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Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections – What DO I Need To Understand About Objections In A Colorado Criminal Trial

By Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections – are important to understand as they form the basis of controlling what a jury hears or does not hear. Controlling the flow of evidence in Colorado criminal trials is part of what a defendant needs to understand in a trial that may – and probably will – impact the rest of the defendant’s life.  

Colorado Criminal Trial - Objections

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections

Objections are always made in a specific format – the trial lawyer stands up and says “OBJECTION” – and then states the grounds that support the evidenciary objection and that arise from the Colorado Rules Of Evidence

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections

What follows are the most common trial objections ..

OBJECTION -THE QUESTION IS AMBIGUOUS

A question is ambiguous if:  It may be misunderstood by the witness. It is objectionable on the ground that it may take on more than one meaning.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION IS ARGUMENTATIVE

A question is argumentative if: It is asked for the purpose of persuading the jury or the judge, rather than to elicit information.  It calls for an argument in answer to an argument contained in the question.  It calls for no new facts, but merely asks the witness to concede to inferences drawn by the examiner from proved or assumed facts.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION HAS BEEN ASKED AND ANSWERED

A question may be objectionable on the ground that  The witness has already answered a substantially similar question asked by the same attorney on the same subject matter.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION ASSUMES FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE

A question assumes facts not in evidence if:  It presumes unproved facts to be true. Example: “When did you stop beating your wife?” This question assumes that the person has beaten his wife.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION IS COMPOUND

A question is objectionable on the ground that it is compound if:  It joins two or more questions ordinarily joined with the word “or” or the word “and.”

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION IS TOO GENERAL

A question is too general, broad, or indefinite, if:  It permits the witness to respond with testimony which may be irrelevant or otherwise inadmissible. Each question should limit the witness to a specific answer on a specific subject.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION IS HEARSAY

A question is hearsay if: It invites the witness to offer an out-of-court statement to prove the truth of some matter in court. There are many exceptions to the hearsay rule.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION CALLS FOR AN IRRELEVANT ANSWER

A question is irrelevant if: It invites or causes the witness to give evidence not related to the facts of the case at hand.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION IS LEADING

A question is leading if:  It is one that suggests to the witness the answer the examining party desires. However, this type of question is allowed on cross-examination of a witness.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION MIS-STATES THE EVIDENCE

A question misstates the evidence if:  It misstates or misquotes the testimony of a witness or any other evidence produced at a hearing or at a trial.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION CALLS FOR A NARRATIVE ANSWER

A question calls for a “narrative answer” if:  It invites the witness to narrate a series of occurrences, which may produce irrelevant or otherwise inadmissible testimony.

OBJECTION – THE QUESTION CALLS FOR SPECULATION

A question is speculative if:  It invites or causes the witness to speculate or answer on the basis of conjecture.

Here Is A List Of Colorado Criminal Trial Objections By Subject Area

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections During Jury Selection

1. Attempting to commit jurors to a specific verdict

2. Asking about votes in prior cases

3. Unnecessary probing in juror’s background

4. Questions not going to ascertaining juror qualifications

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections During Opening Statement

1. Arguing the law

2. Discussing inadmissible facts

3. Misstatements of the law

4. Expressing personal belief on the merits

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections About A Witnesses’ Qualifications

1. Competency to Testify (prior to swearing in witness)

2. Privilege

3. Non-qualified expert

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections During Direct Examination

1. Leading

2. Not relevant

3. Hearsay

4. Calls for Speculation

5. Calls for a narrative answer

6. Asked and answered

7. Cumulative

8. Prejudicial effect outweighs probative value

9. Assumes facts not in evidence

10. Lack of personal knowledge (no foundation)

11. Misstatement of the record (misquoting the witness)

12. No proper foundation (specify missing elements)

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections During Cross Examination

1. Beyond the scope of direct

2. Hearsay

3. Asked and answered

4. Assumes facts not in evidence

5. Compound question

6. Misstatement of the record (misquoting the witness)

7. Argumentative

8. Improper impeachment

9. No good faith basis for the question

Colorado Criminal Trial -Objections to Documents

1. Identification

2. Authentication

3. Relevancy

4. Best Evidence

5. Hearsay

6. Privilege

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections During Closing Argument

1. Improper argument – facts not in evidence

2. Improper argument – Misstatement of the facts

3. Improper argument – Misstatement of the law

4. Stating personal belief in the merits of the case

5. Asking jurors to place themselves in the party’s position

6. Deals with improper subject matter – settlement discussions, insurance, right to remain silent, etc.

7. Unduly prejudicial/inflammatory

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections Regarding Jury Instructions

1. Misstating the facts of the case

2. Misstatement of the law

3. Unduly placing weight on certain legal issues or evidence

4. Failing to give instructions consistent with theory of the case

5. Failing to give requested instructions

6. Confusing/ambiguous

Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer  – H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author hmichaelsteinberg@criminal-lawyer-colorado.com or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-227-7777.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience –  specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range.  He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.  Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case.  So call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

       Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Colorado Criminal Trial – Objections.


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
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