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Petty Offenses are criminal in nature but only punishable by a fine. Jail is not a possible penalty in these cases. If you are charged with a petty offense in the Fort Collins Municipal Court, you may either represent yourself or hire an attorney to represent you.
The Court date and time listed on your citation is for your arraignment. Court appearances are mandatory on these cases unless you hire an attorney to represent you and he or she files an entry of appearance prior to the arraignment date listed on your citation.
At the arraignment, you will be given several options, including having a pre-trial conference, usually that same morning. The purpose of the pre-trial conference is to give you the opportunity to discuss your case informally with a Prosecutor (from the City Attorney’s Office) to see if you can reach a plea agreement in your case. If you do not reach a plea agreement and do not wish to plead “guilty” or “no contest”, your case will be set for trial. The trial date will be within 91 days of the day that you plead “not guilty”.
You may request a jury trial in a Fort Collins Municipal Court case involving a petty offense. A request for a jury trial must be made, in writing, within 21 days of 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 fines and/or costs are assessed in your case, that amount is due when it is assessed. If you cannot pay the amount due in full at that time, you can speak with the Judge about a two-week extension or setting up a Payment Plan. A $25 Payment Plan Fee is normally added to the total due; however, if you are not able to pay the total due without hardship to yourself or your dependent(s), you can ask to fill out a Petition of Indigence to see if you qualify for waiver of costs and the option of completing useful public service instead of paying the fine(s).
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.
If you are charged with a petty offense and you fail to appear for any Court hearing, a warrant for your arrest may be issued.
If you need more information, please call the Fort Collins Municipal Court Clerks’ Office.