Colorado Appeals Court Rules That Defendants May Search Victims’ Homes
An appeals court in Colorado recently ruled that a person facing criminal charges in Colorado may search a victim’s home in order to gather information that may help their defense, according to a recent ABC News report.
The appeals court considered a case in which a man accused of sexual assault was denied access to the alleged crime scene, which was in a family member’s basement. The court ruled that because the accused individual already had photos of the crime scene, it was not inappropriate for the trial judge to deny him access to the scene itself – but the court also said that trial judges are allowed to grant access to crime scenes in similar cases, whether or not a scene is in an alleged victim’s home.
In order to gain access, a person accused of a crime would have to show the court that the search would result in evidence that is “relevant, material and necessary to his defense,” said the court’s ruling. The judge will consider the evidence against the privacy interests of the owner or resident of the property.
The court’s ruling adds Colorado to a list of states that includes California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina. In these states, courts have determined that a defendant’s right to fair trial sometimes outweighs the privacy rights of an alleged victim.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our experienced Colorado criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to fighting for the best possible outcome in each case we handle. To learn more, contact us today for a confidential case evaluation.