Summit County Criminal Court

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

Required Court Appearances in Summit County

Any required court appearances in Summit 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.

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.

Summit County Criminal Court

Summit County Criminal Court

Summit County Arraignments

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

I need help for my Summit County criminal case

The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Summit County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Summit County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.

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 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.

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

Who is the prosecutor for Summit County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Summit County criminal cases will either be a representative of Summit County or a representative from Colorado. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

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.

Summit County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

Summit County Criminal Court Locations

  • Summit County District Court

    Address: 501 North Park Avenue, PO Box 269, Breckenridge, CO 80424
    Phone: 970-453-2272 Fax: 970-453-1134

  • County Court of Summit County

    Address: 501 North Park Avenue, PO Box 269, Breckenridge, CO 80424
    Phone: 970-453-2272 Fax: 970-453-1134

  • Breckenridge Municipal Court

    Address: 150 Ski Hill Road, PO Box 168, Breckenridge, CO 80424
    Phone: 970-547-3127 Fax: 970-547-3138

  • Dillon Municipal Court

    Address: 601 Center Circle, PO Box 1309, Silverthorne, CO 80498
    Phone: 970-262-7304 Fax: 970-262-7312

  • Frisco Municipal Court

    Address: 1 Main Street, PO Box 4100, Frisco, CO 80443
    Phone: 970-668-3579

  • Silverthorne Municipal Court

    Address: 601 Center Circle, PO Box 1309, Silverthorne, CO 80498
    Phone: 970-262-7304 Fax: 970-262-7312

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