Whether you have criminal charges in your past or have never seen the inside of a courtroom, being convicted of a crime can have serious professional and personal repercussions. Even misdemeanor offenses can be punishable by jail time in many situations, and a single felony conviction could permanently deny you job opportunities and civil rights on top of putting you behind bars for multiple years.
Fortunately, help is available from a Denver criminal lawyer. The Colorado Lawyer Team has experience handling all types of criminal cases. With help from our dedicated and capable legal team at Colorado Lawyer Team, you could effectively protect your rights during criminal proceedings.
How State Law Classifies Criminal Offenses
State law classifies almost all criminal offenses as either a felony or a misdemeanor, with several subclasses within each of these larger categories for offenses of varying severity. As a general rule, felonies are offenses punishable by a minimum of 1 year in state prison. In comparison, misdemeanors are offenses punishable by 1 year or less in a county or local jail with exceptions for certain crimes.
Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S) §18-3.1.401 defines 6 distinct classes of felony offenses, with F1 (1st-degree felony) offenses being the most severe and F6 (6th-degree felony) offenses being the least severe. Likewise, C.R.S. §18-1.3-501 establishes 3 misdemeanor offense categories, with Class 1 misdemeanor offenses being the most serious and Class 3 misdemeanors being the least severe. It is worth noting that certain offenses are considered unclassified felonies or misdemeanors, with penalties defined by unique statutes rather than the two listed above.
Additionally, state law categorizes drug and traffic offenses separately from other types of crimes. There are 4 levels into which a felony drug crime may fall and 2 levels for misdemeanor drug offenses. Certain traffic offenses may be considered either Class 1 or Class 2 traffic misdemeanors depending on the circumstances. A Denver criminal defense attorney could further explain what a particular offense’s categorization might mean for a defendant’s case.
Effectively Contesting Criminal Allegations
No matter what category or class state law uses to define a criminal offense, prospective defendants should take any accusations of criminal activity against them seriously. Neither law enforcement authorities nor judicial officials will be on their side during the proceedings to come, and one poorly phrased statement or violation of procedural standards could lead to life-altering consequences.
The benefits of seeking help from a knowledgeable lawyer in Denver extend far beyond pursuing a favorable verdict once a defendant’s criminal case reaches a courtroom. Even before any charges are filed, qualified legal counsel could represent the best interests of someone subject to a law enforcement investigation. Representation from a skilled legal professional can also be essential during pre-trial proceedings and negotiations, whether the prosecution is willing to offer a plea deal or determined to take a case to trial.
Talk to a Denver Criminal Attorney Today
How the state classifies, investigates, and prosecutes criminal behavior can be challenging to make sense of and hard to use to your advantage during a trial. However, if you are facing charges in Denver, the quality of legal representation you retain could make a massive difference in your ability to keep track of your case’s progress and in your odds of securing a favorable resolution to your case.
Speaking with a Denver criminal lawyer from our firm could be the first step you take toward a positive outcome to your charges. Call the Colorado Lawyer Team today for a consultation.