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Your Colorado Arrest Glossary

By Timothy Bussey on February 8, 2020

If you are arrested in Colorado, you may hear some unfamiliar terms from law enforcement, the courts, and even your own attorney. As though the situation were not bad enough, now you are struggling to understand foreign terms being applied to you and your case. To prepare you in case the worst should happen, we have compiled a glossary of terms that you may hear after you have been arrested in Colorado.

Terms You Are Likely to Hear After Being Arrested

  • Arraignment: The formal act of calling the defendant into open court, naming the offense they are charged with, and entering their plea to the charge (guilty or not guilty).
  • Bail: Security required by the court for release of a person in custody, which may include a bond, with or without monetary conditions, to provide reasonable assurance of public safety and the defendant’s appearance in court.
  • Bail bonding agent: A person in the business of writing appearance bonds who is subject to regulation by the division of insurance of the department of regulatory agencies. This includes insurance producers, cash-bonding agents, and professional cash-bail agents.
  • Bind over: To require a defendant to appear and answer for the crime with which they are charged in a court having jurisdiction, following a preliminary hearing.
  • Charge: A formal, written statement presented to the court, accusing a person of committing a crime.
  • Complaint: A written statement charging an alleged offender with the commission of a crime, filed in county court.
  • Correctional facility: A facility under the supervision of the department of corrections in which a person may be lawfully held in custody after being convicted of a crime.
  • Custody: Restraint of a person’s freedom in any significant way.
  • Indictment: A written statement presented by a grand jury to the district court, charging the commission of a crime by an alleged offender.
  • Personal recognizance: A bond secured only by the personal obligation of the person giving the bond.
  • Preliminary hearing: Hearing on a complaint filed in county court or information filed in district court to determine if there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed by the person charged with the crime.
  • Summons: A written order directing a person to appear before the designated court at a stated time and place to answer a charge against him.
  • Warrant: A written order issued by a judge and directed to any peace officer commanding the arrest of the person named and described in the order.

Why You Should Speak with a Lawyer As Soon As Possible

The importance of speaking with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after an arrest in Colorado cannot be overstated. Anything you say can and will be held against you. You have a constitutional right to speak with an attorney before answering any questions, whether the police read you your rights or not. Your lawyer’s job is to protect your rights. Once you say you want to talk to an attorney, law enforcement officers or investigators should stop questioning you, and even if they continue, you still have the right to remain silent.

Attorney Timothy Bussey at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. has years of experience as a prosecutor and a District Attorney. This gives him an in-depth understanding of the methods the prosecution can use to trap you when you are facing criminal charges. Call us at (719) 475-2555 for a Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer who will fight tooth and nail on your behalf.

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