In Colorado, the two major categories of criminal offenses are misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors generally include less serious crimes, such as theft of property less than $500 and trespassing. Although misdemeanors are considered to be relatively minor offenses, a misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and hefty fines. Felony charges on the other hand are serious business and can come with tough penalties and potential long-term consequences.
Felonies In Colorado
A felony conviction of any kind carries the potential for lengthy prison sentences and devastating consequences. The stigma of being a convicted felon can follow you around for the rest of your life, preventing you from getting jobs, renting homes, and forming relationships. Felonies in Denver will be classified as Class 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Based on the classification of your offense, you could be looking at anywhere from $1,000 - $5,000 in fines and 1 year to life in prison.
General felonies - A broad range of criminal offenses can fall under the category of general felonies, including arson, burglary, forgery, and stalking.
Drug felonies - Drug felonies can include the unlawful use, possession, or sale of a controlled substance, such as heroin, cocaine, or crystal meth.
Assault felonies - This category of felonies may include child abuse, criminally negligent homicide, manslaughter, murder, and domestic violence.
Sexual felonies - These types of offenses share important common elements, and can include crimes such as sexual assault, sexual assault on a child, internet sexual exploitation of a child, and indecent exposure.
Driving felonies - Driving felonies include vehicular assault and vehicular homicide.
Misdemeanors In Colorado
Although Colorado has relaxed some of its criminal laws in recent years, it can still be harsh on certain types of offenses, and finding yourself charged with a misdemeanor can be an anxiety-inducing experience. Misdemeanors have 3 categories, each ranked with different levels to denote severity. The ranking goes from highest to lowest, with Class 1 indicating the most serious crimes and Class 3 the most minor.
Class 1 misdemeanors
This category is restricted to the most serious misdemeanors — those just below the felony level. Class 1 misdemeanors can include promoting a pyramid scheme, falsifying will or trust documents, or committing assault by spitting or purposely flinging blood or other bodily fluids on another person. The penalties can include 6 to 24 months in jail and potentially a fine of $500 to $5,000.
Class 2 misdemeanors
You may find yourself charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor if you committed less than $100 worth of fire damage to a structure or piece of property, or if you stole money or property valued at more than $300 but less than $750. The penalties can include 3 to 12 months in jail and potentially a fine of $250 to $1,000.
Class 3 misdemeanors
These most minor crimes include things like failing to obey a jury summons, writing a bad check, prostitution or soliciting a prostitute, and disorderly conduct. The penalties can include 3 to 6 months in jail and potentially a fine of $50 to $750.
What Should You Do Next?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony or misdemeanor, the next best step to take is to talk to a criminal defense lawyer. The cost of fines combined with the cost of having a conviction on your record can be detrimental.
At Law Office of Kevin Cahill, we may be able to help with your charges today. Call us today to talk to someone about setting up your defense for your case. (720) 548-2990.