Misdemeanors and Felonies
DUI & Criminal Defense in Denver and Boulder, Colorado
Crimes are divided into two categories of severity. Misdemeanors are lower-level crimes that generally have lighter sentences, rarely have mandatory jail time, and may be punishable by a fine only. However, this does not mean that you wish to have them on your record–they should be fought because misdemeanor offenses on your record can impact future charges and arrests. Felonies are serious charges, often have mandatory jail sentences that can be increased significantly by certain legal “triggers.” They may also be accompanied by significant fines.
Whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or multiple counts, your best option for reducing the consequences of the charges is by hiring a dedicated criminal defense attorney. To talk to a Denver DUI defense lawyer who is dedicated to protecting your rights, please call (303) 571-9772 or email The Law Office of Nicolas M. Geman today.
What Is a Misdemeanor?
“Misdemeanor” is derived from the Latin for “wrong conduct.” Misdemeanors are a class of offenses that is between a petty offense and a felony. Misdemeanors are divided into three classes:
- Class 1 misdemeanors up to 18 months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $5000
- Class 2 misdemeanors up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000
- Class 3 misdemeanors up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $750
Some misdemeanors are classed as “extraordinary risk” crimes and will have the maximum sentence increased by six months. This includes third degree assault, sexual assault, and child abuse.
Other examples of misdemeanors include:
- Traffic Violations
- Drug Offenses
- Tampering with a utility meter
- Theft of property valued less than $1000
What Is a Felony
“Felony” is derived from the Old French for “evil-doer.” Felonies are the most serious class of offense and carry the most severe penalties. They are divided into six classes:
- Class 1 felony lifetime imprisonment and may result in the death penalty
- Class 2 felony up to 24 years imprisonment
- Class 3 felony up to 12 years imprisonment
- Class 4 felony up to 6 years imprisonment
- Class 5 felony up to 3 years imprisonment
- Class 6 felony up to 18 months imprisonment
In some cases, felonies may also be eligible for sentencing enhancements that may raise the upper limit of presumptive sentencing. Fines are not normally imposed for felonies, but in some cases fines may be used along with probation instead of imprisonment.
Some examples of felony offenses include:
Don’t Take that Plea Bargain
It is a common tactic for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to threaten you with a serious felony charge then offer you the “opportunity” to get off with a lesser charge if you plead guilty. You should never take a plea bargain without first consulting with a criminal defense attorney. In many cases, the higher charges are being presented to intimidate you and cannot be proven. The law defines specific standards for charges and the evidence necessary to prove them.
Criminal defense attorney Nicolas M. Geman knows what charges may be reasonably proven in your case and can give you advice whether the deal you’re being offered is a good one or whether you will be better served fighting the charges against you. In many cases, evidence obtained through illegal searches may make the difference in your case, evidence that can be thrown out.
Learn more on Questions about Misdemeanors and Felonies.
To learn how best to proceed in your misdemeanor or felony defense, please call or email a Denver DUI defense lawyer at The Law Office of Nicolas M. Geman today.