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According to a new law, under C.R.S. 16-5-206, it's possible for police and judges in Denver and across Colorado to issue a summons instead of an arrest warrant for some felony offenses, including felony sexual offenses. The definition of summons includes: a written order telling someone to appear in court before a judge or magistrate. On the summons is the date to appear in court, the crime you are accused of and a place for you to sign stating you promise to appear in court. On the other hand, an arrest warrant is an order issued by a judge, which authorizes police to arrest you and bring you to court. As you can see, a summons is a more reasonable option when it comes to handling some felony cases, including felony sex cases like Sexual Assault, Unlawful Sexual Contact or Sexual Exploitation of a Child. Our criminal defense attorneys are pleased with this new law and think it's at least a step in the right direction for our legislature.
Summons in Adams County, Colorado: When Can a Summons Be Issued?
In Adams County and across Colorado, before a summons is issued for some felonies, there are a few requirements that must be met. First, an Adams County District Attorney must consent to the new procedures and approve criteria for the issuance of a summons. Judges are able to issue a summons for specific crimes, while law enforcement officers can issue a summons in some cases too. Additionally, before a summons is issued, it must be clear that the defendant will appear in court, that the defendant has had no felony arrests in the preceding five years, that a deadly weapon was not used in the commission of the crime, and that there are no outstanding warrants for the defendant's arrest. Below is the complete law under C.R.S. 16-5-206, called Summons in Lieu of Warrant, regarding issuing a summons for some felonies across Colorado.
Summons in Lieu of Warrant in Douglas and Arapahoe County, Colorado
In Douglas, Arapahoe County and across Colorado, Summons in Lieu of Warrant, C.R.S. 16-5-206, is defined as:
“(1) Except in class 1, class 2, and class 3 felonies, level 1 and level 2 drug felonies, and in unclassified felonies punishable by a maximum penalty of more than ten years, if an indictment is returned or an information, felony complaint, or complaint has been filed prior to the arrest of the person named as defendant therein, the court has power to issue a summons commanding the appearance of the defendant in lieu of a warrant for his or her arrest unless a law enforcement officer presents in writing a basis to believe there is a significant risk of flight or that the victim or public safety may be compromised.
(1.5) (a) Except in class 1, class 2, class 3, and class 4 felonies; in crimes described in section 24-4.1-302 (1), C.R.S.; and in unclassified felonies punishable by a maximum penalty of more than ten years, a law enforcement officer may issue a summons commanding the appearance of the defendant in lieu of a warrant for his or her arrest based on probable cause if:
(I) The local district attorney consents to such procedure and has developed and approved criteria for the issuance of such a summons pursuant to this subsection (1.5);
(II) There is a reasonable likelihood that the defendant will appear;
(III) The defendant has had no felony arrests during the preceding five years;
(IV) There is no allegation that the defendant used a deadly weapon as defined in section 18-1-901 (3) (e), C.R.S., in the commission of the crime; and
(V) There are no outstanding warrants for the defendant's arrest.”
Felony Sex Crime Charges in Jefferson County and Questions About Summon in Lieu of Warrant: Call the O'Malley Law Office
If you have more questions about the law on Summons in Lieu of Warrant in Jefferson County and across Colorado, contact our sex crime criminal defense lawyers at the O'Malley Law Office right away. Our criminal defense attorneys think it's a step forward for judges and police to issue a summons in some felony cases in Colorado, including felony sex crime cases. If you are facing felony charges or accusations of a sexual offense in Colorado, such as Enticement of a Child or Internet Luring of a Child, call the O'Malley Law Office today and protect your future.
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