November 17, 2017
Colorado District Court Attorney
Colorado District Court Attorney Defending Cases Throughout Colorado
Being charged in Colorado District Court is always a serious matter. This is because to be charged in district court, one necessarily is charged with at least one felony. A felony is a charge that has a possible sentence of over a year in custody. There are six classes of felonies, in which a Class 1 Felony is the most serious, and a Class 6 Felony is the least serious. To get more information on specific sentencing ranges for felonies, click here. It is also possible to be charged with misdemeanors and petty offenses in district court, but these charges will necessarily be accompanied by at least one felony charge.
Felonies are generally initiated through a warrant and arrest. Felonies can be initiated by the district attorney or a grand jury. In the beginning stages of a felony, an individual is advised of the charges and a bond is set. Subsequently, and individual will be scheduled for either a preliminary hearing or a mandatory dispositional conference. Preliminary hearings and mandatory dispositional conferences are generally the second or third court appearance a defendant has. These appearances are conducted in county court. However, after the preliminary hearing or mandatory dispositional conference is held, the case will be set — or “bound over” — to district court, where it will remain through its disposition.
Once the case is in district court, there will be at least one arraignment appearance. Depending upon the jurisdiction, there may be at least one additional arraignment. However, most district court judges prefer to keep these cases moving forward, procedurally, and so some judges only allow one arraignment appearance. After the final arraignment, the defendant will be required to enter a plea. Generally, the plea entered is not guilty. Once a not guilty plea has been entered, the state has 180 days within which to try the defendant. This 180 day requirement is called the “speedy trial rule.” If the state fails to try the defendant within 180 days of the arraignment, the speedy trial rule requires that the case be dismissed. This occurs very rarely. Oftentimes at the arraignment, a trial date is set. A person charged with a felony is entitled to a jury trial by 12 of his peers. Many times, negotiations continue even after a case is set for trial. However, if a trial occurs, the defendant faces the possibility of a felony conviction upon a verdict of “guilty.” Nonetheless, it is always the state’s burden to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, every element of every offense charged. If the state does so, unanimously amongst all jurors, the state will prevail. If the state fails to do so, there will be either a not guilty verdict or a hung jury. If the case results in a hung jury, the state can and may decide to retry the case to a new jury at a later date.
Due to the serious nature of district court cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney is essential. Mr. Martinez is a Colorado criminal lawyer who has represented clients in all types of cases, including felonies. Mr. Martinez has achieved dismissals an deferred judgments in multiple felony matters through his career. Mr. Martinez takes cases throughout Colorado, including in:
- Denver County District Court
- Arapahoe County District Court
- Adams County District Court
- Douglas County District Court
- Boulder County District Court
- Weld County District Court
- Gilpin County District Court
- and more.
If you are facing a felony charge in Colorado, contact criminal defense lawyer Jacob E. Martinez today to discuss your case.