District Attorney vs. City Attorney
Denver is unique in Colorado in that it is a City, County, and State Judicial District.
Both the Denver District Attorney and the Denver City Attorney prosecute criminal offenses in Denver County Court.
The Denver City Council has enacted numerous municipal ordinances that regulate or prohibit conduct which is also regulated or prohibited by state law. The Denver Police Department files charges as municipal ordinance violations through the City Attorney’s Office.
Crimes Prosecuted by the District Attorney
The Denver District Attorney’s office prosecutes petty offenses, misdemeanors and felonies defined by state criminal law occurring within the City and County of Denver.
Crimes Prosecuted by the City Attorney
The City Attorney prosecutes violations of city municipal ordinances (city laws) and regulatory codes created by the City of Denver; examples include defacing property, petty theft, shoplifting, resistance, interference of a peace officer, curfew, assault, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, trespass, open container, being in the park after hours, and non-alcohol traffic violations.
Case Number Tip
One way to determine which office is handling a particular case is to look at the case number.
District Attorney’s Office: Case numbers start with a year, then letters “CR,” “M,” or “JD,” then a number, as in 16CR01234, 17M1234, or 15JD7891.
City Attorney’s Office: Case numbers start with a year, then letters “GV,” “GS,” or “D,” then a number, as in 17GS1234 or D5678, or case paperwork says “General Sessions Summons and Complaint.”