Civil infractions in Colorado carry a maximum fine of $100 and no jail time. The District Attorney has six months after the alleged infraction to file charges. And defendants charged with civil infractions are eligible for a bench trial but not a jury trial.
The law creating civil infractions took effect on March 1, 2022.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are civil infractions?
- 2. What is the penalty?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can I get a jury trial?
- 5. What is the statute of limitations for civil infractions?
1. What are civil infractions in Colorado?
Civil infractions are the least serious class of Colorado offense, one rung below petty offenses. Civil infractions carry a maximum $100 fine. And civil infractions did not exist in Colorado criminal law prior to March 1, 2022.1
People are rarely arrested for civil infractions. Instead, police typically issue a citation.2
2. What is the penalty?
Colorado civil infractions carry up to $100 in fines. Civil infractions do not carry jail time.3
Defendants unable to pay the fine face garnishment, liens, or the requirement to post bond or collateral.4
3. What are examples?
Four examples of civil infractions in Colorado include:
- Defacing posted notice (CRS 18-4-510);
- Littering of public or private property (CRS 18-4-511);
- Criminal use of a noxious substance (CRS 18-4-513);
- Furnishing cigarettes, tobacco products, or nicotine products to persons under twenty-one years of age (CRS 18-13-121)
4. Can I get a jury trial?
No. Instead, people charged with civil infractions are entitled to a bench trial where the judge decides the verdict. As with criminal jury trials, the prosecution in a civil infraction trial has the burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.5
5. What is the statute of limitations for civil infractions?
Colorado prosecutors have six months after the alleged civil infraction to press charges.6
Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.
- SB21-271. CRS 18-1.3-503. CRS 18-1-104.
- CRS 16-2-201.
- CRS 18-1.3-503.
- CRS 18-1.3-506.
- CRS 16-2.3-101.
- CRS 16-5-401.