Colorado Criminal Jury Trial – Questions And Answers
Is a jury trial better than a trial to a judge (court trial)?
In the criminal case context, a jury trial is almost always the best route. Jurors are common-sense people who do not know the judge or district attorney. Most judges know DAs and have an inclination to side with the government on close questions. Also, many judges are former DAs, and never get over their DA mentality that everyone accused is guilty. Finally, judges like police officers and fear their criticism.
How many jurors do I get for a Colorado jury trial?
In municipal and county court in Adams County, Jefferson County and Arapahoe County, you are entitled to six jurors. You can opt for a jury of three, but that is not a good idea. It is harder to convince six people of your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In felony district court matters in Douglas County, Denver County and Jefferson County, you are entitled to a jury of 12.
What is voir dire during a jury trial?
Voir dire is the process of questioning jurors to gather information on whether they would be a fair and impartial juror.
What are opening and closing statements during a jury trial?
Opening statements are when the defense and prosecution are given an opportunity to address the jury, and lay out the road map of where the case is going and what evidence is coming. For the closing statement (argument), both sides are allowed to argue the application of the evidence to the law and suggest to the jury how they should vote.
Do people have to pay for a jury (jury fee)?
In all municipal court (city) cases, and some county court cases where jail is not a possibility, defendants have to pay a $25 fee for a jury. They also must meet the quick deadline to request a jury in writing.
What are jury deliberations during a jury trial?
This is the time when the jury will meet in private and discuss the evidence as they see it, and make a determination of the defendant’s guilt (conviction) or innocence (acquittal). They must make a unanimous vote of guilt or innocence in Broomfield County, Weld County and Larimer County.