Denver County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Denver County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Denver County.
Denver County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Denver County will take place at the Denver County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Denver County Criminal Court Locations.
Denver County Required Court Appearances
In Denver County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.
Where can I get help for my Denver County criminal case?
The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Denver County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Denver County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Denver County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Denver County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Denver County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Denver County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
Right to an attorney
The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Denver County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Prosecutor in Denver County
In Denver County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Denver County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Colorado. For the most part, the prosecutor in Denver County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
In a jury trial in Denver County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
Denver County Criminal Court Locations
Denver County District Court – Civil Division
Address: 1437 Bannock Street, Room 256, Denver, CO 80202
Denver County District Court – Criminal Division
Address: 520 West Colfax Avenue, Room 135, Denver, CO 80204
Denver County Court – Civil Division
Address: 1437 Bannock Street, Room 135, Denver, CO 80202
Denver County Court – Criminal Division
Address: 520 West Colfax Avenue, Room 160, Denver, CO 80204
Denver Juvenile Court
Address: 520 West Colfax Avenue, Room 160, Denver, CO 80204