Eagle County Criminal Court

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

Right to Jury Trial

For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.

Mandatory Appearances in Eagle County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Eagle County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.

Eagle County Criminal Court

Eagle County Criminal Court

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.

Prosecutor in Eagle County

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

Arraignments in Eagle County

During an arraignment in Eagle County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Eagle County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Eagle County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Where will Eagle County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Eagle County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Eagle 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.

What is Jury Deliberation?

After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.

Can I appeal a guilty verdict?

If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.

Defendant Sentencing

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 Eagle 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 Eagle 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.

What if I can’t afford an attorney?

The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.

Eagle County Criminal Court Locations

  • Eagle County District Court

    Address: 885 Chambers Avenue, PO Box 597, Eagle, CO 81631
    Phone: 970-328-6373 Fax: 970-328-6328

  • County Court of Eagle County

    Address: 885 Chambers Avenue, PO Box 597, Eagle, CO 81631
    Phone: 970-328-6373 Fax: 970-328-6328

  • Eagle County Court at El Jebel

    Address: 0020 Eagle County Drive, Suite B, Carbondale, CO 81623
    Phone: 970-704-2740 Fax: 970-704-2782

  • Avon Municipal Court

    Address: 1 Lake Street, Avon, CO 81620
    Phone: 970-748-4001 Fax: 970-748-4419

  • Basalt Municipal Court

    Address: 101 Midland Avenue, Basalt, CO 81621
    Phone: 970-927-4701 Fax: 970-927-4703

  • Eagle Municipal Court

    Address: 200 Broadway, PO Box 609, Eagle, CO 81631
    Phone: 970-328-6351

  • Gypsum Municipal Court

    Address: 50 Lundgren Boulevard, PO Box 130, Gypsum, CO 81637
    Phone: 970-524-7514

  • Minturn Municipal Court

    Address: 302 Pine Street, PO Box 309, Minturn, CO 81645
    Phone: 970-827-5645 Fax: 970-827-5545

  • Palmer Lake Municipal Court

    Address: PO Box 208, Palmer Lake, CO 80133
    Phone: 719-481-2953 Fax: 719-488-9305

  • Red Cliff Municipal Court

    Address: 400 Pine, PO Box 40, Red Cliff, CO 81649
    Phone: 970-827-5303 Fax: 970-827-5300

  • Vail Municipal Court

    Address: 75 South Frontage Road, Vail, CO 81657
    Phone: 970-479-2132

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