All states, including Colorado, divide crimes into felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors in Colorado are punishable by terms of 18 months or less in county or local jail. Felonies are more serious crimes, punishable by state prison terms of one year or more.
For more information on felony crimes in Colorado, see Colorado Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.
Misdemeanors in Colorado may be designated as Class 1, 2, or 3. Some crimes are unclassified and the sentences for these crimes are set forth in the statute that defines the crime. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-1.3-505.)
A class 1 misdemeanor is the most serious type of misdemeanor in Colorado. Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by six to 18 months in jail, a fine of $500 to $5,000, or both. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-501.) Possession of anabolic steroids is a class 1 misdemeanor.
For more information on drug crimes, see Possession of a Controlled Substance in Colorado.
A class 2 misdemeanor carries a possible jail term of three to 12 months, a fine of $250 to $1,000, or both. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-501.) Theft of property worth less than $500 is a class 2 misdemeanor.
For more information on theft penalties, see Colorado Petty Theft and Other Theft Laws.
Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious misdemeanors under Colorado’s laws, punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of $50 to $750, or both. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-1.3-501.) Prostitution is a class 3 misdemeanor.
For more information on prostitution and related crimes, see Prostitution Laws in Colorado and Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Colorado.
In Colorado, “traffic misdemeanors” are treated differently than other misdemeanor crimes. Traffic misdemeanors are divided into class 1 and class 2. A class 1 traffic misdemeanor carries ten days to one year in jail, $300 to $1,000 in fines, or both. Class 2 misdemeanors carry ten to 90 days in jail, $150 to $300 in fines, or both. (Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42-4-1701.) Reckless driving is a class 2 traffic misdemeanor.
Read more about reckless driving and the consequences of a conviction.
A statute of limitations is a time period during which the state must begin criminal prosecution. Charging a case after the statute has "run" enables the defendant canto move to have the case dismissed. In Colorado, the state must begin prosecution of any misdemeanor within 18 months of the date on which the crime is committed.
For more information, see Colorado Criminal Statute of Limitations.
All criminal convictions, even misdemeanor convictions for seemingly trivial crimes, have serious consequences. If you are charged with any crime, talk to an experienced Colorado criminal defense attorney about your case. An attorney can explain the charges you are facing, how the assigned judge and prosecutor are likely to handle your case, and what to expect in court. An attorney can also determine what defenses apply in your case and how to present the strongest arguments to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.