Criminal charges can come in a lot of different forms in the state of Colorado, and it is always important for defendants to take theirs seriously. Even misdemeanor offenses can lead to jail time under certain circumstances, and felony convictions are almost always punishable by at least a year of imprisonment.
If you were recently arrested and charged for committing a criminal offense, an experienced defense attorney in your area may be able to help. By working with a qualified Brush criminal defense lawyer who has dealt with cases like yours before, you may be able to defend yourself more effectively in court and mitigate the penalties you might face upon conviction.
Misdemeanor Offenses and Punishments
In general, criminal offenses in Colorado are classified as either petty offenses, misdemeanors, or felonies. Petty offenses are considered lesser crimes while felony offenses are punished more much severely.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes §18-1.3-503, class 1 petty offenses may be punishable by a maximum of a $500 fine and a six-month sentence in a state correctional facility, while class 2 petty offenses are punishable by smaller fines as dictated by the state statute defining the particular offense in question.
C.R.S. §18-1.3-501 establishes three classes of misdemeanor offenses, each of which may be punished by jail time, fines, or a combination of both. The maximum available penalties increase with each class—class 3 misdemeanors are punishable by six months in jail and a $750 fine at most, while certain class 1 misdemeanor convictions may lead to 18 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
Even if a defendant has never been accused of a crime before, it may still be important that they seek help from a Brush criminal defense attorney after being charged with a petty offense or misdemeanor. While first offenses in these categories are typically not punished particularly harshly, repeat offenders may be at risk of receiving the maximum available punishments for their particular charge.
Harsher Penalties for Felony Convictions
Many felony offenses in Colorado are similar to misdemeanor offenses, except that certain extenuating or aggravating factors are involved. For example, possession of small amounts of Schedule III, IV, or V drugs is typically a class 1 misdemeanor offense, whereas possession of less than two grams of methamphetamine—a Schedule II stimulant—is punishable by imprisonment for 12 to 18 months and a fine of anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 as a class 6 felony.
As defined by C.R.S. §18-1.3-401, only class 1 felonies like first-degree murder can result in the death penalty or a life sentence in Colorado. Class 2 felonies can still carry prison sentences of 8 to 24 years and result in a maximum fine of $1,000,000. Given the severity of potential punishments that a conviction could result in, representation from a skilled criminal defense lawyer is especially important for anyone in Brush facing felony charges.
Discuss Legal Options with a Brush Criminal Defense Attorney
It is understandable to feel overwhelmed after being arrested and charged with a crime. It is best to seek help from a Brush criminal defense lawyer who could give your case the attention it deserves and fight tirelessly in your defense. Call today to speak with a member of our legal and find out more about how we could help your case.