4450 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 100,
Boulder, CO 80303
Ann Roan has been a criminal defense lawyer in Colorado for 30 years, in courtrooms all over the state.
From misdemeanors to the most serious felonies, from trial work to appeals and post conviction proceedings, Ann has the experience and skills to get the results her clients want.
If you or a family member need a strategic, skilled and experienced advocate, Ann has the resources to protect your rights.
Ann Roan was born and raised in Colorado. After graduating with honors from the University of Iowa, she returned home in 1986 and graduated from law school at the University of Colorado in 1989. She knew she wanted to use her law degree to give people protection from the power and resources of the government, so from 1990-2017 she practiced law with the Colorado State Public Defender in the Pueblo, Fort Collins and Golden trial offices, defending hundreds of adults and juveniles charged with all manner of crimes. In 1998, Ann joined the Public Defender’s Appellate Division to gain the expertise necessary to make her a more powerful trial attorney. She represented clients before the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court for several years. In 2004, she was selected to be the Public Defender’s State Training Director. In that role, she was responsible for working with more than 1,000 lawyers to help them develop the oral and written advocacy skills that win cases, understand the importance of informed, solid negotiation, and to teach them the latest developments in the law and investigative techniques like DNA that prosecutors increasingly rely on to build their cases.
After 27 years with the Public Defender, Ann decided to open her own practice, so that she could marshal all she’d learned to give her clients cutting edge representation, both in court and in legal pleadings that showcase her persuasive and powerful writing, her command of the criminal law, and her insight into how to use it to shield her clients from overzealous prosecutions. Regardless of the accusation, a criminal charge has the power to permanently change someone’s life. Ann treats each case she takes with the care and attention to detail it deserves, to help her clients avoid being defined for life by a single incident.
Ann is a member of the Colorado Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section Executive Committee; a board member of both the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Juvenile Defense Center; a member of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. She also serves on the ACLU’s Legal Panel.
In 2006, The Colorado Lawyer magazine published her article, “The Entrapment Defense,” which she wrote after persuading a jury in Jefferson County to acquit her client because she had been entrapped by the police, who accused her of soliciting her ex-husband’s murder. In 2011, the National Assocation of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ monthly journal,The Champion, published her article, “Building the Persuasive Case for Innocence,” and in 2013, it published her article, “Reclaiming Voir Dire.” In 2013, she contributed a chapter to How Can You Represent Those People, a book edited by Professors Monroe Freedman (Hofstra University School of Law) and Abbe Smith (Georgetown University School of Law).
In 2016, she was recognized as Colorado’s Outstanding Juvenile Defender by the Colorado Juvenile Defense Center. In 2018, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar honored Ann with its Alvin Lichtenstein Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of her significant contributions to criminal defense in Colorado.
“A person charged with a crime requires the guiding hand of counsel at every step in the proceedings against him. Without it, though he be not guilty, he faces the danger of conviction because he does not know how to establish his innocence.”
—Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45, 69 (1932)
As a highly experienced trial lawyer, Ann has tried approximately 50 jury trials. She is well known in Colorado and nationally as one of the leading experts in jury selection and litigation skills and other lawyers frequently hire her as a jury selection consultant. Her written advocacy and thoughtful pretrial litigation help clients exclude harmful evidence and secure fair proceedings at trial, and convince the prosecution that the threat of trial is not to be taken lightly. Ann’s negotiating skills have helped clients under investigation avoid the filing of criminal charges. When cases go to trial, she has persuaded jurors to acquit her clients in cases involving solicitation to commit murder, sexual assault, theft, and drug sales and possession.
Ann has substantial experience and expertise in defending clients under the age of 18. She has represented many children in juvenile court and has also defended children the prosecution chose to prosecute as adults. Ann understands the devastating impact on families when children are involved in the criminal system, and how vitally important it is to ensure that these cases are handled in a way that do not keep children from leading productive, successful lives.
She has served as an expert witness on what constitutes effective assistance of counsel and she is a frequent teacher and consultant to other lawyers across the country. She is a faculty member of both the National Criminal Defense College and the Capitol Voir Dire College of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She has published articles about trial defense and strategy in both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ and the Colorado Bar Association’s monthly journals. Ann is also an adjunct criminal law professor at the University of Colorado School of Law.
Ann spent six years practicing exclusively before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court. She has persuaded both those courts to reverse criminal convictions on behalf of her clients, and to deny the prosecution’s attempts to change favorable rulings by the trial court.
Her extensive experience in postconviction litigation is framed by her detailed understanding of the complicated, specialized body of law that applies to postconviction motions, and her compelling writing skills. In 2019, she testified about postconviction law in Colorado before the Senate Legislative Committee of the Colorado General Assembly.
People v. Garcia, 28 P.3d 340 (Colo. 2001) (second degree murder conviction reversed)
People v. Felgar, 58 P.3d 1122 (Colo. App. 2002) (fraud conviction reversed)
Woldt v. People, 64 P.3d 256 (Colo. 2003)(Colorado death penalty statute held unconstitutional)
People v. Zedack, 93 P.3d 629 (Colo. App. 2004) (possession of controlled substance charges dismissed)
People v. Harding, 104 P.3d 881 (Colo. 2005) (sex assault conviction reversed)