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Charging and Filing

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 be able 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.

Larimer County's estimated population is 375,965 with a growth rate of 0.86% in the past year according to the most recent United States census data. Larimer County, Colorado is also the 7th largest county in Colorado. The 2010 Population was 300,453 and has seen a growth of 24.4% since this time. Census data can be found at here.




Many factors impact case filing rates including law enforcement referrals, overall crime rates, statutory changes, and other societal trends. Several significant statutory changes passed by the legislature have reclassified some felonies to misdemeanors over the last several years including the DM1 and misdemeanor reform bill from the first quarter of 2022.













Our goal is to allocate resources appropriately across charge type. For instance, while sex offenses are significantly less prevalent than traffic offenses, the time and effort a serious sex offense takes is immense by comparison.


Indicators

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.









Our goal is to maintain a flat or decreasing violent crime total while the 8th Judicial District's population has grown. With the exception of a small spike in the depths of COVID, violent crimes have trended downward as a per capita of our population over the last 5 years.


Notes 

  • 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.