Tips for Representing Yourself Against a Domestic Violence Charge
1. Request a jury trial.
2. The prosecutor must provide you with all the evidence they intend to use against you (called "discovery").
3. You will need to make a written request to the prosecution office for all discovery.
4. Research the charge(s) filed against you, meaning read the applicable law to determine what the prosecution must prove in order to convict you.
5. Review the discovery and make a determination if the prosecutor can prove the case with the evidence and witnesses.
6. Look for inconsistencies in the witness' s statements.
7. If after review of the evidence, you determine the prosecution can prove their case against you beyond a reasonable doubt then you should contact the prosecuting attorney.
8. In Colorado, a first time conviction for a domestic violence charge may include one year of supervised probation, 36 weeks of domestic violence classes, alcohol and drug classes, fine and court costs.
Taking Your Case to Trial
Representing yourself in a jury trial can be very difficult. If you think the prosecutor has enough evidence against you, it is advisable to hire an experienced attorney. If you choose to proceed without an attorney, the Court will hold you to same rules as if you were an attorney.
The first part of the trial involves selecting the jury. After the jury is selected both the prosecuting attorney and you, the defendant, will have an opportunity to make an opening statement. After the opening statements, the prosecuting attorney will call their witnesses. You will have the opportunity to ask each prosecution witness questions. After the prosecution has called all their witnesses, the prosecutor will rest their case. At this point, you will have an opportunity to put on your case. You do not have to do anything. The burden is on the prosecutor to prove you committed the charges. If you choose to present evidence in the form of testimony, you will need to subpoena witnesses.
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