Being arrested in Colorado for a crime is a shocking event. Being arrested for a crime can leave bewildered, frustrated, and unsure. Many people have questions such as: What just happened? What do I do now? You may even be asking yourself, what did I do? First thing first, you have been arrested for a criminal offense and there are certain steps that you should take and critical information that you need to know. This post is meant to provide information on the steps to take after contact with law enforcement or an arrest and release by either a citation or posting a bond.
Critical information after being arrested in Colorado for any criminal offense.
1. Consult and retain an attorney
This is not the time to guess and wonder what could potential happen to you. Take the time to consult with a local criminal defense attorney about the recent arrest. Criminal defense attorneys are familiar with the typical sentence for a variety of crimes, potential defenses that might be available to you, and will be able to explain what you can expect from the court process.
Retaining a criminal defense attorney early gives the attorney a jump start into the allegations and may reveal information that was missed by the police that could be critical in your case.
2. Do not simply plea guilty at the first court appearance
An arrest for a crime is NOT the same thing as guilty of the offense. There are a lot of factors that could contribute to a better plea agreement with the prosecutor or the establishment of a lack of proof in the case that could lead to a dismissal of all of the charges.
There are consequences to pleading guilty to criminal offense that may follow you for longer than the inconvenience of going to court. You must understand potential consequences to the plea, what you are giving up, what you will be required to complete, what the effect is on your future, and the impact of a permanent criminal record prior to entering into any plea agreement.
3. Do not assume the police report contains all relevant or sufficient information
A police report is a summary of how the government will try and prove its case. That is not the sole area of evidence and is only generated once the officer makes an arrest. Often times it is necessary to conduct an investigation as to witnesses NOT interviewed by the police or NOT included in the report that may have the most information that could impact that outcome of the case.
4. Do not assume that you will be found guilty
It is impossible to determine if the government can prove its case against you based on an arrest only and without accessing all of the evidence. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to conduct a complete investigation of your case. During this investigation, the government’s evidence will be tested, holes developed, and innocent evidence uncovered.
After the investigation a determination of a likelihood of winning the case can be determined and if necessary plea arrangements can be discussed.
5. Do not pretend that this may go away or will simply be dropped
After and arrest and charges are filed against you, a prosecutor will not drop the case based on your explanation or even the non-participation of the victim in the case. Your case may very well have great mitigation or reasons as to why you are not guilty; this must be presented in the proper time and fashion.
If you or a loved one are arrested or face being arrested in Colorado for criminal charges, contact us today at (303) 747-4686 for a free initial consultation.