Sentencing Guidelines in Colorado
In Colorado, there are three main categories for offenses, felony, misdemeanor, and petty offenses. Felony offenses are categorized into six classes: Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, and Class 6. Misdemeanor offenses are divided into three classes: Class 1 misdemeanor, Class 2 misdemeanor, and Class 3 misdemeanor. Offenses that are considered less serious than misdemeanors are often referred to as petty offenses or petty misdemeanors. These offenses typically carry lesser penalties compared to misdemeanors.
The classification determines the potential penalties that may be imposed for a particular conviction. The sentencing guidelines consider factors such as the severity of the offense, the presence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances, prior criminal history, and the discretion of the judge.
Here is a general overview of the sentencing ranges for each Felony class in Colorado:
Class 1 Felony:
Examples: First-degree murder, treason
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 1 felony can range from life imprisonment without parole to the death penalty.
Class 2 Felony:
Examples: Second-degree murder, kidnapping
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 2 felony can range from 8 to 24 years in prison. Aggravating circumstances may result in a longer sentence, up to 48 years, while mitigating circumstances can lead to a shorter sentence, down to 4 years.
Class 3 Felony:
Examples: Vehicular homicide, certain drug offenses
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 3 felony can range from 4 to 12 years in prison. Aggravating and mitigating circumstances can adjust the sentence within this range.
Class 4 Felony:
Examples: Aggravated assault, theft of high-value property
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 4 felony can range from 2 to 6 years in prison. As with other classes, the presence of aggravating or mitigating factors can affect the specific sentence.
Class 5 Felony:
Examples: Forgery, identity theft
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 5 felony can range from 1 to 3 years in prison. Again, the circumstances of the case can influence the final sentence.
Class 6 Felony:
Examples: Criminal mischief, possession of a controlled substance
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 6 felony can range from 1 year to 18 months in prison. Aggravating or mitigating circumstances can affect the actual sentence.
Here’s a general overview of the sentencing ranges for each Misdemeanor class in Colorado:
Class 1 Misdemeanor:
Examples: Third-degree assault, theft of property valued between $750 and $2,000
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 1 misdemeanor can include up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000.
Class 2 Misdemeanor:
Examples: Reckless driving, theft of property valued between $50 and $300
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 2 misdemeanor can include up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000.
Class 3 Misdemeanor:
Examples: Harassment, criminal mischief involving property damage less than $300
Sentence: The sentence for a Class 3 misdemeanor can include up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine ranging from $50 to $750.
Here is a general overview of the sentencing ranges for Petty Offenses class in Colorado:
Examples: Traffic violations, minor drug possession, petty theft (property valued under a certain threshold)
Sentence: The sentence for a petty offense can include a fine ranging from $1 to $999 and/or a maximum of 6 months in jail.
The classification of the offense determines the potential penalties that may be imposed upon conviction. However, penalties can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and any applicable statutes. These are general guidelines, and the specific penalties can be influenced by factors such as the nature of the offense, prior criminal history, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. It’s always advisable to consult with a qualified legal professional for accurate and personalized information regarding felony, misdemeanor, or petty offense sentencing in Colorado.