Municipal Court – City of Salida

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

the Salida Model Traffic Code. click here.

the Salida Municipal Code, click here.


The City of Salida Municipal Court’s mission is to provide an efficient, equitable, and impartial forum for the resolution of citations issued by the Salida Police Department alleging violations of the City of Salida Municipal Code or The Uniform Model Traffic Code (as adopted by the City Municipal Code).  The Court affords due process to all defendants including the right to trial and the right to an attorney including the right to a court appointed attorney as applicable.  The Judge, (also referred to as the Court), upon a finding of guilt after trial, or upon a Defendant’s plea of guilty, imposes a sentence consisting of fines, costs, and surcharges due the City of Salida.  The sentence may also include community service, jail in some instances, therapeutic classes or participation in other programs.  The types of cases heard by the Salida Municipal Court are traffic, misdemeanor, animal, miscellaneous code violations, and parking summonses.


Court is held every 3rd Friday of the month with the exception of the month of June, when Court is held on the 4th Friday.  Upcoming Municipal Court Dates for 2018 are:

January 18, 2019
February 15, 2019
March 15, 2019
April 19, 2019
May 17, 2019
June 21, 2019
July 19, 2019
August 16, 2019
September 20, 2019
October 18, 2019
November 15, 2019
December 21, 2018


YOUR TICKET:  A Uniform Summons and Complaint or a Penalty Assessment?

If you receive a ticket (also known as a citation or a complaint), the copy that the officer will give you is the blue copy.  These same summons forms are used for both Salida Municipal Court and Chaffee County Court, so it is important to check (on the front of the blue ticket) 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.

In some instances, you may be given the option of not appearing in Court and instead proceeding via the “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” process.  This will be noted on the front of the ticket by the issuing Officer and you must follow the procedures exactly as explained on the reverse side of the ticket.

Summons detail

If “SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT” is checked, but not the “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” box:  you do not have the option of avoiding court and paying a fine. You must appear in court on the date and time indicated.  At your court date, you will be advised by the Court of your rights, required to sign the advisement of rights form, and you will be called upon to plead guilty or not guilty.  You have the right to speak with the City Prosecutor about your matter (see further instructions in this site) and if you plead or are found guilty, to address the Judge about your ticket.

If “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” is checked:  and if you are given the option of proceeding via Penalty Assessment (“PA”) and only if you wish to not contest the charges against you and it is your wish to plead guilty without appearing in Court, you have the option of mailing in your fine along with all surcharges and court costs as set forth on your ticket.  By doing so you acknowledge that you are pleading guilty and waiving your rights as set forth on the back side of your ticket.  (YOU MUST ACT WITHIN THE STRICT TIME FRAME SPECIFIED ON THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET;  and pay all monies noted including the court costs.  Failure to strictly abide by the instructions will convert your penalty assessment into a summons into Court.)   See the back side of your ticket for further instructions.

“AUTOMATIC POINT REDUCTION-PENALTY ASSESSMENT”:  if your Penalty Assessment ticket is for a traffic offense, you are eligible to receive a point reduction when you proceed via the PA process.  (this is further explained on the reverse side of your blue ticket under “Automatic Point Reduction-Penalty Assessment”)

If you have the option of paying via the Penalty Assessment process, you may pay your ticket by one of the following methods:

  • by mail; 448 E. 1st Street, Salida, CO 81201 (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)
  • by dropping your payment off at the lock box in the City Hall parking lot, (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)
  • by coming to the payment window at City Hall,
  • or online at the City Website.

NOTE:  Should you pay via any of the above methods, you are acknowledging and waiving and giving up your rights as set forth on the back side of your blue ticket including your right to contest the charges and have a trial.

City Hall Entrance (2)

The City Hall Entrance

ASSESSMENT OF POINTS AGAINST YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE:  Payment of a penalty assessment constitutes a guilty plea.  For Model Traffic Code violations (and for some Salida Municipal Code violations), notice of your guilty plea is sent to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, so that they can record your penalty points. Similarly, if you appear in Court under a summons and are found guilty at trial or plead guilty to a traffic offense, the points associated with your charge will be sent into the Department of Motor Vehicles.  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.

IF YOU HAD THE OPTION OF PAYING VIA PENALTY ASSESSMENT YET MISSED YOUR 20 DAY DEADLINE, you still have the right to pay your ticket (via one of the four methods noted above) and avoid a Court appearance so long as your payment is received ahead of your court date (please note that you WILL NOT receive a point reduction in this instance).  You are giving up your rights as noted on the reverse side of your ticket by proceeding in this fashion.

If no payment is received from you prior to your Court date, you are required to answer the charges in Court at the date and time indicated unless you request a continuance in writing and the same is granted (see further in this website for instructions on how to request a continuance).

WHAT IF  I FAIL TO PAY OR APPEAR IN COURT?

Failure to either pay a fine in full or appear in court when scheduled will result in either an outstanding judgment warrant (OJW) being issued against you (in the case of a traffic infraction), or, for all other cases, referral of your matter to a collection agency, to the City Prosecutor to initiate Contempt of Court Proceedings, initiation of garnishment proceedings or collection of the unpaid fines and costs via any civil collection remedy the Judge may Order.  An Outstanding Judgment Warrant results in consequences to your driver’s license.  If you appear, and have not paid the amount due, the Judge can give you additional time to make payment or can reassess your case and enter alternative orders such as conversion of a monetary fine to Useful Public Service in lieu of fines and costs.

WHAT ARE BENCH WARRANTS?

Municipal Court warrants are ordered by the Judge for one’s failure to appear. The Judge will set a dollar amount of bail. Bonds may be issued as “PR” (personal recognizance), but still require that you be arrested (or turn yourself in on the warrant to the local jail and be processed), or if a cash bond, 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, even if a PR bond.

 


A mandatory Court appearance is required for some charges under the Model Traffic Code, as follows:

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

A mandatory court appearance is required for some summons under the Salida Municipal Code, as follows:

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

IF YOU WISH TO CONTEST YOUR CHARGES AND SPEAK WITH THE CITY PROSECUTOR:  you must appear in Court and, after reviewing and signing your advisement of rights form, you will be offered the opportunity to speak with the City Prosecutor about your matter to explore the option of a negotiated plea (aka plea bargain).  The City Prosecutor will take into consideration your traffic and criminal history, plus other factors he deems fit to take into consideration, including your position should you wish to disclose the same to him, when deciding whether or not to offer you a reduced charge.  Note that in almost all instances, the original fine will apply to a reduced offense.  If you do not arrive at an acceptable resolution of your matter with the City Prosecutor, or if you choose to not speak with the City Prosecutor and instead plead not guilty, your matter will be scheduled for a trial (either to the Court or, as applicable to a Jury) typically within 30 to 45 days after your not guilty plea is entered.

IF YOU WISH TO SPEAK WITH THE JUDGE ABOUT YOUR CASE:  The Judge is to remain neutral regarding your case and therefore has no statutory ability to hear evidence about your case unless it is presented at trial or it is at your sentencing (after your guilty plea or finding of guilt after trial).  You do have the right and ability to address the Judge at sentencing with respect to any matter pertinent to the mitigation of your sentence.  NOTE: It is the City Prosecutor and not the Judge who has the statutory ability to offer you a negotiated plea.

IF YOU CANNOT APPEAR ON YOUR COURT DATE:  Please contact the Municipal Court Clerk in writing at courtclerk@cityofsalida.com before the appearance date to request a new court date.  Your first appearance can be rescheduled one time, at your written request, and generally will be rescheduled for the next Court date. If you cannot appear yet do not request a rescheduled date, a “Failure to Appear” will be noted in your file and either an Outstanding Judgment Warrant (OJW) or Bench Warrant for your arrest will issue.


PARKING TICKETS:

Parking Tickets (Notice of a Violation) allege violations of a parking ordinance of the City of Salida, and are issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. Violations 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 of fine that must be paid.  If payment is not made within the next 14 days, a late fee of $25.00 is added onto the amount due.  Thereafter, if not paid within the next subsequent 14 days, and after a reminder to pay letter is mailed by the Court Clerk, a Summons to Appear in Court may be mailed or served to a non-compliant Defendant who will be given a date to appear in Court.  Court costs of $30 are added onto the original fine and late fee once a Summons to Appear has issued.

If a Defendant wished to contest a ticket, a not guilty plea can be entered at the Arraignment and a bench (judge decision) trial will be scheduled to occur at the next subsequent Court date (necessary in order that the Code Enforcement Office can be subpoenaed to appear on behalf of the City).  The Defendant may choose to testify at his trial in his own defense and also has the right to not testify.  The Defendant will, at his trial, have the opportunity to present any other evidence relative to his guilt or non-guilt before the Judge renders a verdict.  There are no points assessed against a driver’s license because of a parking ticket, and the City Prosecutor does not participate in trials for parking violators.


ADVISEMENT OF YOUR RIGHTS:

The Colorado Rules of Municipal Court procedure require that you be given an Advisement of Rights form in Court which must be reviewed and signed by you prior to your proceeding in Court.  The Judge will review this with you.  In some instances, a written Waiver of Rights form will be required of you prior to the Court being able to accept your plea of guilty.  NOTE:  If you take advantage of the Penalty Assessment procedure, you are waiving the rights as set forth on the reverse side of your ticket.  See the attached ADVISEMENT OF RIGHTS FORM


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

Common procedure questions and answers can be viewed here:  QUESTION AND ANSWERS