Prosecutors

Promoting safety, health and equal justice for their communities

Representing the people

Prosecutors are dedicated public servants who are actively involved in their communities and passionate about pursuing equal justice by seeking the truth in every case and protecting the rights and safety of everyone throughout the criminal justice process.

The Role

In Colorado, prosecutors play a vital – yet limited and clearly defined – role in ensuring criminal justice and public safety.

Responsibility

Unlike defense attorneys, prosecutors have numerous obligations to both the public and the accused in every case.

Discretion

Prosecutors have the power to individualize the criminal justice response and pursue an appropriate solution for each case.

Partners in Public Safety

Legislators

create and control the laws that define criminal conduct and the corresponding criminal justice response.

Law Enforcement

investigates reported crimes and determines if there is enough probable cause to make an arrest.

Prosecutors

file charges only after determining there is a  reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.

Jury/Judge

determines at trial whether or not the evidence presented proves the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Judge

determines after a defendant has been convicted the appropriate sentence as defined by the law.

"My job as a prosecutor is to do justice and justice is served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not."

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Former New York Assistant District Attorney

Responsibilities in Criminal Cases

Prosecutors

  • Seek the truth
  • Pursue justice, not a conviction
  • Serve the public interest
  • Protect the defendant’s constitutional rights 
  • Ensure the accused receives a fair trial
  • Keep the public informed without compromising due process

Defense Attorneys

  • Provide a zealous defense regardless of their client’s guilt

Prosecutor Discretion

In Colorado, prosecutors have the discretion to individualize the criminal justice response to each case within the legal framework enacted by the legislature. Considering the evidence, nature of the crime, criminal history of the accused and victim input, prosecutors have the ability to:

  • Refuse to file charges
  • Determine what charges to file
  • Dismiss a case
  • Negotiate plea bargains
  • Recommend sentencing
Scroll to Top

Court Functions, case management and hearing procedures will vary by jurisdiction. Click here to find the most current directives or polices in your jurisdiction.