San Juan County Criminal Court

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

Who can help me in San Juan County?

For general information about your case the San Juan 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.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in San Juan 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.

San Juan County Criminal Court

San Juan County Criminal Court

Prosecutor in San Juan County

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

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.

Where will San Juan County criminal case hearings take place?

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

Mandatory Appearances in San Juan County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in San Juan 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.

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.

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.

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.

Burden of Proof Requirement

In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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

San Juan County Arraignments

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

San Juan County Criminal Court Locations

  • San Juan County District Court

    Address: 1557 Greene Street, PO Box 900, Silverton, CO 81433
    Phone: 970-387-5790 Fax: 970-387-0295

  • County Court of San Juan County

    Address: 1557 Greene Street, PO Box 900, Silverton, CO 81433
    Phone: 970-387-5790 Fax: 970-387-0295

  • Silverton Municipal Court

    Address: 1360 Greene Street, PO Box 250, Silverton, CO 81433
    Phone: 970-387-5522 Fax: 970-387-5583

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.