It is easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated if you have been charged with a crime. This is partly because of the terminology, which includes the type of offense you have been charged with. Understanding the nature of your charges can help you understand the potential penalties you face, which in turn, can help you decide what to do moving forward. That said, understanding the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is just the beginning - there are many, many more details that will determine the outcome of your case and how you should proceed. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, we recommend that you contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
A felony is the most serious type of criminal charge. They are generally distinguished from less serious crimes in that you potentially face at least 18 months in prison if you are convicted. Felonies include the following criminal charges:
In Colorado, felonies are divided into 6 classes, with Class 1 carrying the harshest penalties and Class 6 being the least serious. Drug felonies are divided into 4 classes, with Class 1 being the most serious and Class 4 being the least serious. The potential penalties resulting from a conviction could therefore range from 18 months for a Class 6 felony to life in prison or even the death penalty for a Class 1 penalty.
Misdemeanor charges in Colorado are considered less serious charges when compared to felonies. If convicted, you could face up to 18 months in county jail. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes, with Class 1 being the most serious misdemeanor and Class 3 being the least serious. There are also two classes of drug misdemeanors, DM1 and DM2. Common misdemeanors include the following:
Theft of property valued at less than $500
Prostitution and solicitation
Even though it is "just" a misdemeanor charge, you may still be facing potential incarceration. In addition, you will have a criminal conviction on your record. Do not take your chances and hope for the best - contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for guidance.
In addition to felonies and misdemeanors, there are other criminal or quasi-criminal charges you could face. These include the following:
Petty offenses. Common petty offenses include littering and criminal trespass. You could face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500 if convicted.
Ordinance violations and infractions. These are offenses that are created by municipal laws passed by cities or towns. These violations could include disturbing the peace, open container violations, and traffic infractions.
Contact The Law Offices of Steven T. Rodemer, LLC if You Have Been Charged with a Crime
You can't afford the consequences of a misdemeanor, even if you are able to avoid jail time. Let us help you get a fair result. To discuss your case and your options, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.