Differences Between the County and District Courts
The county court is authorized to handle misdemeanor cases, traffic infractions, small civil cases and the early portions of felony cases (which includes preliminary hearings, dispositional conferences and bond setting), while the district court handles felony cases, large civil, domestic relations, juvenile, mental health, and probate cases. Both the county court and the district court are located within the Justice Center.
Here is more information which will help you with your criminal case:
The probation department is located within the Justice Center. Their employees work for the state judicial department. Because of this, we often see probation officers do everything within their power to protect the court. District Attorneys handle probation revocation hearings. Learn more about probation revocation and violations in Larimer County.
Bail and Bond
When someone is arrested in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Estes Park, a bond / bail – bond is set. If the person wants to get out of jail, they will need to post bail – bond. This is done by paying the court cash, property, or having a professional surety (when a bail bondsman provides the funds for a fee) in order to ensure they will return for their court appearance.
A criminal record can have a negative impact on your life. You may have a hard time finding a home or getting job. Or, your reputation could be ruined. Certain people are allowed by Colorado law to have their criminal records sealed. In some cases, any record of your arrest or conviction can be removed from your record. After a sealing order, some provisions of the law even make it unlawful for an employer to ask you about a sealed record. The Larimer Distric Court has the authority to seal some municipal (city) criminal cases, county court criminal cases, and District Court cases.
Sex Offender Deregistration
Certain sex offenses in Colorado permit juvenile and adult offenders to deregister as a sex offender (C.R.S. 16-22-113). Depending on the sex offense, after a certain time period, registered sex offenders are allowed to petition a judge in district court to discontinue registering as a sex offender. A person cannot simply stop registering after the allotted time period has passed, or they will be charged with Failure to Register as a Sex Offender – C.R.S. 18-412.5. This area of Colorado law is complicated. Our criminal lawyers have over 20 years of experience and will help you petition to deregister.
Judge vs. Jury Trials
We are often asked whether it is better to have a judge or a jury trial in Larimer County. There are a few things to keep in mind. For example, having a jury trial means you have more than one person deciding your fate. If you choose to have a judge (also called a bench or court) trial, one person will make the decision about your guilt or innocence. There are many more things to consider. Read our full page on choosing a judge or jury trial in your criminal case.