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District Court

Colorado’s District Courts hear criminal felony cases, juvenile matters, civil cases in any monetary amount, as well as domestic violence, probate, and mental health cases. Criminal cases are broken into six “classes” (levels) of felonies in Colorado, ranging from class 6 felonies (least serious) to class 1 felonies (most serious). With each increased class of felony come more severe potential penalties, whether prison, monetary fine, or both. District Court decisions may be appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals and in some cases directly to the Colorado Supreme Court. District Court judges also hear appeals of County Court decisions.

STAFFING

Arapahoe: Two felony-level prosecutors are assigned to each of the six criminal divisions/courtrooms. Three Chief Deputy District Attorneys and two Senior Deputy District Attorneys supervise the lawyers in those six criminal divisions.

Douglas: One felony-level prosecutor is assigned to each of the three criminal divisions/courtrooms. One Chief Deputy District Attorney is assigned to supervise the lawyers in those three criminal divisions.

Elbert and Lincoln: One Senior Deputy District Attorney is assigned in each county to cover the entire criminal docket, including district (felonies), county (misdemeanors and traffic), and juvenile (delinquency matters) court.

DISTRICT COURT PROSECUTION TEAM MANDATE

The District Court felony prosecutors are faced with a variety of cases. These include all levels of felonies, ranging from drug-related felonies and property crimes to weapons offenses to serious assaults, robbery, and other serious offenses, including murder. The felony prosecutors handle an extremely heavy caseload and collectively may try in excess of 100 cases annually. These experienced lawyers have the necessary skills to prepare and prosecute virtually any of the crimes contained within the Colorado criminal code. Their ultimate duty is to do justice by holding offenders accountable and by attempting to bring closure to victims and their families through final resolution of cases and helping victims obtain the services they need.

The only cases not handled by the above lawyers are those handled by the specialized units (Special Victims, Domestic Violence, and Economic Crime Units).

COMMITTEES, TASK FORCES, VOLUNTEERISM

Partnerships with other criminal justice agencies, community organizations, and the districts’ citizens are necessary in order to achieve justice. Through committee membership and serving on multi-disciplinary task forces and working groups, the District Attorney’s Office represents the public’s interest both in and out of the courtroom. Below is just a sample of the outreach and collaboration undertaken by this group of dedicated prosecutors.

  • Membership on the 18th Judicial District’s Community Corrections Board
  • Membership on the 18th Judicial District’s Wellness Court and Recovery Court Steering Committees
  • Participation in several law enforcement working groups, including the South Area Commanders and Law Enforcement Executives groups, and task forces targeting illegal narcotic distribution and other criminal activity
  • Participation in the jurisdiction’s Critical Response Team, reviewing cases and submitting reports regarding use of deadly force by law enforcement officers
  • Membership on various the Colorado District Attorney Council committees, which influence the criminal justice landscape in Colorado drafting charging codes for charging and tracking of offenders
  • Partner with federal authorities on Southern Colorado and Front Range Drug Task Forces
  • Participate in working groups addressing Veterans Treatment issues through the criminal justice system, including drafting and implementing policies and procedures for use in the 18th JD’s Veterans Court program
  • Private-citizen participation on the Board of the 18th JD’s Juvenile Assessment Center
  • Volunteer contribution to the Colorado Bar Association Leadership Training program (COBALT)

Multiple ongoing volunteer relationships with elementary, middle, and high schools supporting literacy, education, and advocacy