Colfax County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Colfax County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Colfax County.
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 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.
Colfax County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Colfax County will take place at the Colfax County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Colfax County Criminal Court Locations.
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.
I need help for my Colfax 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 Colfax 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 Colfax 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.
Colfax County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Colfax County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Colfax 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 Colfax 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.
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.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Colfax 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.
Jury Deliberations in Colfax County
In Colfax County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Who is the prosecutor for Colfax County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Colfax County criminal cases will either be a representative of Colfax County or a representative from New Mexico. 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.
Colfax County Required Court Appearances
In Colfax 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.
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.
Colfax County Criminal Court Locations
Colfax County 8th Judicial District Court
Address: 1413 South 2nd Street, Raton, NM 87740
Phone: 575-445-5585 Fax: 575-445-2626
Colfax County Magistrate Court
Address: 122 South 3rd Street, PO Box 68, Raton, NM 87740
Phone: 575-445-2220 Fax: 575-445-8966
Colfax County Magistrate Court
Address: 300 Colbert Avenue, PO Box 760, Springer, NM 87747
Phone: 575-483-2417 Fax: 575-483-0127
Angel Fire Municipal Court
Address: 3465 Mountain View Blvd, PO Box 610, Angel Fire, NM 87710
Phone: 575-377-3800 Fax: 575-377-5915
Cimarron Municipal Court
Address: 356 9th Street, PO Box 654, Cimarron, NM 87714
Phone: 575-376-2191 Fax: 575-376-2996
Eagle Nest Municipal Court
Address: 151 North Willow Creek Drive, PO Box 168, Eagle Nest, NM 87718
Phone: 575-377-2486 Fax: 575-377-2675
Raton Municipal Court
Address: 224 Savage Avenue, PO Box 65, Raton, NM 87740
Phone: 575-445-8077 Fax 575-445-7689
Springer Municipal Court
Address: 606 Colbert Avenue, PO Box 488, Springer, NM 87747
Phone: 575-483-2682 Fax: 575-483-2910