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What Is The Process When Someone Presses Charges Against You in Colorado?

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP October 17, 2022

If you have been charged with a crime in Colorado, it is important to understand your rights and what options are available to you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help guide you through this process and fight for your rights every step of the way.  

What Does it Mean to Press Charges?

In short, pressing charges means filing a formal criminal complaint against someone who has been accused of a crime. The decision of whether to press charges is usually made by the prosecutor, not the victim. However, the victim’s wishes are often taken into consideration. 

When someone decides to press charges, they first need to contact local law enforcement or the district attorney’s office. At this point, they would make a police report and share what happened and why they believe charges should be filed.  The report will include an account of what happened, as well as any evidence that they have to support the claim. This can include photos, videos, or eyewitness testimony. Once the report has been filed, an investigation may be launched.

If the investigation finds enough evidence to support the claim, criminal charges will be filed against the accused. At this point, a warrant for their arrest will be issued. 

How Do You Know if Someone Has Pressed Charges Against You?

Whether you’ve been accused of a crime or are being investigated for one, it’s only natural to want to know if charges have been pressed against you. After all, this is the first step in the criminal justice process—and it will likely determine how your case proceeds moving forward. 

So, how can you tell if charges have been pressed against you in the state of Colorado? 

You’re Arrested

If you’re arrested, that’s a pretty clear sign that charges have been pressed against you. The arrest will likely happen after the police have gathered enough evidence to bring you in and book you—at which point, a prosecutor will also be assigned to your case. 

You’re Contacted by the Police

If the police contact you asking questions about a crime that was committed, that doesn’t necessarily mean that charges have been pressed yet—but it’s a good indication that they soon might be. 

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you believe charges may have been filed against you but you aren’t sure, you can also reach out to a Phoenix criminal defense attorney and ask them to check for you. 

What Should You Do If Someone Has Pressed Charges Against You?

Being charged with a crime is a very serious matter. If you or someone you know has been arrested and/or charged, it is critical that you take the necessary steps to protect your rights. The following is a summary of the four most important things to do if you find yourself in this situation:

  1. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. As soon as possible after being charged, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can explain the charges against you and begin preparing your defense. 
  2. Be aware of your right to remain silent. You have the right to remain silent and should exercise that right whenever questioned by the police about the charges against you. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court, so it is best not to say anything at all until you have consulted with an attorney. 
  3. Do not consent to a search of your property. If the police ask to search your home, car, or any other property, do not consent. It is best to let them obtain a warrant before they conduct any searches as anything they find could be used as evidence against you in court. 
  4. Be polite and respectful to everyone involved. Although it may be difficult, it is important that you be polite and respectful to everyone involved in your case, including the judge, prosecutor, and police officers. 

If you or someone close to you has been charged with a crime, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.