Understanding Colorado’s Misdemeanor Laws

  • Apr 27 2017

Misdemeanors, generally speaking, are crimes that are considered less serious than felonies, and this is reflected by their accompanying penalties and sentencing structures. While felony convictions typically result in hefty fines and prison sentences ranging anywhere from six months to life in prison, misdemeanors are punishable by county jail time of 18 months or less (barring the presence of extraordinary risk), and the highest fine one may receive is $5000.

In Colorado, misdemeanors are divided by class, and the class under which a specific alleged crime falls determines the penalties that a conviction could bring. Specifically, misdemeanors are classified as Class 1, 2, or 3, with 1 being the most severe. In addition, some misdemeanor crimes are considered unclassified, with the associated penalties and sentences being detailed in the statute that defines the crime. Also, Colorado defines certain traffic crimes as traffic misdemeanors, which carry separate penalties and sentences than those discussed above. Finally, certain misdemeanors, known as extraordinary risk crimes, carry extended sentences due to the extra risk they pose to human health and safety.

Misdemeanor Classes

Class 1:  Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by fines of $500 to $5,000 and 6 to 18 months in jail.  Examples of Class 1 misdemeanors include possession of an illegal weapon and indecent exposure.

Class 1 (Extraordinary Risk): Class 1 misdemeanors that present an extraordinary risk of harm to society are punishable by fines of $500 to $5,000 and 6 to 24 months in jail. Examples of extraordinary risk misdemeanors include assault in the third degree and unlawful sexual contact.

Class 2: Class 2 misdemeanors are punishable by fines of $250 to $1,000 and 3 to 12 months in jail. Examples of Class 2 misdemeanors include resisting arrest and defacing property.

Class 3: Class 3 misdemeanors are punishable by fines of $50 to $750 and up to 6 months in jail. Examples of Class 3 misdemeanors include prostitution and reckless endangerment.

While the penalties associated with misdemeanors aren’t as steep as those tied to most felonies, misdemeanor convictions are serious matters with far-reaching consequences. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal law attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. At the Blair Law Office, we take pride in guiding our clients through each step of what can be an overwhelming process. Please contact us for a free consultation at (720) 897-1550 or (888) 694-2093 (toll-free).

Posted in: Misdemeanor Laws