Prior to March 1, 2022, class 2 petty offenses were Colorado’s lowest-level crimes. They were punishable by a small fine but no actual jail time. The amount of the fine varied by offense but was usually around $200.00.
As of March 1, 2022, there are no longer separate categories for class 1 and class 2 petty offenses. Instead, minor crimes are simply lumped together as petty offenses which are punishable by up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300.
Petty offense convictions have no effect on gun rights. Convictions can be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record one year after the criminal case has closed.
In this article, our Denver Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are class 2 petty offenses?
- 2. What is the sentence for class 2 petty offenses in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. When can class 2 petty offenses be sealed?
- 5. Can defendants be deported?
- 6. Can I have a trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 2 petty offenses?
- 8. Can I keep my firearms?
1. What are class 2 petty offenses?
Class 2 petty offenses were the least serious class of Colorado crimes. They were one rung below class 1 petty offenses. As of March 1, 2022, prosecutors no longer bring class 1- or class 2 petty offense charges. Instead, there is only one petty offense category.1
2. What is the sentence for class 2 petty offenses in Colorado?
Class 2 petty offense penalties varied by the offense. Usually they carried a $200 fine. But violating mandatory reporter laws carries up to $300 and up to 90 days of jail time.
In certain cases, misdemeanor charges can be lessened to a petty offense as part of a plea bargain.2
3. What are examples?
Prior to March 1, 2022, four examples of class 2 petty offenses in Colorado included:
- Attempting (CRS 18-2-101) to commit a class 1 petty offense
- Giving or selling underage person cigarettes or tobacco (CRS 18-13-121)
- An underage person purchasing cigarettes or tobacco (CRS 18-13-121)
- Violating mandatory reporter laws (CRS 18-240-139)
Note that law enforcement officers may cite suspects rather than arrest them.
See the state government former official list of class 2 petty offenses.
There are no extraordinary risk petty offenses.
4. When can class 2 petty offenses be sealed?
There is a one-year wait in Colorado to get a class 2 petty offense conviction sealed after the case ends. But there is no wait to get a criminal record seal if the charge gets dismissed.
5. Can defendants be deported?
Class 2 petty offense convictions are usually not deportable. But immigration law is always changing, so non-citizen defendants should consult with a lawyer. Read more about the criminal defense of immigrants in Colorado.4
6. Can I have a trial?
Yes. Class 2 petty offense defendants in Colorado may have a bench trial or a jury trial of three to six jurors. But to secure a jury trial, the defendant must petition the court in writing within 21 days of the not guilty plea. And the jury will consist of only three jurors unless the defendant requests four, five, or six jurors in the petition.5
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 2 petty offenses?
Under the Colorado justice system, prosecutors have six months to press charges against people accused of committing a class 2 petty offense. The only exception is if the petty offense was for a theft crime – then the limit is six months after the theft is discovered.
Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. Can I keep my firearms?
Yes. Class 2 petty offenses are not serious crimes, and convictions do not cause defendants to lose their gun rights.7
Arrested for a criminal offense? Whether it is for a felony offense, a misdemeanor offense, a petty offense, or a traffic offense infraction, our experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers want to provide legal help to you. Our Colorado law firm fights to get criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We help clients throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Golden, and more.
Go to our Colorado petty offense main page.