Petty Offenses in Colorado (C.R.S. 18-1.3-503)
(Explained by Colorado criminal defense attorneys)

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Petty offenses are less serious Colorado crimes than felonies and misdemeanors.

What are petty offenses in Colorado?

Like they sound, petty offenses are a category of Colorado crimes that are less serious than Colorado felonies and Colorado misdemeanors. Petty offenses, in turn, are divided into two categories:

  1. Colorado class 1 petty offenses, and
  2. Colorado class 2 petty offenses

Class 1 petty offenses

Common examples of class 1 petty offenses in Colorado include:

Class 2 petty offenses

Common examples of class 2 petty offenses in Colorado include:

  • The Colorado crime of littering
  • The California crime of giving or selling an underage person cigarettes or tobacco
  • The Colorado crime of an underage person purchasing cigarettes or tobacco (or attempting to)

What are petty offense penalties in Colorado?

The punishment turns on whether the petty offense is classified in Colorado as a class 1 or a class 2:

Class 1 petty offense penalties

The penalty for class 1 petty offenses in Colorado is 6 months in jail and/or $500 in fines

Class 2 petty offense penalties

The penalty for class 2 petty offenses is defined in the individual crime statutes. The penalties involve only small fines and not jail.

Other petty offense facts in Colorado

Anyone charged with a petty offense in Colorado has the right to a jury trial of no less than three jurors, but he/she needs to follow proper procedure in order to get a jury trial:

  • Within twenty-one (21) days after entry of the not guilty plea, the defendant has to ask the court in writing for a jury trial; and
  • The defendant has to pay a jury fee of twenty-five dollars (the fee can be waived if the defendant is indigent, and it will be returned if the case is dismissed); and
  • If the defendant wants four, five, or six jurors instead of three, the defendant has to include that in the written request.

If the defendant does not want a jury trial, he/she can have a bench trial (where a judge and not a jury decides the verdict).

Depending on the charge, the defendant could be able to get the case sealed from his/her criminal record. Even though petty offenses are not serious crimes, there is a chance that some of them may qualify as deportable offenses or crimes involving moral turpitude. Therefore, non-citizens convicted of certain petty offenses could be susceptible to deportation from the U.S.

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Call our Denver Criminal Defense Attorneys at 720-955-6112 for a free consultation. We want to try to get your charge dismissed or reduced, or, if you wish, to take it all the way to a jury. Our goal is to try to keep you out of jail and your record clean.

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