What is the District Attorney’s jurisdiction? Back To Top
Our jurisdiction is set by the legislature and encompasses the Courts in which we prosecute criminal cases. The 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office prosecutes felony, misdemeanor, and some traffic offenses. The jurisdiction covers 11,432 square miles and encompasses seven counties. The Counties we serve include Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Washington, Sedgwick, Yuma, and Kit Carson. By land mass, our office serves the single largest judicial jurisdiction in the United States. We serve a population of approximately 80,832 people.
If I get a subpoena do I have to go to court? Back To Top
Yes, you must go to court. If you fail to do so, the judge may impose a fine or a jail sentence. Be sure to bring your subpoena with you to court.
Why am I a witness? I didn’t see the crime happen. Back To Top
Witnesses are not limited to eye witnesses. You may not have seen the crime happen but you may know something about it. You may also know something about a piece of evidence, or you may know something that contradicts another witness’ testimony. If you wonder why you are testifying in a particular case, please ask the prosecutor handling it. There is probably a common-sense reason.
As a witness, do I have to talk in front of the defendant in court? Back To Top
Yes. The defendant must be present in court to hear what all the witnesses say about him/her. The lawyer for the defendant is called the defense attorney and will ask you questions after the prosecutor does.
Is the district attorney my attorney or do I need to get my own attorney? Back To Top
The district attorney represents the People of the State of Colorado in criminal court. The district attorney does not have authority to prosecute civil cases on behalf of individual citizens.
If I miss work to testify, will the district attorney pay for my loss in wages? Back To Top
No. Witnesses must go to court to testify about matters that they have knowledge of. It is a civic duty imposed upon all citizens in order to insure a just and fair judicial system. However, there may be mileage and hotel reimbursement for out of town or out of state witnesses.
Where is the court? Back To Top
Each county we serve has its own Courthouse. Please click here to find the Courthouse you would like to contact.
Who decides what charges to file, and how do they make that decision? Back To Top
A deputy district attorney reviews cases brought to the District Attorney’s Office by local law enforcement agencies. The attorney reviews the reports in light of current law to decide the appropriate filing decisions.
What is plea bargaining? And do I as a victim have anything to say about it? Back To Top
There are not enough prosecutors, judges, or courtrooms to try before a jury all of the cases filed each year in the 13th Judicial District. For those defendants taken to trial, or for those who plead guilty before a trial, there are not enough jail cells in the state to hold them. These practical demands plus the defendant’s right to a speedy trial, the seriousness of the cases, the strengths or weaknesses of cases, the victim’s wishes, public safety, punishment, rehabilitation, and deterrence are all interests that are considered by the prosecutor when deciding how to proceed. A plea agreement is always designed to balance these competing interests. Most cases are resolved in a relatively short time by the defendant’s plea – many times a plea to the charged offense. Our office does take victim concerns into consideration when we are crafting a plea agreement.
I was the victim of a crime. Can you tell me the name of the defendant and the defendant’s next court date? Back To Top
The DA’s Office can provide you with the name of the defendant and the next court date if we have filed charges against the defendant. To obtain this information, please contact the appropriate office for the County you reside in.
What is an advisement? Back To Top
The advisement is a hearing in court in which the defendant is read the possible charges they may face and informed of his/her constitutional rights by the Court. If the defendant is in custody, they will generally be given a bond at this point.
What is a preliminary hearing? Back To Top
The preliminary hearing is not a trial. It is a hearing in court at which witnesses testify and the judge decides if there is enough evidence to require the defendant to stand trial. A jury is not present; the judge alone makes the decision. Only certain felony offenses qualify for a preliminary hearing.
Can you provide me with legal advice? Back To Top
No. The District Attorney’s Office is prevented by law from answering legal questions or offering legal advice.
How do I report a crime? Back To Top
All crime reports should be directed to the law enforcement agency in the area where the crime occurred. However, in the event that you need to report election fraud please contact our office directly.
If you’re trying to report an emergency situation, call 911 on your telephone to be connected to the emergency services you require.
How do I get a copy of a police report? Back To Top
Contact the police agency that created the report to obtain a copy.
Where do I find a list of all District Attorney employees and their email addresses? Back To Top
For security reasons, none is provided. If you would like to contact an employee, you may call either the Sterling or Fort Morgan office and ask to be connected to that employee or his/her voicemail.
I am the victim in a domestic violence case and I want to drop charges. Can I do that? Back To Top
Many people incorrectly believe that a victim has the power to “press charges” against the abuser, or to later “drop the charges.” All criminal complaints are prosecuted on behalf of the State of Colorado and as such only the prosecutor can issue or dismiss. Although the decision whether to prosecute or not prosecute is ultimately up to the prosecutor, the victim’s opinion is important and the prosecutor will take those wishes into account when making his or her decisions regarding the case.
I was the victim of a violent crime. What services are available to me? Back To Top
Please click here to read more information.
I want to file a complaint about a police officer (or sheriff). Can the District Attorney help me? Back To Top
No. You’ll need to report the matter to the officer’s employing agency. That agency is required by law to receive a complaint, investigate the matter, and respond back to the complaining party.
I have a complaint against the DA’s office. How do I contact you and will you respond? Back To Top
Contact us and we will contact you in writing, by telephone, or schedule an appointment.
What if I have a question that is not answered in your FAQ’s? Back To Top
Call or visit one of our offices. Our staff will try to assist you. Please keep in mind that the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office cannot give legal advice on any private legal issues.