As part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area, Littleton is a quiet suburban community focused on families and seniors. Although it has made the list of best places to live in America, it still has a few issues with crime albeit low in terms of violent crimes and theft.
What you may not have planned on when living in or passing through this Denver suburb is that you would be accused of a crime. Now you have to answer to those accusations, and you are most likely quite scared. With a complex criminal justice system in Colorado, you may be confused about what to do next or what the consequences are for making the wrong decision concerning your criminal defense. Whether it is a DUI, violent crime, theft, sexual crime, arson or white-collar crime, you need to know your rights and understand how you can defend yourself from these allegations.
Being Accused of a Crime
It can be a scary experience being accused of a crime. You may be shocked to discover that you are considered a suspect and that the police want you to come in for questioning. If this happens, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately and have them by your side when you are questioned. If you do not have a criminal defense lawyer with you when you speak to the police, you may be nervous and say something incriminating. If you are arrested for a crime that the police believe you committed, it is important to remain silent until you can speak to a criminal defense attorney.
The Colorado Criminal Justice Process
If you have been accused of a crime in Littleton, Colorado, you will receive a copy of the complaint or explanation of the criminal charges when you appear in court. As the defendant, you will also be advised of your rights and may have a bond set. Having a criminal defense attorney on your side can help you argue for a lower bond at this point in the criminal defense process. This bond can range from the tens of thousands of dollars for serious crimes to just a few hundred to a thousand dollars for less serious crimes. For misdemeanors, you may even be released on your own recognizance where you will await the next stage in the Colorado criminal justice process.
When you are charged with a serious crime in Colorado, you can receive a preliminary hearing where the judge decides if there is probable cause to continue the case within the Colorado District Court system. The District Attorney presents the evidence against you to try and prove that you committed a crime. This is when you most need a criminal defense attorney because they can respond to this evidence and cross-examine any witnesses to determine if there are inconsistencies or weaknesses in the argument that can help your defense.
If you have not committed a serious crime, you will have a disposition hearing instead of a preliminary hearing. This is where your criminal defense attorney can negotiate a plea deal if it is decided that this strategy is in your best interest. As the accused, it is not recommended that you speak to the prosecutor directly but have an experienced criminal defense attorney do this for you. Otherwise, you may inadvertently disclose information or say something that could hurt your defense now or later.
If you have had a preliminary hearing and there is probable cause to move your case onward in the Colorado criminal justice system, you will then have a date for an arraignment. Here, you will be reminded of your rights. It is recommended that you plead not guilty in order to maintain your right to a jury trial where your defense attorney can defend you in front of a group of your peers rather than have to defend you at a court trial in which it is a judge that decides your fate. From here, your criminal defense attorney will argue certain issues at a pretrial hearing, such as evidence that may have been taken that violates your Constitutional Rights, or your defense attorney may want certain evidence turned over so that they can prepare your defense for the jury trial or court trial.
If you go to a jury trial in Colorado, you will have a jury of six or 12 members that will listen to the evidence about the crime that you have been accused of and hear both the prosecution and the defense argue their case. They will also observe the cross-examination process in which each side has an opportunity to question the other’s arguments. Based on the type of crime that you have been accused of, a criminal defense attorney has a specific type of proven strategy to address these accusations, including strategies for DUIs, sex crimes, assault, and theft.
Should your criminal defense attorney not prove your innocence or you decide to plead guilty, you will then be sentenced by the Colorado court system. Since this process can take a few months, your defense attorney can continue to work on your behalf to seek probation or other types of alternatives, such as a fine, in order to keep you from a jail or prison sentence.
Helping with Your Colorado Criminal Defense
You don’t want a criminal record to adversely impact your life and your livelihood, so it pays to invest in a criminal defense attorney in Littleton, Colorado, who can help you navigate all the accusations, paperwork, and hearings to provide the best defense possible for your criminal case. We are here to take the fear, frustration, apprehension, and stress out of the experience of defending yourself. The Law Office of Andres R. Guevera focuses on criminal law, handling hundreds of Colorado criminal cases just like yours. As a former Colorado prosecutor, Andres R. Guevera knows how cases are built against the accused, and he now uses that valuable information to fight for you. Contact us today at 720-408-2877 for a free, confidential consultation with our Littleton, CO, criminal defense lawyer. We will listen intently, answer your questions, offer reassurance for your concerns, and recommend a strategy to defend you.