Arraignment sessions at Cañon City Municipal Court are held on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. except on federal, state, and local holidays. The issuing officer will have given you this date on your ticket. At this first appearance, the court will advise you of your rights and accept a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. You may also ask the judge for a continuance in order to consider the options or to consult an attorney.
Penalty Assessments: After a Penalty Assessment (ticket) is issued, you may pay the fine and surcharge up until the arraignment court date. To take advantage of the 2-point reduction for early payment, the payment must be paid or postmarked by the 20th calendar day after the issuance. If it is not paid, then you must appear in court for arraignment. By paying the fine instead of appearing in court, one gives up all the legal rights to which they are entitled. Payment is a plea of guilty to the offense(s) charged. Penalty points may be assessed against one's driving record by Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV). If one does not wish to plead guilty, they should not pay the fine -- their court appearance is necessary.
Summons and Complaints: Summons and Complaints require an appearance by the defendant at an arraignment session. Examples of tickets requiring a court appearance are; No Insurance, Disorderly Conduct, Dog Violations, Shoplifting, and Alcohol Violations.
Pleading Guilty or No Contest: If a plea of guilty or no contest is entered, there will not be a trial and the court will proceed to sentencing. Certain violations may entitle you to ask for a Deferred Sentence.
TRAFFIC DEFERRED SENTENCING - ADULT
A deferred sentence is a manner in which you avoid a conviction on your record. It requires you to plead guilty or no contest to the charges and to pay higher costs, however, the conviction does not enter upon your record if you satisfy the conditions of the deferment. Traffic deferred sentences are deferred for a period of six (6) months. If you are not adjudicated, convicted, or found guilty of any additional traffic or criminal offenses which occur after the plea date, and you pay the costs, and you comply with any other conditions ordered by the Court, the conviction will never enter and the case will be dismissed in its entirety. You may be eligible for a deferred sentence if you have a clean or nearly clean traffic record and have not received a prior deferred sentence within the last 5 years. CDL drivers are NOT eligible for deferred sentences per federal regulations. Deferred sentences cost approximately $50 more than the fine assigned on your ticket.
TRAFFIC DEFERRED SENTENCING – 18 YEARS AND YOUNGER
A deferred sentence for drivers 18 and younger is the same as an adult except it is only for a three (3) month period and requires the driver to attend ALIVE AT 25 Traffic School. The driver is also required to donate six (6) cans of food to a local charity. The fine amount for drivers in this category is cut in half to help pay for traffic school
Pleading Not Guilty: If a plea of not guilty is tendered, the court will then set at a later date for a combined pre-trial conference and trial to the court for most traffic offenses. You are entitled to a trial by jury for certain violations. A trial to jury may be a jury of a minimum of 3 jurors or a maximum of 6 jurors. If defendants desire a trial by jury, they must make the request in writing, within 21 days of the arraignment date and include a jury fee of $25. Trials must be set within 90 days unless speedy trial is waived.