Misdemeanor cases are criminal in nature. You may represent yourself in the Fort Collins Municipal Court or you may have an attorney represent you. If you are indigent and charged with a misdemeanor for which jail is a possible penalty, an attorney may be appointed to represent you. If you wish to request court-appointed counsel, you should do so on your first Court date.
The Court date and time listed on your ticket is for your ARRAIGNMENT. If you wish to contest the charge against you, you must appear for arraignment unless you have hired an attorney to enter an appearance for you. If you are late, a $25 Did Not Appear fee may be added. You will have the option of pleading NOT GUILTY and having a pretrial conference, usually that same morning. The purpose of the pretrial conference is to give you the opportunity to discuss your case informally with the City Prosecutor to see if you can reach a plea agreement regarding the disposition of the case. If you reach a plea agreement with the Prosecutor, you have seven days to accept the offer. If you do not reach a plea agreement or do not wish to meet with the prosecutor, your case can be set for trial. The trial date will be within 90 days of the day that you pled not guilty.
You may request a jury trial in any Fort Collins Municipal Court case involving a traffic or non-traffic MISDEMEANOR. A request for a jury trial must be made, in writing, within 21 days after the day you plead not guilty. You must also pay a $25.00 jury fee unless that fee is waived by the Court because you are indigent.
A $35.00 court cost will be added to the amount due if you plead guilty or no contest to any charge after arraignment, or if you are found guilty at the end of a trial.
If you live more than 50 miles from Fort Collins or have serious health-related reasons that would make it difficult for you to appear in court, please contact the Fort Collins Municipal Court Clerks’ Office to inquire about what alternative options are available.
The maximum penalty for misdemeanors filed in the Fort Collins Municipal Court is a fine of $2830.00 or 6 months in jail, or both. If a fine or cost is assessed in your Municipal Court case, that amount is due when it is assessed. If you cannot pay the amount due in full at that time, you will need to talk with a clerk about setting up a Payment Plan. A $25 Payment Plan Fee will be added to the total fines and costs due. If you fail to pay the Payment Plan on time, a Show Cause Hearing will be scheduled. If you fail to appear for this hearing, a warrant may be issued.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor and you fail to appear for Court or pay the fine prior to your Court date, a charge of "Failure to Appear" will be added and a warrant for your arrest will be issued, including additional fines and costs of at least $150.
If you need more information, call the Fort Collins Municipal Court Clerks' Office.