What is a Colorado Preliminary Hearing, and When Do I Get One?

If you’ve been charged with a felony in Colorado, you may have a right to a preliminary hearing. The purpose of this hearing is for the court to determine whether enough evidence exists in your case to send you to trial.

In Colorado, you have a right to a preliminary hearing if you are charged with a Class 1, 2, or 3 felony of any kind; charged with a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony involving violence or sexual conduct; or charged with a Class 4, 5, or 6 felony but not given the opportunity to post bond.

meeting-12319420.jpgIf you don’t fall into one of these categories, your case will be scheduled for a “dispositional hearing” instead. The dispositional hearing is more like a meeting, at which you, your attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge can try to work out a way to resolve your case without going to trial. You have the same right to go to trial, however, whether you are scheduled for a preliminary hearing or a dispositional hearing.

At your Colorado preliminary hearing, one of three things will likely happen. First, you and your attorney may decide to hold the hearing, which involves examining witnesses and presenting evidence. Second, you and your attorney may decide to enter a plea agreement. Finally, you and your attorney may decide to waive, or skip, your preliminary hearing and head straight to trial instead.

Procedures used in criminal courts can be confusing and overwhelming, even for those who have been through them before. Regardless of your experience or history, you have legal rights when facing a criminal charge. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., our experienced Colorado felony defense attorneys are dedicated to helping those facing criminal charges protect their rights and fight for the best possible result in their cases. For a confidential case evaluation, call us today at (719) 475-2555.

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