Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado are punishable by 10 days to 12 months in county jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines, as well as DMV points. Convictions can never be sealed from the defendant’s criminal record. But it may be possible to get the charges reduced to a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense or traffic infraction or dismissed completely.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What are class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses?
- 2. What is the sentence for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado?
- 3. What are examples?
- 4. Can class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses be sealed?
- 5. What if I ignore my traffic ticket?
- 6. Can I go to trial?
- 7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses?
- 8. Can I keep my gun?
1. What are class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses?
Class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses are a category of Colorado driving crimes. These traffic violations carry harsher penalties than class 2 misdemeanor traffic offenses.1
2. What is the sentence for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses in Colorado?
Colorado penalties for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses include 10 days to 12 months in jail and/or $300 to $1,000 in fines, plus DMV points. Colorado drivers who pick up too many DMV points face getting their driving privileges suspended.2
It may be possible to do community service in lieu of paying the fine.
Note that misdemeanor traffic offenses are more serious than traffic infractions, which are only civil violations. The maximum penalty for traffic infractions is only fines and surcharges, whereas the maximum sentence for traffic misdemeanors is 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.
4. Can class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses be sealed?
Convictions for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses are unsealable. These traffic law violations remain on the defendant’s record forever.
Therefore, people ticketed for a traffic misdemeanor are advised to fight the case in attempt to get the charge reduced or dismissed. If the charge gets dismissed, the case can be sealed immediately.3
5. What if I ignore my traffic ticket?
People ticketed for a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense who fail to pay their fine or appear in court will have a bench warrant issued for their arrest. And the DMV may impose a driver’s license revocation until the matter is resolved and fine is paid.4
6. Can I go to trial?
Yes. Defendants charged with a class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense may have a jury trial of six jurors. With the court’s permission, the defendant may instead have a bench trial (where the judge decides the verdict) or a smaller jury of no less than three people.5
7. What is the criminal statute of limitations for class 1 misdemeanor traffic offenses?
Colorado district attorneys have 1 year after an alleged class 1 misdemeanor traffic offense to press criminal charges. Learn more about criminal statutes of limitations in Colorado.6
8. Can I keep my gun?
Yes. A conviction for a traffic misdemeanor should have no effect on the 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.
- 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.