So you just got a ticket and you are being told to appear in the municipal court and not the local county court. So what on earth is the difference and purpose between the courts?
Article XX of the Colorado Constitution provides for the creation of municipal courts and the regulation of their jurisdiction. In general, the municipal courts handle a wide variety of offense violations within a particular city. Types of tickets handled include traffic violations, zoning, sales tax and building code violations and animal control ordinance violations. Generally, these types of offenses are thought of by some to be lesser offenses as compared to those handled in a county court. However, municipal court cases are still to be taken very seriously as some charges carry far reaching penalties that may last a lifetime. These penalties include jail time, probation, loss of a license, gun rights restrictions, and possibly the loss of future federal government loans.
As if the possible penalties in municipal court were not frightening enough these courts also use a very different rule system in their day to day operation. These municipal court rules can differ greatly between those used in the local county court. If you are not careful you may accidentally waive an important right simply because you were not aware of the local court rules. These rules include such things as your right to a speedy trial, discovery rights, and jury trial rights. Without competent legal representation it can be easy to become overwhelmed in the process.
Bottom line, don’t become another statistic of those who have become lost in the legal system. Seek out competent legal counsel before you ever go into the municipal court and protect your rights.
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.