In my practice as a Denver criminal defense lawyer, I hear people come up with all sorts of reasons that their own case should be dismissed. Being trained in criminal law for three years and going through periodic recertification and continuing education classes, it turns out, is not a pre-requisite for thinking about ways to solve your own case. Which is fine, except a lot of times this leads to folks having very wrong-headed ideas about how to defend yourself and defendants firing their lawyers to accomplish this. One of the more common statements made by defendants is that the complaining witness will not show up, so they do not need to hire a Denver criminal defense lawyer or prepare for their trial.
This is a huge mistake. First, remember this is you (the little guy, have nothing, can't afford a thing) against the big, bad state of X. The state has a way of getting what it wants out of its citizens. A subpoena is a very powerful object. It tells the witness that he has to go, under penalty of contempt. Contempt means jail. It also means staying in jail until you decide to testify (remember that guy who held Barry Bonds' jock and went to jail for years to protect him?). Even if the witness tells you he's not going to show up and say anything, the idea of going to prison can make people change their mind. It has a way of changing the way people see their friendships. Sometimes freedom is more important than friends. That's why it's important to hire a Denver criminal defense lawyer and prepare for the trial as if the witness is going to show up and say all sorts of things that are bad for your case.
The second reason to hire a lawyer and be ready for a serious case against you is that it's possible the case doesn't really rely on the witness's testimony all that much. In many cases, the complaining witness is just a starting point. The investigation may have found some really good circumstantial evidence (something I'll talk about later on the Denver criminal defense lawyer blog) that makes the case strong. In that case, you need to hire a lawyer to look at the evidence and figure out how to fight it. Without an attorney, you probably won't be able to make hide or heel of the evidence, let alone begin knowing where to attack it.