Entanglement in the legal system can be a terrifying and confusing experience. One of the most often asked question at our law firm is "What happens next?" This page was designed to help you or your loved ones to better understand the legal system and the proceedings of a criminal case.
Criminal Proceedings Chart
The chart below is a visual aid to help add clarity around the process of a criminal case. Click any of the nodes in the chart to learn more about that step in the proceedings of a criminal case.
Every criminal case starts with one form or another of police investigation. It may be as simple as what a police officer has observed culminating in issuance of a speeding ticker, or as complex as a large scale long-term homicide investigation. A simple investgation may be of such short duration that there is no opportunity for one to seek legal advice, event though that would be helpful. Many pending investiations allow alert individuals the opportunity to benefit frpm legal counsel before unwise decisions become irreversible.
Individuals usually seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney once they know they are facing criminal accusation, where an arrest is imminent or after criminal charges are filed. However, there are many instances when one is aware that an investigation is pending although no such formal action has yet occurred. The police may have sought to question, or otherwise to gain information from the person under investigation. It is a convenient belief to think that unqualified and unconditional cooperation with the police will “clear up this misunderstanding.” Unfortunately, the hope of such a simple resolution can prove to be naïve, and may become extremely damaging.
There are critical choices and crucial crossroads during this phase, although they may not be apparent to the person under investigation.
It is simply unwise, whether based on a sense of trusting in the right outcome, or driven by anxiety and fear, among many potential factors, to put one’s fate in the hands of law enforcement officials, working towards an arrest, without having the protections offered by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Involving an experienced criminal defense attorney at this stage does not necessarily mean that the police will be “stonewalled” by the defense. In most instances of pre-charging representation, Alexander Garlin and Don Andrews have seek to promptly establish lines of communication with the primary investigating officer, and, when appropriate, also with the prosecutor’s office. They work to obtain all available information concerning nature and status of the investigation. They first thoroughly discuss the circumstances with the client, then call the officer or detective in order to learn what evidence may have been gathered learn the law enforcement view of the matter. They gather all available official documents and reports, and may initiate an independent private investigation, along with other measures to protect their client’s legal interests. This information gathering culminates in an analysis of the case and assessment of what, if any, information should be provided to law enforcement, and what other things to do, in an effort to avoid a filing of criminal charges. If avoiding the filing of charges is not possible, and an arrest will occur, an agreement can usually be made for surrender at a future date, thereby allowing arrangements in advance to minimize the time in jail while awaiting bond setting. Experience has shown that in most cases, establishing a line of communication between police and defense attorney, while not permitting communication directly between the police and their suspect, greatly reduces the potential for ugly surprises, and allows for gaining early control that may favorably shape the ultimate outcome of the investigation, even should charges be filed.
Before an investigation can result in formal charging, there must be probable cause. Probable cause for arrest exists where the facts and circumstances within the officer's knowledge and of which he has reasonably trustworthy information are sufficient to cause a reasonably cautious and prudent police officer to believe that an offense has been committed and the person arrested probably committed it.Some investigations end without arrest and/or filing of charges due to lack of probable cause.
No Charges Filed
Not every criminal investigation culminates if the filing of charges. There are instances where the police or District Attorney will decline to file charges, even when probable cause may appear to be present. The involvement of an experienced criminal defense attorney at the first indication of a police investigation can make the difference between filing or no filing of charges. Alexander Garlin and Don Andrews, have experience at providing criminal defense at the earliest stages of a criminal investigation, and have been successful in averting the filing of criminal charges in a variety of cases.
Sealing of Criminal Records
No one wants to experience the stigma associated with a permanent criminal record, regardless of whether the charges were ultimately dismissed. Colorado law provides for the sealing of criminal records, but only under specific and limited circumstances. One is eligible to petition to seal his or her records if charges were never filed, if charges were filed but all were subsequently dismissed, or if the defendant was found not guilty of all charges at trial.
A petition to seal one's criminal records is a civil proceeding that is separate and distinct from the underlying criminal case, and is filed in the District Court of the judicial district in which the case arose. After a petition is filed, the matter is set for hearing and a notice is sent to all interested parties, namely the relevant law enforcement agency, the District Attorney’s office, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation among others. The notice advises the interested parties of their right to object to the petition, and sets a time period within which a written objection must be filed. If no objections are filed, the petition may be granted without a hearing before a judge. Should one or more objections be filed, the Court will schedule a hearing and evidence will be presented. At such a hearing, the Court will determine whether the individual’s right to privacy outweighs the public’s need to have the information remain permanently of record.
Upon the granting of a petition to seal, the interested agencies receive a written court order directing that their records be sealed. It is important to be aware that a sealing of records does not in every way prevent access to this information by narrow categories of officials. Of primary importance, however, the information absolutely may not be disseminated to the public, and it is a crime to do so. The granting of the petition allows the subject of the petition to treat the underlying criminal matter as if it never occurred. This is the goal of such efforts, so that one may honestly state that no arrest, charging, or other proceedings related to the criminal ever took place.
While those who do not meet the criteria for sealing criminal records must live with the stigma of a permanent criminal record, those who are eligible to remove the event from the public records should not hesitate to take action. Because the process takes an average of three to four months to complete, it is not prudent to wait until an educational, career, or other opportunity arises that may be lost unless the record is immediately sealed.
Alexander Garlin has been successful in obtaining orders to seal criminal records after obtaining outcomes in the underlying criminal cases that met the eligibility criteria for sealing criminal records.
Criminal Defense Attorneys, Alexander Garlin and Don Andrews, are available to pursue sealing of records on behalf of clients represented by Garlin Driscoll, LLC, in the underlying criminal matter, as well as for new clients. Whether you contact Garlin Driscoll, LLC, or other qualified attorneys, we recommend that you do so without delay so that you can better understand your circumstances, and thereby promote informed decision making that could significantly improve the ultimate outcome of your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Garlin Driscoll, LLC welcome your inquiry and do not charge for initial telephone, e-mail and/or office consultations.
An arrest warrant is a written court order authorizing the police to make an arrest. An investigating police officer authors an Affidavit in Support of Arrest Warrant. In the Affidavit, the police officer must set forth, under oath, the facts upon which it is contended that there is probable cause cause to believe a crime was committed by the person sought to be arrested. The Affidavit is reviewed by a judge to independently determine whether probable cause exists. If so, an arrest warrant is issued.
An arrest can be made upon probable cause, and in certain instances, without an arrest warrant. Should it become clear that an arrest if inevitable, it is usually better to negotiate an agreement for voluntary surrender instead of an arrest that may happen at any place or time, for example, in a public place, while at home with one's family, or while at work. With voluntary surrender, advance arrangements can be made for the posting of bond and other important details. In most instances voluntary surrender by prearrangement will significantly help to reduce the anxiety, humiliation, and uncertainty of an impending arrest, and generally shortens the period of time from going into custody and release after the setting and posting of bond.
Charge by Summons
A summons is a document directing the named person to appear before a judge at a specific time and place to answer to the stated charge or charges. A traffic ticket is the most common summons, although one may be issued for a variety of criminal charges. While issued most often used in traffic and misdemeanor cases, felony charges may also be initiated by summons. Most significantly, a summons issues instead of being arrested and incarcerated.
An arrest made by a police officer with probable cause, with our without an arrest warrant. However, in order to arrest a person in a home, an arrest warrant must be obtained unless there is consent to enter the home, or there are emergency circumstances justifying a warrantless entry, or both. A person may be arrested without a warrant of he/she has committed or is committing a crime in the officer's presence or the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed a crime.
An arrest is not made in every instance where probable cause exists, and it is common with more minor crimes that a summons is issued instead. Felony offense most often trigger an arrest and incarceration prior to the setting or posting of bond.
Bond Setting, Types of Bail Bonds, Bond Conditions and Pretrial Supervision
In certain instances, bond may be set at the time the arrest warrant is issued, making it sometimes unnecessary to wait to appear before a judge before posting bond. When bond was already set, or one needs to request a reduction in the amount of bond, there will be an court appearance before it becomes possible to post bond and be released from custody. With certain exceptions, one has a right to have bond set, if not already done, within a reasonable time of being arrested. The Bond Commissioner's Unit, acting on behalf of the judge and performing a Bond Commissioner evaluation, may set bond without awaiting a formal hearing, but a person may be kept in custody for a hearing where a judge considers bond setting. Anyone charged with an offense meeting the definition of Domestic Violence or other violent crime will be required to remain in jail until a bond hearing before a judge. One posting bond is released from jail subject to the fundamental requirement of making future court appearance, and other bond conditions such as no-contact orders, evaluation, treatment, drug and/or alcohol monitoring and pretrial supervision. Whatever conditions imposed by the court are mandatory, and failure to comply can result in revocation of bond, re-arrest and the filing of addition criminal charges. Pretrial Supervision in Boulder is provided by Community Justice Services. Pretrial Services also provides the Bond Commissioner’s Unit.
Three types of bond may be set:
Cash - The court sets a specific money amount to be posted with the court clerk. At the conclusion of the case, when court appearances and other bond conditions have been fulfilled, the cash is returned to the person who posted it. A personal recognizance bond is a form of cash bond. The court sets a specific money amount, but money does not have to be posted in order to be released from jail. Instead you, and sometimes another person (co-signer) also, sign a document which makes the signer(s) liable for the amount of the bond in the event of a failure to appear.
Surety - A professional bondsperson is paid a percentage of the face amount of the bond as set by the court. The bondsperson then posts the bond through a commercial surety company. The bondsperson usually requires collateral before posting the bond, and the bondsperson's fee is generally not refundable.
Property – A lien is given to the State against Colorado real property in the face amount of the bond. There must be equity in the property (amount which is free and clear) well in excess of the face amount, usually at least 150% greater. Document must be provided proving the ownership and value of the property. The office of the Boulder Court Clerk can provide the specific requirements for posting a property bond.
An Administrative Order by the Chief Judge of the Boulder District Court sets forth information about the bonding process, most importantly, bond schedules itemizing the likely dollar amounts for most felony, misdemeanor, petty and traffic offenses. The Order also specifies those offense which the bond commissioner may not set bond, thereby requiring an appearance before a judge, and a likely longer stay in jail pending bond setting.
You may read Your Guide to Bail Bonds in Colorado an official publication of the State of Colorado, as well as official Boulder County information on bail bonds. You may also view the official form for an Appearance Bond.
County Court Proceedings
Both the County Court and District Court may hear certain criminal cases. In most jurisdictions there are a number of County and District Court judges. In most instances criminal proceedings for both misdemeanor and felony charges begin in County Court. A County Court judge provides advisement of rights to those who are recently arrested, and sets bond. Misdemeanor cases remain in County Court through resolution. Felony cases that remain unresolved by the time of the Status Conference are "bound over" to the District Court for arraignment, motions hearing and jury trial.
Advisement of Rights
An arrested person must be brought before a judge and advised of certain important legal rights and matters within a reasonable time after being taken into custody. The person will be advised of the charges for which he/she is under investigation, of the right to have bond set, to be represented by counsel, among others. In most instances the judge will set bond and bond conditions.
Below are explanations of some of the most precious and important fundament constitutional rights to which any person accused of a crime is entitled:
Right to Remain Silent - The police are not permitted to force one under investigation to speak with them in an interrogation setting. Once under arrest, and before the police begin asking questions about a suspected crime, they must provide an advisement of the right to remain silent and the right to speak with a lawyer before deciding whether to answer questions. If police questioning begins after an arrest and without this well-known Miranda Advisement and subsequent waiver (giving up) of rights, the answers given may ultimately be inadmissible at trial, even if the answers are important prosecution evidence. However, a failure to advise of these rights does not guarantee that the case will be dismissed, nor are the police required to read rights to someone they do not intend to question who is not under arrest. Whether one is actually under arrest at the time of questioning is not always a simple question to resolve. The Constitution guarantees that no individual under a cloud of suspicion or accusation may be compelled to produce evidence again one’s self. To the contrary, it is the prosecutions burden attempt to produce evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, during which time the accused person is to be presumed innocent.
Right to be Represented by Competent Counsel - The precious rights of one accused of committing a crime are of questionable value without representation by a competent lawyer experienced in criminal defense. Most individuals accused of crimes for which a jail sentence may be imposed are entitled to competent representation, and those that cannot afford to hire private counsel may be entitled to be represented at no charge by the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Whether by a lawyer in private practice or a public defender, representation should be secured in order to ensure that these precious constitutional rights are meaningfully afforded to a criminally accused person.
Right to a Trial - In order to convict at trial, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Trial may be to a judge or a jury. Most cases do not go to trial, but are resolved through negotiation and compromise. However, some cases should and do go to trial. Either way, from the beginning of the case, the most important question is whether the prosecutor will have enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The weaker the proof, the stronger is the accused person’s bargaining power to reach an acceptable resolution without the stress, risk, uncertainty, and expense of going to trial.
Right to be Presumed Innocent - At trial the prosecutor has the burden at trial to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Only after all the evidence, statements of the lawyers, and instructions of law have been presented should the determination of whether the case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt begin. The presumption of innocence is to remain throughout the trial and leading up to deliberations. The defense attorney must do everything possible throughout every stage of the trial to make sure that the fact finder does not cast aside the presumption of innocence.
Felonies are the most serious criminal offenses, and range from Class One, the most serious, to Class Six, the least serious. Felony convictions can result in prison sentences in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the statewide prison system, and are followed by mandatory periods of parole. Possible prison sentences range from twelve months to natural life, depending on the crime. In very rare situations, the prosecution can seek the death penalty. Felony convictions not resulting in a prison sentence will almost always involve supervised probation (regular or intensively supervised) and could involve a county jail sentence. If a judge believes that a prison sentence is too harsh, but probation is too lenient, a sentence to a community corrections facility (halfway house) may be considered. A criminal history with a felony conviction may make it extremely difficult for one to obtain or maintain employment, and also difficult to secure suitable housing. These are just a few of the obstacles that a person with a felony conviction can encounter.
The Preliminary Hearing is a screening device and not meant to determine guilt or innocence where the judge hears evidence to determine whether there is probable cause exists to believe that the offenses charged in the criminal complaint was committed by the accused person. It is prosecution’s burden to prove probable cause. Probable cause is a very low burden of proof A judge’s finding of probable cause at the PH does not mean that at trial a jury would necessarily find that the prosecution had proven the case beyond a reasonable doubt. At the PH the judge is required by the law to view all evidence presented in the light most favorable to the prosecution. All conflicting evidence, all inferences, all close calls to be resolved in favor of the prosecution. It would be unusual for the defense to put on evidence because it is likely in almost any case probable cause will be found.
District Court Proceedings
At the Arraignment, one is called upon to plead Not Guilty or Guilty. It is common to enter a plea of Not Guilty at this early stage of the proceedings, in order to preserve the right to trial. A guilty plea may be substituted for a Not Guilty plea prior to trial.
The type and timing of the plea is influenced by many factors. Importantly, guilty pleas are usually the result of negotiations between the defense lawyer and the prosecution. These negotiations, sometimes referred to as plea bargaining, can result in a favorable reduction or change of charge, and concessions from the prosecution regarding sentencing.
The entry of the Not Guilty plea triggers the speedy trial period of 6 months within which the trial must begin.
Should a case appear headed for trial rather than disposition (resolution) via a negotiated plea agreement, the judge will set a deadline for filing of motions, and set a date prior to trial for a hearing on these motion. Pretrial motions in criminal cases most commonly seek suppression or exclusion of evidence at trial based upon defense contentions that the challenged evidence was inappropriately obtained by the police. Evidence may include actual physical objects, laboratory test results, observations by law enforcement officials, and things allegedly said by the accused person. While it is standard criminal defense practice to file pretrial motions, many cases resolve before the motions hearing. For those cases that proceed to motions hearing, the great majority of motions that could win the case for the defense are most often denied. On the other hand, motions important to the defense are sometimes granted, in whole or in part, potentially significantly improving the accused person's position.
In order to convict at trial, the prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Trial may be to a judge or a jury. Most cases do not go to trial, but are resolved through negotiation and compromise. However, some cases should and do go to trial. Either way, from the beginning of the case, the most important question is whether the prosecutor will have enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The weaker the proof, the stronger is the accused person’s bargaining power to reach an acceptable resolution without the stress, risk, uncertainty, and expense of going to trial.
At trial the prosecutor has the burden at trial to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Only after all the evidence, statements of the lawyers, and instructions of law have been presented should the determination of whether the case was proven beyond a reasonable doubt begin. The presumption of innocence is to remain throughout the trial and leading up to deliberations. The defense attorney must do everything possible throughout every stage of the trial to make sure that the fact finder does not cast aside the presumption of innocence.
In order get obtain a conviction at trial, the prosecution must prove each part or "element" of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt. Because the "burden of proof" is always upon the prosecution, the accused person is never required to produce evidence in order to be found not guilty. At all times the judge or jury's focus is to be on the quality of the prosecution's evidence, measured by the requirement of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. No conviction can occur unless the judge or each jury member is convinced guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A verdict of Not Guilty is the same a judge or jury stating the the prosecution has not proven each and every element of a charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
Every juror must determine that the prosecution has or has not proven a particular charge beyond a reasonable doubt. If all jurors are unable to agree on a verdict now matter how long they deliberate, the jury is considered to be hopelessly deadlocked, a "hung jury." In this event, the judge declares a mistrial, and the prosecution is allowed to again bring the accused person to trial at a future date before a different jury.
One found guilty at trial has a right to appeal the conviction. An appeal is not a new trial; rather it is the review of the preserved trial record by a court higher (appellate court) to determine whether there were errors during the motions hearing and/or trial than unfairly and materially contributed to the unfavorable outcome. If the appellate court finds that sufficient error occurred, the conviction may be vacated, or a new trial may be ordered. If one is in custody after conviction and sentencing, an appeal bond must be posted in order to remain at liberty pending the outcome of the appeal.
Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies, but more serious than petty offenses. One convicted of a misdemeanor may be required to serve a county jail sentence, but cannot be sentenced to the Colorado Department of Corrections, the statewide prison system. Misdemeanors range in seriousness from Class One, which is the most serious, to Class Three, which is the least serious. The higher the class of misdemeanor, the greater the possible penalties. Like misdemeanors, petty offenses range from Class One to Class Three.
Once a Not Guilty plea has been entered, the Court will schedule a Pretrial Conference. The Pretrial Conference is the formal opportunity for accused person or his/her criminal defense attorney to meet with the prosecutor assigned to the case to discuss possible alternatives to taking the case to trial. Possible alternative range from outright dismissal of all charges, to a reduction of charges or softening of sentence in exchange for a Guilty plea to an agreed upon charge. The Pretrial Conference may be a positive step towards an imminent resolution of the charges, or time to cement one's resolve to prepare for trial.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer will methodically prepare for the Pretrial Conference through client interviews, investigation and other fact gathering, full analysis of the facts and applicable law, and the setting of appropriate goals. While the large majority of cases are resolved via plea agreements, some cases should, from the criminal defense perspective, be completely dismissed. Obtaining a voluntary dismissal from a prosecutor is not an easy task, but may be attainable in the appropriate case. Prosecutors are so accustomed to being urged to dismiss cases that they can become quite resistant to the possibility, even in the proper case. Alexander Garlin and Don Andrews have obtained voluntary dismissals of a variety of misdemeanor and felony case through experience, hard work and dedication. Where dismissal is not a realistic goal, they focus intensely on obtaining the very best outcome for their client.
In some cases, the defense and the prosecution may not be able to reach an acceptable plea agreement. It is then of utmost importance to prepare the case for trial, and go to trial should the prosecution's position not become more favorable to the client. Alexander Garlin and Don Andrews have tried cases before judges and juries throughout Colorado over the past three decades. An experienced trial lawyer is often in the best position to obtain the best possible result for the client, not by taking the case to trial, but because the prosecution is aware that the defense lawyer is ready and able to do so when necessary.
Case Management Conference
A new court date is set at the conclusion of the Pretrial Conference. When it appears that the case is going in the direction of trial rather than negotiated settlement involving a guilty plea, or if additional time for plea negotiations is needed, a Case Management Conference will be scheduled.
The Case Management Conference is a formal court appearance for the purpose of scheduling a deadline for filing of legal motions, a Motions Hearing, a plea disposition cut-off deadline and a trial date. If a plea disposition has been arrived at, it can be presented to the Court before further scheduling occurs.
Whether one pleads guilty to a criminal offense based on a plea agreement, or a guilty verdict is returned at trial, there will be a conviction followed by sentencing. While "sentencing" implies the imposition of either a jail or prison sentence, there are other alternatives available. The range of options available to a judge at a sentencing hearing include fines, court costs, community service, unsupervised probation, supervised probation, electronic home monitoring, work crew, work release, and/or straight incarceration.
For misdemeanor convictions, straight incarceration involves serving time in the county jail, while felony convictions may result in a sentence to a community corrections facility or to prison.
The outcome of a sentencing hearing is not normally a foregone conclusion, as many different factors are considered by the judge. As with other critical stages of a criminal case, the client and the case should be appropriately prepared in anticipation of sentencing. It is important for any criminal defense attorney to identify and marshall all available mitigation in order to highlight the facts most favorable to the client, and to attempt to blunt those that appear to be most damaging. This challenge sometimes begins at a very early stage in the case, particularly if the client would be well advised to attend special classes, participate in therapy, or participate in other remedial-type voluntary activities at the outset.
In some instances the best criminal defense efforts cannot prevent the imposition of straight incarceration (being locked up) instead of other alternatives.
Straight incarceration for misdemeanors is served in the County Jail of the county where the conviction occurred, for example the Boulder County Jail.
- Boulder County Jail Programs
- Boulder County Jail Productive Day Program
- Boulder County Jail Visitation Schedule
Straight incarceration for felony convictions are prison sentences served in one of the numerous Colorado Department of Corrections facilities.
In most criminal cases other than traffic offenses, the judge has the authority at the sentencing hearing to require that payment be made to reimburse the crime victim (including the victim's insurance company.) The judge will give the District Attorney a specific period of time to determine the amount of restitution to claim, and the defendant has a right to either accept that amount or have a hearing where the the judge decides the proper restitution amount.
Surcharges are essentially tolls that an individual who passes through the criminal court system is required to pay. The amounts collected are earmarked for specific law enforcement and victim assistance programs. Surcharges are in addition to other monetary obligations such as fines and court costs.
The Boulder Probation Department administers the most sought after alternative to actual confinement, sometimes referred to as straight time. While probation is generally granted instead of a jail or prison sentence, probation may granted along with some form of incarceration.
When a sentence of incarceration is imposed, whether as a term and condition of probation, or without probation, the judge may impose certain alternatives to actually being locked up full-time in the county jail. These jail alternatives can be deemed to satisfy a sentence just as if it had been served as straight time. The availability of such jail alternative can be of great importance when facing a mandatory jail sentences possible alternatives include programs such as Home Detention, Work Release, the Work Crew Program, and the Multiple Offender DUI (MOD) Program. The court may consider these options in situations where the person convicted would otherwise have to serve a sentence of straight jail time. In each of these programs, daily or weekly fees are charged.
Home Detention Program - Administered by the Boulder County Sheriff's Department. Unless involved in a narrow category of specifically pre-approved activates such as going to work, one must remain at home, monitored by an electronic "ankle bracelet."
Electronic Home Monitoring - Administered by the Boulder Probation Department or the private agencies Intervention and Rocky Mountain Offender Management Services. Available as an alternative to incarceration in the county jail as a condition of probation, or when a probationer is not in full compliance with the conditions of probation.
Work Release Program - An individual is permitted to go to work and participate in other pre-approved activities, and at all other times must be incarcerated at a jail facility.
Work Crew Program - Jail sentences are served by working on a day work crew, during which specific tasks are assigned and performed, but sleeping at home.
Multiple Offender DUI (MOD) Program - An intensive three phase program for individuals with three or more alcohol related convictions, starting with straight jail, and transitioning to work release and then to day reporting. (MOD Program brochure.)
Starr Program - for women with a history of repeat offenses including, but not limited to DUI and DWAI.
Rapidly advancing technology has created electronic devises that go well beyond the traditional ankle bracelet and home phone line combination. Continuous satellite alcohol monitoring systems allow for around the clock monitoring no matter where one may be located. Such devices include:
While devices such as these may be seen as extremely intrusive, their availability may provide a judge with alternatives to more traditional monitoring methods that by their nature reduce flexibility and place severe restrictions upon one’s mobility.
Fines are universally the most common method of imposing consequences for having engaged in prohibited conduct. Imposition of a fine is usually the least possible sanction available to a judge. Court costs and surcharges are monetary obligations that may be imposed in addition to a fine.
- Boulder Probation Department
- Boulder Intensive Supervision Probation terms and conditions
- Rocky Mountain Offender Management Services
- Community Justice Service cooridnates and supervises performance of useful community service ordered as part of sentencing by the Boulder County and District Courts.
- Boulder Community Justice Services Brochure I
- Boulder Community Justice Services Brochure II
- Boulder Community Justice Services Information Sheet
- Boulder Municipal Court Community Service Form
Court costs in varying amounts are assessed in every case unless there is a complete dismissal. Court costs are imposed in addition to other monetary obligations such as fines and surcharges, and are used to assist in the funding of court operations.
Sentencing for Extraordinary Risk Crimes (18-1.3-401)
(10) (a) The general assembly hereby finds that certain crimes which are listed in paragraph (b) of this subsection (10) present an extraordinary risk of harm to society and therefore, in the interest of public safety, for such crimes which constitute class 3 felonies, the maximum sentence in the presumptive range shall be increased by four years; for such crimes which constitute class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence in the presumptive range shall be increased by two years; for such crimes which constitute class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence in the presumptive range shall be increased by one year; for such crimes which constitute class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence in the presumptive range shall be increased by six months.
(b) Crimes that present an extraordinary risk of harm to society shall include the following:
(I) to (VIII) Repealed.
(IX) Aggravated robbery, as defined in section 18-4-302;
(X) Child abuse, as defined in section 18-6-401;
(XI) Unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, sale, or possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, distribute, manufacture, or dispense, as defined in section 18-18-405;
(XII) Any crime of violence, as defined in section 18-1.3-406;
(XIII) Stalking, as described in section 18-9-111 (4); and
(XIV) Sale or distribution of materials to manufacture controlled substances, as described in section 18-18-412.7.
Sentencing, Mandatory for Violent Crimes (18-1.3-406)
(1) (a) Any person convicted of a crime of violence shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of section 18-1.3-401 (8) to the department of corrections for a term of incarceration of at least the midpoint in, but not more than twice the maximum of, the presumptive range provided for such offense in section 18-1.3-401 (1) (a), as modified for an extraordinary risk crime pursuant to section 18-1.3-401 (10), without suspension; except that, within ninety days after he or she has been placed in the custody of the department of corrections, the department shall transmit to the sentencing court a report on the evaluation and diagnosis of the violent offender, and the court, in a case which it considers to be exceptional and to involve unusual and extenuating circumstances, may thereupon modify the sentence, effective not earlier than one hundred twenty days after his or her placement in the custody of the department. Such modification may include probation if the person is otherwise eligible therefor. Whenever a court finds that modification of a sentence is justified, the judge shall notify the state court administrator of his or her decision and shall advise said administrator of the unusual and extenuating circumstances that justified such modification. The state court administrator shall maintain a record, which shall be open to the public, summarizing all modifications of sentences and the grounds therefor for each judge of each district court in the state. A person convicted of two or more separate crimes of violence arising out of the same incident shall be sentenced for such crimes so that sentences are served consecutively rather than concurrently.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), any person convicted of a sex offense, as defined in section 18-1.3-1003 (5), committed on or after November 1, 1998, that constitutes a crime of violence shall be sentenced to the department of corrections for an indeterminate term of incarceration of at least the midpoint in the presumptive range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (1) (a) (V) (A) up to a maximum of the person's natural life, as provided in section 18-1.3-1004 (1).
(2) (a) (I) "Crime of violence" means any of the crimes specified in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a) committed, conspired to be committed, or attempted to be committed by a person during which, or in the immediate flight therefrom, the person:
(A) Used, or possessed and threatened the use of, a deadly weapon; or
(B) Caused serious bodily injury or death to any other person except another participant.
(II) Subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) applies to the following crimes:
(A) Any crime against an at-risk adult or at-risk juvenile;
(C) First or second degree assault;
(E) A sexual offense pursuant to part 4 of article 3 of this title;
(F) Aggravated robbery;
(G) First degree arson;
(H) First degree burglary;
(I) Escape; or
(J) Criminal extortion.
(b) (I) "Crime of violence" also means any unlawful sexual offense in which the defendant caused bodily injury to the victim or in which the defendant used threat, intimidation, or force against the victim. For purposes of this subparagraph (I), "unlawful sexual offense" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 18-3-411 (1), and "bodily injury" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 18-1-901 (3) (c).
(II) The provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall apply only to felony unlawful sexual offenses.
(c) As used in this section, "at-risk adult" has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-6.5-102 (1), and "at-risk juvenile" has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-6.5-102 (1.5).
Sentencing in the Presumptive Range (18-1.3-401)
Misdemeanors are those charges where punishment cannot be greater than a sentence to the County Jail, as distinguished from felonies, which MAY carry potential prison (Colorado Department of Corrections) sentences.
There are three classes of misdemeanor with the following potential penalties:
Class 1 - Six months to eighteen months county jail imprisonment, or five hundred to one thousand dollars fine, or both, except that crimes designated as extraordinary risk carry up to twenty-four months imprisonment in the county jail;
Class 2 - Three to twelve months imprisonment, or two hundred fifty to one thousand dollars fine, or both
Class 3 -Six months imprisonment, or fifty to seven hundred fifty dollars fine, or both
There a six class of felonies classified, with the following presumptive penalties:
Class 1 - Life imprisonment or death
Class 2 - Eight to twenty-four year imprisonment and five years parole
Class 3 - Four to twelve years imprisonment and five years parole
Class 4 - Two to six years imprisonment and three years parole
Class 5 - One to three years imprisonment and two years parole
Class 6 - One year to eighteen months imprisonment and one year parole.
There are many circumstances under which an individual convicted of a felony may be sentenced to terms that exceed the above-noted presumptive ranges, and/or is ineligible for probation or otherwise subject to mandatory and enhanced sentencing.