JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) -- In an effort to reduce the potential for an outbreak of the coronavirus in jail, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is changing its standards when it comes to arresting people suspected of traffic offenses, misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. First-time DUI offenders, other misdemeanor or municipal custodial offenders, and people accused of non-violent felonies will not be arrested -- except in cases that require an advisement under the Victims Rights Act or if there is a direct threat to public safety.
"While these actions are not ideal, we have to make preparations and take preventative measures to best ensure the public's safety as well as that of first responders," Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader stated.
The following arrest standards are in effect for the Jefferson County Jail through May 31, unless discontinued or extended:
- No misdemeanor or municipal custodial arrests will be accepted unless charges require an advisement under the Victims Rights Act (VRA). The likelihood of an individual complying with a court summons shall not be grounds to determine whether a custodial arrest is appropriate.
- No traffic related warrant arrest will be accepted.
- No first-time drinking and driving offense will be accepted unless no reasonable alternative can be found. Second or greater drinking and driving offenses will be accepted.
- No county court or municipal warrant arrest will be accepted unless the underlying charge is a VRA crime.
- Arrests on felony warrants will be accepted but the Sheriff's Office urges officers to exercise their discretion in making such arrests and to take into account the underlying original violation.
- Arrests for non-violent felonies (F4, F5, F6, DF3, and/or DF4) will only be accepted if there is a direct threat to public safety. Otherwise a felony summons process is recommended.
While the new arrest standards remain in effect, individuals who have an outstanding warrant are encouraged to contact the jurisdiction from which the warrant was issued and arrange a court date to address the charges.
"When the new arrest standards are lifted, any leniency afforded through them will no longer apply and most county detention facilities will have an abundance of jail beds available," officials stated.
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