Douglas County Criminal Court

Douglas County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Douglas County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Douglas County.

What is a Plea Agreement?

A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.

Jury by Trial Right

The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.

Douglas County Criminal Court

Douglas County Criminal Court

Douglas County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Douglas County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Douglas 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 Douglas 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.

If guilty, who sentences the defendant?

If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.

Prosecutor in Douglas County

In Douglas County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Douglas County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Colorado. For the most part, the prosecutor in Douglas County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Douglas 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.

Douglas County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Douglas County will take place at the Douglas County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Douglas County Criminal Court Locations.

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

I need help for my Douglas County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Douglas County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Douglas County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

Appealing a Criminal Conviciton

A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.

Douglas County Required Court Appearances

In Douglas 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.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Douglas County Criminal Court Locations

  • Douglas County District Court

    Address: 4000 Justice Way, Suite 2009, Castle Rock, CO 80109
    Phone: 720-437-6200 Fax: 303-688-1962

  • County Court of Douglas County

    Address: 4000 Justice Way, Suite 2009, Castle Rock, CO 80109
    Phone: 720-437-6200 Fax: 303-688-1962

  • Castle Pines Municipal Court

    Address: 7404 Yorkshire Drive, PO Box 1480, Castle Pines, CO 80104
    Phone: 720-545-8154

  • Castle Rock Municipal Court

    Address: 100 Perry Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104
    Phone: 303-663-6133 Fax: 303-663-6137

  • Lone Tree Municipal Court

    Address: 9220 Kimmer Drive, Suite 100, Lone Tree, CO 80124
    Phone: 303-339-8177 Fax: 303-225-4949

  • Parker Municipal Court

    Address: 20120 East Main Street, Parker, CO 80138
    Phone: 303-805-3195 Fax: 303-805-3126

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