In complex Drug Cases, it becomes likely that a Denver Drug Attorney will seek to sever multiple allegations so that the separate charges do not create such a severe bias in the case. Of the utmost importance, in these types of cases, is to avoid the possibility of a domino effect, essentially leading to a jury who begins convicting a defendant on every charge because of the evidence related to a single charge.
To protect a defendant from these types of domino effects in a Denver Drug Case, the Attorney’s first weapon is to request severance or bifurcation of the charges at the pre-trial stage. Once this request is made, it is important that the attorney also object at trial so that the motion is preserved for appeal.
The motion to sever is typically based on Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure 14 which states:
If it appears that a defendant or the prosecution is prejudiced by a joinder of offenses or of defendants in any indictment or information, or by such joinder for trial together, the court may order an election or separate trials of counts, grant a severance of defendants, or provide whatever other relief justice requires.
It should be noted that severance is typically not granted when the only issue is character evidence. The evidence must be related to one of the charges that is separate from the other charges that will bias the remaining charges. So, for example, if there is a robbery charge attached to multiple drug charges, the facts of the robbery charge could potentially be so prejudicial that the defendant will not receive a fair trial on the drug charges. Under these circumstances, the prejudicial effect should be noted by the Denver Drug Attorney and the question should be raised in a pre-trial motion.
Essentially, what the Criminal Defense Attorney is looking for is a situation where one charge is antagonistic to the remaining charges. When this situation can be found and properly displayed before the judge, the defendant will be in the best situation to has his charges severed and to reduce his risk of bias or prejudice effecting his right to a fair trial.
The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.