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Misdemeanors vs. Felonies in Colorado

There are two main types of crimes in Colorado: misdemeanors and felonies. Although misdemeanor offenses are not as serious when compared to felonies, a conviction can still result in a jail sentence of more than one year and thousands of dollars in fines. 

The following is a breakdown of the misdemeanor classes in Colorado: 

  • Class 1 misdemeanors – Considered the most serious misdemeanor in the state, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term between six (6) and 18 months and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000. 

  • Class 2 misdemeanors – This type of misdemeanor carries a jail sentence ranging from three (3) months and 364 days and/or a fine between $250 and $1,000. 

  • Class 3 misdemeanors – Considered the lease serious misdemeanor, a Class 3 misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of six months and/or a fine between $50 and $750. 

  • Unclassified misdemeanors – This type of misdemeanor has various potential jail sentences and fines, based on the crime itself. However, if a misdemeanor offense is not associated with specific penalties, then a conviction can lead to a maximum 364-day jail term and/or a fine of no more than $1,000. 

In addition, Colorado has designated misdemeanors for drug crimes, known as “drug misdemeanors.” A Level 1 drug misdemeanor carries a maximum jail term of 180 days, probation for up to two years, and a fine of up to $1,000, while a Level 2 drug misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of 120 days, probation for up to one year, and a fine no more than $500. 

On the other hand, a felony conviction can lead to a state prison sentence, rather than spending time in a county or local jail. Common examples of felonies include murder, sexual assault, child pornography, robbery, and drug sale or distribution

Here is a breakdown of the felony classes in Colorado: 

  • Class 1 felonies – Considered the most serious felony in the state, a Class 1 felony carries a lifetime prison sentence. 

  • Class 2 felonies – This type of felony is punishable by imprisonment between eight (8) and 24 years and/or a fine ranging from $5,000 to $1,000,000. 

  • Class 3 felonies – This type of felony carries a prison term between four and 12 years and/or a fine ranging from $3,000 to $750,000. 

  • Class 4 felonies – This type of felony is punishable by imprisonment between two (2) and six (6) years and/or a fine ranging from $2,000 to $500,000. 

  • Class 5 felonies – This type of felony carries a prison sentence between one (1) year and three (3) years and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. 

  • Class 6 felonies – Considered the least serious felony, a Class 6 felony is punishable by a prison term between one (1) year and 18 months and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. 

There are also drug felonies. A Level 1 drug felony carries a prison term between eight (8) and 32 years and/or a fine between $5,000 and $1,000,000, while a Level 2 drug felony is punishable by imprisonment between four (4) and eight (8) years and/or a fine ranging from $3,000 to $750,000. A Level 3 drug felony carries a prison sentence between two (2) and four (4) years and/or a fine ranging from $2,000 and $500,000, while a Level 4 drug felony is punishable by imprisonment between six (6) months and one (1) year and/or a fine ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Denver, contact the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr., P.C. today at (303) 622-3281 for a free initial consultation. Available for evening and weekend appointments and jail visits! 

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