Class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado are punishable by 6 to 18 months in county jail and/or $500 to $5,000 in fines. And for extraordinary risk crime class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months. Convictions can usually be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record three years after the case ends.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are class 1 misdemeanors?
- 2. What is the sentence for class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado?
- 3. What are some examples?
- 4. When can I get the criminal record sealed after a class 1 misdemeanor?
- 5. Are there immigration consequences?
- 6. May I have a jury trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 misdemeanors?
- 8. Will my gun rights be affected?
1. What are class 1 misdemeanors?
Class 1 misdemeanors are Colorado’s most serious class of misdemeanor offenses right below felony crimes. Meanwhile, class 1 misdemeanors are one rung above class 2 misdemeanors and two rungs above class 3 misdemeanors.
Class 1 misdemeanors also have a subclass of extraordinary risk misdemeanors. These crimes present a high risk of harm to society.1
See our related article on traffic misdemeanors.
2. What is the sentence for class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado?
Class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado have a presumptive penalty of six to 18 months of jail time and/or fines of $500 to $5,000. But extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors have a maximum jail sentence of 24 months. And if the conviction is for 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
- Peace officer,
- Emergency medical provider,
- Firefighter, or
- Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
Courts may grant probation instead of jail.2
3. What are some examples?
Ten common class 1 misdemeanor charges in Colorado include:
- Theft of property (CRS 18-4-401), from $750 to less than $2,000
- Theft of a trade secret (CRS 18-4-408)
- Criminal mischief (CRS 18-4-501), from $500 to less than $1,000
- Aggravated motor vehicle theft (CRS 18-4-409), in the second degree if the value is less than $1,000
- Patronizing a prostitute (CRS 18-7-205)
- Indecent exposure (CRS 18-7-302)
- Defacing a firearm (CRS 18-12-104)
- Second-degree forgery (CRS 18-5-102)
- Obstruction of telephone service (CRS 18-9-306.5)
- Domestic violence harassment as a hate crime
Five common extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado include:
4. When can I get the criminal record sealed after a class 1 misdemeanor?
Convictions for class 1 misdemeanors can be sealed three years after the case ends. However, convictions for sex crimes, DUIs, domestic violence, or traffic misdemeanors are always unsealable. And defendants can petition for a record seal right away if the charge gets dismissed.
Note that the waiting period to seal drug misdemeanor convictions is two years after the case ends.3
5. Are there immigration consequences?
Non-citizens convicted of misdemeanor crimes involving moral turpitude could face deportation from the U.S. Therefore, defendants are advised to hire experienced counsel to try to persuade prosecutors to dismiss the charges or have them changed to non-deportable offenses.
Learn more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
6. May I have a jury trial?
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 misdemeanors?
Colorado district attorneys can press criminal charges for most class 1 misdemeanors 18 months after the offense occurred. If the crime involved theft, the 18-month clock does not begin running until after the theft is discovered.
For unlawful sexual contact (CRS 18-3-404) charges where the victim is 15 or older, the criminal statute of limitations is five years after the offense occurs. If the victim is under 15, the time limit to press charges is eight-and-a-half years after the offense occurs.
Note that the criminal statute of limitations for traffic misdemeanors is one year after the offense occurred.6
8. Will my gun rights be affected?
Federal law prohibits people convicted of class 1 misdemeanors in Colorado to possess firearms.
Arrested? Our felony and misdemeanor defense attorneys will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. We have Colorado law offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, and Greeley, and we offer legal help throughout the state.
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