A responsible criminal lawyer will not take a case where there is nothing he can do for you. But with any criminal prosecution in Colorado, the stakes are very high. And the criminal justice system is a minefield for non-lawyers. Even if you have a minor or first-time offense and do not expect to receive jail, a criminal lawyer can help you obtain a plea bargain and sentence that better protect your driver’s license, financial aid, employment rights, family, gun rights, immigration status, rights to travel, and much more. There are serious collateral consequences from even minor convictions, and they are often total surprises to defendants without a criminal lawyer.
A criminal defense lawyer can make sure you are fully informed about collateral consequences, and can often obtain a better plea bargain (or a dismissal) than you would receive from the district attorney. Even if you’ve been made a decent plea offer, the fact is, the DA tends to make the best plea offers when he has a weak case! Maybe you should be seeking dismissal or trial? A criminal lawyer can help investigate your case and evaluate whether the DA can really prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. He can also develop evidence of mitigation, or self defense, or other issues to help your cause. By exposing weakness in the DA’s case, a criminal lawyer can help you get better plea bargains and sentences, and sometimes dismissal or acquittal.
Note, it has to be a criminal lawyer. Do not ever use your friend’s divorce lawyer, or bankruptcy lawyer, or someone who just decided to start doing criminal law last month. Any criminal lawyer, to be effective, needs to be a good trial lawyer. DA’s go to trial every month, and that’s who your defense lawyer has to beat. Non-criminal attorneys typically never go to trial, and the DA knows this. Other attorneys don’t know the laws of criminal evidence, constitutional rights, and sentencing as well as criminal lawyers. They are walking into court less prepared than an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Make sure you are not missing anything: at least talk to a criminal lawyer.
Call (303) 900-8480 for a free consultation with the Law Office of Matthew Hand. Matthew Hand is a former prosecutor and experienced criminal trial lawyer. I will not take your case if I don’t believe I can help you.