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Photo of Attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC

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

Pretrial Conference: Courts in Castle Rock and Douglas County – A Lawyer’s Perspective

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2016 | Courts |

What Happens at a PreTrial Conference in Douglas County Court and Arapahoe County Courts?

A Pretrial Conference is simply a meeting between two opposing sides – call it a settlement conference in a court. At this time and location, the Douglas County District Attorney (who is prosecuting you) will try and get you to settle the case. The government cannot take all of the cases which the Douglas County Sheriff and Parker Police Department charge, to trial in Colorado courts. There are only so many judges, court staff and prosecutors. So, offering a plea bargain is common in most cases. Let’s talk more about the circumstances of Pretrial Conferences and plea bargains.

Jefferson County Pretrial Conferences – Court Cases Where Not Much Happens

In Golden, Lakewood and Jefferson County Courts, most cases have a Pretrial Conference. Those where not a lot occurs at the conference include many crimes of violence and sex cases where the DA is not going to make an offer. Prosecutors need to have a similar, but less serious charge to offer you to plead guilty to. In sex crimes like Unlawful Sexual Contact, there is not much to plead a case down to. So, other than Attempt to Commit Unlawful Sexual Contact, there are not a lot of options. While there are many nonsex pleas available, the District Attorney will usually not be willing to plead the case to a nonsexual case unless the evidence is weak for the sex charge. Regardless, every sex case is different in terms of registration requirements, deregistration and probation terms. Never plead to a sex case without the help of a criminal defense attorney.

Pretrial Conference in Adams County Courts – Get Ready for the Cattle Call

Of all the Denver counties, Adams County handles the Pretrial Conferences the most quickly and inefficiently. Yes, I said Inefficiently. Sure, if you are going to come in and plead guilty to your charge (never a good idea), then things will move smoothly when you arrive and join in the huge cattle call – like process. In Division R, you will appear and speak with a DA who knows very little about your case and has little authority over it. If you plan on offering any mitigation and hope to get a better plea offer, you will be very frustrated in Adams County Courts. The system here is set up that you must first move your case to a division before anyone will care what you have to say. Even then, don’t expect a caring ear. These DA’s have a huge caseload and simply work the odds. They don’t want to know much other than what officers have said to them and are prepared to come in and testify to. Not a nice place to be, and highly inefficient. Be sure that you never make any factual statements to the DA, or they can be used against you later.

Denver Court Pretrial Conferences – What Should I Expect to Occur at a Pretrial Hearing?

In Denver County, things move very fast, as the courtroom fills quickly and the judge starts calling up DUI, misdemeanor assaults and harassment cases. Prosecutors are very busy and don’t have time to talk. In many cases, they must listen to the judge and try to see what people want to do with their cases. Most of these prosecutors have authority to offer a better plea offer, but they don’t have time to talk to you in court (or anywhere). Like many Denver metro counties, you must be prepared to offer evidence to the DA without compromising your defense. This is tough, since everything you say “can and will be used against you.” It is best to have a criminal defense attorney represent you and speak on your behalf. After coming to court hundreds of times, we know what is a reasonable offer and what is a bad offer to settle your case. Offers get better and worse depending on whether the government has a good or bad chance of convicting you. You must “read” the evidence from a jury’s perspective to predict what will occur at trial.

Pretrial Conference with an Arapahoe County District Attorney – Good Case, Bad Case

A good case for the Arapahoe County DA is one where they have credible witnesses who will come in and say you did something illegal. The problem is that many defendants accused of crimes are unable to see things objectively. They only see the case from their eyes. This presents a real problem during plea bargaining where they feel they did nothing wrong and should not have to take a plea bargain. They decline or turn down a fair offer, thinking the jury will see things just as they remember them – ignoring that there will be evidence against them at trial and the testimony of adverse witnesses. You simply must have an Arapahoe County Criminal Defense Attorney who knows the system, has been to trial many times, and who fully understands both sides of your criminal case. They can give you solid advice you can rely on. Be careful to find an attorney who cares about you and who will not plead the case too quickly, just to get it over with.

Our criminal defense lawyers have over 40 years of combined experience. That means they understand good and bad offers at a Pretrial Conference. They can read between the lines and understand the complete story a jury will hear. This equips them to predict whether you can win at trial, or whether you should pursue the plea bargain route. You can trust their opinion and concern for you. Call us at 303-731-0719 today. Together, we can predict your future.

Image Credit: Pixabay – tpsdave