As of March 1, 2022, there is only one type of petty offense in Colorado. And the penalties for petty offenses are up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300.
Prior to March 1, 2022, petty offenses were divided into two classes. Class 1 petty offenses were punishable by up to 6 months of county jail time and/or $500 in fines. And class 2 petty offense penalties depended on the statute.
Petty offense convictions usually do not affect gun rights. And convictions are sealable from the defendant’s criminal record one year after the case ended.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are class 1 petty offenses?
- 2. What is the sentence for class 1 petty offenses in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. When can class 1 petty offenses be sealed?
- 5. Can defendants be deported?
- 6. Can I get a jury trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 petty offenses?
- 8. Can I keep my firearms?
1. What are class 1 petty offenses?
- Class 1 petty offenses, and
- Class 2 petty offenses1
Class 1 petty offenses carried harsher penalties than class 2 petty offenses.
2. What is the sentence for class 1 petty offenses in Colorado?
The penalty for class 1 petty offenses in Colorado is six months in jail and/or $500 in fines. Although the maximum sentence includes jail, many first time offenders are sentenced only to a fine. And depending on the case, certain misdemeanor charges may be reduced down to a petty offense as part of a plea bargain.2
As of March 1, 2022, minor offenses are prosecuted simply as petty offenses.
3. What are examples?
Prior to March 1, 2022, common examples of class 1 petty offenses in Colorado included:
- Theft of property (CRS ), if the property is valued at less than $50
- Check fraud (CRS 18-5-205), if the amount is less than $50
- Third-degree criminal trespass (CRS 18-4-504), if the land has not been classified as agricultural
- Prostitute making display (CRS 18-7-201)
- Public indecency (CRS 18-7-301), for a first offense
- Disorderly conduct (CRS 18-9-106), by making offensive utterances or gestures or unreasonable noise
- False swearing (CRS 18-8-504(2))
- Illegal gambling (CRS 18-10-103)
- Defacing Posted Notice (CRS 18-4-510)
- Accessory to a crime (CRS 18-8-105), if the crime is a misdemeanor
- Escape (CRS 18-8-208), if the person was charged with a misdemeanor or petty offense
- Official misconduct (CRS 18-8-404), in the second-degree
- Loitering near a school (CRS 18-9-112)
- Owning a dangerous dog (CRS 18-9-204.5), and the dog damages property
- Refusing to aid a police officer (CRS 18-8-107)
- Failure to carry and produce a CCW permit and valid photo identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer or peace officer (CRS 18-12-204)
See state government’s former official list of class 1 petty offenses.
There are no extraordinary risk petty offenses.
4. When can class 1 petty offenses be sealed?
Colorado class 1 petty offense convictions can be sealed from a defendant’s criminal record one year after the case ends. But if the charge gets dropped, then there is no wait before the defendant can petition the court for a record seal.
5. Can defendants be deported?
Unless the charge is a crime involving moral turpitude, it is unlikely that a class 1 petty offense conviction would trigger deportation proceedings. But non-citizens facing any criminal charge should consult with an attorney to discuss. Read more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
6. Can I get a jury trial?
Yes. Class 1 petty offense defendants in Colorado can have a jury trial of three to six jurors. But in order to get a jury trial, the defendant must properly petition the court in writing no later than 21 days after entry of the not guilty plea. If the defendant wishes for four, five, or six jurors instead of three, the defendant has to include that request in the written petition.
If the defendant does not wish to have a jury trial, he/she may have a bench trial (where a judge and not a jury hands down the verdict).5
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 petty offenses?
People accused of committing a class 1 petty offense in Colorado must be prosecuted within six months of the alleged offense. But if the charge involves theft, then the six-month clock does not begin running until the theft is discovered.
Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. Can I keep my firearms?
Yes. Class 1 petty offense convictions in Colorado do not affect gun rights.7