Garfield County Criminal Court

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

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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Garfield 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.

Garfield County Criminal Court

Garfield County Criminal Court

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.

Garfield County Required Court Appearances

In Garfield 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.

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.

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.

What happens in Garfield County at an arraignment?

In Garfield County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Garfield County Criminal Court hearings

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

Garfield County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Garfield County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Garfield County. The Garfield County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.

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.

Where can I get help for my Garfield 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 Garfield 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.

Garfield County Criminal Court Locations

  • Garfield County District Court

    Address: 109 8th Street, Suite 104, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
    Phone: 970-928-3065 Fax: 970-928-3067

  • County Court of Garfield County

    Address: 109 8th Street, Suite 104, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
    Phone: 970-928-3065 Fax: 970-928-3067

  • Garfield County Associate Court

    Address: 200 East 18th Street, Suite 103, Rifle, CO 81650
    Phone: 970-625-5100 Fax: 970-625-1125

  • Carbondale Municipal Court

    Address: 511 Colorado Avenue, Carbondale, CO 81623
    Phone: 970-963-2733 Fax: 970-963-9140

  • Glenwood Springs Municipal Court

    Address: 101 West 8th Street, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
    Phone: 970-384-6530 Fax: 970-945-5023

  • New Castle Municipal Court

    Address: 450 West Main Street, PO Box 90, New Castle, CO 81647
    Phone: 970-984-2311 Fax: 970-984-2716

  • Parachute Municipal Court

    Address: 222 Grand Valley Way, PO Box 100, Parachute, CO 81635
    Phone: 970-285-7630 Fax: 970-285-0292

  • Rifle Municipal Court

    Address: 201 East 18th Street, Rifle, CO 81650
    Phone: 970-665-6420 Fax: 970-665-6422

  • Silt Municipal Court

    Address: 231 North 7th Street, PO Box 70, Silt, CO 81652
    Phone: 970-876-2353 Fax: 970-876-2937

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.