Denver Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer
Misdemeanor Charges in Colorado Should Not Be Taken Lightly
There are many seemingly innocent actions that can garner a misdemeanor
charge, but that doesn’t mean that you should not take such a charge
seriously. A first-class misdemeanor charge can land you in jail for up
to 24 months for extraordinary risk crimes, along with a $5,000.00 fine.
It is extremely important to seek the counsel of an aggressive misdemeanor
defense lawyer if you are charged with a misdemeanor in Colorado. Even
though some might think that a misdemeanor will only bring a fine or little
probation time, once it is on your record, any future charge will most
definitely be treated more severely.
It is important to have an experienced Denver misdemeanor lawyer help you
fight these charges so that you can maintain a clean criminal record.
Call (720) 548-2990 today.
What You Should Know About Misdemeanors in Colorado
Although Colorado has relaxed some of its
criminal laws recently — most notably the legalization of recreational marijuana
in January 2014 — it can still be harsh on certain types of offenses
and finding yourself charged with a misdemeanor in Colorado can be an
anxiety-inducing experience. It’s important to know about some of
the differences between misdemeanor and felony charges under Colorado
law, as well as the potential penalties you could face if convicted of
a misdemeanor, such as a simple
Misdemeanors vs. Felonies Charges
Misdemeanors charges can result from low-level crimes that sometimes result
in an arrest and an overnight in jail. However, if you are actually convicted
of a misdemeanor, you could face a jail sentence of up to two years and
additional fines or fees.
Felonies, on the other hand, are the most severe classification of crime. A felony
conviction will usually require the defendant to spend a significant time
in federal or state prison. Fines, fees, and even restitution may also
The line between misdemeanors and felonies — especially in the assault
context — is usually crossed when bodily injury occurs. For example,
raising your fist at someone with the intent to create a fear of being
hit could be charged as misdemeanor assault, but actually swinging your
fist and striking the victim would be charged as a felony.
If you are facing a misdemeanor charge, it is important to retain a qualified
Denver attorney to ensure your record is kept clean. If convicted of your
misdemeanor charge, any subsequent charges can be upgraded because of
your previous conviction.
How are misdemeanor offenses categorized?
Within each category of crime are different levels to denote severity —
in Colorado, these offenses are ranked highest to lowest, with Class 1
indicating the most serious crimes and Class 3 the most minor.
This category is restricted to the most serious misdemeanors — those
just below 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. Assault by bodily fluid borders the line between the misdemeanor
and felony levels; although it does cross the line into physical contact
rather than just the threat of contact, it doesn’t usually cause
any actual injury.
These misdemeanors are treated a bit less severely than Class 1 misdemeanors,
but continue to include a wide variety of criminal behavior. You may find
yourself charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor if you committed less than
$100.00 worth of fire damage to a structure or piece of property, or if
you stole money or property valued at more than $300.00 but less than
$750.00. Damaging property during the course of an assault — for
example, slashing someone’s tire or keying the side of their vehicle
— can also be charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor, as long as the total
repair cost remains under $500.
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. Owning a “dangerous dog” that attacks another individual
or failing to report child abuse can also be charged as a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Many text-based assaults, like text messages or emails that threaten physical
harm, can be charged as Class 3 misdemeanors.
Criminal Penalties for Misdemeanor Assault
The potential sentence for misdemeanor assault will vary based on the level
of the criminal charge and some factors individual to the defendant.
Class 1 misdemeanors will require the defendant to spend anywhere from six to 24 months in
jail, and the defendant can also be assessed a fine of anywhere from $500.00
to $5,000.00. For the most serious of all Class 1 misdemeanor assaults,
or in situations where the judge fears a pattern of assault will continue,
a defendant may be sentenced to up to two years in jail. On the other
hand, defendants without a criminal history or who demonstrate remorse
may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that allows the rest of a sentence
to be served on probation.
Class 2 misdemeanors are usually punished with a jail sentence of between three and 12 months
or a fine of $250.00 to $1,000.00. In most cases, a fine or restitution
is assessed in lieu of jail time, as these misdemeanors are viewed as
quite minor in the grand scheme of things, and jail space is usually deemed
better suited for those who are charged with more serious crimes.
Class 3 misdemeanors are the most minor, and are punishable only by three to six months of
jail time or a fine of $50.00 to $750.00.
Judges are given the discretion to choose a sentence at either end of the
sentencing range, and a specific criminal sentence won’t usually
be examined or altered by an appellate court unless it falls outside the
recommended guidelines. This makes it crucial to put on a strong case
at the outset, with the guidance of an experienced Denver misdemeanor
defense lawyer, as doing so could mean the difference between a minimum
and maximum jail sentence if you’re convicted.
Don’t delay! Call the Law Office of Kevin Cahill today at (720) 548-2990.
We will aggressively fight for your rights and continued freedom, making
sure that a misdemeanor charge doesn’t haunt your future.
Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.