Frequently Asked Questions
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I want to report a crime – how do I do that?
Reports of crimes are made to the law enforcement agency with primary investigative jurisdiction – the police department or sheriff’s office. If the crime happened inside a municipality, contact that city’s police department. If it happened in the county but outside a city, contact the sheriff’s office. Those agencies take the initial report, investigate as appropriate, and then provide our office with the information we need to assess for prosecution.
I live far away and I was charged with an offense (or arrested) while visiting – is it possible to resolve the case without coming back to the area?
If your case involves a minor traffic offense, such as speeding, careless driving, no proof of insurance and others, it is probable that you can resolve your case through the mail. If you would like to make that request, please follow the instructions and complete and submit our “Request for Disposition by Mail”. Other than minor traffic offenses, resolving your case without returning to the area is not something we can make happen. However, you can and should at least consult an attorney anytime you are charged with any offense, and you can ask your attorney if resolving the case in your absence would be possible. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU APPEAR AT THE SCHEDULED COURT DATE UNLESS THE JUDGE OR YOUR ATTORNEY TELL YOU OTHERWISE. Our office cannot grant you permission to miss or change your court date.
I am a crime victim, how will I be kept informed about the case?
In most cases, our office will contact you regarding scheduling of court dates, getting you restitution, any possible resolution of the case and many other events that may come to pass in the litigation of the case. It is important to provide our office with a reliable way to contact you, including mailing address, phone and email if possible. If your case is not one that involves our office contacting you immediately (if it is not a “VRA” case – see our “Victim Services” section), any victim of any crime can be kept informed about a case by calling the Victim/Witness coordinator (“V/W”) in the county where the matter is pending. For more information about your options and status as a crime victim, please see our “Victim Services” section.
I have a case but I don’t know when I am supposed to be in court and I don’t have my paperwork – what should I do?
You should consult an attorney. To find out when and where your next court appearance is scheduled, visit https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/District/Index.cfm?District_ID=14 and then contact the Clerk of Court for the county where your case is pending. You can also most likely find your case under your name on the court’s docket at https://www.courts.state.co.us/dockets/.
I have a case pending against me and I don’t have a lawyer and don’t want to get a lawyer right now, but I do want to see the police reports (“Discovery”) – can I do that?
You should consult an attorney. If you decide not to have an attorney and you want access to your discovery material (police reports, witness statements etc), you will need to follow the instructions and complete and submit our “Discovery Request Form”. Please understand that if you have an attorney you must go through that attorney to obtain your discovery, and that our office can only provide one copy of the discovery at no charge.
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I am not a defendant, I am not a victim, and I am not an attorney representing a defendant – can I get a copy of the police reports (“Discovery”) in a case?
No. Only a defendant or his or her attorney of record can obtain discovery – even if you are the parent of the defendant, if your daughter or son is 18 or older, you cannot obtain discovery. You may make a request for Adult Criminal Justice Records under Colorado’s Criminal Justice Records Act (“CJRA”). If you want to do that, you will need to follow the instructions and complete and submit our “Application for Release of Adult Criminal Justice Records”. Records regarding juvenile matters are not subject to release to the general public.
I received a subpoena from your office and I don’t understand something – what should I do?
First you should check to confirm who the subpoena is from – it could be from us (DA’s office) or it could be from the defense. If the subpoena is from our office and you have any questions or concerns about it, you should contact the V/W coordinator for the county office where the case is pending:
The V/W coordinators for our three counties can be reached at:
- Grand County – Karen Nieto – 970-725-3371
- Routt County – Breann Dale – 970-870-5200
- Moffat County – Alejandra Ledesma – 970-824-7041
If you received a subpoena and after speaking with our office you still don’t think you should have to honor it but we did not release you from it, you should contact an attorney for a consultation: Ignoring a properly served subpoena can result in a court order that could end up with the witness taken into temporary custody. There are ways to challenge a subpoena which an attorney can explain to you (we cannot give you legal advice), but ignoring it is not the way to do that.
I am a victim or a defendant: Is there a way for me to change or modify the protection order (“restraining” order) in my case?
If you are a victim, you can contact the V/W coordinator handling your case, or you can follow the instructions and complete and submit our “Request to Modify Protection Order”.
If you are a defendant without an attorney, you should consult an attorney…. If you decide not to have an attorney, you will need to submit your request in writing to the clerk of court in the county where you case is pending, and you will need to serve a copy of the written request to our office.
IT IS CRITICAL TO REMEMBER THAT UNLESS AND UNTIL A JUDGE CHANGES A PROTECTION ORDER, IT IS BINDING AND ENFORCEABLE.
How are juvenile matters handled?
Most juvenile cases in our office go to our Juvenile Diversion Program. This is a voluntary program that takes the case out of the court system and provides measures of support and accountability through an alternative model, managed by a Diversion Case Manager. If you are a juvenile or a parent/guardian of a juvenile, and you believe you have a case coming into our office for prosecution, you will be contacted by our Diversion personnel if the matter is eligible for the Juvenile Diversion Program.
I have a case pending against me and I want a lawyer, but I cannot afford one: How do I apply for a court appointed attorney?
Our office is not involved in anyway in the process of an accused person securing an attorney, either private or court appointed. If you want to apply for the public defender, contact the clerk of court for the county in which you case is pending and they can explain the application process. You can also contact the Public Defender’s Office for the 14th Judicial District at 970-879-0645, or visit http://www.coloradodefenders.us/.