Category Archives: Colorado Appeals

What is an insufficient evidence argument in a criminal appeal?

An insufficient evidence argument asserts that the evidence at trial was insufficient to convict the defendant of one or more charges because the prosecution did not prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, one or more elements of those charges.

What is the criteria for a cert petition in Colorado?

A cert petition (petition for writ of certiorari) asks the Colorado Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the state, to review the decision of the Colorado Court of Appeals. The criteria for filing a cert petition in Colorado may depend on the type of case and the court involved. In general, however, the […]

How do you preserve an issue for appeal in Colorado?

In order to make a legal argument on appeal, the issue must be preserved. The principal behind issue preservation is that the trial court should have an opportunity to correct its own errors before the appeals court steps in. Therefore, where an issue has not been preserved – i.e. not first brought to the attention […]

The Cumulative Error Doctrine in Colorado Appeals

The first step in a direct appeal is to ask the court of appeals to provide relief for specific legal errors made at the trial level. But sometimes, the trial court made only a series of smaller errors, rather than a severe error that would alone warrant reversal. In these cases, the cumulative error doctrine […]

Am I Entitled to a Hearing on My Colorado 35(c)?

After a Colorado criminal defendant has exhausted the direct appeal process, he may turn to filing a pro se motion for relief pursuant to Colo. Crim. P. 35(c). Often, this is where he alleges that his trial counsel was ineffective. Upon receipt of a 35(c) motion, the reviewing court must consider whether “the motion and […]

Issue Preservation in Colorado Appeals: Was my issue preserved for appeal?

With few exceptions, a legal issue must be preserved in the trial court in order to raise it on appeal. This means that the issue must have been brought to the attention of the trial court and the court must’ve been given the chance to make the correct decision. The most common means of preservation […]

Speedy Trial Rights in Colorado Criminal Appeals

C.R.S. § 18-1-405(1) requires that, if a defendant is not brought to trial within six months of the entry of his not guilty plea, the charges must be dismissed. The statutory language is “mandatory and leaves no room for court discretion.” Carr v. District Court, 543 P.2d 1253, 1254, 190 Colo. 125 (Colo. 1975). This […]