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By Colorado Drug Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney- H. Michael Steinberg
Basic Colorado Drug Crime Issues And Defense involves many factors that all initiate very quickly for your criminal defense lawyer. Among them – and most important to developing a strategy to successfully defend you case – is a prompt and thorough investigation of the alleged drug crime itself.
Typically an allegation of the commission of a Colorado drug crimes involves a complaint and information or indictment for simple possession, cultivation, manufacture, sale or distribution of controlled substances. If others – known or unknown are involved the crime of conspiracy is also charged.
While probation is one of the options available to the Court IF you are ultimately convicted – if this is a first offense and there is no criminal history for other crimes – a drug court or other diversion program may be available to you.
On the other hand – even in first offense situations – convictions for drug crimes can carry some VERY serious penalties such as a jail or prison sentence, heavy fines, and civil forfeiture of your personal property that was used in the commission of the crime.
Most Colorado drug crimes are charged as felonies. If you become a convicted felon – that conviction can have long term – direct and collateral consequences far beyond the day you plead guilty and are sentenced.
Experienced Colorado Drug Crimes Defense Lawyers know that getting a qualified lawyer involved in your case early is critical. That attorney will have more time to thoroughly investigate defenses to your case and also have the capacity to access the strength of the DA’s evidence against you. This investigation will necessarily involve a determination of the likelihood of suppressing the main or “key” evidence in the State’s case as a result of a violation of law – your constitutional rights.
The other reason for early intervention and a thorough investigation is to make it possible for your attorney to evaluate any plea offers from the prosecutor. This is important in plea negotiations in that it will enable you to properly evaluate and offer and therefore make an informed decision whether to counteroffer, accept the present offer, or reject all offers and go to trial.
Colorado search and seizure law is very complicated and Colorado drug cases often involve search and seizure issues. Key evidence in a Colorado drug prosecution case is often seized from evidence located after a search of your person, your or a friend’s vehicle, your home – apartment – temporary living quarters, or other personal property.
Legal attacks on the constitutionality of a specific search are most often based on deficiencies in the search warrant or arrest warrant LINK – Furthermore – if the affidavit in support of a warrant – or the facts themselves do not support the required probable cause standard – critical evidence may be suppressed and the case dismissed for lack of evidence.
In addition – if your lawyer is investigating a warrantless search, the authorities may not have had reasonable suspicion or other legal and sufficient justification for stopping and searching you or your vehicle.
If your “consent to the search” was not voluntary and therefore your rights have been were violated, your Colorado criminal attorney can attack the seizure of the evidence on that separate basis. Even if the motion is not successful it can weaken the DA’s case and lead to a new offer to plead to a less serious offense.
Cooperation in Colorado drug crime cases is a common strategy approached by experienced criminal defense lawyers who understand that the best “deals” are obtained very early on – deals resulting in reduced sentences or other forms of plea bargaining if the client agrees to cooperate and testify against or “inform” on other co-conspirators drug suspects.
Cooperation “offers” often are taken – especially in federal drug crime cases – to the first defendant to obtain the ear of the prosecutor with something to sell. If others are arrested – the prosecutor often makes the same offer to the co-defendants. Early action here may sometimes make the difference in a bad versus a good result.
If one of the alternative co-defendants accepts the offer to cooperate – the value of a client’s offer is greatly reduced and the DA’s offer may be withdrawn. On the other hand – the decision to turn states evidence is not without – in most cases – great risk…risk that must be discussed at length with an experienced criminal defense lawyer so that the defendant can make an informed decision about the total strength of the case and the probably result in the absence of such an offer of co-operation and the plea bargain that would follow.
The need for a careful assessment of the evidence from a qualified Colorado criminal defense attorney is also necessary to analyze any offers in the absence of a plea based on co-operation.
An experienced Colorado drug crimes criminal defense attorney will be able to negotiate the best possible plea – making sure the offer is cleat on its face and is committed to a writing.
In Colorado drug crimes cases – some information must be known immediately. This information includes – but is not limited to:
What charges are being filed against you?
How did your arrest occur?
Was an informant – CI – or undercover officer was involved?
What were the facts of the search?
Exactly where were the drugs found?
What quantity – what kind and what packaging was used for the drugs that were found?
What quality drugs were involved?
Were the drugs were properly tested?
Are the authorities interested in your cooperation?
Was any money seized – how much and was it confiscated? Where was it found?
Were any weapons were involved? What kind and where were they found?
Were any statements taken – was Miranda properly waived. – what was said?
Were there co-defendants? Were they charged – did they make statements incriminating themselves and you – are the “cooperating” and have they identified YOU as the owner, manufacturer, or seller of the drugs?
Thoroughly investigating the State’s witnesses as soon as possible and before a plea agreement is consummated is very important to the success of your defense. The experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer – to properly advise his or her client – must obtain this information as soon as possible.
First – by talking with the arresting officer and any then other eye or ear witnesses that bear on the strength of the State’s case. The lawyer will use whatever is available to do this including the arrest warrant and search warrants – if these were issued and any of the supporting affidavits and physical evidence.
Finally – if feasible and necessary – an experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer will visit the scene of the crime or arrest to then have the ability to fully evaluate whether the government’s version of events would hold up in court and would persuade a jury.
By visiting the scene – the lawyer can then determine whether State’s witnesses were in a position to see what they have claimed or whether – in fact – they could not. In addition – there may have been witnesses in the area who may have seen what happened.
This is the kind of thorough work that may lead to the discovery of new witnesses or to discover information that can be used to cross examine existing witnesses with this new information.
Interviews such as these often provide new details or evidence that leads to contradictions in earlier statements.
Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer
The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.
H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer who will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.
Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases. Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defenses for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Basic Colorado Drug Crime Issues And Defense.