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District Attorneys as Prosecutors Have Special Responsibilities

You may not always know it when seeing them in court, but District Attorneys have special rules regulating their conduct in a felony or misdemeanor case, like Forgery, C.R.S. 18-5-102, in Denver, Arapahoe and Jefferson County. If they violate these rules, a prosecutor can face suspension of their law license or, in the worst of cases, disbarment.

Criminal defense and prosecution is an adversarial system involving lawyers in Douglas, Adams and Broomfield County. However, because of the tremendous power District Attorneys (DAs) possess against one individual, and because a prosecutor has the responsibility of a minister of justice and not simply that of an advocate, they have a series of special rules in the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, 3.8, including:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;

(b) make reasonable efforts to assure that the accused has been advised of the right to, and the procedure for obtaining counsel and has been given reasonable opportunity to obtain counsel;

(c) not seek to obtain from an unrepresented accused a waiver of important pretrial rights, such as the right to a preliminary hearing;

(d) make timely disclosure to the defense of all evidence or information known to the prosecutor that tends to negate the guilt of the accused;

(e) not subpoena a lawyer in a grand jury or other criminal proceeding to present evidence about a past or present client unless certain exceptions apply;

(f) refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused unless certain exceptions apply;

(g) Notify the court and defense if the prosecutor learns of new evidence showing the defendant (h) When a prosecutor knows of clear and convincing evidence establishing that a defendant was convicted in a court in which the prosecutor exercises prosecutorial authority, of an offense that the defendant did not commit, the prosecutor shall take steps in the appropriate court, consistent with applicable law, to set aside the conviction.

These are just some of the special rules which District Attorneys as prosecutors must follow in Colorado to ensure that every person is advised of their rights, knows all the evidence against them, and is given a fair trial.

If you have a criminal charge against you, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is essential to ensure your rights are protected. So, if police contact you, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call our criminal attorneys at 303-731-0719 today. Together, we can protect your future.

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