When you face criminal charges in Colorado, your freedom and your future depend on the actions taken by your attorney and the guidance that they provide you. You put great faith in your lawyer with the expectation that they will help you defend yourself or minimize the long-term consequences of the charges you face.
Unfortunately, some attorneys don’t help their clients adequately defend themselves against pending criminal charges. Some lawyers don’t understand legal precedent or the laws that apply. Others may fail to analyze evidence adequately.
Your attorney should know the evidence the state will bring against you and help you plan to defend against it.
Your lawyer should have access to all state evidence before your trial
Under the legal concept of discovery, prosecutors have to provide information to your attorney about what evidence they will use during your trial. If they do not disclose evidence both to the courts and to your lawyer before the trial, they may not be able to introduce that evidence in court.
Your attorney can review the chain of custody for physical evidence and discovery information about witnesses that will help the prosecutor build their case. Your lawyer can then use that information to challenge the evidence, undermine the credibility of a witness or otherwise plan a strong defense strategy.
A lawyer who fails to familiarize themselves with the evidence in a criminal case may provide inadequate representation to their clients. If your lawyer fails to challenge evidence, introduce their own expert or contest the introduction of evidence not included in the discovery process, they may have failed to provide you with an adequate level of legal support.
Recognizing poor evidence management as a possible form of legal malpractice could help you hold that attorney accountable or even appeal your conviction.