What Is the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony in Colorado?

A misdemeanor is a lower-level crime for which you can face probation and/or jail time, and a felony is a higher-level crime that carries a potential prison sentence, in addition to probation and/or parole.

Colorado Misdemeanors

There are two types of misdemeanors in Colorado. The highest misdemeanor level is a class 1 misdemeanor.  Some class 1 misdemeanors carry a six-month sentencing enhancer because they are considered “extraordinary risk” offenses. Some examples include – third-degree assault, sexual assault, child abuse, and two or more violations of protection orders, just to name a few. 

Denver lawyerA Colorado class 2 misdemeanor carries up to a $750 fine and/or up to 120 days imprisonment in the county jail.

Colorado also has “Drug Misdemeanors”, class 1 and 2. Class 1 drug misdemeanors carry possible penalties of up to 18 months imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine. Class 2 drug misdemeanors carry possible penalties of up to 364 days imprisonment and/or $750.

In a criminal case, the majority of the time, a plea deal will be extended, and typically, probation with no or very little time in jail is offered.

Depending on the charge, the prosecutor may want you to participate in treatment as part of a resolution in the case. Treatment can include:

  • A Substance Abuse Evaluation and Treatment.
  • A domestic violence evaluation and treatment.
  • A Mental Health evaluation and Treatment.
  • Other terms or conditions that may aid in rehabilitation.

Colorado Felonies

Felonies have significant potential penalties that may include prison, also called the Department of Correction (or DOC); community corrections, a halfway house that allows people to work and be incarcerated at night; jail or probation and treatment. Felony convictions also have collateral consequences, such as prohibiting the possession of firearms.

The highest level felony is a class 1 felony, and the lowest level felony is a class 6 felony. Drug felonies have different penalties and include the assessment of additional fees.

A felony conviction can significantly affect your freedom and ability to obtain future employment, so consulting a Colorado criminal defense attorney is highly recommended.

Do Not Go At It Alone

Remember, you do not have to make any statements to law enforcement or the prosecutor, you have a Fifth Amendment Right to remain silent; indicate that you want to consult a criminal attorney. To speak with the best Denver criminal defense attorney, contact Baker Law Group today.

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