Misdemeanor Crimes & Penalties in Colorado
What Are the Classes of Misdemeanors in CO?
Contrary to popular belief, misdemeanors can carry consequences as serious as felonies in certain cases. Although misdemeanor crimes are considered less serious than felony offenses, their long-term penalties have the same potential to derail your personal, professional and social life as felonies.
To best understand what legal punishments you may face upon a conviction for a misdemeanor, it’s important to understand how the state of Colorado categorizes their class of misdemeanors. Each class varies on the nature and impact of the offense, and every class carries a possible jail sentence in addition to steep fines.
There are three classes of misdemeanor offenses in Colorado.
Class 1 (extraordinary risk of harm): Punishable by six to 24 months in jail and/or $500 to $5,000 fines
- Child abuse
- Third-degree assault
- Unlawful sexual contact
- Second or subsequent restraining order violation
Class 1: Punishable by six to 18 months in jail and/or $500 to $5,000 fines
- Criminal mischief
- Domestic violence
Class 2: Punishable by three to 12 months in jail and/or $250 to $2,000 fines
- Second-degree arson
- Second-degree criminal trespass
- Defacing property
- Violation of a protective order
- Resisting arrest
Class 3: Punishable by six months in jail and/or $50 to $750 fines
- Reckless endangerment
- Obstructing government operations
- Certain conspiracy offenses
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanors in CO?
A statute of limitations are laws that state how long a party has to file charges against someone else. In Colorado, the statute of limitations for those who want to press charges against you is 18 months. This essentially means that you could have committed a crime a year-and-a-half ago and experience no legal repercussions until 18 months later.
The challenge is that it can be difficult to remember something that allegedly happened so long ago. If you don’t remember what you had for breakfast three days ago, then chances are you won’t remember details of a crime you supposedly committed up to 18 months ago. Witnesses and victims who are brought to the stand to testify against you may also suffer the same issue. Humans can only remember so much.
A seasoned misdemeanor crimes defense lawyer can help the prosecution understand restrictive factors like this when building your case. You shouldn’t suffer the wrath of the criminal justice system because you, the alleged victim and witnesses don’t remember the details of the reported offense. It is your attorney’s job to consider these factors as they devise your defense strategies.
Contact a Fort Collins Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer
The criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Kevin R. Churchill works tirelessly to reduce or dismiss clients’ misdemeanor charges. The firm pursues alternatives to incarceration and fines such as community service, restitution, rehabilitation and more to help clients succeed.
Kevin Churchill is ready to defend your misdemeanor charges and advocate for the best possible outcome in your case. For over two years, he has helped countless clients regain their peace of mind and can work to help you accomplish the same.