Criminal Defense in Municipal Courts
Violation a City Ordinance Results in a case in Municipal Court
From Denver to Durango, every city in the State of Colorado maintains ordinance. These are codes control the day-to-day operation of the city. The code includes building codes. Most cities have a criminal code as well.
The City of Aurora ordinance controls how long your grass can grow. Denver has a traffic code. Blackhawk as an ordinance dealing with firearms, and various other cities have various other ordinances. Violating a city ordinance requires a defendant to appear in Municipal Court.
The Lawrence Law Firm is a Municipal Ordinance Violation attorney. Given out location, we primarily serve the aurora municipal court. However, we are ready and able to provide services to any municipal court in the Denver Metro Area.
Municipal Ordinance Violations Are Different from County Cases
Misdemeanors and felonies are violations of state law. Colorado law has permitted cities to enact legislation. This often includes the creation of separate criminal codes.
A Municipal Courts follows the same rules of evidence as state courts. Rules of procedure are the same as well.
The city codes use similar language to state level offenses. Municipal charges are typically considered less serious than misdemeanors. The conduct needed to commit municipal infractions is also vastly different.
An assault pursuant to the Aurora Municipal code does not require the city to prove that the victim was injured. The Aurora Municipal Code defines battery as the intentional use of force. Assault is an attempted battery. A police officer in Aurora will charge you under municipal law if a state charge does not fit.
The Colorado state definition of assault requires the proof of injury. The state criminal code and most municipal code violations are similar. It is not unusual for a defendant to not realize they are facing a municipal ordinance violation. You can find the Aurora Municipal Code and other cities codes online.
Speaking with a criminal defense attorney representing defendants in municipal courts is crucial to understanding the process.
Municipal Ordinance Violations Have Different Procedures from State Court
Criminal courts in Colorado follow a specific criminal procedure. Municipal Courts follow similar procedures, but they are not exactly the same. For example, an individual does not automatically have a right to a jury trial in municipal courts. The defendant needs to pay a fee (usually $25) and provide a written request.
You should always pay the fee and request a jury. A defendant perfects their right to jury by requesting it within 21 days from pleading not guilty. Municipal Courts impose a procedure different from what is used in state courts.
Another major difference is that speedy trial is only 90 days as opposed to six months. This means that cases in municipal courts tend to move fairly quickly.
Take Aurora for example. A person charged with an offense in Aurora Municipal Court will have an arraignment. At their arraignment, a Defendant has the following options:
Plead Not Guilty and set the matter for trial
Plead Not Guilty and waive speedy trial until a pre-trial conference
If the person waives speedy, a pretrial conference will be about 30 days after the arraignment. At the pretrial conference, the parties will discuss if resolution is possible through plea negotiations.
If it is not, the matter will be set for trial. Most Municipal Courts follow the same type of procedure. It is important to understand the procedures and policies of each municipal court.
Discovery is also different. A municipal court has to order discovery. A criminal defense attorney can obtain the contents of the city attorney's file. This is commonly known as discovery.
This will include police reports and digital files. Digital files will be photographs, body worn camera, and 911 calls.
This will include the police report and criminal history. A defendant will not be able to get the discovery until after the first court appearance. Your criminal case will likely take multiple appearances.
While there are multiple cities within Colorado, the majority of the cities utilizes procedures similar to other cities. Aurora Municipal Court and Denver Municipal Court handle cases similar. It is important to speak with a municipal attorney that understands the procedure of each city.
Possible Punishments for A Municipal Ordinance Violation in Colorado
Municipal ordinance violations still carry serious consequences. The possible penalties vary from city to city, and Colorado has a lot of cities.
The maximum fine for a municipal court violation is $2,500. In addition to a fine, most criminal municipal ordinance violations carry a possible jail sentence of up to one year. The court can also issue community service and probation.
Probation may be imposed by a municipal court. The facts of a case will determine the level of probation. A court can require a defendant to do alcohol classes with monitored sobriety. In some instances, a defendant must complete a mental health evaluation and treatment.
Municipal ordinance violations can also qualify as crimes of domestic violence, and domestic violence. Domestic violence is a crime against a victim that was in a relationship with the defendant. It is a sentence enhancer, and it can apply to any crime that meets the definition of domestic violence.
The enhancement will typically require a defendant to complete domestic violence counseling and treatment. Domestic violence treatment needs to be consistent with certain requirements. A defendant must submit to alcohol monitoring if the case involves alcohol. Children being present will require a defendant to complete parenting classes.
Domestic violence charges are serious. A defendant facing this type of allegation needs to consult with a domestic violence attorney. The littlest of charges impact a defendant's future.
It can also impact your ability to own firearms. It can also come with protection orders that impact your ability to communicate with the victim. An aurora municipal court attorney can tell you what you are looking at.
Municipal courts wills impose restitution. Restitution is payments made to victims for financial losses. The financial losses must be caused by the defendant's criminal actions. Restitution is an important part of a criminal case.
If You are facing a Municipal Ordinance Violation, speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Defendant facing criminal charges in municipal courts must speak with criminal defense attorneys. Call the Municipal Ordinance Defense Attorney at the Lawrence Law Firm for a free consultation. Mr. Lawrence regularly appears in Aurora Municipal Court and Denver Municipal Court. He has the experience needed to provide a strong criminal defense if you are seeking to hire a criminal defense attorney.
All consultations are free. Mr. Lawrence will take the time to listen to the facts of your case and explain the law. He will detail all the options available to you. He is an Aurora Municipal Court Defense Attorney, request a consultation today.