Our Castle Rock criminal defense attorneys want to make it clear to clients and potential clients that how you conduct yourself in the time between your arrest and your trial can impact the outcome of your case.
No, it won’t affect the facts of what allegedly occurred, and it shouldn’t be used to directly decide the outcome. However, positive actions – such as maintaining a job or being involved in volunteer activities – may reflect favorably to the judge when it comes time for sentencing.
On the other hand, engaging in additional criminal activities will not only potentially result in more criminal charges, it could cause the judge to impose a stiffer penalty for the original crimes.
Such may be the case for a Colorado businessman who is accused of running a scam while out on bail and awaiting trial for an earlier Ponzi scheme.
According to The Denver Post, the defendant in the case was arrested and indicted back in 2009 for a reported scheme to swindle 60 people out of nearly $10 million. He posted his $1 million bond, and subsequently sought more investors for another venture.
The most recent incident involved a reported silver-refining company that he called Vital Elements. He told investors, including a 25-year-old recent college graduate, that they would see a 20 percent return within just a handful of weeks.
The newspaper reported that those individuals had no clue he was awaiting trial for financial crimes when they handed over their money.
Prosecutors now say that between August and November of last year, the defendant collected some $73,000 from five different investors. However, while some of that money was returned to investors, some of it went to make landscaping and laboratory purchase, while a chunk went to attorney’s fees for the earlier case.
He has been arrested twice in connection with this latest scheme, while he continues to await trial on the earlier charges.
While the details of the second case won’t likely be allowed to enter the trial in the first, it’s important for clients to understand that it can only hurt.
Particularly in cases where there has been a financial impact to alleged victims, showing the court good-faith efforts to walk the straight-and-narrow – and perhaps even paying back a portion of the losses before you are ordered to do so by the court – can go a long way in potentially reducing the penalties.