How should you dress for court? Dress comfortably but not too informal - shorts, halter tops, tank tops, beachwear and t-shirts are not appropriate for court appearances. Hats are not allowed unless worn for religious purposes.
Initial appearances before the court on violations of city criminal ordinances are held each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. If you are under 18 years of age, your parent or guardian must appear in court with you. Any violation that is not a traffic violation is considered to be a criminal violation. There are some traffic violations that carry criminal penalties, which will be handled in accordance with the criminal court process. These charges include but are not limited to No Proof of Insurance, Speed Contest, Reckless Driving, Careless Driving, and Speeding 25 mph or more.
Police officers schedule a specific appearance date and time when they write a criminal summons. This date and time is written on the summons. If that address reads 3030 Turnpike Drive, Westminster, CO 80030, your summons is written into this court.
Some violations are payable violations that do not require a court appearance. If the violation you have been cited for is payable, the summons will indicate so. In such cases, payment must be received prior to the appearance date.
If you decide not to pay the summons and cannot appear in court on the date specified, you may call the court at 303-658-2250 before the first appearance date to reschedule a new appearance date. We can only extend the hearing dates for up to two weeks. You will receive a new setting notice from the court.
The summons contains the date and location of the violation, followed by the section code that you have been charged with violating. If you want to read that law, you may review the Westminster Municipal Code.
At the beginning of the first appearance session, the judge will advise you of your constitutional rights. This information outlines each person's rights in this court. The judge will then call each case on the calendar. You will be asked to enter a plea of "not guilty" or "guilty," or with the consent of court, "no contest." If you plead "guilty" or "no contest," you may explain to the judge what happened. The judge may or may not accept the plea. The judge may or may not impose a sentence at the initial appearance. You may plead "not guilty" and:
- Set a pretrial conference at a later date with the city prosecuting attorney. The extra time will allow the prosecutor to gather information needed to discuss the case in an attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory disposition. A prosecutor may be available to meet with you the same day. If an agreeable disposition is not reached (you are free to reject any offer the prosecutor makes to resolve the case) you may:
- Set the case for trial to the court. Witnesses will need to appear at the scheduled trial or in certain limited circumstances, or you may:
- Set the case for a jury trial, if you are over 18 years of age and the offense carries the possibility of a jail sentence. You must request a jury trial within 21 days after arraignment or entry of a plea, by filing with the court a written jury demand and at the same time pay a jury fee of $25, unless the fee is waived by the judge because of the indigency of the defendant.
You have the right to have witnesses subpoenaed to testify at trial on your behalf. Please provide the court with the number of subpoenas you will need at least two weeks prior to the trial date. You may obtain subpoena forms from the clerk at the counter or request that they are mailed to you. On the subpoena forms you receive will be instructions on completing the subpoena forms and having them served. Correct names and correct addresses will ensure that whoever you choose to serve them will be able to successfully serve the subpoenas in sufficient time. If a witness is not placed under subpoena and does not appear in court at the time of trial, a judge is not likely to grant a continuance for that person to be properly subpoenaed.