Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Jury Trial – When and Should You Get One?

| Jan 20, 2013 | Jury |

A jury trial is almost always the best choice for your criminal Felony or Misdemeanor trial in Denver, Jefferson and Adams County. Why? Because, judges become cynical after hearing allegations of crime year after year. In one day, they can hear twenty different excuses or reasons for a Domestic Violence act or a Theft. They get to the point where they assume everyone charged is guilty.

Next, County Court and District Court judges in places like Arapahoe, Douglas and Broomfield get friendly with the police. I am not saying there is intentional collusion. I am saying they start to recognize each other and embrace a sort of team spirit against defendants after years of association. I can still remember a judge saying hello by name to a critical prosecution witness when he entered the back of the courtroom. A jury trial involves people who don’t know the police.

Also, judges get to know prosecutors they work with each day. Yesterday, I saw a pro-prosecution judge smiling and joking with the cute woman prosecutor following court, when everyone else had left but me and the prosecutor. They joked and flirted for ten minutes. I assume this goes on as a daily ritual at the end of the docket. Do you want that judge or a jury deciding your case when the prosecutor is arguing her point for conviction?

Finally, judges are accountable to the People of the State of Colorado and regularly come up for a retention vote. If a judge gets a negative rating from the district attorney’s office, voters believe the district attorney and rely on their criticism. Judges want to please the DA rather than a defendant. My experience is that most, but not all judges, worry what the government thinks.

Whether you are in Grand, Eagle or Summit County, you are entitled to a jury trial as a matter of right. For a felony charge such as Theft, you get twelve jurors, and for a misdemeanor like Child Abuse, you get six. It is much harder for the government to convict you if you have a jury trial. They have to prove your guilt to each juror beyond a reasonable doubt, rather than to just one judge. Don’t let the judge or DA talk you into waiving your right to a jury. It is your greatest protection in a criminal trial.

If you are facing a trial for a criminal charge, be smart, keep your jury, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the experienced trial attorneys for criminal cases at the O’Malley Law Office, P.C., at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.