Poncha Springs Municipal Court

Court is held at 10:00am on the 3rd Wednesday of the month with the exception of the month of October, when Court will be held on the 4th Wednesday. Upcoming Municipal Court Dates for 2020 are:


                                                                    June 17th, 2020

                                                                     July 15th, 2020

                                                                  August 19th, 2020

                                                               September 16th, 2020

                                                                 October 28th, 2020

                                                               November 18th, 2020

                                                               December 16th, 2020


                                 



                              

                                                                   


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. 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.

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 Town Prosecutor about your matter and if you plead or are found guilty, to address the Judge about your ticket, prior to imposition of sentence.

If “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” is checked:  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 paying your fine 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.  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: Poncha Springs Municipal Court, PO Box 190, Poncha Springs, CO 81242 (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)

·        By dropping your payment off in the lock box in the Town Hall parking lot       (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)

·        By coming into Town Hall during business hours                                                                       (Monday - Friday, 8am - 12pm and 1pm-5pm)

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.                                        

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 Poncha Springs 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 three 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.


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 a default judgment or 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 Town 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.


IF YOU WISH TO CONTEST YOUR CHARGES AND SPEAK WITH THE TOWN 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 Town Prosecutor about your matter in order to explore the option of a negotiated plea (aka plea bargain).  The Town Prosecutor will take into consideration your traffic and criminal history, plus other factors she deems fit to take into consideration, including your position should you wish to disclose the same to her, 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 Town Prosecutor, or if you choose to not speak with the Town 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 Town 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 deputyclerk@ponchasprings.us 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.


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


Poncha Springs Ordinance 2019-4

Poncha Springs Model Traffic Code

TOWN OF PONCHA SPRINGS
333 Burnett Avenue / PO Box 190 / Poncha Springs, CO 81242
mail@ponchasprings.us / Phone: 719-539-6882 / Fax: 719-539-6898