense lawyer to completely eliminate prison time as part of a plea deal, the prosecution may offer a reduced prison sentence. If the charges against you are serious, you might find that a reduced term is much better than a lengthier term, even though it means going to prison for a few months at the very least.

You might also find that a plea deal involves you filing guilty to lesser charges against you, than the charges that would normally have been filed under Colorado law. Even if you plead guilty to such offenses, you do not have the stigma of a much more serious criminal conviction on your record.

To understand whether to accept a plea deal, you must discuss extensively with your Denver criminal defense lawyer.

What Is a Plea Bargain and Should I Accept One?

Posted on: November 4, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerAt any point in the proceedings against you, you might find that your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecution are able to reach a settlement to the charges against you. The settlement will end the criminal charges against you, and the settlement is known as the plea bargain.

The plea deal is the result of negotiations between your team and the prosecution team, and is based on certain factors. Prosecutors will take into consideration the seriousness of the charges against you, your prior criminal history, and the amount of evidence that the prosecution has against you. Basically, your attorney will also consider the probability of winning the case if it goes to trial. A plea deal prevents a trial, and is how an overwhelming majority of all criminal cases in Denver end.

Whether you should accept a plea deal is something that you should discuss with a Denver criminal defense lawyer. Remember, there are a great number of advantages that come with a plea bargain, but there may be some drawbacks as well. Your attorney is much better equipped to consider your case and your unique circumstances, before advising you about accepting a plea deal. If he determines that the terms of the plea deal are not favorable to you, he may simply advise that you should take the risk of going to trial.

That however, is done only when your attorney is extremely confident of the amount of evidence that he can present in court to refute the charges against you. Remember however, that a plea deal may not be available in every type of situation. The judge in your case must also approve of the plea deal -he is under no obligation to accept the deal at all.

Get sound legal advice at every step of the proceedings against you, by consulting with a Denver criminal defense lawyer at every stage.

A Review of Federal Crimes

Posted on: November 2, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerAn overwhelming majority of all the crimes that are charged and tried in Denver are state crimes. However, some crimes are charged as federal crimes. A crime becomes a federal crime, when it involves federal jurisdiction.

Broadly, therefore, a crime may be regarded as a federal crime if it occurs across interstate lines. Say for example, a car is stolen in another state, and is driven over into Colorado, the crime that results could be charged as a federal crime. A crime that occurs on federal property or a federal building is also charged as the federal crime. Besides, crimes against federal employees may be charged as federal crimes.

Federal crimes are prosecuted in federal court, and not in a state court. A majority of the cases in Colorado are in state court. Federal prosecutions are the preserve of the United States Attorney for Colorado. Prosecutions are overseen by district court judges. Prosecutors often use grand juries in federal crime prosecutions, and the duties of these grand juries include investigations of criminal behavior. Examples of federal crimes can include wire fraud, mail fraud, drug trafficking, and immigration fraud. You might think there’s nothing serious about downloading songs or movies for free on the Internet, but this would qualify as a federal crime, and it would come with stringent penalties attached.

A federal crime also involves sentencing according to federal guidelines, which take into consideration a number of factors, including the crime, the criminal record of the offender, and a number of other factors. Talk to a Denver criminal defense lawyer immediately if you are charged with a federal crime.

If you have been charged with a federal crime, get in touch with a Denver criminal defense lawyer immediately. Remember, federal crime prosecutions typically involve extensive legal and financial resources, and prosecutors will devote a lot of time to collecting evidence against you before they file charges. It’s important for you to get access to an attorney as quickly as possible.

The Effects of Pre-Trial Incarceration

Posted on: October 30, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense attorneyThe simple fact is that persons, who are released on bail before the trial are much more likely to have a favorable outcome, compared to those who continue to be incarcerated right until their trial.

According to studies, persons who have been incarcerated pre-trial are likely to get longer sentences. In fact, they were up to four times more likely to be sentenced to jail. They were also three times as likely to be sentenced to prison, compared to those defendants who were released before the trial.

Not only that, but when these people were sentenced, their sentences were much longer. In the case of defendants who were sentenced to jail, the sentences were up to three times as long, and in the case of those were sentenced to prison, the sentences were twice as long.

Besides, defendants who continued to stay in jail before the trial were found to be at a much higher risk of recidivism. Even a short-term stay in jail has a negative impact in a person. Studies have found that there is a strong association between the amount of time the person is incarcerated for a moderate offense before a trial, and the chances that they will reoffend. Defendants who were sentenced to jail even for a few days, were found to be much more likely to commit crimes not just before the trial, but also when their cases ended, compared to those who did not go to jail before the trial.

Overall, your Denver criminal defense attorney will work to protect your rights, after an arrest. It is important to get sound legal advice as soon as you are arrested. Don’t wait until charges are filed against you. The quicker you get in touch with a Denver criminal defense attorney, the faster the attorney will be able to begin working on getting you released on bail, and working on getting charges lowered or dropped.

Why You Need a Lawyer at Your Bail Hearing

Posted on: October 28, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerYou are not required to be represented by attorney, when you make an appearance before a court or judge, or at a bail hearing. However, it could make a significant difference to your case if you are represented by a Denver criminal defense lawyer. Being represented by an attorney increases your chances of being released, and also helps protect all of your other legal rights.

Research indicates that when a defendant is represented by a lawyer at the bail hearing, he is two- and- a- half times more likely to be released on recognizance. Being released on your own recognizance means that the judge will simply agree to release you, on the basis of a written agreement in which you will promise to appear at a future date for a hearing. Not everyone qualifies for an own recognizance release.

Research also indicates that a defendant with a lawyer is four- and- a- half times more likely to have the bail amount significantly reduced. A defendant like this also ends up serving much less time in jail, with the median number of days in jail reduced to just 2 from 9, compared to someone who is not represented by a lawyer.

Overall, you as a defendant who is represented by a Denver criminal defense lawyer are much more likely to feel a sense of fairness about the entire process. When you represent yourself, you are much more likely to have your rights compromised because you are not aware of your rights, as extensively as a lawyer is. You are therefore likely to get frustrated with the system, and that only impacts your defense.

A Denver criminal defense lawyer, on the other hand, will have complete and extensive knowledge of the Colorado Bail Statutes, as well as constitutional provisions regarding bond and pretrial release.

Sealing of a Criminal Record after a Drug Offense

Posted on: October 26, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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Denver criminal defense lawyerColorado law allows for sealing of certain types of criminal records. This is done to restrict public access to your criminal conviction and history. Remember, that there are certain types of crimes for which sealing is not allowed, and also that there are restrictions that apply to other types of offenses.

You can request to have your criminal record sealed if you have been convicted of certain types of drug offenses. However, you will find that in most cases, sealing will not prevent access to your criminal history by certain types of agencies, including criminal justice or law enforcement agencies, lawyers or courts. A third party that conducts criminal background screening checks may also not be barred from your information.

Speak with a Denver criminal defense lawyer about whether sealing will be effective in your case, and how you can begin the process. The timeframe for petitioning to get your record sealed differs depending on the type of offense for which you were convicted.

If you have been convicted of a petty drug offense, you may either petition for sealing one year after the date of the final disposition of criminal proceedings or after your release from supervision, whichever is later. If you have been convicted of a class II or III misdemeanor offense, you can petition three years after the date of the final disposition or your release from supervision, whichever is later. In the case of a class I drug misdemeanor, then you can file the petition five years after the date of disposition or after release from supervision whichever is later.

If you have been charged and convicted with other types of serious drug crimes, and want to get your record sealed, speak with a Denver criminal defense lawyer to understand how and when you can petition to have the record sealed.