The preliminary hearing in a Colorado criminal case occurs after arraignment, where the accused person learns what he or she has been charged with, and before the trial, where the prosecution must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is to determine whether “probable cause” exists to send the case to the trial court.
Coloradoans who have been charged with certain types of crimes have a statutory right to a preliminary hearing. An experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney can help you understand which category you’re in and make sure you get a hearing if entitled to one.
In Colorado, any person charged with a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3 felony of any kind is entitled to a preliminary hearing. If the charges are for a Class 4, Class 5, or Class 6 felony, the person is entitled to a preliminary hearing if the charges involve violence or a sex-related offense, or if the person is being held in jail without bond.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Colorado and you are not entitled to a preliminary hearing, you may still receive a “dispositionary hearing,” where your defense attorney and the prosecutor discuss ways to resolve your case without going to trial. Because each case is different, it’s important to seek legal advice about your specific circumstances.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Colorado, it’s wise to seek the help of an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A defense attorney can help you at every stage of the process, protecting your legal rights and fighting for the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more, contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. today at (719) 475-2555 for a confidential consultation. We also provide a contact form online for your convenience.