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What’s On Laurie’s Mind: Answering ‘How Do You Defend Someone You Know is Guilty?’

Aug. 31st 2016
Criminal Defense Is about What Can be Proven, Explains Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Laurie Schmidt

Criminal Defense Is about What Can be Proven, Explains Denver Attorney Laurie Schmidt

One question I get asked a lot is: How do you defend a person if you know that he/she is guilty?

It’s my humble opinion that this is asking the wrong question. Criminal law is different than any other area of the law because it has the focus always on the prosecutor or government. This dates back to the formation of our country. Back in the time of the tea party days, the British Government would accuse a person of a crime, right or wrong, this person then had the enormous task of proving himself/herself innocent. This led to abuse in prosecuting people to serve the crown and/or political interests. To avoid this, our founding fathers set our criminal law system up to require the government to prove a person’s guilt.

A criminal defense attorney’s job is to ensure that this standard is protected and that the government is not allowed to prosecute without checks and balances. A criminal defense attorney is the check on the government, to make sure the evidence is sufficient for a conviction, to ensure fairness in our system, and to ensure our rights are respected. So, to me, the question is not did he/she do it, but can it be proven.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime, let’s talk about your defense options. Call me at (303) 747-4686 or email me – Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer Laurie Schmidt – for effective, aggressive defense representation.

Posted by Laurie Schmidt | in arrest, DUI Post, Felony, Theft, traffic ticket; | Comments Off on What’s On Laurie’s Mind: Answering ‘How Do You Defend Someone You Know is Guilty?’

Accused of a Felony in Colorado- important information you must know

Aug. 1st 2013

Felony in Colorado

What happens when you are accused of a felony in Colorado?  Dealing with the criminal justice system can and probably will seem unfair, confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming.  There are various stages and hearings that occur before you even get to trial.  This post maps out the ways a felony in Colorado case proceeds through the system.  Some of the stressful parts of being accused of a felony crime are the unknowns and uncertainties, will I go to jail, can a felony prevent me from getting/keeping a job, what about my family.  Talk with an experienced Colorado criminal attorney today (303) 747-4686.

Felony Charges

The cops catch you doing something or another person makes an accusation against you- accusing you of a crime. The initial bases for the charges of a felony in Colorado are usually found in the police report.  The police officers will work with the DA’s to determine what type of charge should be filed against you. Before charges are filed, the police may try to contact you, to get “your side.”  See more at our post MIRANDA as to why you should not talk with the cops.

Felony Arrest

If you have a felony arrest, you may be taken to jail.   It is possible to have a felony arrest and not spend a day in jail.  Your felony attorney will be able to assist you through this process.  If you are put in jail, you must be brought in front of a judge the next court day.  The purpose of this is to allow a judge to make a cursory look at the charges and set a bail amount.  If you can post the bond, you will be released pending the outcome of the charges, if not, you will remain in custody until the case is resolved.  Here’s some more information on bonds.

Advisements / Arraignment

These are sometimes held at the same time.  If you are accused of a felony in Colorado, you have certain rights that must be explained to you, this is called the Advisement.  At the Arraignment in a felony in Colorado, you are formally read the charges against you and you may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.  If you enter a not guilty plea, than other future dates are set.

Depending on the class of felony charges that you are accused of or if you are in custody, you may be entitled to a preliminary hearing.  This is a hearing in front of a judge where the government must show that they have enough evidence to continue the case against you. Usually this type of hearing is more informal and the rules of evidence are relaxed, not all felony charges in Colorado qualify for a preliminary hearing.

Pre-Trial Matters

After the preliminary hearing or pleas are entered the case is transferred to District Court for a felony in Colorado.  Prior to the trial, there could be any number of pre-trial motions filed and argued.  For example, if your Miranda Rights were violated there may be a motion to exclude your statements, or if the police illegal searched you or your property, you may need to file a motion to exclude the results of the illegal search.


Depending on the facts of the case, a felony  in Colorado case can take a day, several weeks, or even months to complete.  During a felony trial, various people will testify and that is how the people present their evidence.  After all of the witnesses are done, the jury then decides the facts of the case.  This is the time where the jury says guilty or not guilty.

For more information on Felony attorneys in Colorado or to talk about you or a loved ones specific case, call us today (303) 747-4686 or click here for a case evaluation.

Posted by Laurie Schmidt | in arrest, Felony | Comments Off on Accused of a Felony in Colorado- important information you must know