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Over 25 Years Defending the Rights of Clients Accused of Crimes
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I am a no-nonsense criminal trial and appellate attorney who has spent over 20 years defending the rights of clients charged with serious felony offenses. I have litigated over 100 homicide cases (many alleging or resulting in a death sentence), over 75 jury trials, and over 1000 appeals and post-conviction proceedings. I have appeared on cases at all levels of the justice system, including litigation and argument before the United States Supreme Court. Contact my firm today if you or a loved one needs experienced legal representation for any of the following:

  • Appellate – Felony Criminal Case Appeals and Post-Conviction proceedings - State and Federal courts in Colorado and Arizona.

  • Serious Felony Criminal Defense – Murder, Assaults, Sex Offenses, Drug Offenses and similar criminal offenses – State and Federal courts in Colorado.

As you will likely realize upon viewing my photo, I am not a typical stuffed-shirt type lawyer. I live a very active outdoor lifestyle and am a down to earth person. I practice law because it is a part of my calling to help people in need facing the vast resources of the government. I do not pretend to be somehow better than or above the clients I serve; a very large percentage of who have already been convicted of a serious crime, are in prison, or are facing a lengthy prison sentence or execution. I treat all clients as I would expect to be treated in such a time of need with respect, dignity and forthright advice.

My practice is housed in a small office in a historic building in Old Town Fort Collins. I accept serious felony trial cases in the communities surrounding Fort Collins and the Front Range and appellate and post- conviction cases throughout both Colorado and Arizona. I do not make promises of a specific outcome in any case and will honestly and bluntly tell you whether your case is defensible and what the realistic outcome of the case should be in my opinion - whether after trial, a plea agreement or in post- conviction proceedings. If I truly do not believe that I can help your situation, I will tell you so, refund any unearned fees and not further represent you.

My practice has evolved into several areas of special interest including those cases involving capital murder, the forensic sciences, and mentally ill offenders. Greater than 75% of my case load ordinarily involves post-conviction matters which in itself ia a highly specialized area of law. I had had the rare privilege of arguing before the United States Supreme Court in Clark v. Arizona, 548 U.S. 735 (2006). To listen to oral argument visit The Oyez Project which to date is the only case the high court has accepted challenging a state's ability to place limitations on the use of evidence involving a criminal defendant's mental illness. More recent successful appeals include the following representative cases*.

State v. Rich (2/26/15) - aggravated assault conviction & 10 year prison sentence reversed

State v. Ketchner, (12/18/14) - first degree murder conviction and death sentence reversed and vacated

State v. Mitchell, (4/21/14) - Warrantless GPS monitoring held a violation of 4th AD-convictions/sentences vacated

State v. Denz, (7/23/13) - convictions and 18 flat year sentenced reversed for ineffective assistance of counsel at trial

State v. Loney, (11/6/2012) - Prison sentence for sexual conduct with a minor reversed as fundamental error

State v. Sweet, (10/30/12) - Aggravated sentence vacated - remanded for resentencing

State v. Roth, (12/22/11) – First Amendment rights vindicated by reversal of convictions

State v. Aaron, (8/25/11) – Multiple sex offense convictions and 122 year sentence reversed

State v. Reed, (10/11/10) – Conspiracy conviction and 21 year sentence reversed

State v. Lynch, (6/22/10) - death sentence reversed and vacated

State v. Bocharski, (8/8/08) – Death sentence vacated life term imposed

Oral arguments of many of these cases can be heard / viewed at either (live & archived video) OR (oral argument recordings).

If you want to retain an honest straight forward lawyer for yourself, a family member, or friend who will not sugar-coat the case or needlessly charge you for time spent on matters that will not make a difference to the end result, call David Goldberg today at 970-773-5071, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange for a free consultation.

*Successful results in a prior matter are not a guarantee of similar results in your case which must be evaluated based upon its specific facts and applicable law. Additional cases are available upon request involving trials, appeals and post-conviction proceedings.

Attorney Profile

Attorney David Goldberg


  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • Federal District Courts of Colorado and Arizona
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Date Admitted to the Bar:

  • Arizona, 1989
    • District Court of Arizona
  • Colorado, 1992
    • District Court of Colorado, 2010
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1993
  • Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013
  • United States Supreme Court, 2004


  • Arizona State University College of Law, Tempe, AZ - May, 1989
    • Juris Doctor - Cum Laude - graduated within top 15% of class, Academic Scholarship - 1986 through 1989
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - December, 1982
    • Bachelor of Business Administration-Major in Accounting, GPA of 3.5 within major and 3.0 overall

Professional Memberships & Achievements:

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • Bar Associations of Colorado and Arizona
  • Academic Achievements – National Environmental Moot Court Overall Champion
  • Best Brief and Advocate 1989
  • National Law School Dean’s List - 1988-89
  • Pedrick Scholar (Dean’s List) - 1986-89
  • Third Year Outstanding Advocate Award – 1989
  • International Moot Court Editor – 1989; Jessup Moot Court Coach and Evaluator – 1989
  • Moot Court Writing Honors – 1987

Additional contacts, links and websites :

Practice Areas and Definitions

Direct Appeals:
As a matter of Due Process all defendants convicted of a felony offense and most misdemeanor crimes have the right to at least one appeal. This direct appeal “as of right” is heard in most cases by the state Court of Appeals (or if a misdemeanor at times the Superior or District courts). A discretionary appeal may also be sought in the State Supreme Court following denial of the initial appeal that Court is not required to accept review. In cases raising important national issues involving federal constitutional issues a Petition for Writ of Certiorari may also be filed in the United States Supreme Court. Similar limitations apply to appeals from federal convictions which are heard in the 10th (Colorado) and 9th (Arizona) Circuit Courts of Appeal on direct review from criminal convictions in the District Courts.

Under Colorado state law a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 45 days of the date the sentence and judgment of guilt have been entered. In Arizona the Notice must be filed within 20 days. It is possible to file a delayed appeal if certain criteria are satisfied. In Colorado in most instances (with the exception of challenging an illegal sentence) and in Arizona in all instances, a defendant waives the right to appeal when entering a plea agreement and can only seek relief by filing a petition for post-conviction relief (“PCR”).
In an appeal, the Court reviews the record of the pre-trial and trial proceedings for legal errors. The Court does not resolve factual issues. The record includes the court file, the court reporter's transcripts and the evidence and exhibits offered or admitted in the trial court along with the appelate briefs drafted by the attorneys. In limited cases the appellate courts will also hear oral arugment before deciding the case. Examples of such errors include, but are not limited to issues involving: 1) the constitutionality of a law or procedure; 2) the right to a speedy trial; 3) the admission/preclusion of evidence (including confessions or evidence resulting from police searches); 4) limitations on cross examination; 5) jury instructions; 6) juror misconduct; 7) closing arguments; 8) the sufficiency of evidence to support conviction; and 9) sentencing.

The issues that may be raised in your case depend upon the specific factual and procedural history involved. I can ordinarily advise you after an initial consultation which proceeding is available and potential issues that may be raised. Only upon review of the record in your case can I opine specifically about the potential merits of the issues in your case.

Post-Conviction Relief:
In Colorado a PCR must be filed in all felony cases (except Class 1 felonies) within 3 years of the date the sentence and judgment of guilt have been entered OR the date the direct appeal becomes final (when the Mandate issues).

In Arizona the time frame is 90 days from the sentencing date if convcition is by a guilty plea OR 30 days from the date any direct appeal becomes final if conviction was rendered at trial and the matter was the subject of a direct appeal. As with direct appeals, delayed PCR’s may be filed in appropriate situations.

Issues that may be raised in a PCR are ordinarily limited to those that were not previously raised or could have been raised (but were not) in the direct appeal or a prior collateral proceeding and include such issues asserting that: 1) the conviction or sentence violates state or federal law (e.g., ineffective assistance of counsel, illegal sentences); 2) newly discovered evidence; 3) significant changes in the law that are retroactive to your case; and 4) actual innocence.

Federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus:
A federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus may also be sought in the District Court raising issues limited to the violation of the United States Constitution. Such petitions must be filed within in most cases one year of the final order in the state or federal appellate courts denying relief. Such petitions are civil causes of action and are limited to raising only federal constitutional issues which were raised in the state or federal appellate courts and properly exhausted to the appellate courts. Note: In Colorado this means that if you do not seek relief in the state court by filing a PCR within one year of the final order you ordinarily forfeit the right to seek a federal habeas corpus relief though you may still within 3 years of the final order still seek state relief under Rule 35(c).

Serious Violent Crimes:
A violent crime involves conduct by persons, against others or property that intentionally threatens, attempts or actually inflicts physical or deadly injuries. The seriousness of the injuries to the victim(s), whether or not weapons were used and/or whether or not the alleged perpetrator has a criminal record will determine the seriousness of the charge. Violent criminal charges can include: aggravated assault, arson, armed robbery or burglary, kidnapping, murder (1st and 2nd degree); manslaughter, negligent and vehicular homicide.  

Sex Crimes:
Sex crimes carry significant stigma, potential mandatory sentences and often upon conviction require lifetime registration as a consequence. These charges may include: Molestation, sexual assault and abuse, pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. Sexual misconduct is seldom witnessed by anyone other than the accuser and accused and the risk of conviction of an innocent person is drastically higher in these cases. Proper defense of these cases often involves the assistance of expert witnesses and thorough investigation.

Drug Offenses:
Drug laws have radically changed over the past 50 years. Most offenses involving the sale or distribution of prohibited drugs result upon conviction in mandatory prison terms. The most recent penalties passed for dangerous drugs (including methamphetamine) involve lengthy mandatory prison terms. Other less serious drug offenses involving personal possession of small quantities of marijuana, narcotics and other drugs ordinarily result in less severe sanctions including fines, counseling and probation. A conviction on a drug charge of any magnitude, even a small amount of marijuana, can seriously affect your present and future employment chances, your education, your reputation and your freedom. These types of cases often involve issues involving your Fourth Amendment right to be not subject to unreasonable searches and seizures which may in an appropriate case result in suppression of the evidence and dismissal of the charges. Your particular risk and exposure depends upon the specific facts of your case and your personal history.

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