Your Rights in Municipal Court
What to expect
The following is an explanation of your rights in this Court. Before you enter into a plea and appear before the Judge, you will have the opportunity to speak with the Town prosecutor. The purpose of that discussion is to explore a disposition or plea bargain in your case. If you do not want to enter into a plea agreement with the Town prosecuting attorney, you have the right to plead not guilty and set your case for trial.
Advisement of your rights
- To be presumed innocent of the charges, and if you plead not guilty, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
- To be represented by an attorney at your own expense. You have the right to have this arraignment continued to obtain one. In certain cases, if you cannot afford an attorney, one may be appointed to represent you.
- To a full explanation of the nature of the charges against you. If you do not understand what you are charged with, you have the right to ask the Judge. The maximum sentence the court may impose on each charge is listed on the back of your advisement form.
- To enter a plea that is voluntary and not the result of undue influence or coercion on the part of anyone. A plea of guilty means you give up the right to require the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you plead not guilty, you will have a trial to a judge or, in certain cases, a trial to a jury. To obtain a jury trial, you must request, in writing, a jury trial and post a $25 jury deposit within 21 days after the arraignment or entry of a plea. The jury shall consist of three persons, unless a greater number, not to exceed six, is requested. The jury deposit may be waived if you show you are indigent.
- To testify or not testify on your own behalf. Your silence cannot be used against you. If you make any statement, it can and may be used against you. You have the right for the Court to issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify for you. You have the right to cross-examine witnesses called to testify against you.
- To a speedy trial within 91 days of your arraignment date.
- To make a statement before any sentence is imposed upon you. You have the right to appeal a conviction within 35 days after the date of entry of the judgment or the denial of post-trial motions, whichever is later.
- To bail, and to be advised as to the amount of bail set by the Court.
- If you are not a citizen of the United States, you are advised that a conviction of the offense for which you have been charged may have the consequences of deportation, exclusion from admission to the U.S., or denial of naturalization pursuant to the laws of the U.S. You have the right to consult with an attorney prior to entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
Expungement of juvenile records
You are eligible to have the records in your case expunged if you fully comply with your sentence and pay all outstanding restitution, fines and fees. Expunging your records means you may legally assert that the records do not exist, and you may lawfully deny ever being arrested, charged, adjudicated, convicted or sentenced in the expunged matter.
If the prosecutor does not object to the expungement, the Court will automatically expunge your records 42 days after you fully comply with your sentence. Should the prosecutor object, the Court will set the case for a hearing, and the Court will decide if you are eligible to expunge your records.
If the Court orders your records expunged, the Court will send notice, in compliance with C.R.S. §19-1-306(11), of the order. You must contact the Court and provide a list of any other agencies to which you wish the Court send its order of expungement. The Court will send its order free of charge to you.
Adult record sealing advisement
If you fully comply with your case and the charges against you are dismissed, you may move for the Court to seal your records by filing a motion to seal. Upon request, the Court can provide you a copy of this motion. Before the Judge can grant your motion, you must 1) file a motion to seal and indicate all of the agencies to which you wish the court to send a copy of its order to seal; and 2) pay the $65 filing fee unless the Court waives the fee. If the Court grants your motion to seal, you may legally say that these records do not exist.
If you have any questions regarding the above information or process, you should seek legal counsel.