Routt County Criminal Court

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

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.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Routt County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.

Routt County Criminal Court

Routt County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Routt 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.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Routt County

Any required court appearances in Routt County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.

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.

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.

Who can help me in Routt County?

For general information about your case the Routt 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.

Routt County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Routt County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Routt County. The Routt 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.

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.

What happens in Routt County at an arraignment?

In Routt 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.

Routt County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Routt County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Routt County Criminal Court Locations

  • Routt County District Court

    Address: 1955 Shield Drive, PO Box 773117, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
    Phone: 970-879-5020

  • County Court of Routt County

    Address: 1955 Shield Drive, PO Box 773117, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
    Phone: 970-879-5020

  • Hayden Municipal Court

    Address: 178 West Jefferson Avenue, PO Box 190, Hayden, CO 81639
    Phone: 970-276-3741 Ext.45 Fax: 970-276-3644

  • Steamboat Springs Municipal Court

    Address: 137 10th Street, PO Box 775088, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
    Phone: 970-871-8277 Fax: 970-879-8851

  • Yampa Municipal Court

    Address: 56 Lincoln Street, PO Box 224, Yampa, CO 80483
    Phone: 970-638-4511 Fax: 970-638-4227

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