Introduction – A System of Negotiations, and Very Few Trials
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a “plea bargain” as:
Tucked away in the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure is a small subsection of Rule 7. The section is Section (e) and it reads as follows:
When individuals in relationships are either in the time frame immediately prior to a break-up or in the emotionally confusing time during the break-up itself, communications between the parties can sometimes become “complicated” and the government made intrude on the lives of those individuals in the form of criminal charges.
Quietly, with little fanfare, the Colorado Supreme Court, in the case of People of the State of Colorado, v. Christopher Anthony Mazzarelli, massively changed what was previously considered fundamental Colorado criminal law in the area of plea bargaining.
One of the most troubling areas of Colorado criminal law is a situation where a Defendant, who is completely innocent or who may have a defense to a criminal charge, agrees to take a plea bargain because of a fear of a bad result at trial.
Lawyers in the criminal courts of Colorado owe their clients detailed explanations of the often confusing and frightening world that is the criminal justice system. One of the procedures commonly used by Colorado’s judges includes the use of the Jasper date.
When a person is charged with a crime in the Colorado criminal justice system a thorough understanding of the balance of power among the three key actors that will play a role in their case – the Judge, the District Attorney, and the Defense Lawyer – can be instructive.
Colorado Rule 11 (Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure provides for three basic pleas in a criminal case (not including the NGI plea – not guilty by reason of insanity – not addressed here).
One would think that the answer to the question: “should I lie about my case to my lawyer?” – would be obvious.
Domestic violence cases present many difficult factual and legal issues to both sides of the case, the prosecution and the defense. One of the key issues that can arise in a Colorado domestic violence case is whether the police had the legal authority to enter the home where an alleged domestic crime was being investigated.