Gunnison County Criminal Court

Gunnison County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Gunnison County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Gunnison County.

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Gunnison County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Gunnison 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.

Gunnison County Criminal Court

Gunnison County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Who can help me in Gunnison County?

For general information about your case the Gunnison County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.

Plea Agreements

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 Gunnison 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Gunnison 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.

Prosecutor in Gunnison County

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

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 Gunnison County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

Gunnison County Arraignments

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

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.

Gunnison County Criminal Court hearings

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

Gunnison County Criminal Court Locations

  • Gunnison County District Court

    Address: 108 East Georgia Street, Gunnison, CO 81230
    Phone: 970-641-3500 Fax: 970-641-6876

  • County Court of Gunnison County

    Address: 108 East Georgia Street, Gunnison, CO 81230
    Phone: 970-641-3500 Fax: 970-641-6876

  • Crested Butte Municipal Court

    Address: 507 Maroon Avenue, PO Box 39, Crested Butte, CO 81224
    Phone: 970-349-5338

  • Gunnison Municipal Court

    Address: 201 West Virginia Avenue, PO Box 239, Gunnison, CO 81230
    Phone: 970-641-8170 Fax: 970-641-8051

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