In Colorado, petty offenses are low-level crimes punishable by up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300. Examples include theft or check fraud of less than $300.00. There is also a class of drug petty offenses that carry fines of up to $100.00 but no potential jail time.
In this article, our Denver Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are petty offenses?
- 2. What is the sentence for petty offenses in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. When can petty offenses be sealed?
- 5. Are they deportable?
- 6. Can I get a jury trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for petty offenses?
- 8. What about gun rights?
1. What are petty offenses?
2. What is the sentence for petty offenses in Colorado?
The punishment for petty offenses in Colorado is up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300. And the punishment for drug petty offenses is up to $100.
Prior to March 1, 2022, petty offenses were divided into two classes. Class 1 petty offenses in Colorado carried six months in jail or $500 in fines, or both. And class 2 petty offense penalties depended on the specific statute.2
3. What are examples?
Two examples of petty offenses in Colorado include:
- Theft of property (CRS 18-4-401), if the property is valued at less than $300
- Check fraud (CRS 18-5-205), if the amount is less than $300
The only three drug petty offenses in Colorado are:
- Possessing up to two ounces of marijuana (CRS 18-18-406)
- Possession of drug paraphernalia with the knowledge that it could be used as drug paraphernalia (CRS 18-18-428)
- Possessing prescribed controlled substances in a container it was not dispensed in, and being unable to show legal ownership (CRS 18-18-413)
See the state government’s official list of drug petty offenses.
4. When can petty offenses be sealed?
Colorado petty offense convictions can be sealed from criminal records one year after the case closes. But if the charge gets dropped, then the court requires no waiting period before granting a petition to seal.3
5. Are they deportable?
Drug petty offenses may be deportable. Otherwise, it is unlikely that a petty offense would be deportable unless it qualifies as a crime involving moral turpitude. Read more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
6. Can I get a jury trial?
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for petty offenses?
People accused of committing a Colorado petty offense can be prosecuted within six months of the offense. But if the crime involved theft, the six-month clock tolls (pauses) until the theft is discovered – which can be long after it actually occurred.
Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. What about gun rights?
Petty offense convictions usually do not affect gun rights. But note that drug users or addicts are not allowed to possess firearms, even if they have no criminal convictions.7