Denver County versus Denver Municipal Traffic Court Cases
Traffic violations in Denver, Colorado are heard in two judicial forums. Denver is both a city and a county and has a court that hears county court criminal matters involving traffic violations, typically prosecuted under state traffic laws, and also has a traffic division court, that functions as Denver’s Municipal Court, which primarily hears alleged traffic related violations of the Denver Municipal Code.
Although there is significant overlap with the Denver Traffic Division Court, the Denver County Criminal Court is the forum for many of the more serious alleged traffic violations that occur within the city limits of Denver. The Denver County Criminal Court hears tickets involving allegations of driving under a license suspension and traffic accidents involving personal injuries. The Denver County Criminal Court is the exclusive forum within Denver to hear alcohol and drug related driving charges.
A traffic case brought in the Denver County Criminal Court is typically initiated by a Denver Police Officer issuing a ticket entitled “Criminal Summons and Complaint” to a motorist. This is typically a 8-1/2” by 11” piece of white paper as opposed to the smaller yellow colored paper utilized for tickets issued for the Denver Traffic Division Court.
Denver County Criminal Court Information and Location
The Denver County Criminal Court is located within Denver’s new Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse which is located at 520 W. Colfax Avenue. The Criminal Division Clerk’s Office is in Room 160 which is the place to start for information on any pending county court traffic or criminal case. The Clerk’s Office can be reached by calling 720-337-0410. Denver County Criminal Court Cases are typically considered in Courtrooms on the third floor of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, normally in Courtrooms 3A, 3B, 3C, 3D and 3E.
Charges filed by Denver Police to be heard in the Denver County Criminal Court are prosecuted by Deputies of the Denver District Attorney. The Denver District Attorney, more technically referred to as Colorado’s 2nd Judicial District Attorney, is an elected official who is responsible for prosecuting many crimes arising under state law within Denver city limits. This elected official administers the Office of the 2nd Juducial District Attorney independently and separately from Denver City Government. The office of the County Court Division of the Denver District Attorney is located at 201 W. Colfax Avenue and can be reached at 720-913-9011.
Denver Traffic Division Court Information and Location
The Denver Traffic Division Court is actually also a part of the Denver County Court, however, its functions and procedures are more akin to a typical municipal court that exists in most Colorado municipalities. Although its jurisdiction overlaps with the County Criminal Court, the Denver traffic court is typically the forum for the resolution of most traffic tickets that are issued as violations of the Denver Municipal Code. These van be significant allegations, but generally tend to be less serious traffic violations. Cases in the Denver Traffic Division Court are normally initiated by a Denver Police Officer issuing a ticket entitled “Denver Uniform Traffic Summons and Complaint/Penalty Assessment Notice” to a motorist. The ticket number, and the court case number, are the same.
The Denver Traffic Division Court is located within the Denver City and County Building which is at 1437 Bannock Street. The Clerk’s Office for the Traffic Division Court is in Room 135 which is the place to start for information regarding cases pending in the Denver Traffic Division Court. The Clerk’s telephone number is 720-865-7840.
Many cases are heard in the evenings in the Denver Traffic Division Court. However, if an individual retains a lawyer that individual is typically not required to appear at the time and date set on the traffic ticket. Rather, that initial appearance date will typically be cancelled by the Court, and the lawyer will set a pre-trial or disposition conference with a Denver Traffic Court Clerk for a different date. The pre-trial or disposition conference court hearing is typically scheduled to occur during the business day in either Courtrooms 100-K or 105-A in the Denver City and County Building.
Some more serious Denver Traffic Division violations require a mandatory court appearance. For instance, Speeding 20 miles or more over the posted limit requires a mandatory court appearance. However, as in most Colorado municipal courts, the rules of the Denver Traffic Court provide that defendants who are represented by legal counsel do not have to personally appear at a pre-trial or disposition conference, provided the Judge does not order otherwise. Thus, many persons represented by attorneys do not actually appear in the Denver Traffic Court for such routine Court Hearings.
Prosecutions in the Denver Traffic Division Court, may be brought as violations under state law, but more typically are brought as violations under the Denver Municipal Code. These are prosecuted by Denver Deputy City Attorneys assigned to the Denver City Attorney Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section. The Denver City Attorney is an official of the City of Denver appointed by the Mayor and administers and operates the Office of the Denver City Attorney. The office of the Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section of the Denver City Attorney is located at 201 W. Colfax Avenue. The office of the Prosecution and Code Enforcement Section of the Denver City Attorney can be reached at 720-913-8050.
Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado criminal law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific Colorado criminal law situation. Information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive and does not cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the very most current Colorado law.
Individuals should consult an experienced Denver criminal attorney, Denver DUI laywer, or Denver traffic lawyer for advice regarding an individual situation.