If law enforcement charged you with a violation of state law that is potentially punishable by imprisonment, you have a right to have defense counsel.
If you want to give yourself a fair chance at a positive case resolution, you should strongly consider retaining a Colorado Springs criminal lawyer with extensive experience helping people in your situation. The Colorado Lawyer Team is ready and available to guide you through every step of the proceedings against you, from initial investigations and pre-trial hearings all the way to the final verdict.
Misdemeanor Classes and Consequences in Colorado Springs
Colorado Revised Statutes §18-1.3-501 establishes three classes of criminal misdemeanors, with 3rd-degree offenses being the least severe and 1st-degree offenses being the most severe. A conviction for an M3 (3rd-degree misdemeanor) offense may lead to a fine of $50 to $750 and a maximum 6-month term in jail. M2 convictions are more serious, allowing for fines of between $250 and $1,000 as well as a jail term between 3 months and 1 year in length. An M1 conviction could result in minimum penalties of a $500 fine and a 6-month jail term and maximum penalties of a $5,000 fine and 18-month jail term.
Misdemeanor drug offenses are subject to a distinct classification system with only two levels. Likewise, certain traffic offenses that rise above the level of an infraction may be prosecuted as one of two distinct classes of misdemeanors. Finally, certain unclassified misdemeanors fall outside the standard system, and either have unique penalties defined by statute or—as per C.R.S. §18-1.3-505—are punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and 1 year in jail. If someone has been accused of a misdemeanor criminal offense, they should contact an attorney in Colorado Springs as soon as possible.
How Does State Law Address Felony Criminal Offenses?
Like misdemeanors, felony offenses in Colorado Springs may fall into different classes depending on the nature and perceived severity of the act(s) allegedly committed. C.R.S. §18-3.1-401 defines six classes for felony offenses, with the following ranges of penalties as of July 1, 2020:
- F6 (6th-degree felony) – 12 to 18 months in prison, 1 year of mandatory parole, and a $1,000 to $100,000 fine
- F5 – 1 to 3 years in prison, 2 years of mandatory parole, and a $1,000 to $100,000 fine
- F4 – 2 to 6 years in prison, 3 years of mandatory parole, and a $2,000 to $500,000 fine
- F3 – 4 to 12 years in prison, 3 years of mandatory parole, and a $3,000 to $750,000 fine
- F2 – 8 to 24 years in prison, 3 to 5 years of mandatory parole depending on if the offense is a crime of violence, and a $5,000 to $1,000,000 fine
- F1 – Life imprisonment
Felonies with extraordinary risk within each class may allow for longer maximum prison sentences upon conviction. Additionally, as with misdemeanor offenses, felony drug offenses are categorized separately into 1 of 4 levels, and some felonies are unclassified, resulting in unique penalties defined in their individual statutes. Assistance from a Colorado Springs criminal attorney may be especially crucial for anyone accused of a felony-level crime.
A Colorado Springs Criminal Attorney Could Help
The repercussions that a criminal charge could have for you and your family may change wildly based on exactly what you were charged with and what current state law says about applicable penalties. Additionally, trying to defend your own best interests during any stage of criminal proceedings is not a good idea. Prosecutors and law enforcement authorities are all too willing to steer unrepresented defendants toward inadvertently harming their own cases.
Retaining a knowledgeable Colorado Springs criminal lawyer could be key not only to effectively pursuing a favorable result but also to protecting and enforcing your legal rights along the way. Call Jenn, Justie, and the rest of the Colorado Lawyer Team today to learn how we could help you.