Whether you are charged in Denver, Adams and Douglas County with a misdemeanor Theft, C.R.S. 18-4-401, or a felony Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-202, a jury trial is almost always your best bet. We like to think of judges as unbiased and neutral, but they have been conditioned to lean toward the prosecution. Many are former prosecutors and many are former government lawyers. Each of these government jobs has conditioned them to favor the government prosecutors in criminal case disputes.
It is also safer for a judge to side with the District Attorney. If a judge favors the defendant, and is later criticized, he will be facing the public perception that he is soft on crime. At the judge's retention vote, he wants citizens thinking he will protect them and is tough on crime. DA's will spread the word to the public if a judge does not favor them. New judges are taught that when in doubt, side with the government.
Next, judges in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Weld County work every day with the same prosecutors. They talk with the prosecutors during breaks or after court. They form subtle relationships with DAs which unconsciously influence rulings in the typical theft, burglary or assault trial. Most defense attorneys travel all over Colorado practicing before many courts and lack the close relationships prosecutors enjoy with judges.
Finally, judges in Larimer and Grand County become conditioned. They grow weary of hearing accusations by citizens against defendants. The mindset which slowly develops is that defendants are generally guilty of something. Judges start to believe accusers and forget that accusers have motives behind accusations and often use police to accomplish their goals of revenge or estrangement.
A jury is the best choice for your trial because they live in the real world - not the legal world. They understand why women / girls can lie in sexual assault allegations. They know why some neighbors want to get back at you. And, they don't know the DA any better than they know your defense attorney, so you get a neutral fact finder. They are not conditioned to believe one side or the other. A jury will listen to reason and not be ruled by a history of bias toward the government. Finally, a jury will not be weary of hearing cases. They will approach your trial with interest and enthusiasm.
When you have a trial decision to make, always chose a jury. When you have a lawyer hiring decision to make, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the experienced attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office, at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.