How Are Crimes Categorized in Colorado?

If arrested for an offense or violation of the law, you will face charges for one of the following types of crimes:

  • Felony
  • Misdemeanor
  • Petty offense
  • Municipal ordinance violation and infraction

Felonies are the most severe criminal violations of state laws and attract the steepest penalties. Crimes under this category are further classified into six classes based on the type of crime and the circumstances around it. Criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs explain the various felony classes and what to expect if facing charges under any category.

What Are Felonies in Colorado?

Any criminal violation of the law that carries the possibility of a year or more up to life imprisonment is a felony. The different levels and classes of felonies define the seriousness of the crime and determine the sentencing and range of fines.

Understanding the nuances of felony levels is crucial when exploring your risks and options in a criminal case. It also helps to work with skilled felony crime attorneys in Colorado Springs to protect your rights and secure your future. The breakdown of felony levels is as follows:

Class 6 Felonies

Class 6 felonies are less severe crimes in Colorado, with examples being:

  • Animal cruelty
  • Impersonating a police officer
  • Possession of over 12 ounces of marijuana
  • Owning a weapon as a convicted felon
  • Promoting a pyramid scheme
  • Invasion of privacy for sexual gratification
  • Failing to register as a sex offender

The penalties for Class 6 felonies include jail time as follows:

  • 18 months to 4 years for crimes involving violence
  • 1 to 2 years for crimes with extraordinary risk of harm
  • 12 to 18 months for all other Class 6 felonies

The felonies also attract fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.

Class 5 Felonies

Class 5 felonies are slightly more severe than Class 6, with some examples being:

  • False imprisonment
  • Refusal to pay alimony or child support
  • Stalking
  • Unlawful sexual communication
  • Forgery
  • Receiving a second notice for failure to register as a sex offender

The penalties for Class 5 felonies are as follows:

  • 30 months to 8 years in prison and mandatory parole for crimes involving violence
  • 1 to 4 years in prison and mandatory 2-year parole for crimes with extraordinary risk of harm
  • 1 to 3 years in prison and mandatory parole of two years for all other Class 5 felonies
  • Fines for Class 5 felonies range from $1,000 to $100,000.

Class 4 Felonies

Examples of Class 4 felonies include:

  • Violating a protection order by stalking
  • First-degree perjury
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Manslaughter
  • Theft of physical or intellectual property worth $20,000 to $100,000

The jail term for Class 4 felonies is as follows:

  • 5-6 years and mandatory parole of 3 years for crimes that involve violence
  • 2 to 8 years and mandatory paroles for crimes that pose an extraordinary risk of harm
  • 2 to 6 years and mandatory parole of 3 years for all other Class 4 felonies
  • The fines for Class 4 felonies are between $2,000 and $500,000.

Class 3 Felonies

Class 3 felonies attract longer jail time and heftier fines. The crimes under this category include:

  • Sex trafficking
  • First-degree arson
  • Aggravated robbery
  • First-degree burglary

The jail time depends on the type and circumstances of the crime as follows:

  • 10 to 32 years and mandatory 5-year parole for crimes of violence
  • 4 to 16 years and mandatory 5-year parole for offenses that carry an extraordinary risk of harm
  • 4 to 12 years and mandatory parole of 3 years for all other crimes under Class 3

The fines range between $3,000 and $75,000.

Class 2 Felonies

Class 2 felonies are among the most severe crimes in Colorado, with some examples being the following:

  • Racketeering
  • First-degree assault
  • Human trafficking
  • Second-degree murder
  • Stealing property worth more or equal to $1,000,000

A conviction of a Class 2 felony also attracts a fine of between $5,000 and $1,000,000.

Class 1 Felonies

These are the most severe offenses in Colorado. While the laws were revised in the 2020 crime classification guide to eliminate the death penalty, the consequences are still harsh and life-changing. Some crimes classified as Class 1 felonies include:

  • Treason
  • First-degree kidnapping
  • First-degree murder

The jail time for Class 1 felonies is life imprisonment, sometimes without the possibility of parole. You also risk a fine of up to $1,000,000 upon conviction.

How Are Drug Felonies Classified?

Drug felonies are treated differently and fall into four classes, with the penalties based on the severity of the crime:

  • Level 1 drug felonies: They are the most severe and attract a fine of between $5,000 and $1,000,000. Prison time can range from 8 to 32 years.
  • Level 2 felonies: A fine of between $3,000 and 4750,000 or a sentence of between 4 and 8 years or both
  • Level 3 felonies: Jail time between 2 and 4 years or fines of between $2,000 and $500,000.
  • Level 4 felonies: A jail time of between 6 months and one year or a fine of between $1,000 and $100,000 upon conviction

The penalties for felony convictions can significantly impact your life, with a jail sentence keeping you away from your family, work, and other daily activities. A conviction also reduces your chances of employment, housing, and education. So, do not take the charges casually. Instead, hire skilled Colorado Springs felony crimes lawyers to defend you.

An Experienced Felony Crime Attorney in Colorado Defending You Against a Conviction

Felonies in Colorado are classified according to severity to guide judges in sentencing. The crimes attract the most severe penalties, and facing charges for a felony may mean the end of the world for you, but it is not. With the help of knowledgeable and aggressive Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys, you can build a solid defense strategy to protect your rights and future.

If you’re facing felony charges, consult felony crimes attorneys in Colorado Springs as soon as possible. The Lux Law Firm hosts aggressive felony crime lawyers who can take your side to defend you against felony charges. Don’t suffer in silence while we can fight to have the charges dropped or penalties reduced. Call us at 719-451-7469 or contact us online to schedule a FREE case evaluation.