Misdemeanors in Colorado are classified into three types. The amount of jail time to be served is determined in these classes.
- Class One Misdemeanor – carries a jail sentence of up to eighteen months.
- Class Two Misdemeanor – less serious and punishable by up to a year in jail.
- Class Three Misdemeanor – carries the shortest sentence of up to six months in jail.
Extraordinary Risk Crimes
If charged with an Extraordinary Risk Crime, a Class One Misdemeanor sentence of eighteen months can be increased to twenty-four months.
These Extraordinary Risk Crimes are sometimes not just Class One Misdemeanors; they simply mean that a judge can impose the maximum sentence in that specific class. These crimes include, but are not limited to, third-degree assault, child abuse, unlawful sexual contact, and a second or subsequent violation of a restraining order.
Classification of Misdemeanors
Misdemeanors in Colorado are classified in a variety of ways. Criminal mischief under $100, computer crime, criminal mischief over $100 but less than $500, disorderly conduct, harassment, menacing, forgery, criminal tampering, false imprisonment, perjury, trespassing, stalking, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, and theft are all considered misdemeanors.
Careless driving resulting in death and careless driving resulting in injury are examples of driving misdemeanors. Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana but less than eight ounces is a misdemeanor, as is possession of a schedule V controlled substance. Assault misdemeanors include child abuse, third-degree assault, and domestic violence. Sexual misdemeanors are uncommon; most are charged as felonies.
Prosecution for a Misdemeanor
Misdemeanors are prosecuted in both state and municipal courts. Municipal courts, unlike state courts, do not typically have misdemeanor classifications. Instead, municipal courts consider all misdemeanors to be punishable by the same maximum penalty. Misdemeanors are classified by state courts. Class One Misdemeanors are the most serious and have the highest sentencing, whereas Class Three Misdemeanors have the lowest sentence.
If a person is convicted of more than one misdemeanor, the charges can be added together to make the sentences consecutive. A judge makes this decision. Alternatively, a judge can order that all charges be served concurrently (essentially cutting down the length of the sentence). If you are facing multiple charges, you should definitely hire a good attorney to defend you.
In felony court, a judge can also impose a harsher sentence. Additional penalties may include the inability to carry a firearm, the loss of a driver’s license, and several weeks of provided classes.
Misdemeanor Expungement in Colorado
Unlike other states, Colorado does not allow expungement. Instead, Colorado allows for a petition for permanent sealing of records. After a record is sealed, it is possible to claim that a crime or arrest never occurred. The police must then stand by this recognition.
Records can be sealed only if a person was not found guilty, a case was dismissed before trial, or a deferred sentence was received and all terms were met. No matter how much time passes between being found guilty or pleading guilty in court, a person cannot seal records. Certain crimes, such as domestic violence, cannot be sealed. Depending on the judge, a deferred sentence cannot always be sealed.
To petition, a person must consult with an attorney and file the necessary paperwork. An attorney can determine eligibility and provide assistance if necessary.