From Denver to Durango, every city in the State of Colorado maintains ordinances and codes to control how most things are done within their borders. If you violate a city ordinance, you will be forced to appear in Municipal Court.
From Denver to Durango, every city in the State of Colorado maintains ordinances and codes to control how most things are done within their borders. The City of Aurora has ordinances controlling how the grass in your lawn should be kept, Denver has a traffic code, Blackhawk as an ordinance dealing with firearms, and various other cities have various other ordinances. If you violate a city ordinance, you will be forced to appear in Municipal Court. The Lawrence Law Firm is a Municipal Ordinance Violation attorney.
Municipal Ordinance Violations are different from county cases.
Municipal Courts are governed by the same rules of evidence, but the procedures are different. Criminal charges in municipal courts use the same language, but municipal charges are typically considered less serious than misdemeanors. The conduct needed to commit municipal infractions is also vastly different.
For example, Assault pursuant to the Denver Municipal code does not require the City to prove that the victim was injured. Misdemeanor assault, however, requires the prosecution to prove the assault injured the victim.
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.
Municipal Ordinance Violations have different procedures
The procedures are similar, but they are not the same. For example, an individual does not automatically have a right to a jury trial in municipal courts. In order to have a jury, the defendant will be required to pay a fee (usually $25) and provide a written request. You should always pay the fee and request a jury. A jury request must be made 21 days after the Defendant pleads not guilty. Most Courts have you plead not guilty fairly quickly after being arrested or issued a summons.
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.
Possible punishments for a Municipal Ordinance Violation
Municipal ordinance violations still carry serious consequences. The possible penalties vary from city to city, and Colorado has a lot of cities. Typically, an individual can be fined up to $2,500. In addition to a fine, most criminal municipal ordinance violations carry a possible jail sentence of up to one year. Municipal ordinance violations can also qualify as crimes of domestic violence, and domestic violence allegations can force defendants from their houses and prevent individuals from owning firearms.
Municipalities can also place individuals on probation.
If you or a loved one are charged with a municipal ordinance violation do not hesitate to call the Lawrence Law Firm for a free consultation. Mr. Lawrence regularly appears in Aurora and Denver Municipal Court and has the experience needed to provide a strong criminal defense to your case. All consultations are free and Mr. Lawrence will take the time to listen to the facts of your case, explain the law, and detail the options available to you.