Colorado Criminal Misdemeanor Classifications

Denver criminal lawyers, and Colorado criminal lawyers generally, are routinely familiar with the classification system for criminal violations under Colorado state statutes. Colorado state criminal violations are divided into three main categories. The least severe category of criminal violation are petty offenses, more serious charges in the Colorado criminal code are referred to as misdemeanors, and the most serious criminal violations under Colorado statutes are felonies. Although there are other criminal charges for which a person can face prosecution in Colorado, such as within the Colorado federal criminal courts, or relatively minor matters in Colorado municipal courts, the vast majority of criminal matters under Colorado state statutes are considered petty offenses, misdemeanors, or felonies.

Many individuals have contact with a Denver criminal attorney, or a Colorado criminal lawyer, when charged with a criminal misdemeanor. Colorado criminal misdemeanors are divided into three classes which are designated as Class 1 misdemeanors, Class 2 misdemeanors and Class 3 misdemeanors. Colorado Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious and Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious.

There are presumptive penalties associated with each Class of criminal misdemeanor. However, the penalties that are actually imposed can vary and be dependant on many different factors. Regardless, as a starting point, it is of benefit to know the basic characteristics of the three misdemeanor classes and the presumptive penalties:

Class 

1

2

3

Minimum Sentence

Six months imprisonment, or five hundred dollars fine, or both

Three months imprisonment, or two hundred fifty dollars fine, or both

Six months imprisonment, or seven hundred fifty dollars fine, or both

Maximum Sentence

Eighteen months imprisonment, or five thousand dollars fine, or both

Twelve months imprisonment, or one thousand dollars fine, or both

Fifty dollars fine

Although these penalties are the presumptive penalties for the designated Class of misdemeanor conviction, Denver criminal lawyers, and Colorado criminal attorneys generally, understand that there are numerous additional factors that can make the misdemeanor sentence either greater or lesser. Further, despite the presumptive sentences, the Judge in many Colorado misdemeanor criminal cases may, often within his or her discretion, impose sentence alternatives as specifically permitted by statute.

Legal Disclaimer – The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado criminal law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific Colorado criminal law situation. Information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive and does not cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the very most current Colorado law.

Individuals should consult an experienced Colorado criminal lawyer for advice regarding an individual situation.

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