FAQ – Criminal Defense

Do I need an attorney?

This is a common question asked if you are charged or being investigated with a crime. Legally speaking, everyone accused of a crime has the right to represent themselves. However, hiring a lawyer is one of the first and smartest things you can do for yourself. The criminal process is complex. We specialize in how to effectively navigate that process. It is beneficial to hire a lawyer even if you are just being investigated for a crime. Pre-arrest, we understand the how the police’s investigation process is being done, can navigate through dealing with any authorities, and can present a defense to stop any charges from being filed. After arrest, we are able to analyze a case, present mitigation, and fight. We fight in negotiating for either a dismissal or an excellent plea offer. If you are not able to resolve your case at the negotiation phase, we will take your case to trial. We pride ourselves on being effective trial lawyers. We never stray away from proving our client’s innocence at trial.

Should I or my loved one talk to the police?

If you are accused of or are being investigated of a crime, it is almost never beneficial to talk to the police without a lawyer present. While it may seem counterintuitive to get a lawyer before talking with the police, if you are innocent, if the police are investigating you or accusing you of a crime, there is some evidence against you.

Police may tell you they just want to get your side of the story or that they have evidence against you and that they just want you to explain. These are traps. Law enforcement uses these questions to get someone to corroborate existing evidence or confess. Police officers are often trained in interrogation techniques and also are allowed to mislead people when investigating a crime.

In our criminal justice system, you have rights. This is been widely litigated in the US Court  The right to remain silent. The right to not incriminate yourself. The right to a lawyer. If a police officer starts to question you about a crime, we highly recommend you tell them politely, “ I would like to speak with a lawyer before answering your questions.” Then contact a lawyer.

What is a protection order?

The State of Colorado has two types of protection orders (often referred to as restraining orders). Civil Protection Orders and Criminal Protection Orders. Civil Protections Order are obtained through a civil process, much like filing a small law suit. This can lead to an order by the court that someone cannot have contact with our come within a certain distance, of someone else. Civil Protection Order hearings can result in either a temporary protection order, a permanent protection order from the judge, or no protection order. Both people filing for a civil restraining order and people facing a potential order against them should get an attorney to best protect themselves. Both sides have rights. Violating a civil protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor in the state of Colorado and almost always results in an arrest.

A criminal protection order is a completely different order from the court issued in only criminal cases. Depending on the charge, criminal protection orders have to be issued before a person is released from jail. Under Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-1001, a judge has discretion in what they can order. A criminal protection order can command you not to have contact, direct or indirect, with another person and vacate the home of that person if you have a shared residence, however, it is not mandatory that this happens. It is also at the court’s discretion to order you to not drink alcohol or other controlled substances, possess any weapons or firearms, or refrain from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness or victim in the case.

Navigating the protection order process can be complicated. Every court and prosecutor’s office also face’s protection order’s differently. If you are involved an Aspen protection order, a Glenwood Springs protection order, a Vail Protection Order, or a protection order anywhere else in Colorado, we have extensive experience with it. It is crucial that you retain a lawyer when dealing with protection orders to best defend your interest.

Can I get my discovery?

Discovery is all of the evidence against you, which normally includes police reports, call logs, criminal histories of witnesses, photographs, 911 calls, body camera footage, and all other evidence. In criminal cases, you have the right to all evidence the police and prosecutor has against you. With our firm, we value transparency. We provide copies of all evidence we get from the prosecutors to our clients through an online portal. Our clients get notified that new discovery is in as soon as we get it.

Can I seal my case when this is done?

No one wants to have a criminal offense on your record. It can affect your career, schooling, ability to get a mortgage, professional license, and even raise your insurance. Colorado Revised Statute §24-72-702 governs what can be sealed in the State of Colorado.

Cases that can be sealed are:

  • All charges were dismissed (in the starting or after a delayed judgment) or the client was proven innocent of all charges at trial.
  • There is just a record of custody and no charges were filed in a court of law.
  • The client had a case that was discharged due to a plea agreement in any other case, over 10 years have passed from the final verdict on all criminal proceedings and no added criminal charges have been filed against the defendant in the meantime from the date of the final disposition.
  • A case that was dismissed due to a successfully completed deferred sentence.
  • Most municipal court violations are now eligible for record sealing after 3 years has elapsed from the time of court supervision.

In order to seal a case, you need to file a petition to the court, get a court ruling, and then serve that ruling on all parties that may have the record. At Kalamaya Goscha, we have experience sealing records in Aspen, Glenwood Springs, Vail, and all over the state of Colorado. If you need records sealed, it is something we can take care of efficiently.