Denver County Court

The First Appearance

The first appearance in court is called an Arraignment.  At the Arraignment, the Judge or Magistrate will:

  • Tell the defendant what the charges are;
  • Tell the defendant about their rights;
  • Inform the defendant of all the possible penalties.

View Spanish Traffic Advisement

The defendant may respond to the charges by entering a plea.  Common pleas include guilty, not guilty, or no contest (nolo-contendere).

  • Not guilty means the defendant says he or she did not violate the law and they want to go to Final Hearing or Trial.
  • Guilty means the defendant admits he or she violated the law.  The Judge or Magistrate accepts the guilty plea and enters a conviction in the court records.
  • No contest means the defendant does not disagree with the charge.  The plea has the same effect as a guilty plea and allows the defendant to accept the penalties associated with the charge(s) without saying that they are guilty.  A no contest plea is not an acceptable plea for all cases, and the Judge or Magistrate will let the defendant know if they cannot accept that type of plea on the case.

At Arraignment the defendant may enter a plea of guilty to an agreed upon plea bargain.  A plea bargain is an agreement between the defendant, his or her attorney, and the prosecutor, which may include a reduction of charges and points, dismissal of some charges, or agreement on sentencing.

For traffic cases scheduled in courtrooms located at 1437 Bannock Street, the City Attorney reviews the cases prior to the scheduled court date and submits a plea bargain in writing.   When the defendant appears, the Judge or Magistrate explains the plea bargain proposal.  The defendant can either accept the plea bargain or plead not guilty and set the case for a Final Hearing or Trial.  Courtrooms at the 1437 Bannock Street location are: Courtroom 105; Courtroom 100 and Courtroom 104 is used for the night court sessions. A request for a one time continuance, on your first court appearance, may be made by completing the Request for Continuance Form.

For cases scheduled in the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse, the District Attorney is available at Arraignment and will discuss the case with the defendant.  You may request a one-time continuance of your Arraignment court date in person, by telephone, or electronically. The Arraignment Courtroom in the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse is Courtroom 4C. Trial Courtrooms are:  Courtroom 3A; Courtroom 3B; Courtroom 3D; and Courtroom 3E.  Sobriety Court is heard in Courtroom 3C.

Back to Top