At the end of any criminal jury trial across Colorado, the defense attorney and his client have a difficult wait. They must wait for hours until the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the accused. This is a difficult period. Let’s talk about what the jury does during this time so you can be prepared when your time of waiting arrives. Read about when you should request a jury trial in Colorado.
Jury Deliberations in Denver and Jefferson County
In Denver and Jefferson County courts, the waiting period begins once the closing arguments of both the prosecution and defense have concluded. The jury is then taken into the jury room for deliberations. The court clerk escorts them to the room and does not let them have any contact with outsiders. The deliberations are private, and must not be influenced by the outside world. For this reason, the jury is asked to keep their cell phones off and not to leave the room.
Jury Instructions Define the Law for Your Criminal Case
After electing a jury foreman, forewoman or foreperson, jurors in Golden and Arvada, Colorado, study the law in the case and the evidence. The law comes in the form of jury instructions. The court prepares these instructions with the assistance of the lawyers. In the jury instructions are the rules of the game. Most important, are the elements of the crimes charged, and the jury verdict forms.
The elements of a crime are basically the crime’s definition, broken down by numbered bullet points. An example for the crime of Theft in Adams County would be 1) that the defendant, 2) on the 13th day of June, 2015, 3) knowingly, 4) took a thing of value belonging to another, 5) with the intent to permanently deprive another of its use or value. Each of these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, to the jury.
The evidence is studied in the context of the jury instructions. Jurors can rely on their memories, notes taken during the trial, and all exhibits which are admitted by the judge. They study and look over these items and discuss whether they feel the government has proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The jury will wrestle with what they heard in court and what a common sense interpretation of the evidence is. In the end, their verdict must be unanimous, or a mistrial will be declared by the judge.
Jury Verdict Forms in Aurora and Centennial Jury Trials
The jury verdict forms are where the jury foreperson signs on one of two lines, per crime, to indicate the verdict of the jury. They sign on one line if their verdict is guilty, and on another line if their verdict is not-guilty. We pray for a not-guilty verdict in all our cases and work very hard at trial preparation.
Our lawyers make it their personal goal to obtain a not-guilty verdict at all jury trials. If we feel we cannot reasonably obtain a verdict of this type, we will engage in plea negotiations with the District Attorney. The plea to a lesser charge is always better than a likely guilty verdict.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, hire a lawyer who will worry about your case and put their heart into your jury trial. If your lawyer is not worried about your case and its outcome, you’ve hired the wrong lawyer. Call us at 303-731-0719, if you’d like to meet for a free consultation about your criminal charges in Arapahoe County, Douglas County, or anywhere else in Colorado. As always, exercise your constitutional right to remain silent by never answering police questions. Together, we can protect your future.