Coming to Court

When you come to the Adams or Broomfield County Courthouse, you will enter on the first floor and go through security. The courthouses have uniformed officers to keep everyone in the courthouse safe. Once you have gone through security, you will want to go to the District Attorney’s Office to check in before going to the court room. Each District Attorney’s Office has a separate and secure waiting area for victims and witnesses. Once you have checked in at the District Attorney’s Office, you may be able to sit in the secure waiting area until it is time for you to go to the courtroom. If you wish, the advocate assigned to your case can accompany you to the court hearing. If you have concerns or questions about your safety and coming to court, please contact the advocate assigned to your case.

The prosecuting district attorney will be present at the hearing.  Each court hearing may be attended by the defendant, the defendant’s family, friends, supporters and defense attorney.  Victims or witnesses on other cases may be present in the courtroom.  All courtrooms are generally open to the public, unless the judge decides there are special circumstances in a specific case.

As a victim, you are not required to come to any court hearings unless you have received a subpoena. You may choose to attend as many, or as few, court hearings as you want. If you were unable to be at a court hearing and want information about what happened in your case, you may contact your advocate. If the court hearing included sentencing of the defendant by the judge, you will receive a written letter telling you about the final case outcome along with information about how to receive future victim notifications.

The diagram below represents a generic courtroom layout. The 17th Judicial District has two different courthouses and courtrooms may vary somewhat in size or design.Courtroom DiagramJudge: An appointed representative of the state charged with being fair and impartial in matters brought before the court.
Prosecutor: The deputy district attorneys who prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the People of the State of Colorado in district, juvenile and county courts.
Defense: The attorneys charged to represent the best interest of the defendant in criminal cases.
Jury Box: The section where elected jurors and alternate jurors are seated to hear evidence presented at a jury trial
Bar: The dividing rail in a court of law separating the section reserved for the judge, prosecution, defense, and jury from the area occupied by the general public.
Bailiff: The court employee who assists the judge in maintaining order in the courthouse, and who is responsible for the custody of a jury.
Witness Stand: The chair where witnesses sit to testify to facts relating to the case before the judge.
Podium: The stand where attorneys address issues before the court and question witnesses regarding matters of fact.

A subpoena is a written order from the court to appear at a hearing and testify. It is normal to feel nervous, upset and even scared when you get a subpoena to testify in court because you may not know what to expect. You may receive a subpoena from the District Attorney’s Office or from the defense attorney. If you are subpoenaed by the District Attorney’s office, the prosecutor and advocate assigned to your case will contact you before the day of the court hearing to let you know the time you need to be at the courthouse and to answer any questions you might have.Court is almost always a calm and quiet event. If you do not come to court after receiving a subpoena, the judge can decide to order a warrant for your arrest or issue contempt of court charges. Please contact the advocate assigned to your case any time you have concerns or questions about coming to court or about the court process.

Both the Adams County Justice Center and the Broomfield County Justice Center have secure waiting areas that are designated for victims and witnesses subpoenaed by the District Attorney’s Office. These secure waiting areas provide a safe place for victims and witnesses to wait before, during and after court proceedings. The secure waiting areas are separate from the public areas of the Justice Center and do not require a victim or witness to be seen or to be in close proximity to a defendant, the defendant’s family or defense witnesses. At the Adams County Justice Center waiting area, there is a special room designed for children who come to testify or who accompany their parents.

Before going to the court room, all witnesses subpoenaed by the District Attorney’s office are required to check in at the District Attorney’s Office locations at both the Adams and Broomfield County Justice Centers.

1100 Judicial Center Drive, Room 205, Brighton

The Adams County Courthouse Victim Witness Waiting Area is located in Room 205 at the Adams County Justice Center, 1100 Judicial Center Drive, in Brighton. Room 205 is directly east from the second floor elevators or northwest from the second floor staircase.

Seven Des Combes Drive, Broomfield

The Broomfield County Courthouse Victim Witness Waiting area is located within the District
Attorney’s Office on the first floor directly east of the City Attorney’s Office.

What happens in the courtroom is different than the courtrooms on television or in the movies. Each person that you will meet who is involved in the court process recognizes that being in court can be confusing and may be stressful. When you have questions or concerns, the advocate and prosecutor assigned to your case will help you understand what is going on.

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