MUNICIPAL JURY TRIAL PROCEDURES
FOR DEFENDANTS REPRESENTING THEMSELVES IN A JURY TRIAL IN BROOMFIELD
PLEASE NOTE: There is a mandatory written jury demand form and a $25 jury fee which must BOTH be filed with the court within 21 days of the entry of your plea of not guilty in order to preserve your right to a jury trial. If the written demand and the $25 are not BOTH tendered within the 21 days, you will waive your right to a trial by jury.
This information is designed to assist Defendants who choose to represent themselves in a Jury Trial in Broomfield Municipal Court. It is a general overview of trial procedures. It by no means covers all situations that may arise
during the course of a jury trial. It is intended to assist you in your preparation for trial, and help to ensure the orderly presentation of evidence at the trial.
If you have any witnesses that you feel will be necessary to testify at the trial, you will be required to have them in attendance. Verbal and written statements form persons who are not in the courtroom to testify on the date of the trial are known as hearsay statements. Hearsay statements are not admissible or permissible at trial because the witnesses are not under oath and are not available for cross-examination questions from the opposing party. If a potential witness advises you that they are unavailable to testify at your trial, you must subpoena them to your trial. You should obtain a subpoena from the court in advance of your trial date. You must have your witness served with the subpoena at least 48 hours prior to the time of trial. The service (delivery) of the subpoena must be by another person who is not a party to your case and is over the age of 18 years. You must then file a Return of Service with the Court showing that your witness was personally served with the subpoena.
If you are a juvenile defendant, one of your parents must appear with you on the date of trial. Your parent will sit next to you so that you can consult with your parent during the trial. However, your parent may not represent you or act as your attorney. The juvenile must represent him/herself and do all of the speaking on his/her own behalf and be prepared to proceed to trial on the scheduled date.
The Court will give basic instructions to the prospective jury panel members and determine if any members are not qualified to serve as members of the jury. The clerk of the court will then, by random drawing, select members from the jury pool to be seated as the prospective jury panel.
The court will conduct the initial voir dire, or questioning, of the prospective jurors. The City Attorney and then the Defendant will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the prospective jurors. Voir dire is the process of questioning the prospective jurors to determine their competency, interest, and ability to sit as fair and impartial jurors.
Once the jury panel has been conditionally approved, each side of the case is entitled to three preemptory challenges to remove or excuse jurors from the jury panel. The method commences with the City Attorney making his first challenge, followed by the Defendant making his first challenge and then alternating between the City Attorney and the Defense until all preemptory challenges have been used. The preemptory challenge strikes or removes a name from the list. After all challenges have been utilized, the remaining members of the jury panel will form the jury in your case.
The trial will begin with the opportunity for Opening Statements from the prosecuting city attorney and from you if you choose to make one. An Opening Statement is not evidence; it is merely a statement of what the city attorney and the defense intends to prove through the course of the trial.
An opening statement is not mandatory, and it may be waived by either the city attorney or the defense. After the city attorney has made his/her opening statement to the court, you may either make an opening statement, waive your opening statement, or reserve your right to make an opening statement until after the city attorney has presented its case to the court.
City attorneys case
The city attorney will then call his/her witnesses and question his/her witnesses concerning the incidents involved in your case, and introduce any physical evidence he/she may have through the witnesses. After the city attorney has finished questioning each witness, you will then have the right to question that witness. This is called cross examination. Your questions must be relevant and appropriate to the matters the witness testified to and must bear a relationship to the incidents involved in the case.
Once the city attorney has completed his/her case, you may make an opening statement, if you reserved your opening statement. The defendant is not required to submit any defense case, nor call any witnesses, nor testify him/herself. However, you may call witnesses to testify on your behalf and to question them concerning the incidents involved in the case. Just as you have a right to cross examine the city's witnesses, the city attorney has the right to also question and cross examine each of your witnesses.
Defendant's Right to Testify or Not (Curtis Advisement)
Since it is the city attorney's burden to prove each and every element of the offense for which you are charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you are presumed to be innocent. You will be given what is called a Curtis Advisement by the court which advises you that you have a constitutional right to remain silent and if you choose to remain silent, the city attorney may not comment on that fact and the court will not infer any guilt by the fact that you chose to remain silent. You also have a constitutional right to testify, and if you choose to testify, you are then waiving or giving up your right to remain silent and you subject yourself to cross examination by the city attorney the same as any other witness. If you have any felony convictions as an adult, then the city attorney may introduce that information to the court in an attempt to impeach your credibility or the believability of your testimony.
After you have concluded the presentation of your evidence, the city attorney may present additional evidence, which is called rebuttal testimony, to rebut or contradict any evidence you presented during your case. After the city attorney finishes presenting rebuttal evidence, the evidence in the case is concluded.
After the evidence has been concluded by both the city attorney and the defense, the parties will discuss with the Judge the Instructions of law which will be given to the jury in the case. If you wish to submit a specific Jury Instruction, you need to do so for the Court's consideration. After the Instructions have been finalized, the Instructions will be read to the jury by the judge.
The city attorney now has the opportunity to make a closing argument, arguing why, based on the evidence which has been presented, the jury should find you guilty of the offense you are charged with committing. You then have the opportunity to also make a closing argument, arguing why, based on the evidence which has been presented, the jury should find you not guilty of the charged offense. Finally, since the city attorney has the burden to prove the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, he/she will have the last opportunity to speak, and will be allowed to present a rebuttal closing argument.
The jury will then retire to commence their deliberations and will make their decision, based upon the evidence that has been submitted to the jury during the course of the trial and the Instructions of Law as read to them by the Judge. When the jury has concluded their deliberations, they will notify the clerk of the court of the court and return to the courtroom to render their verdict.
Findings and Verdict of the Jury
The court will then read the verdict of the jury, and finalize the verdict based upon the evidence that has been submitted to the jury during the course of the trial and the law that is applicable to the charges in your case. If you are convicted or found guilty of the charge by the jury, the judge will then impose an appropriate sentence based upon the nature of the charge and the facts of the case.
Right to Appeal
If you are found guilty of any of the charged offenses, you have the right to appeal your case to the District Court of Broomfield County within 35 days of the date of the final judgment.