Criminal Law in Colorado
Is your future about to be crushed? If you or a loved has one been arrested for a crime committed in Colorado, you need a Colorado criminal defense lawyer and this article is for you.
Qualified criminal defense attorneys know criminal law, understand the criminal charges against you, and know how to best put forward a strong and strategic defense. It’s imperative that you consult with a Colorado criminal defense attorney if you are being questioned or have been arrested in a Colorado crime.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- Colorado criminal laws;
- What you need to know about criminal defense in Colorado; and
- How to work with your Colorado criminal defense attorney.
Colorado Criminal Laws
Colorado criminal laws are found in the Colorado Criminal Code.
- The Code outlines behavior that constitutes a crime as well as the applicable punishments.
- There are many crimes listed in the Colorado Criminal Code, including elder abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse, credit card crimes, computer crimes, bigamy, trespass, indecent exposure, DWI, perjury, defamation, theft, and a myriad of drug-related offenses.
Statute of Limitations
Criminal charges must be brought within a certain period of time or be forever barred.
For example, in Colorado, the statute of limitations for:
- Disorderly Conduct is 6 or 18 months, depending on the facts of the case. (Colo. Rev. Stats. В§16-5-401(1)(a)).
- Murder is unlimited. (Colo. Rev. Stats. В§16-5-401(1)(a)).
- Rape is 18 months or 3 years, depending on the facts of the case. (Colo. Rev. Stats. В§16-5-401(1)(a)).
This is but a very brief sampling; ask your criminal defense lawyer if the statute of limitations may be a complete defense in your particular case.
Punishment such as probation, educational classes, counseling, community service, fines, restitution, jail, and capital punishment are used to deter future criminal behavior, provide restitution, protect society, and encourage rehabilitation.
The Colorado Sentencing Guidelines provide standard punishments.
However, each individual crime is examined; aggravating and mitigating circumstances either increase or decrease the standard sentence, respectively.
Crimes that include extraordinary risk to society (and therefore increase the standard punishment) include, child abuse, stalking, crimes involving violence, sale and distribution of drugs, and aggravated robbery.
Sentences need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will let you know what punishment you or your loved one is facing.
What You Need to Know About Criminal Defense
If you are being questioned for or have been arrested for a crime in Colorado, seek legal counsel.
Attorneys are not all the same. You need a qualified Colorado criminal defense lawyer, immediately.
What you say to your attorney is confidential. You need to be completely honest and open with your attorney.
What you say can and will be used against you. Do not make a statement to police, other than to ask for an attorney.
How to Work with a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your defense depends upon your honesty, cooperation, patience, and good sense. This is what you need to do:
- Take and abide by the advice given by your attorney.
- Tell your defense attorney exactly what happened. Even if you think something will make you look bad, disclose it.
- Return phone calls promptly.
- Provide all requested information in a timely manner.
- Make sure the criminal defense law office has your current address and phone number.
- Answer your attorney’s questions, even if they are upsetting.
- Be patient and polite.
- Do not get angry. Your attorney will likely be polite and cooperative with police officers, alleged victims, investigators, and the prosecutor. This is normal, professional, and an important part of the development of your defense
Bottom Line: This article has provided general educational information about Colorado criminal law; however each criminal case is unique. Your individual situation must be fully analyzed by a qualified criminal defense lawyer to determine the best strategy for your defense.
To find a criminal defense lawyer, Google, “How to find a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney” or ask the local bar association for a referral.