Forensic Psychology in Denver, Expert Witness, Colorado Forensic Psychologist

Denver Forensic Psychology, Forensic Psychologist Colorado- Dr. Max Wachtel

Dr. Max Wachtel is a forensic psychologist in Denver, Colorado. He has conducted thousands of evaluations for courts and private attorneys. He taught at the University of Denver for twelve years. He is the 9News Psychologist at KUSA TV in Denver, CO, and he is the behavioral profiler on the CBS show, Hunted.


forensic SERVICES

Knowledgeable, unbiased, and accessible. I take my time with each case and make certain my opinions are backed by evidence, research, and case law. I anticipate cross-examination, and I explain my expert opinions in a way that makes sense to attorneys, courts, and juries. Check out what attorneys I've worked with have to say.

Dr. Wachtel is my go-to-expert.
— Attorney Doug R.
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Mitigation Evaluations

Sometimes, good people do bad things. Other times, a person’s traumatic childhood sets him or her up for a lifetime of bad behavior. Yet other times, drug or alcohol abuse lead someone to commit crimes. It's important to be able help a judge, attorney, or jury see your client as a full, complete human being -- the good and the bad. Putting a person’s criminal behavior into context can help with plea bargains and at sentencing. Judges and DAs are busy, and they appreciate having information about your clients to help them make decisions.

Of course, there are no guarantees. If your client has done something wrong, he or she is going to get into trouble. And, sometimes I find information about people that can harm their case. In those cases, I let you know as soon as possible so you can determine whether to use my findings or not.

Dr. Wachtel helps me humanize my clients for the prosecution.
— Attorney Lindsay R.

expert witness testimony

I love testifying as an expert. Voire dire is fun. Cross-examination is fun. Why? Three reasons: 1. I only testify if I feel rock solid in my analysis and opinion (if I am not completely confident, I will let you know, and I will tell you up front what concessions I will need to make on the stand); 2. I like talking in front of people (I taught for 12 years at the graduate level, I am a regular on live television, and I have a knack for explaining complicated psychological concepts in digestible terms); and 3. I prepare (winging it on the stand is not an option).

If you hire me as an expert, you'll know what you're getting. I do my homework. I anticipate cross-examination, and I think about the weaknesses in my argument. I am not a hired gun, but if I have evidence that strongly favors your side, you’ll be happy you retained me.

[Dr. Wachtel’s] credentials and expertise impress both judges and juries, but more importantly, he knows how to make the most difficult concepts understandable.
— attorney Melody A.

Records reviews & behavioral profiles

I love digging through evidence -- disability evaluations, post-mortem analysis, and prior psychological testing data. I've helped prosecutors understand medical records and have developed behavioral profiles of defendants for them. I've conducted psychological autopsies and formed opinions on proximate cause of death. I've helped attorneys get confessions thrown out because of Miranda errors. If you need a second set of eyes to review discovery, I can help.


competency & sanity evaluations

I got my start with these evaluations. I've conducted hundreds of competency evaluations and more than a dozen sanity evaluations, both in Colorado and Wyoming. In addition, I covered the Aurora Theater Shooting Trial for KUSA-TV, sitting in court and offering expert analysis on the shooter's insanity plea. I know the statutes and the case law inside and out -- I've even had the experience of needing to correct opposing counsel on the law while being cross examined. Hiring me is not a guarantee that you will get the outcome you are hoping for, but you can be assured my opinion will be well-founded and defendable in front of a judge or jury.


court-ordered evaluations

I'm often hired directly by courts to conduct evaluations.  including second opinion competency evaluations, sanity evaluations, guardianship evaluations, risk assessments, and general mental health evaluations. If you're interested in obtaining my services, I typically like to be contacted directly by the court and/or have conversations with both parties in order to set the parameters of the evaluation. Call me, and we’ll chat.


guardianship & Testamentary capacity evaluations

Many psychologists conduct these evaluations. Does a person have the ability to make financial decisions? Can he or she make changes to a will? Does he or she need a guardian? The law spells out the competencies a person needs to possess in each of these areas, and the bar is fairly low. You can spend a few hundred dollars on a simple evaluation that tells you what you want to hear, and then spend tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting in court because so many questions were left unanswered. Or, you can come to me. You'll spend a bit more, but you'll get a thorough evaluation that has the potential to save you a lot of money and frustration later.