Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Colorado

Q: What does it mean when they transfer my criminal mischief case to county court

My criminal mischief charge was dropped from a felony to misdemeanor it is also my first offense.I cannot afford an attorney and I don’t qualify for a public defender I have court coming soon

1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan Greenlee
Jonathan Greenlee
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Boulder, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: What level of offense a criminal mischief charge is depends on the $ amount of damage allegedly caused - so it can range from the lowest misdemeanor to a relatively serious felony. Often the initial report isn't accurate or is just an estimate, and the DA will then amend the offense level when they do some follow-up investigation. It sounds like in your case they realized the amount of alleged damage was lower than initially thought, and that dropped it from a felony range to a misdemeanor range.

Felony offenses are heard in District Court, while misdemeanors are in County Court. So, with when your charge was amended down to a misdemeanor, it was also moved into a courtroom that handles misdemeanor cases.

There are attorneys that may be willing to work with you on a low pay or slow pay basis if you don't qualify for a public defender but also can't afford private counsel. When you appear in court you can judge if there is a low pay/slow pay list for your county. If this is your first offense, you should aim for a resolution that allows you to keep this off your record such as diversion, deferment, or dismissal.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.