Municipal Court Charges
If you are charged with a misdemeanor or a traffic offense in Colorado, there is a decent chance that the case may being charged in one of Colorado’s many municipal courts, rather than a county court in the state court system.
Municipal courts are governed by town or city councils, as opposed to the Colorado State Judicial Branch, and operate independently of the state courts.
It is always important when charged with such an offense to check the charging document (usually the “ticket” or summons and complaint) to determine which court the case is in. Article XX, section 6 of the Colorado Constitution allows municipalities to create municipal courts and to define the scope of their jurisdiction.
Typically, in addition to traffic infractions, traffic misdemeanors and petty offenses, municipal courts can and routinely do handle various misdemeanor crimes such as assault, harassment, trespassing, prostitution, theft, and other general offenses.
Whether a misdemeanor criminal charge or traffic violation gets filed in municipal court or in the county court often depends on the police agency involved or sometimes upon the discretion of the law enforcement officer filing the charge, although municipalities typically enact guidelines for law enforcement officers to charge various crimes in a certain court based upon the nature of the case. In some jurisdictions, law enforcement officers will actually send more serious criminal cases to the municipal court system, if possible, rather than the county court; whereas in other areas, the more serious cases are often sent to the county court where probation departments and/or jail facilities may be more available than in smaller municipal court systems.
Our Criminal Defense Lawyers at Folkestad Fazekas Barrick & Patoile, P.C., have served as municipal court prosecutors, court-appointed defense counsel in various jurisdictions including the City of Greenwood Village and the Town of Parker, and one of our partners served as an alternate municipal court judge in Castle Rock Municipal Court. Our firm has served as counsel to many municipal governments over the years including the Town of Larkspur and the Town of Monument.
Call today to speak with an experienced municipal court attorney who is ready to assist clients in municipal courts throughout Colorado. Please contact our attorneys today 303-688-3045 to seek help if you have been charged with a municipal court offense.