In Jail or Detention

If you are arrested for or charged with a state court criminal offense and you are detained in a jail or other detention facility, you must be brought before a judge within 48 hours to be advised of the charges. You will have a public defender or other court-appointed counsel representing you at this first appearance hearing. The defender will talk to you before the hearing to advise you about what will happen in court.

At this first appearance hearing, bond will be set by the judge if bond has not already been set. Most bonds in Colorado are monetary bonds which require you to post money, either cash or surety (through a bondsman). Judges can also grant “PR bonds” at first appearance, which are non-monetary bonds that allow you to be released with a promise to appear at the next court date. The attorney will argue for the least restrictive bond.

If you are not able to post bond or otherwise remain in jail or detention, you will automatically be eligible for a public defender after the first appearance hearing if one of the following circumstances exist:

  • Felony, misdemeanor or traffic charges are filed.
  • A revocation of probation or community corrections petition is filed.

If you are released from custody, you must fill out an application for a public defender to assess if you are still eligible regardless of whether we represented you while you were in jail.


Filling Out the Application for a Public Defender

Individuals who are still in jail or detention can apply for a public defender by clicking on the appropriate link below: