If you find yourself charged with a crime in Colorado Springs – what do you do next?
In most misdemeanor cases, you will be given a summons and complaint requiring you to appear in Court. The time between the summons and ticket will usually be within a couple of weeks to a few months. In some cases you will arrested and taken to the local jail. If this is the case, you will have to post bond. If that is the case, you will be required to remain in jail until the next court date or post a bond. In felony cases, you will be arrested and required to post bond either through cash, a surety, or a personal recognizance bond.
Whether the charge is a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony it is always best to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. When you meet with a defense attorney, bring a copy of your summons and any other paperwork related to the case.
The criminal defense attorney will discuss the case with you and find out the basic facts. Based on his or her conversation with you, a fee will be set. Usually, some sort of retainer is required. In certain circumstances, a payment plan may be available. The fee will be based on the level of the offense and the potential exposure and severity of the consequences.
After retaining a Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney, the attorney will enter his or her appearance on your case. That entry lets the Court and police know that you are represented by a criminal defense attorney so that no one will communicate with you without that attorney present.
Following the entry, the defense attorney will order what is known as discovery. This includes all of the police reports, 911 calls, photos and any other evidence that the police gathered and the District Attorney plans to use against you. In Colorado, the district attorney is required to give all of the evidence to your Criminal defense attorney in advance of trial. The Courts do not allow a trial by ambush. A Colorado Springs Criminal Defense attorney will make sure that the District Attorney follows this rule.
After receiving all of the evidence, your attorney will review it to see if there is sufficient evidence against you. Your attorney will also be looking for weaknesses, mistakes made by law enforcement, and potential defenses to the charges. Once your attorney knows what is being said by witnesses and those involved, your criminal defense attorney can have those witnesses interviewed to test the validity and weight given to their testimony.
This preparation is followed by a meeting with the District Attorney to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case. After reviewing the case, usually a settlement offer will be made by the District Attorney. The plea bargaining process gives a successful criminal defense attorney an insight into how strong the District Attorney feels their case is against you. This is a very important step in the process of resolving a criminal case in your favor. At times, this process can lead to a dismissal or a very good result for you. At times, this process makes it clear that the only way to resolve you case is through a jury trial. You need an aggressive Colorado Springs Criminal Defense attorney who is not afraid to take the District Attorney to trial if they will not cooperate in resolving your case.
After receiving a plea offer, your attorney will explain the benefits and risks of the offer given to you. He or she will help you understand the evidence or lack of evidence against you. Also, your criminal defense attorney will explain the law and possible consequences. All of this information is very important as you go through an often difficult and confusing legal process.
After discussing the plea bargain, if you decide to go to trial, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows how to handle and prepare for a jury trial. You want an attorney who has tried numerous cases, both felony and misdemeanor, and with whom you feel confident.
Remember a Colorado Springs Criminal Defense attorney should be a guide, a strategist, a counselor, an advocate, and a shield. People often ask, “Will I be better off with a defense attorney?” The answer is yes. A good criminal defense attorney will make a difference to you as you go through the criminal justice system.
Call James Newby Law for a free evaluation of your case. His experience handling all levels of domestic violence charges will be invaluable to you as you go through the legal system.