Defense Counsel First Appearance Grant Program

Judicial stock photo

Program Purpose

The Defense Counsel First Appearance Grant Program launched with the purpose of reimbursing in whole or in part, costs associated with the provision of defense counsel to defendants at their first appearance in municipal courts as required under §13-10-114.5 C.R.S..

Effective July 1, 2018 under §13-10-114.5 C.R.S.:

  • At the time of first appearance on a municipal charge, if the defendant is in custody and the charged offense includes a possible sentence of incarceration, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the defendant for purposes of the initial appearance unless, after a full advisement pursuant to C.M.C.R. 210 and §16-7-207 C.R.S., the defendant makes a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his/her right to counsel.
  • If the defendant remains in custody, the appointment of counsel continues until the defendant is released from custody. If the defendant is released from custody, he/she may apply for court-appointed counsel, and the court shall appoint counsel if the court determines that the defendant is indigent and the charged offense includes a possible sentence of incarceration.

Participating municipalities will have the opportunity to request reimbursement at a rate of $100 per hour for eligible cases.

The Colorado Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform is currently conducting a sunset review of the Colorado Defense Counsel First Appearance Grant Program as described in section 2-3-1203 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.  Analysis is performed to determine if the grant program is necessary and should be continued or repealed.  To provide input on this review, please visit:

Program Eligibility

  • Colorado Municipal Courts

Program Eligibility

Program Reimbursement and Applications

To manage your grant, or apply for funds, please select Apply and Manage below. For assistance, please contact the Program Manager. 

Apply and Manage Grant

How to Submit a DCFA Request/Report


Please use the DCFA Program Request for Reimbursement Form to complete requests within the Grants portal.


Office Hours

The Division of Local Government will be hosting recurring Office Hours for the DCFA program every Thursday from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm throughout the current reporting period to both answer questions and troubleshoot issues: 

DCFA Office Hours
Thursday, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Google Meet joining info
Video call link:
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 478-331-6196‬ PIN: ‪314 276 359‬#
More phone numbers:


Program Timelines

A Payment Request and/or Status Report is due 30 days after each quarter of the calendar year. 

Quarter Due Date Pay Request Status Report
1st (Jan-Mar) April 30 Yes Yes
2nd (Apr-Jun) July 30 Yes Yes
3rd (Jul-Sep) October 30 Yes Yes
4th (Oct-Dec) January 30 Yes Yes



Funding Decisions


Program Contact

Mitchell Craddock
Program Manager
(303) 815-7078