The law in Colorado recognizes several different types of illegal offenses, ranging from traffic violations to petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes. However, felonies are the only category of crime for which a defendant risks going to state prison.
A felony charge is, therefore, a very serious matter that risks negatively affecting your future in multiple ways. In addition to the possibility of prison time, a felony conviction can carry with it steep fines. If you are convicted of the charge, you will lose your right to possess a fire arm.
Here is a brief overview of the felony crime category in Colorado and the importance of a strong defense.
Understanding the classes of felonies in Colorado
Colorado law has six classes of felonies, with Class 1 being the most severe. A Class 1 felony, which can include crimes such as first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping, carry a minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum sentence of the death penalty. Although Class 1 felonies are clearly the most serious, even the lowest level of felony, Class 6, carries a minimum sentence of one year in prison. Class 6 felonies include crimes such as possession of up to two grams of methamphetamine. Five special sentencing categories can affect the presumptive sentencing range, and the court can impose a lesser or greater sentence if these categories apply.
Working to avoid a conviction
For felony offenders, the best possible outcome is acquittal. A felony conviction can effectively ruin the defendant's life, especially if it is Class 1 felony conviction such as murder. However, prosecutors have to uphold the state's required burden of proof. Serious crimes in which the prosecutor is unable to prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt cannot end in conviction.
The most important step you can take in terms of defending yourself against felony charges in Colorado is to contact a skilled felony defense attorney. Your attorney will work to build an effective defense strategy, taking every step possible to help you avoid a conviction and to protect your legal rights.