In the state of Colorado, felonies are separated into different classes — 1 through 6. The more serious the crime, the lower number classification it receives. Lower numerical classes tend to also have stricter punishments, like longer sentences in jail and higher monetary fines.
Understanding Felony Classifications in Colorado
To better understand what felonies fall in each class, let’s break them down.
Class 6 Felony
Class 6 felonies are considered less serious crimes in Colorado. If you commit one of these crimes, you could have to pay a fine, serve time in jail, or both. Fines can vary in the range of $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the severity of the offense. Jail time can be in the range of 12 to 18 months. With these sentences, there can be a mandatory parole period of one year.
Class 6 felonies can include:
- Impersonating a police officer;
- Animal cruelty;
- Possession of over 12 ounces of marijuana;
- Promoting a pyramid scheme;
- Failing to register as a sex offender;
- Ownership of a weapon as a convicted felon.
Class 5 Felony
A class 5 felony is a slightly more involved or serious crime. The consequences of a class 5 felony could be 12 to 36 months in jail and/or a fine that can range from $1,000 to $100,000. Like a class 6 felony, you could be forced to pay a fine and serve jail time. A class 5 felony sentence can also come with a mandatory parole period of two to three years.
Class 5 felonies can include:
- Refusal to pay child support/alimony;
- Receiving a second notice for failing to register as a sex offender;
- Sale of less than five pounds of marijuana;
- False imprisonment.
Class 4 Felony
The fines you could have to pay for being convicted of a class 4 felony could range anywhere from $2,000 to $500,000. Your prison sentence could also be anywhere from two to six years. Once again, you are not immune from having to pay a fine and serve time in prison. With a class 4 felony charge, there is also a mandatory parole period of three years.
Class 4 felonies can include:
- Theft of property worth $20,000 - $100,000 (including identity theft);
- Sexual assault or sexual exploitation of a child;
- Vehicular homicide;
- First-degree perjury;
- Violating a protection order by stalking.
Class 3 Felony
With a class 3 felony, you could face a prison sentence of four to 12 years, a fine of $3,000 to $75,000, and a mandatory parole period of three to five years. You may also have to pay a fine or restitution.
Class 3 felonies include:
- First-degree arson;
- Pimping/sex trafficking;
- First-degree burglary;
- Aggravated robbery.
Class 2 Felony
A class 2 felony is one of the most severe offenses in Colorado. If you are convicted of a class 2 felony, you could have to pay a fine varying from $5,000 to $1,000,000, a prison sentence of eight to 24 years, and/or a mandatory parole period of three to five years.
Class 2 felonies include:
- First-degree assault;
- Theft of property worth, more or equal to, $1,000,000;
- Human trafficking;
- Second-degree murder.
Class 1 Felony
A class 1 felony is considered to be the utmost severe crime in the state of Colorado. As of March 2020, these crimes can no longer be punished with the death penalty, but that doesn’t mean the consequences are not severe or life-changing. You could have to face up to a $1,000,000 fine or life in person, sometimes without the possibility of parole.
Class 1 felonies can include:
- First-degree murder;
- First-degree kidnapping.
If you’ve been accused of a felony, regardless of the classification, it’s important to make sure you’re well represented. Having any type of felony conviction on your record can make it difficult to secure employment or good housing.
Do you still have questions about felony classifications in Colorado? Contact Law Office of Kevin Cahill today. Give us a call at (720) 548-2990! We are here to help make sure you know all of your options when facing a criminal sentence.