We tend to think of ourselves as good people. No one wants to think of themselves as a “felon.” However, if you find yourself charged with a felony, that is exactly what you are in danger of becoming. If you have been charged with a felony, you need to speak to a capable and experienced Colorado Springs felony attorney immediately.
When you are standing in a courtroom in front of a judge or jury, you need a criminal defense attorney with a track record of success in defending the exact crime you are charged with. You need an attorney who knows and understands the Colorado criminal justice system and can advocate aggressively on your behalf. You need a legal team that will seize every opportunity to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and fight to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.
At Peakstone Law Group, LLC, our Colorado Springs criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to crafting personalized legal strategies and providing responsive representation to our clients. Our Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers will guide you toward the best outcome possible on your case. Contact us now for a free consultation with a trusted attorney. We work with clients throughout El Paso County (Colorado Springs), Teller County, Pueblo County, Park County, Fremont County, and the nearby areas.
What Is a Felony?
Colorado law generally breaks down criminal charges into three broad categories:
- Petty Offenses
Felonies are by far the most serious, and most life-changing, of these categories. Felony charges can range from pre-meditated murder (a Class 1 felony) to false information to a pawnbroker (a Class 6 felony) in severity.
Classes of Felonies in Colorado
In Colorado, felonies are divided into six classifications:
Class 1 Felonies
Class 1 felonies are the most serious felony crimes under Colorado law. Therefore, Class 1 felonies carry the harshest potential penalties if you’re convicted. In most cases, the penalty for a Class 1 felony is a life sentence in prison without the possibility of parole. Colorado has outlawed the death penalty, so a life sentence is the harshest penalty someone can receive.
Examples of Class 1 felonies in Colorado include:
- First-degree murder
- First-degree murder of a law enforcement officer or firefighter
- First-degree kidnapping
- Child abuse that results in the death of a child under the age of 12
- Assaulting someone with a deadly weapon or with deadly force after being arrested or incarcerated
Class 2 Felonies
Class 2 felonies are the second-highest classification of felonies. They carry strict penalties if you’re convicted. The particular penalties you’ll face will depend on the crime and any aggravating circumstances.
The baseline penalties for a Class 2 felony are 8 to 24 years in prison and $5,000 to $1 million in fines, with a mandatory 3-year parole period (5 years for violent crimes). At the upper end, the penalties for a Class 2 felony can be as high as 48 years in prison, $1 million in fines, and a 5-year mandatory parole period.
Examples of Class 2 felonies in Colorado include:
- Second-degree murder
- First-degree kidnapping, if the victim was released unharmed before conviction
- Sexual assault, if the victim suffered a serious bodily injury, deadly weapons or threats were used, or if the defendant was physically assisted by someone else
- Human trafficking of children
- Aggravated robbery of controlled substances
- Theft, if the stolen property was valued at $1 million or more
Class 3 Felonies
Class 3 felonies are serious crimes in Colorado, but they do not carry penalties as harsh as those for Class 2 or Class 1 felonies. The penalties for Class 3 felonies range from 2 to 32 years in prison, $3,000 to $750,000 in fines, and a 3-year minimum parole period, depending on the facts of the case.
Examples of Class 3 felonies include:
- Conspiracy to commit a Class 2 felony
- Attempt to commit a Class 2 felony
- Vehicular homicide
- Theft of property worth $100,000 to $999,999
- Aggravated robbery, in some cases
- Human trafficking of adults
- Second-degree murder, if committed in the heat of passion
- First-degree assault, if the crime was not committed in the heat of passion
Class 4 Felonies
Class 4 felonies carry less severe penalties than Class 3 felonies. Based on the facts of the case and the particular crime, penalties for Class 4 felonies range from 1 to 16 years in prison, $2,000 to $500,000 in fines, and 3 years of mandatory parole.
Examples of Class 4 felonies include:
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit a Class 3 felony
- Vehicular assault
- Third-degree burglary
- Identity theft
- Theft of property worth $20,000 to $99,999
- Second-degree criminal trespassing
Class 5 Felonies
Class 5 felonies are the second-least severe category of felonies in Colorado. The penalties range from 6 months to 8 years in prison, $1,000 to $100,000 in fines, and 2 years of mandatory parole.
Examples of Class 5 felonies include:
- Failure to pay child support or alimony
- Criminally negligent homicide
- False imprisonment
- Violating a custody order
- Failing to register as a sex offender
- Aggravated motor vehicle theft
- Inciting a riot
- Cruelty to animals
Class 6 Felonies
Class 6 felonies are the least severe category of felonies in Colorado. Potential penalties range from 6 months to 4 years in prison, $1,000 to $100,000 in fines, and 1 year of mandatory parole.
Examples of Class 6 felonies include:
- Second-degree and third-degree assault, depending on the facts of the case
- Indecent exposure
- Theft of property worth $2,000 to $4,999
- Possession of a forged instrument
- Criminal impersonation
- Impersonating a peace officer
Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers have successfully represented people charged with a wide range of offenses, from felony DUI to drug felonies to assault. No matter what type of charges you are facing, a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney from our law firm will review your case for free and give you the straightforward legal advice you need.