Colorado misdemeanor traffic offenses are driving crimes punishable by fines and/or jail time. Class 1 traffic misdemeanors carry 10 days to 12 months in county jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines. Class 2 traffic misdemeanors carry 10 to 90 days in jail and/or $150 to $300 in fines. Traffic misdemeanors also cause DMV points to be added to the driver’s record.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are misdemeanor traffic offenses?
- 2. What is the sentence for misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can misdemeanor traffic offenses be sealed?
- 5. What if I ignore my traffic ticket?
- 6. Can I choose to go to trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for misdemeanor traffic offenses?
- 8. Can I keep my guns?
1. What are misdemeanor traffic offenses?
Misdemeanor traffic offenses are Colorado driving crimes. There are divided into class 1- and class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses.1
2. What is the sentence for misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado?
Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses carry penalties of 10 days to 12 months in jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines, plus DMV points. Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses carry 10 to 30 days in jail and/or $150 to $300 in jail, plus DMV points.2
Therefore, misdemeanor traffic offenses carry harsher punishments than traffic infractions – which are civil violations that carry no jail time.
3. What are examples?
Three examples of class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado include:
- Exceeding the speed limit (CRS 42-4-1101) by 25 mph or more in a construction zone, maintenance zone, or repair zone
- Knowingly engaging in speed contests with a motor vehicle (CRS 42-4-1105)
- Careless driving (CRS 42-4-1402), if someone sustains bodily injury
See the state government’s official list of class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado.
Three examples of class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado include:
- Reckless driving (CRS 42-4-1401)
- Careless driving (CRS 42-4-1402), without causing serious bodily injury
- Knowingly conducting a speed contest (CRS 42-4-1105)
See the state government’s official list of class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado.
4. Can misdemeanor traffic offenses be sealed?
No. Convictions for misdemeanor traffic offenses are unsealable in Colorado. They stay remain on the defendant’s record forever. But dismissed charges can get sealed right away.3
Learn how to get criminal records sealed in Colorado.
5. What if I ignore my traffic ticket?
Anyone ticketed for a misdemeanor traffic offense will have a bench warrant issued for their arrest if they skip court or fail to pay their fine. And the Colorado DMV may suspend the defendant’s license until the matter is resolved.4
6. Can I choose to go to trial?
Yes. Colorado defendants facing a misdemeanor traffic offense charge may have a jury trial with six jurors. With the court’s permission, the defendant can ask for a smaller jury of no less than three people. Defendants can also forgo a jury trial and choose to have a bench trial instead.5
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for misdemeanor traffic offenses?
After the alleged traffic violation occurs, Colorado prosecutors have 1 year to press criminal charges. Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. Can I keep my guns?
Yes. Traffic misdemeanor convictions do not affect a defendant’s firearm rights.
Facing traffic charges? Our experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers want to provide legal help to you. Our Colorado law firm fights to get criminal offense charges reduced or dismissed while avoiding a jail sentence. We offer legal representation to clients throughout the state of Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, Golden, and more.
Go to our Colorado traffic misdemeanor main page. Also see our articles about Colorado misdemeanors, Colorado felony crimes, class A traffic infractions, and class B traffic infractions.
- Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1701; see also People v. Hernandez, (2011) 250 P.3d 568; see also People v. Manzo, (2006) 144 P.3d 551.
- CRS 24-72-701 – 708.
- Colorado Department of Revenue – Frequently Asked Questions (outstanding judgment warrants – OJWs); County Court Traffic Violations pamphlet, Colorado government.
- CRS 18-1-406.
- CRS 16-5-401.