Municipal Court

City of Salida Municipal Court

The Salida Municipal Court has jurisdiction to hear cases involving possible violations of:

the Salida Model Traffic Code

the Salida Municipal Code

To see the Colorado Model Traffic Code, click here.

To see the Salida Municipal Code, click here.


Some violations require an appearance in court, while others may be resolved by paying a fine/penalty as an option to appearing in court.


Upcoming Municipal Court Dates :

(Please note: There will be no court session during January, 2016)

February 19th, 2016

March 18th, 2016

April 15th, 2016

May 20th, 2016

June 24th, 2016

July 15th, 2016

August 19th, 2016

September 16th, 2016

October 21st, 2016

November 18th, 2016

December 16th, 2016


The Uniform Summons and Complaint or Penalty Assessment:

If you receive a summons (also known as a citation or a complaint), the copy that the officer will give you is the blue copy.

Summons

Summons and Complaint (also known as a Citation)

These summonses are used for both Salida Municipal Court and Chaffee County Court, so it is important to check which Court you are to appear in. In the middle of the summons is a box that contains the address of the court where your summons has been filed. If the address is 448 E. 1st Street, you are to appear at Salida Municipal Court.  (If the address is 142 Crestone Avenue, you are to appear in Chaffee County Court.) The date and time at which you are to appear will be filled in by the officer.

Summons detail

Detail of Summons and Complaint.

If “SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT” is checked, but not the “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” box, you do not have the option of paying a fine. You must appear in court on or before the date and time indicated. You have four options to appear:

  1. in person at Court on the day scheduled, or,if you plan to plead Guilty, or No Contest, or
    if you cannot come to Court on the scheduled date
    and need to reschedule your court date, you may appear:
  2. by phone before your court date, or
  3. by mail before your court date, or
  4. in person at the office of the Municipal Court Clerk before your court date.

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Types of Offenses:

The charge against you will come from a possible violation of one of the following:

the Salida MODEL TRAFFIC CODE

the Salida MUNICIPAL CODE


MODEL TRAFFIC CODE VIOLATIONS

Traffic summonses are issued by a Salida Police Officer. A box will be marked indicating the violation of the Traffic Code for which you have been charged.

Here is a sampling of common offenses:

  • Speeding
  • Drove a Defective/Unsafe Vehicle
  • Careless Driving
  • Failed to Dim Lights/Approaching Oncoming Vehicle
  • Drove Vehicle When Safety Belt Not in Use
  • Failed to Use Turn Signals
  • Disregarded Traffic Control Device
  • Failed to Yield at Road/Street/Intersection
  • Failed to Yield to Stationary Emergency Vehicle
  • Drove Vehicle Improperly on Mountain Highway
  • Failed to Stop at Stop Sign
  • Failed to Drive in Single Lane (Weaving)
  • Failed to Provide Evidence of Insurance
  • Limitations on Backing
  • Failed to Stop at Stop Sign on Bike

As a convenience, some traffic summonses are payable in advance as a penalty assessment. When both “Court Appearance” and “Fine Amount” are filled in, you may choose to either appear in court on the date indicated, or pay the penalty assessment. This simply means that you have the option of pleading Guilty or No Contest before court takes place, pay the fine, and close your case. This option does not require a court appearance. If the officer has entered a fine amount on the summons form, then the citation can be paid in advance.

Payment must be made before the court appearance date. You may pay the fine: 

  • by mail at 448 E. 1st Street, Salida, CO 81201,
  • by dropping your payment off at the lock box in the City Hall parking lot,
  • by coming to the payment window at City Hall,
  • by phone at 719-530-2621,
  • or online.

If no payment is received from you, you are required to answer the charges in court at the date and time indicated.

City Hall Entrance (2)

The City Hall Entrance

Payment of the penalty assessment constitutes a guilty plea and with Model Traffic Code violations, notice of this is sent to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles so that they can record your penalty points. If penalty points apply to the charge, the State of Colorado will assess them against your driving record. The point system is used in Colorado as well as most other states. To learn more about the penalty point system for traffic violations, click here.

If your driver’s license has been issued by another state and that state has a reciprocal agreement with Colorado, the Colorado DMV will send them notice of the conviction of the offense.


Point Reductions:

For Model Traffic Code violations, payments made before court often result in fewer points assessed against your record. But in some cases you may want to come to court to talk with the judge about extenuating circumstances that you want the judge to consider.

There is not always an option to pay a penalty fine. Your only option, as written on the summons, may be to appear in Court.

Mandatory court appearance is required for some charges, as follows:

  • speed contest or drag racing
  • speeding 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
  • reckless driving
  • any case involving personal injury or appreciable property damage
  • any other violation for which a fine has not been established under the Salida Municipal Court Fine Schedule
  • no proof of insurance



If your charge is Failure to Provide Proof of Insurance:

If you have been charged with failure to provide proof of insurance, you should bring proof of insurance with you to court.

As a convenience, if your insurance was in effect at the time the summons was issued, the compulsory insurance charge may be resolved in the office of the Municipal Clerk before the scheduled court date. You may make a request for dismissal upon verification that you had valid insurance on the date of the violation. Dismissal of a case requires a decision by the judge, so if this is your situation, please call the Municipal Court Clerk, at 719-530-2611, first, so the clerk can arrange to present your proof of insurance to the judge.

If you come to the office of the Municipal Clerk with your proof of insurance, but also have additional charge(s) for which fines have been assessed, as long as these charges do not involve an accident or injuries, you may sign a Waiver and Guilty Plea for these charge(s), pay the fine, and thereby close your case.

If you wish to contest the Complaint against you:

You must appear in Court. You may enter a plea of Not Guilty and ask for a trial. The trial process is such that you do not have to prove you are innocent, rather the People must prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you choose to have a trial, you may choose a trial by jury or a trial by judge. The judge will explain more about these options.

Failure to Pay or to Appear in Court:

Failure to either pay a traffic fine in full or appear in court when scheduled will result in the judge’s order for the issuance of a Bench Warrant against you, and/or an Outstanding Judgement Warrant. A Bench Warrant results in arrest and you will be jailed. An Outstanding Judgement Warrant results in the revocation of your driver’s license.

Re-Cap:

Once you have the Summons, check to see if you have the option to plead guilty and pay, or if you must appear in Court. Decide whether to pay or appear. If you are going to appear so that you may discuss your case with the Judge, appear in person on the scheduled court date. If you cannot come to court on that day, you may request another court date. 


 

MUNICIPAL CODE VIOLATIONS

Summonses for violations of the Salida City Code are issued by a Salida Police Officer. The copy that the officer provides will be blue. In the middle of the citation is a box that contains the location of the court to which you are summoned. You must appear. If the court address is 448 E. 1st Street, you are to appear at Salida Municipal Court.  (If the address is 142 Crestone Avenue, you are to appear in Chaffee County Court.) The date and time at which you are to appear will be filled in by the Officer. The section titled “Salida City Code” is where your charge will be marked.

As a convenience, some Municipal Code summonses are payable in advance as a penalty assessment, and if paid, do not require a court appearance. If the officer has entered a dollar fine amount in the “Fine Amount” field on the front of the summons form, then the summons is payable in advance. You may choose to either appear in court on the date indicated, if you need to discuss your case with the judge, or you may pay the amount indicated before the appearance date, and close your case. Please note that by making the payment, you are pleading guilty to the charge.

Not all municipal code violations have a penalty assessment option.


If you are unable to appear in Court:

If you do not have the option to plead guilty and pay before court, or if you wish to discuss your case with the judge, but cannot appear in court on the date shown, please contact the Municipal Court Clerk at 719-530-2611 before the appearance date to obtain a new court date. Your first appearance can be rescheduled one time, at your request. If you cannot appear and do not call to reschedule, this is a “Failure to Appear” and will result in a Bench Warrant. A Bench Warrant results in arrest.


Mandatory court appearance is required for:

  • destruction of property
  • interference with an Officer
  • shoplifting
  • petty theft
  • resisting arrest
  • any case involving personal injury or appreciable property damage
  • any other violation for which a fine has not been established under the Salida Municipal Court fine schedule
  • any offense normally payable as a penalty assessment, but with special circumstances

When you appear in Court:

In court, you may enter a plea of Not Guilty and ask for a trial. This requires the People to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and gives you opportunity to present your case. The next steps for your court appearances will now be determined. The Judge will ask if you request a Trial by Jury or a Trial by Judge.


What is next if you plead Not Guilty:

After arraignment, if you pled Not Guilty, and if your case has been set for a trial, you are expected to appear on time and to be prepared. Prior to the trial, you may request that witnesses for your defense be subpoenaed. To do this, either call the Municipal Court Clerk at 719-530-2611 or come to the Office of the Court Clerk in person. 

Any witnesses you have either subpoenaed or asked to testify at your trial must be present at the specific time your trial has been scheduled. The Municipal Court imposes no additional court costs for a Trial by Judge. However, there is a $25 jury fee for a Trial by Jury.

The Municipal Court Clerk by law may not give legal advice, but can help answer any procedural questions you may have. 


Sentencing if found Guilty:

If you are found Guilty at trial, the Judge will impose a sentence. You may be ordered to pay a fine, perform Useful Public Service, or another condition of sentences. If you fail to comply with the sentencing ordered by the Judge, a Review Hearing will be scheduled. You must appear at any scheduled hearings.

If a criminal incident has resulted in property damage, the judge may order you to pay restitution to the victim of the crime. The Salida Municipal Court requires the victim to submit a claim for restitution. When the court receives a claim for restitution, a hearing may be scheduled for the involved parties to determine the specific amount of restitution, if any, that will be ordered by the court. Restitution is paid to the Salida Municipal Court and the court in turn pays the victim. If you are a victim in a Municipal Court case, you may contact the court any time after the court has entered the Order of Restitution, to inquire into the status of the case.


Payments

Fines and fees are due and payable on the date of the sentencing (the court date). If you cannot pay, the Judge may ask you for specific dates that you can make payments and will set up a payment plan with you. An example might be that you will agree to pay $75 every two weeks. Whatever your payment plan, you will be expected to pay as ordered. Failure to pay your fine and fees in full by the payment date and/or failure to comply with the order of the court will result in a Notice to Appear, a Notice to Show Cause, or even an order for the issuance of a Bench Warrant for your arrest.

You may pay fines by mail, by coming to the payment window at City Hall, or by paying online.


PARKING TICKETS

Parking Tickets are a Notice of a Violation of a parking ordinance of the City of Salida, and are issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. They are placed on the windshield of a vehicle. The ticket will cite a specific offense that the particular vehicle has violated. It will also identify the amount that must be paid. Payment of the fine, or an entry of a Not Guilty plea must be made within 14 days of the date of notice. If you choose to enter a Not Guilty plea for a parking ticket, please call the Municipal Court Clerk at 719-530-2611, so that your case can be placed on the Court Docket for the next Court date.


Bench Warrants

Municipal Court warrants are ordered by the Judge for one’s failure to appear, failure to pay, or failure to comply with the Court’s order. The Judge will set a dollar amount of bail. You must post bond in the amount of bail to secure your release from custody. A $30 Bench Warrant fee is imposed by court order on each warrant issued.

At any given time, there are outstanding Bench Warrants for people who have missed their court appearance dates. If you believe you may have such an outstanding Warrant against you, bail amounts and other information may be obtained by calling the Municipal Court Clerk at 719-530-2611. In this way you may avoid learning about your Bench Warrant the hard way, by being arrested and brought to jail.

Outstanding Judgment Warrants (OJW)

Colorado law requires this Court to place an administrative revocation/denial on your Colorado driver’s license when an Outstanding Judgment Warrant is issued for your failure to appear or comply with conditions of a traffic ticket. In other words, you will not be allowed to renew your driver’s license until you have satisfied the Warrant. To remove this court action, the law imposes a $30 fee in addition to any other warrant or administrative fees that might apply. If you hold a driver’s license issued by another state, the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles will initiate license revocation proceedings in that state.

If you are stopped for a traffic violation and there is an OJW issued against your driving privileges, you will immediately be notified by the Police Officer that your license has been revoked. If this happens, call the Municipal Court Clerk at 719-530-2611.


ALL JUVENILES MUST HAVE A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN PRESENT WHEN APPEARING IN SALIDA MUNICIPAL COURT.