Some traffic offenses for Arvada Municipal Court are eligible for plea bargains through the mail. The offer is based mainly on your driving history. If you do not receive a plea bargain in the mail, even if an officer told you that you would, you must appear in court on the date and time listed on your summons. Failure to appear may result in a Bench Warrant being issued for your arrest, or if your citation is a traffic infraction, a Default Judgment may be entered against you, and a lien placed against your driving privilege.
The point reduction and the fine amount due are based on how many violations you have had within the past two years.
Accepting a Plea Bargain
If you receive a plea bargain in the mail and wish to accept it and enter a GUILTY plea to the amended charge, return one signed copy of the plea bargain with your payment for the full amount due, by the deadline date listed. You may also fax a signed copy of the plea bargain to the Court, but you must then call the Court to make your payment over the phone (we accept Visa and MasterCard).
Declining a Plea Bargain
If you receive a plea bargain in the mail and wish to decline it and enter a NOT GUILTY plea, you must appear at the court office to set a pre-trial conference date to meet with the Prosecuting Attorney. (Please note: The best time to appear to set pre-trial conferences is 2:00 p.m., as noted on your plea bargain.)
Why Didn't I Receive a Plea Bargain?
Here are some of the reasons why you may not have received a plea bargain in the mail:
- You have had more than 3 traffic tickets within the last 24 months
- You have had more than 3 tickets in 12 months
- The violation you are charged with is more than 4 points
- You were in an accident that involved an injury
- The address on your ticket is not your current mailing address
- You do not currently possess a valid Colorado Driver's License and are a resident of the state of Colorado.
Juveniles are normally eligible for one plea bargain without appearing before the Judge. However, since a parent must sign the plea bargain, the juvenile and a parent must appear on their scheduled court date at the clerk's window. (The Court will mail a juvenile plea bargain, but it must be returned with a parent's or legal guardian's signature, as well as their driver's license number.)
Even if you did not receive one in the mail, you may still be eligible for a plea bargain offer from the City Attorney's Office when you appear in Court. The Prosecutor reviews cases prior to the arraignment date, and may place an offer in the file. If this happens, the Judge will explain the offer to you in court. If you wish to accept the plea bargain offer the matter can be resolved that day.
If there is no offer made, or you do not wish to accept the offer, you may enter a Not Guilty plea and you will be scheduled to return on a different date for a Pre-Trial Conference with the Prosecutor to discuss your case. Not all cases are eligible for a Pre-Trial conference, and you may be scheduled directly for a trial. If you are able to negotiate a plea bargain with the Prosecutor at the Pre-Trial Conference, your case can typically be resolved that day. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the Prosecutor you may either schedule your case for a trial on a different date or you may change your plea to Guilty and resolve the matter at that time.