Retain Award-Winning Legal Representation
If you have been arrested, you are probably know the risks posed by your charges. A criminal offense can place certain freedoms in jeopardy and limit your opportunities for finding work. Even a minor offense can land you in jail and remain on your permanent criminal record.
With so much at stake, you can’t afford to overlook the opportunity to build a strong defense. If you or someone you love has been arrested for an alleged crime in the Denver area, let our firm defend your rights and help you pursue a positive resolution to the difficulties you are facing.
Reasons to Choose Our Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers
- We give clients our cell phone numbers
- Included in list of Best Lawyers in America®
- 5.0 out of 5.0 AV® Rating™ for highest ethical standards & legal skill
- Selected for list of Colorado Super Lawyers®
- Our firm offers potential clients a free case review
Ask to review your defense options today in a free consultation with our criminal defense lawyer!
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The Legacy of Walter L. Gerash
Walter L. Gerash is the father of our partner, Denver criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Gerash. The elder Gerash is one of the leading figures in Colorado legal history. He successfully defended many high-profile murder suspects using many of the techniques and strategies that our firm has perfected over the years. Here at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we pride ourselves on continuing this legacy. We promise to train every weapon in our legal arsenal on one objectiveーthe best possible resolution of your criminal charges.
Criminal Cases We Handle Include:
- Domestic violence
- Drug charges:
- Distribution & Trafficking
- Drug Possession
- Prescription Drug Crimes
- White collar crimes
- Felony crimes
- Sex crimes
- Internet Sex Crimes
- Violent crimes
- DUI / DUID
- Theft Crimes
- Juvenile Crimes
Over the years, our firm has built a reputation for committed advocacy you can trust. We even provide clients our personal cell phone numbers to ensure ease of communication. With a commitment to client service and effective advocacy, you can rely on Gerash Steiner & Blanton & Blanton, P.C. when the stakes are high. Our Denver criminal defense attorneys are experienced in all types of cases, including medical malpractice and DUI penalties. Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights it matters most.
The Criminal Procedure in Colorado
The criminal procedure in Colorado is similar to that in most other states. It can be complicated and challenging to navigate on your own because it is multifaceted, and you need legal training to know how to effectively move through the process and get good results. However, depending on the crime and circumstances, only some steps will apply to you. We know that facing criminal charges is overwhelming and scary. Knowing what to expect in the process can ease your anxiety.
Arrest or Summons
Before an arrest or summons, law enforcement will investigate the alleged crime. Upon obtaining enough evidence, the police usually arrest a defendant or issue a summons for minor infractions. Before and during an arrest, the police are required to uphold an individual’s constitutional rights, such as obtaining a valid search or arrest warrant and reading the defendant their Miranda warnings.
Advisement Hearing or First Appearance
After your arrest, if you do not bond out first, you will have an advisement hearing—also called a first appearance—while still in jail. If you were arrested on a warrant, bond conditions might already be set. But if they are not, or if you need your bond conditions modified, the judge can set or modify your bond at the first appearance to allow you to be released from jail pending the resolution of your case.
After an arrest, an arraignment hearing will take place. The purpose of this hearing is to advise you of your charges and your rights. Typically, you will plead guilty or not guilty at this time. Most people plead not guilty at this stage since their lawyer has not yet had the chance to even look at discovery.
Bail or Bond Hearing
If the judge at your initial appearance set bond conditions that pose a hardship on you, a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney can request a bond hearing at any point. At this hearing, your lawyer will argue for better bond terms.
If you are charged with certain felonies (typically higher degree), there may be a preliminary hearing, often referred to as a “trial before the trial.” The purpose of a preliminary hearing is for the judge to decide if the prosecutor has enough evidence or probable cause to proceed with the case.
Pretrial Conference & Plea Negotiation
After your lawyer has been provided access to evidence and records available in your case, there will typically be one or more pretrial conferences. Around this time, the prosecutor may offer a plea deal which you should carefully review with your criminal defense lawyer. This could be the end of your court case if you accept a plea, although you would have to complete your sentence.
It is common for there to be some extent of motion practice in criminal trials. One of the most common defense motions is a motion to suppress evidence. A defense attorney will typically file such a motion to limit the evidence the prosecutor is allowed to present to the jury.
Finally, if a plea agreement is not reached, the case will proceed to a jury trial. If you are found guilty, the last stage of the criminal process will be sentencing.
Notably, criminal defendants may appeal their convictions. But whether your case has grounds for appeal will depend on the circumstances of the case and what happened at trial.
The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction in CO
Most people understand that if they are convicted of a crime, they risk serving time behind bars and significant fines. A criminal conviction of any magnitude can lead to additional penalties, including probation, parole, restitution, and community service. Beyond that, many people need to realize the collateral consequences they face.
A criminal conviction leads to a criminal record that will follow you through life like a black cloud. A criminal record can lead to a loss of job opportunities and any professional licenses you might have. It can also stop you from getting professional licenses in the future. Your record can impact your ability to enroll in the military, apply for a loan, or attend school.
Additional consequences can include the following:
- Impacting your immigration status,
- Possibly losing custody of your kids,
- Losing the right to vote, and
- Losing the right to possess firearms.
Many administrative agencies and other parties may attempt to revoke your privileges or violate your rights before you are ever found guilty. For instance, an employer may fire you immediately upon learning of your charges, long before you are convicted. It is not uncommon for professional licensures such as the medical board or bar association to revoke professional licenses because someone is accused of a crime. The charges may eventually be dismissed, or you might be acquitted—but you have already lost your ability to earn a living. It is essential to retain a criminal defense attorney in Denver who has experience dealing with these issues so you can get the help you need to get your life back.
Plea Bargaining in Denver Criminal Cases
A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in a criminal case. The prosecutor is under no obligation to offer such a bargain, but they do in most cases. With a plea bargain, the prosecutor allows you to plead guilty to a lesser charge or to the original offense with a lesser sentence.
A prosecutor considers several factors when deciding to negotiate a plea deal, including:
- The seriousness of the alleged offense;
- The weight of the evidence against the defendant (i.e., how strong or weak their case is); and
- The probability of winning a guilty verdict at trial.
The U.S. criminal justice system encourages plea deals because they help alleviate the burden on the court system. Sometimes, a prosecutor will offer you a plea bargain early in the case. If this happens, and you have not yet retained counsel, you should have a criminal defense attorney review the proposed deal before agreeing to accept or reject it.
A plea deal is a compromise reached by both parties. Just as the prosecution is under no obligation to offer a plea bargain, the defendant is not obliged to accept one. The defendant will work with their attorney to carefully review the offer and determine if it is the best course of action.
What Should You Look for When Hiring a Defense Attorney?
There are four essential things to look for when hiring a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney.
Experienced in Criminal Defense
First and foremost, when charged with a crime, your life, freedom, and reputation are all on the line. Therefore, you must have someone with significant experience in criminal trial law. If you meet with an attorney that does not at least practice some criminal defense, it is probably best to find a more qualified candidate.
Choose a Lawyer Familiar with the Local Courts
Choosing a defense attorney in Denver who is familiar with the local courts is essential. Courts, prosecutors, and judges have their way of doing things. If your attorney has professional connections and relationships with local court personnel, this will almost always work to your advantage.
Experience on Their Feet
Looking for a defense attorney with experience on their feet is essential. In other words, you need an attorney who is experienced and confident in the courtroom. Criminal trials are intense and fast-paced. A great criminal defense attorney is attentive and ready for anything.
Ask Friends and Family for a Referral
Recommendations from family or friends who have had a great, positive experience with a criminal defense lawyer can help you find someone you trust. If you have no such recommendations, checking out a firm’s testimonials can help you get a feel for the lawyer you’ll be working with.
Role of Expert Witnesses in Criminal Defense Cases
Expert witnesses can play a pivotal role in criminal defense cases. Defense attorneys often rely on expert witnesses to discredit the prosecution’s theory of the case or to support an affirmative defense.
An expert witness differs from a lay witness. Where a lay witness will typically testify about something they saw, heard, or witnessed, an expert must have the relevant knowledge and experience to testify regarding their opinion on an aspect of the case. Specifically, an expert must have the requisite knowledge, training, skill, education, or experience to give their opinion on a subject. They offer their expertise to help the jury understand disputed facts or evidence.
Different types of experts will play different roles in criminal cases. Common types of experts in criminal trials include:
- Firearms or other weapon experts,
- DNA expert,
- Toxicology expert,
- Fingerprint expert, and
- Bloodstain and splatter expert.
Utilizing an expert witness is a great way for the defense to cause doubt on the state’s case.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I plan to plead guilty. Do I need a lawyer?
YES. Your lawyer might be able to find a way to get you a dismissal or an acquittal so that you don’t even need to plead guilty. In short, your lawyer can help get you a better result, and make sure that your rights are properly protected throughout the process. So yes, it is always in your best interest to have a criminal defense attorney on your side.
I am innocent. Should I talk to the police to clear up the misunderstanding?
NO. As a rule of thumb, never talk to the police before speaking with an attorney. Instead, invoke your right to remain silent and tell them you won’t talk to them without an attorney present. The police know many psychological tricks that they can use to make you look guilty, or to trick you into saying something that makes you sound guilty even when you aren’t. So don’t risk it. Call us so we can protect you during a criminal investigation.
Do I need an attorney for a first-offense DUI?
Yes, you do. A first-offense DUI is a criminal charge, not a mere traffic citation, and you can go to jail for it. You can also lose your driver’s license. Furthermore, multiple DUIs will eventually result in felony charges (starting with your fourth offense).
Can I petition Colorado to seal my criminal record?
That depends on the contents of your criminal record. If you petition, Colorado will probably seal records of arrests or charges that did not result in convictions or guilty pleas. If the state actually convicted you of a crime, it will only seal the records under limited circumstances. Certain drug offenses are eligible for sealing, for example.
Can I exclude evidence from my trial?
Yes, you can exclude evidence from your trial at a pretrial suppression hearing. You can do this if you show that law enforcement illegally gathered the evidence, or otherwise infringed on your rights. The police might have searched your home, for example, without a warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement. If so, any evidence gathered illegally can be suppressed.
Can I walk free if the police failed to “read me my rights”?
Not necessarily. In most cases you can’t walk free just because the police failed to read you your Miranda rights. The consequence of such a failure is that the state cannot use anything you say against you—if you said it before someone read your Miranda rights. For example, if your charge is based on a confession given prior to being advised of your rights, the judge might exclude your confession. You could walk free if the remaining evidence against you is insufficient for a conviction.
How soon should I contact a defense lawyer?
Contact a Denver criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can because there are a thousand mistakes you can make during the pendency of your case. Even “tweeting” about your case can seriously damage your defense. A skilled criminal attorney can advise you what to do and say, and what to avoid.
I Was Arrested. Will I Go to Jail?
Getting arrested does not mean that you were found guilty of committing a crime; in fact, after an arrest you have the opportunity to challenge your charges. In many cases, a strong defense can help you reduce the penalties associated with a charge or eliminate your charges altogether. Likewise, a plea bargain may allow you to escape the tougher consequences normally associated with a crime. Get in touch with a defense attorney to discover the options available for your situation.
How Our Denver Criminal Attorney Can Defend You
Every criminal case is different. Even DUI charges differ from case to case based on factors such as the defendant’s criminal record, whether or not someone was harmed as a result of the offense, and other circumstances. While it is difficult to predict what line of defense you will need for a given offense, you can trust that if you work with our firm, we will do whatever we can to ensure that you receive a positive outcome.
Common defenses for criminal charges:
- Proving that your arrest was unlawful
- Contesting unconstitutional searches and seizures
- Disproving inadequate or inaccurate evidence
- Demonstrating reasonable doubt
- Claiming entrapment
To ensure our defense suits your needs, our Denver criminal defense lawyer will take time to understand your situation. We will analyze all aspects of your case to build a strong defense that matches your side of the story. With more than 25 years of experience in criminal cases, we can stand our ground in the most difficult cases.
Criminal Defense Case Results in Denver, Colorado
- Federal solicitation to murder: favorable plea disposition.
Federal Drug Conspiracy Charges
- Complex federal drug conspiracy case involving multiple defendants: case against client dismissed before trial.
- Felony menacing, three counts: not guilty verdict.
Felony Drug Possession Arrest
- Numerous state felony distribution and possession of drug charges, one case in Jefferson County recently resulted in a stipulation to probation.
We Would Highly Recommend This Law FirmFormer Client
Our son was accused of a serious crime that carried a life sentence. We hired the firm of Gerash Steiner with co-counsel Lisa Monet Wayne who provided a brilliant defense from the motions hearings through the trial. The result was an acquittal for our son. We would highly recommend this law firm for criminal defense.
Call Us Today for the Committed Representation You Need!
Our reputation as a skilled, ethical, and sophisticated firm continues to precede us. Over decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys have not only obtained a number of prestigious accolades within the legal community, but we have also achieved proven criminal defense victories and not guilty verdicts. As a former deputy public defender, Dan Gerash has built up many years of hard-line success as invaluable courtroom experience you need.
Call Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today with a Denver criminal defense attorney!