Felony Crime Lawyer in Colorado Springs on Your Side to Defend You Against Felony Charges
Being charged with a felony can be a very scary experience. Your mind races to how a conviction might affect your future, what the penalties might be, and how to defend yourself against the charge. Even understanding the charge in the first place can be challenging without the years of study and practice in defending against felony charges that the criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs have amassed. Principal felony defense attorney Austin Lux was a prosecutor before leaving his job as a District Attorney to focus on criminal defense. He knows how prosecutors work from inside their offices, and that is rare to find in a criminal defense attorney.
Let Austin Lux’s knowledge and experience give you the edge in defending yourself against felony charges. Your future may depend on it. Call The Lux Law Firm’s Colorado Springs office today at 719-496-2177 for a free evaluation of your case.
How Are Felonies Classified in Colorado?
Like most states, Colorado distinguishes misdemeanors from felonies based on the seriousness of the crime. Felony crimes are more serious than misdemeanors, and the penalties can be greater. There are different levels of felonies, as well, each with its own level of punishment if convicted. Colorado also makes a distinction between drug felonies and non-drug felonies. The least serious non-drug felony in Colorado is the Class 6 felony, which can carry a possible prison sentence of 12 months to 4 years, depending on the type and severity of the crime. Class 6 felonies can include such crimes as failure to register as a sex offender or animal cruelty, among others.
The most serious non-drug felony classification is the Class 1 felony, which can be punished by a life sentence. The death penalty was outlawed in Colorado in 2020. Crimes that qualify as Class 1 felonies include such things as first-degree murder, kidnapping, and treason. Between Class 1 and Class 6 felonies are 4 other non-drug felony levels—Classes 2-5—which have greater consequences the closer the felony is to Class 1.
Drug felonies have a similar hierarchy of seriousness, though the penalties can be different than those for non-drug felonies. There are only 4 classification levels for drug felonies in Colorado, ranging from the most serious, Class 1, to the least serious, Class 4. For Class 1 drug felonies the punishment can range from 8 to 32 years in prison and /or $5,000 to $1,000,000 in fines. For Class 4 drug felonies, considered the least serious drug felonies, consequences of conviction can range from 6 to 12 months in prison and/or from $1,000 to $100,000 in fines. Other penalties may apply if the charge is aggravated by other factors.
Will I Definitely Go to Prison if I Am Convicted of a Felony Crime?
While there are sentencing guidelines that outline the periods of imprisonment that are available for sentencing depending on the class of the felony charge, judges have other options if they determine that incarceration is not the best choice. Judges will consider such factors as the nature and character of the offense, the defendant’s individual characteristics, and the defendant’s criminal history when determining a sentence for a felony conviction.
If the judge decides that incarceration is not the best sentencing option, alternatives such as probation, participation in a community corrections program, home detention, participation in community service programs, restorative justice, and payment of fines, fees, costs, and restitution may be considered. Another option available to the judge in a felony criminal conviction is to hand down a prison sentence, but delay its implementation while putting the offender on probation with conditions. If conditions of the probation are violated, the prison sentence may be implemented.
What is Parole and How Does it Work in Colorado?
A judge can set a fixed sentence anywhere within the limits set by the Colorado Legislature. The fixed sentence represents the longest possible period of incarceration for the offender. IT is possible, however, for the sentence to be shortened by the granting of parole. Parole release is not guaranteed but can be available if the offender meets certain eligibility requirements and the original sentence allows it. Generally, an inmate becomes eligible to apply for parole after serving 50-75% of the full sentence, depending on their conviction and criminal history. Sometimes a felony conviction does not allow for the possibility of parole. In some cases, meeting education or treatment goals can allow offenders to earn credits toward earlier parole eligibility.
In all cases with a felony conviction that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, parole cannot be granted until the mandatory minimum has been met. Applications for parole are reviewed by the Colorado State Board of Parole, which has the authority to grant, defer, or deny discretionary parole. If an application is denied, there may be a waiting period before the application can be made again. If you have been convicted of a felony and are interested in finding out if you qualify to apply for parole, call The Lux Law Firm today at 719-496-2177 to discuss your options with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Why is The Lux Law Firm My Best Choice?
Very few criminal defense lawyers have insider knowledge of how prosecutors work. Principal attorney Austin Lux spent months and years as a prosecutor in hundreds of felony criminal trials before turning to the practice of criminal defense law. This unusual knowledge and experience can be to your advantage as The Lux Law Firm’s felony crime attorneys work with you to build a strong and strategic defense to the felony charges you face. We can help you understand that charges and explain your options as you seek to make the strongest case possible in your defense. We will be with you every step of the way. Call The Lux Law Firm today for a free consultation about your case.