What Are The Goals Of The Prosecutors In A Colorado Criminal Court Case?

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Criminal Defense

If Prosecutors Charge You With A Crime, They Want You Convicted

If you face criminal charges in Colorado Springs, the goals of the prosecutors in your case are quite simple. Whether by verdict or plea bargain, they want you convicted for the crime of which you are accused.

This desire for conviction does not necessarily mean prosecutors will “throw the book at you” or that they won’t change their minds in the future when faced with compelling evidence that undermines their case. What it does mean is that you are up against a team of highly trained attorneys who are determined to obtain an outcome that justifies the decision to prosecute you in the first place. Unless you hire an equally talented and dedicated criminal defense attorney to fight on your behalf, prosecutors have a good chance of obtaining the conviction they desire.

You might like:  Should I Use a Public Defender Instead of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

“To Seek Justice Within The Bounds Of The Law”

While a conviction may be the primary goal of the prosecutors, they have ethical and legal obligations that go far beyond just winning cases. Remember, before any criminal case begins, the prosecutors – not the police who made the arrest – must decide whether or not to bring charges. Colorado prosecutors have extremely broad discretion when making this determination, and it is during this process that the official goal of the prosecutor begins: to find the truth and do justice.

The American Bar Association Criminal Justice Standards For The Prosecution Function describes the role and objectives of prosecutors this way:

The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict. The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.

Prosecutors’ Desire For Wins Cuts Both Ways

Like all trial lawyers, prosecutors want to win their cases, and they will put all of their effort and power into doing so. But it also means that prosecutors may be reluctant to pursue charges where the evidence is weak or the case is deeply flawed. Pursuing charges in cases with a lack of compelling evidence may make prosecutors look “tough on crime,” but it also sets them up for a loss they would rather not have on their prosecutorial scorecard.

Crowded Dockets Make Ending Cases One Of The Goals Of Prosecutors

In Colorado Springs, prosecutors file new criminal charges against new defendants every day. New cases pile up on prosecutors’ desks far faster than they can be resolved. Accordingly, one of the goals of prosecutors is to close cases as quickly as possible while still obtaining the guilty plea or verdict they want.

The desire for case closure is one reason that prosecutors are so often ready to negotiate plea agreements with defendants. Accepting a plea to a lesser offense not only concludes a case but also guarantees a conviction without the risk and uncertainty that comes with trying a case before a judge or jury.

But just because one goal of the prosecutor is to move a case to their outbox, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can cut a good deal. If prosecutors believe they have a strong case, they will be reluctant to let a defendant off the hook easily. Thus the reason why having an experienced criminal defense lawyer is so critical in plea bargain negotiations. By pointing out the problems with the prosecutors’ case and promising to fight the charges tooth and nail, a tenacious criminal defense lawyer will be more likely to reach an arrangement that results in the best possible outcome for their client.

You Can Thwart The Prosecutors Goals With An Aggressive Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense lawyers like the experienced and aggressive attorneys at James Newby Law will attack the prosecution’s case at every turn, looking for every possible weakness to put their clients in the best position to obtain a favorable result. No matter how grim things may appear, there is always hope.

James Newby

James Newby

James Newby is a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs and the managing attorney of the criminal justice law firm James Newby Law. James got into law because of a deep-rooted passion for helping good people that may have made a poor choice that could have lasting consequences.