Colorado Misdemeanor Sentencing Alternatives

Denver lawyers, and Colorado lawyers generally, are familiar with the fact that in Colorado there are three classes of criminal misdemeanors, each with its own presumptive sentencing ranges. Despite the sentencing ranges for the three classes of misdemeanors, the Judge in many cases can impose what are considered alternative sentences.

The discretion which may be exercised by a Colorado criminal court judge in sentencing is often extensive and can include numerous potential penalties either imposed singly or in conjunction with other penalties. Generally, a Colorado misdemeanor sentencing court is to consider certain factors in sentencing nonviolent misdemeanor criminal offenders. These factors are:

  1. The nature and character of the offense;
  2. The character and record of the nonviolent offender, including whether the offender is a first-time offender;
  3. The offender’s employment history;
  4. The potential rehabilitative value of the sentencing alternatives available to the court;
  5. Any potential impact on the safety of the victim, the victim’s family, and the general public based upon sentencing alternatives available to the court; and
  6. The offender’s ability to pay restitution to the victim or the victim’s family based upon the sentencing alternatives available to the court.

In many Colorado misdemeanor criminal cases a judge can impose probation unless any provision of law makes a defendant ineligible for probation. Such a sentence to probation can be imposed with numerous and different types of conditions placed upon the defendant by the Court, including, for instance, the defendant being required to participate in an intensive supervision program pursuant to C.R.S. 18-1.3-208.

If the Court does not grant probation to a nonviolent misdemeanor offender the Court may impose other sentencing alternatives including the following:

  1. A community corrections program pursuant to C.R.S. section 18-1.3-301 ;
  2. A home detention program pursuant to C.R.S. section 18-1.3-105 ; or
  3. A specialized restitution and community service program pursuant to C.R.S. section 18-1.3-302, if a defendant is determined eligible and is accepted into such program.
  4. Sex offenses have additional penalties and the court is required to sentence any person convicted of a sex offense as further set forth in Colorado statutes.

In addition to any other sanction the Court may sentence a defendant to the payment of costs and a defendant may be sentenced to comply with any other court order imposed by the Judge which is authorized by law.

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.