Defense Attorney for Felonies
Colorado divides its felonies into 6 different classes, with Class 1 felonies being the most serious. The basic definition of a felony is a case in which a Defendant can be sentenced to the Department of Corrections rather than County Court jail time. Class 1 felonies involve such devastating allegations as First Degree Murder charges. Class 6 felonies on the other hand involve much less serious charges such as an allegation that one is a Habitual Traffic Offender. Each designation of felony carries with it a presumptive sentencing range to the Department of Corrections.
Most Drug cases that involve Simple Possession of a Controlled Substance are either Class 4 felonies (which carry a presumptive sentencing range of 2-6 years), Class 5 felonies (which carry a presumptive range of 1-3 years) or Class 6 felonies (which carry with them the possibility of up to 18 months) in the Department of Corrections. However, the presence of aggravating factors or special Sentencing Enhancers can vastly increase the amount of time faced by a Criminal Defendant. Similarly, many charges under in the Colorado Law are, by their nature, characterized as “Crimes of Violence”. The reason why such a designation is of crucial importance to a Criminal Defendant is the fact that Crimes of Violence carry with them a mandatory prison sentence. Thus, in the case of most Homicides, First Degree Assault, Second Degree Assault, Assault Against an At Risk Individual such as an elderly person or a child, many Sexual Assaults, Aggravated Robbery, and Aggravated Kidnapping, a Defendant must be sentenced to prison if he or she suffers a conviction for one of these as well as many other enumerated crimes. The prosecution must allege the crime of violence on the Charge Sheet in order to put the Defense on notice of the Sentencing Enhancer but the key to understanding Colorado felony law is that it is laden with pitfalls for the unwary.
A bar fight that for instance involves a broken nose may seem relatively non serious to a casual observer. However, under the provisions of Colorado law this scenario qualifies as a Second Degree Assault which involves a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years in the Department of Corrections if a Defendant is found guilty at Trial. This is but one example of why a Criminal Defendant in the state of Colorado who is charged with a felony should hire legal experienced Defense Counsel to help him or her navigate the treacherous waters of the Colorado Criminal Code.
The Law Firm of Mark S. Hanchey has represented thousands of felony criminal defendants all over the state of Colorado and the defense of felony clients remains the predominant area of our practice.Go Back