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Reviews & Ratings

  • 5.0/5.0

    Working with Valerie was great. She was very knowledgeable about the laws surrounding my case and extremely professional. She made the process manageable and was very trustworthy.

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    We worked with Valerie Cole and she was exceptional. She has a unique way as an attorney of being thoughtful, and yet very direct and to the point. She doesn't swing up and down, always calm and professional. She sees the big picture and it...
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    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Hillary C. Aizenman is an awesome attorney. She always returned my calls and emails quickly. Her wages were clear from the beginning and she is very honest and has integrity. She got good results for me!

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    I need an attorney really bad, so I called Polansky Law Firm not only did I win my case. But she explained the court procedure to me step-by-step I am so happy I picked this Law Firm. Thank you Cayce

    — Client

  • 5.0/5.0

    Lisa Polansky is a terrific criminal defense attorney who brings great knowledge and experience to the job as a result of handling countless, difficult cases, both in California and in Colorado. As a Colorado lawyer, I know that Lisa is hi...
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    — Peer

Dayna has over seventeen years of experience representing individuals accused of criminal offenses. Prior to joining Polansky Law Firm, she served as Lead Deputy Public Defender with the Colorado Public Defender’s Office, practicing both in trial and appellate divisions. For eleven of those years, she practiced before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.

Prior to her time in the Appellate Division, she also served for over five years in the Denver Trial Office defending clients charged with offenses ranging from misdemeanors such as DUIs to more serious offenses such as sexual assault and first degree murder – and everything in between. She has taken 39 cases to trial, litigated hundreds of motions, and obtained favorable plea agreements in countless cases.  While with the Public Defender’s Office, Dayna served on the Denver Regional Trial Office Training Committee, provided trainings on opening statements and motions practice, mentored newer attorneys and interns, and authored an outline on the topic of witness immunity for the system’s statewide annual conference.

Prior to becoming a public defender, Dayna clerked for District Court Judge Daniel C. Hale in Boulder, Colorado. She also clerked for a prestigious Denver law firm during law school, providing support to attorneys and partners in both civil and criminal matters.

Dayna’s client-centered approach to her practice includes zealously advocating for her clients’ interests both in and out of the courtroom, while also giving forthright, reasoned, compassionate advice so clients can make the best-informed decisions regarding their cases.


  • University of Colorado School of Law, J.D., 2005
  • University of Colorado, B.A., 2002

Bar Admissions

Colorado, 2005

Professional Memberships and Associations

  • Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association

Representative Cases

  • Appellate (published):
    • Wells-Yates v. People, 2019 CO 90M (reversal for new proportionality hearing regarding sentencing).
    • Butcher v. People, 2019 WL 1768135 (reversal by the Colorado Supreme Court without opinion based on concession by Attorney General – erroneous restitution interest calculation/plain error doctrine).
    • Perez v. People, 2015 CO 45 (reversal based on erroneous admission of CRE 404(b) evidence).
    • People v. Rodriguez, 2015 CO 55 (reversal and remand based on Batson violation).
    • People v. Bertrand, 2014 COA 142 (reversal of sexual assault conviction based on erroneous jury instruction).
    • People v. Marciano, 2014 COA 92 (reversal of theft convictions based on erroneous denial of for-cause challenge to venireperson, and reversal based on lack of foundation testimony for records evidence).
    • People v. Harris (co-counsel), 2015 COA 53 (reversal of child abuse based on erroneous admission of CRE 404(b) evidence).
    • People v. Ramirez, 2019 COA 16 (reversal of first degree assault conviction based on erroneous jury instruction – plain error).
    • People v. Espinosa (co-counsel), 2020 COA 63 (reversal of sexual assault on a child conviction based on erroneous jury instruction).
  • Appellate (unpublished):
    • Vacated sexual assault on a child convictions for statute of limitations violation.
    • Reversal of drug possession conviction for Fourth Amendment violation
    • Reversal of theft convictions for statute of limitations violation.
    • Vacated pimping conviction based on multiplicity.
    • Reversal of sexual assault-force conviction for prejudicial variance.
    • Reversal of second degree assault for failure to instruct on requested lesser-included offense.
    • Vacated felony theft by receiving conviction for insufficient evidence.
    • Restitution reversals.
    • Reversal of menacing conviction based on Miranda violation.
    • Reversal for sentencing error; upon remand, client’s sentence was lowered from indeterminate prison to probation sentence for a class two felony sexual assault conviction.
    • Reversal of aggravated incest conviction for failure to require the prosecutor elect or give a modified unanimity instruction.
    • Vacated conviction for attempt to influence a public servant for insufficient evidence.
    • Vacated consecutive sentencing after counsel argued two convictions were based on identical evidence; as a result, client’s sentence was lowered by 64 years.
    • Reversal of robbery conviction based on erroneous admission of CRE 404(b) evidence.
    • Reversal of felony DUI.
    • Reversal of sexual assault on a child based on erroneous admission of State’s expert testimony concerning truthfulness of children’s accusations.
  • Trials:
    • Acquittal on first degree murder charge, and all lesser-included offenses (co-counsel).
    • Acquittal on attempted sexual assault charge.
    • In juvenile case, acquittal of unlawful sexual contact charge.
    • In trial involving second degree assault charge (with mandatory crime-of-violence prison sentence), conviction for the lesser misdemeanor of third degree assault. In same trial, jury also acquitted of felony kidnapping in favor of lesser misdemeanor false imprisonment conviction.
    • Conviction at trial on escape charge which was ultimately reversed on appeal based on record made at trial regarding challenged juror.
    • Hung trial on manslaughter charge (co-counsel).
    • Hung trial on possession of a dangerous weapon charge (co-counsel).
    • Acquittal of DUI, DWAI, and no-proof-of-insurance.
    • Acquittal of third degree assault and criminal mischief.
    • Acquittal of third degree assault – domestic violence.
    • Dismissal of third degree assault conviction mid-trial based on witness collusion.
    • Acquittal of DUI, no insurance, obstructing a peace officer, driving under restraint.