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In Colorado, misdemeanors (including traffic cases) and petty offenses/infractions are filed directly with the court by law enforcement. Felony cases are first reviewed by the District Attorney's (DA) Office before filing. After reviewing and accepting a felony case, prosecutors decide what type of charges to file. This section presents data on all cases for which a law enforcement agency has filed the case (misdemeanors or petty offenses/infractions) or for which the DA’s Office has decided to accept the referral and file the charges (felonies). 

Why is this important? To support community safety, we want to maximize limited resources by focusing on serious crime while minimizing unnecessary punitiveness. Understanding the number and types of cases filed in the Office helps to ensure we use resources efficiently, effectively, and fairly.

Factors and circumstances outside the control of the District Attorney’s Office may impact the number of cases filed. For example, the decline in referrals and charging in 2020 is likely to be a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Other factors also include legislative changes and charge reclassifications. The Colorado Legislature has recently reclassified a number of felony offenses as misdemeanors. This has resulted in fewer felony filings and an increase in misdemeanor filings.

Changes in administration practices can also affect these numbers. For example, there appears to be a noticeable uptick in traffic cases filed. This is partially due to a change in our office’s practices regarding which types of cases were entered into and stored in the case management system. This data dashboard is derived from the case management system. Prior to COVID-19, not all traffic cases were entered into the case management system.


Below are a set of indicators that provide additional context about cases filed. These indicators help the DA's Office ensure they are prioritizing cases effectively and charging cases appropriately.

Public safety is of paramount importance to our office. We monitor the number of violent crimes filed and prioritize these cases for prosecution.

For purposes of this dashboard, “Violent Crime” is defined under the Technical Notes tab.

As mentioned previously, the Colorado Legislature reclassified many felony crimes to misdemeanor crimes. The most notable change involved possession of a controlled substance being reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. This change significantly affected felony filings in Mesa County.

It is important to note that the DA's Office does not have direct influence on the volume of misdemeanor cases. The vast majority of misdemeanor cases are filed by law enforcement directly to the court without district attorney screening.


  • Underlying data counts for each chart can be accessed through this link.
  • Each case is represented once, by the top charge filed. 
  • Warrants are excluded (for all cases identified as a warrant).
  • Cases do not map directly to criminal incidents. One incident can result in multiple arrests and cases – or multiple incidents could result in the arrest and prosecution of a single individual.
  • For definitions of charge types included in the dashboard, see the full list in Technical Notes.