Denver County Court

Getting Ready for Trial

NOTE:  If you lost your paperwork and you don’t know when your trial was scheduled, you can find your court date by doing a Court Date Search.

A prosecutor will be present at a Court Trial or Jury Trial.  The judicial officer presiding over a Court Trial may be either a Judge or a Magistrate, however, you have the right to object to a Magistrate hearing your case and request that the case be heard by a Judge.  Jury Trials will only be presided over by a Judge.  You may hire an attorney to represent you, or one may be appointed if you have been determined to be is indigent and face the possibility of going to jail.  You can also choose to represent yourself.

If your case is scheduled for a jury trial, the first step is choosing the Jury.  The process for choosing a Jury is called “voir dire.”  During the process both sides ask questions of the potential jurors to make sure the jurors will be fair and impartial.

During the trial both sides can:

When the case is called, you and your attorney should step to the counsel table.   The Judge will ask if either side has an opening statement.  The prosecution will go first, then you or your attorney.

The prosecutor will present their case first by calling witnesses.  After each witness testifies, the Judge will ask you if you want to cross-examine the witness.  This means you or your attorney can ask the witness questions about matters brought up in the witnesses’ testimony and other related matters concerning the case.  It does not mean introducing defense testimony.

After hearing the prosecution witness testimony, you may want to waive the right to remain silent by testifying to your version of the facts in your defense.  If you choose to testify, you may be asked questions (cross-examined) on matters you brought up in your testimony.  You may also call witnesses on your behalf and present evidence such as photographs, charts, or other written material.

After all witnesses have testified, the Judge will ask if either side wishes to make a closing statement.  The prosecutor goes first, then the defense.  The prosecutor is then given the opportunity to make a final statement.

You should come prepared:

  • Understand the charges (violation).  You can read the charges in the Denver Revised Municipal Code (D.R.M.C.) or the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.).
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask witnesses and the prosecution witnesses’ during cross-examination.
  • Bring evidence you want to give to the judicial officer or jury.
  • Subpoena witnesses if you want to require someone to come to court to testify and bring documents. Subpoenas are free of charge. Serving the subpoena is your responsibility.

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