The Domestic Violence Fast Track Program (Fast Track) that operates in the Adams and Broomfield county courts was developed to accelerate the prosecution of a misdemeanor crime involving domestic violence.
When a law enforcement officer finds probable cause to believe that a crime has occurred involving two persons who are, or who have been, involved in an intimate relationship, the offender must be arrested and transported to jail (Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-803.7). After the offender is arrested, he/she is advised of the charges being filed against him /her and the amount of bond, as well as any bond conditions. The offender (defendant) may or may not post bond. If bond is posted, the defendant is given a copy of the Mandatory Protection Order which includes a “No Contact With Victim” condition of bond. This “No Contact” is automatically entered as a condition of bond in cases involving domestic violence. The “No Contact” stays in effect until modified (changed) or vacated (removed) by a judge at a court hearing.
At the same time the offender is arrested, the victim is served a subpoena to appear in court 72 hours after the arrest for a bond review hearing. The subpoena will require the victim to appear for court the same day as the defendant will be required to appear for an arraignment hearing following the arrest.
At this first court hearing, the defendant may have the opportunity to speak with a deputy district attorney about a possible plea agreement. The deputy district attorney will speak directly with the victim, review the police reports of the crime as well as the defendant’s criminal history before considering, or offering, a plea agreement to the defendant.
If a guilty plea is entered at this hearing, the judge may sentence the defendant immediately. The judge may decide to set the sentencing for a later date. Possible sentences considered by the judge for any crime is set by law.
If the defendant enters a “not guilty” plea at the first court hearing, the case will be set for another court hearing. At this court hearing, the judge may also consider making changes to the bond or to the bond conditions. You have the right to be present and give your input to the judge about these changes and how they may impact your safety.
Being present at the first court hearing allows a victim to:
- Receive immediate support
- Request special conditions for bond
- Leave with a copy of their mandatory protection order (MPO)
- Begin safety planning with an advocate
- Meet with a deputy district attorney to discuss a possible disposition of the case
The Fast Track Program strengthens victim safety by holding the offender responsible quickly and effectively. Through this program, misdemeanor domestic violence cases receive the quick response they deserve.
Please visit www.crimevictimcompensation.org for a full description of eligibility requirements, compensable crimes, compensable losses and application forms.
Basic Information about the County Court Criminal Justice Process
ADVISEMENT: After the defendant is arrested, he/she is brought before a judge and advised of the charges the next business day and the amount and nature of bond. A criminal protection order is automatically put into effect when the defendant is arrested. The criminal protection order may also include a “no contact” provision as a condition of the defendant’s bond.
ARRAIGNMENT: The victim is subpoenaed for an arraignment approximately three days after an arrest. A disposition of the case may be reached at this hearing. The victim has the right to confer with a deputy district attorney prior to a plea being offered. The defendant has the opportunity to speak with a Deputy District Attorney before entering a plea. If the defendant enters a plea of guilty, the judge may decide to proceed to immediate sentencing, or the judge may set sentencing for a later date. The “nob contact” provision of the defendant’s bond may be reviewed.
PRE-TRIAL: A pre-trial hearing may be set after the arraignment hearing to allow the defendant the opportunity to consult with legal counsel. The defendant may enter a guilty or not guilty plea at the pre-trial hearing. The court could go to immediate sentencing, so it is important the victim inform the Deputy District Attorney if they wish to speak at sentencing.
TRIAL: A Jury of six or the judge will examine evidence and charges to determine whether or not the defendant is guilty of committing a specific crime. The victim may or may not be subpoenaed to testify at trial, but has the right to be present and informed.
SENTENCING: The judge determines the appropriate sentence for a defendant who enters a guilty plea or who is found guilty at trial. Possible sentences are set by law and generally include offense specific counseling.