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Defenses to Crimes in Colorado

Daniel Noffsinger - Sunday, August 02, 2015

In order to be convicted of a crime in Colorado the state prosecutor must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This phrase means that based upon the evidence presented, there is no other logical conclusion that may be derived other than that the accused person committed the crime. This reasonable doubt bar is set so high in order to overcome the presumption of innocence we all enjoy in this country pursuant to the rights set forth in the Constitution.

Naturally, the defendant has the opportunity to defend him or herself against any criminal charge. This chance to defend oneself is also granted and protected in the Constitution. Although there are numerous defenses someone may invoke, there are limits to what may and may not be raised as a defense to a crime. A good criminal defense attorney will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that your defense is valid.

Common Criminal Defenses in Colorado

In Colorado, criminal defenses that may be raised in court come in one of two varieties.

The first is that the accused simply asserts, “I did not do it.” This is a very valid defense and it is the prosecution's job to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did do it. If the prosecutor cannot establish such, the accused will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.

Often times when the accused asserts “I did not do it,” they will also invoke an alibi. The accused will use an alibi as a defense in order to establish that it was impossible for the accused to have committed the crime because he or she was somewhere else at the time the crime was committed.

The second type of defense is when the accused admits, “I did it but there is a reason I did it.” Despite the fact that the person has admitted to the crime, he or she may still go free based on one of the following defenses.

  • Self- defense: In the criminal law, self-defense is the right of a person to protect himself or herself with the use of reasonable force against another person who is threatening to use force upon them.
  • Insanity defense: A person accused of a crime may be found not guilty by reason of insanity if it can be established that the accused was legally insane when he or she committed the crime.
  • Under the influence: Closely related to the insanity defense is the claim made by a defendant that he or she was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime and therefore did not have the requisite mental state necessary to intentionally commit a crime.
  • Entrapment: The accused may also defend himself by claiming that law enforcement somehow induce or coerce the accused into committing the crime.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime in Colorado and needs representation, please contact our attorneys at Noffsinger Law today. We can provide you will a skilled criminal defense attorney and a free initial consultation.