Choose the Best Colorado Springs Felony Lawyer for Your Case
“Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If yes, please explain.”
You may have come across this question on a job application, or when seeking a loan, life insurance or government benefits. If you’ve been charged with a felony in Colorado Springs, how you would answer that question in the future – and whether your future includes significant prison time – hangs in the balance.
But what does it mean to be charged with a felony in Colorado?
- It means you are being prosecuted for a serious criminal offense.
- It means you are facing years behind bars in a Colorado State Prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a burden you will carry for decades.
- It means you’re scared about what may happen to you and your family and uncertain about what to do next.
- It means you need to retain an experienced felony attorney in Colorado Springs today to ease your mind, find a path forward, protect your freedom, and preserve your future.
What is a Felony?
Like most states, Colorado divides criminal offenses into two broad categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are generally less serious crimes and are divided into three classes based on the gravity of the crime
Colorado felonies are more serious crimes, and like misdemeanors, they are divided into classes. There are six classes of felonies in Colorado, though some felonies are unclassified.
In addition to felonies under Colorado law, there are crimes which are felonies under federal law. Federal felony offenses, which include crimes like terrorism, mail and wire fraud, and certain crimes committed on federal property, are prosecuted in federal court and can result in time behind bars in federal prison.
Unsurprisingly, the potential penalties for misdemeanors are less than for felonies — similarly, the more serious the class of felony, the harsher the possible punishment.
Of course, in the context of a criminal charge or conviction, “serious” is a relative term. As a criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor, I understand that when it’s your future on the line - whether you are facing the possibility of life in prison or the possibility of a lifetime stain on your record or reputation - all criminal charges are “serious.” That’s how I approach every case, every charge, and every client.
Colorado Felony Classes and Penalties
Perhaps the most fundamental difference between misdemeanors and felonies is the potential length of time behind bars and where you would spend that time upon conviction. A Colorado Springs misdemeanor conviction can result in a maximum of one year of incarceration, which is served in a county or local jail here in El Paso County.
If you’re convicted of a felony and are sentenced to serve time, you will likely be sentenced to over a year behind bars which you will serve in one of Colorado’s 24 state prisons located throughout the state.
For each of Colorado’s six felony classes, the Colorado legislature has established a “presumptive range” of penalties that can be imposed upon conviction:
Class 6 Felony:
12 to 18 months in prison
fine of $1,000 to $100,000
1 year of parole.
Class 5 Felony:
1 to 3 years in prison
fine of $1,000 to $100,000
2 years of parole.
Class 4 Felony:
2 to 6 years in prison
fine of $2,000 to $500,000
3 years of parole.
Class 3 Felony:
4 to 12 years in prison
fine of $3,000 to $750,000
5 years of parole.
Class 2 Felony:
8 to 24 years in prison
fine of $5,000 to $1,000,000
5 years of parole.
Class 1 Felony:
Life imprisonment or death.
Judges may impose sentences beyond the presumptive range for certain types of felonies or felonies committed under specific circumstances. Generally, an enhanced sentence greater than the maximum of the presumptive range may be imposed if the felony was:
- a crime of violence
- an “extraordinary risk” crime
- committed by someone who is a “habitual criminal”
- committed against an “at-risk” victim
- committed with aggravating circumstances
Punishment Goes Beyond Prison Time and Fines
Years of your life and thousands of dollars out of your wallet aren’t the only things you can lose if you’re convicted of Colorado felony charges. After you’ve served your time, or even if you serve no time at all, a felony conviction can have a lifelong impact on a number of your fundamental rights and opportunities. As a convicted felon, you can lose:
- your right to carry firearms
- your right to vote
- your right to travel abroad
- your eligibility for certain government benefits, loans, or grants
- some of your rights as a parent
- your right to serve on a jury.
On top of that, many opportunities for employment, loans, housing, or professional licenses may be foreclosed to you in the future. If you’re a foreign national, a felony conviction may affect your immigration status and lead to deportation.
There is Always Hope
Yes, the consequences of a felony conviction are daunting and scary. But the road between being charged with a felony and being convicted of one is long. Whether you have been falsely accused or you’ve made an error in judgment, there is always hope. There is always a strategy that can be implemented that might defeat the charges or minimize the possible consequences.
But you can’t and shouldn’t go through this ordeal alone.
How Much Does a Felony Defense Attorney Cost?
Every felony case is different. Some are more complex than others. Some can be resolved fairly quickly while others may go all the way through a jury trial and beyond. While it is difficult to say how much a felony defense attorney will cost in your particular case, my commitment to justice for those accused of crimes extends to providing exceptional criminal defense representation at a reasonable price.
I will work with you to find a solution that is achievable, affordable, and fair. But as you consider the potential costs of quality felony defense representation, consider these questions: How much is a year of your life worth? Can you put a dollar value on time away from your family, your friends, and your life? Can you afford to take chances with your freedom and your future on the line?
Committed to Justice. Committed to You.
Before I committed myself to defend the rights of the accused, I was a prosecutor in Colorado Springs. This work gives me a unique perspective and an advantage as a criminal defense attorney and courtroom litigator. I know what the prosecution is planning and the tactics they will use. I know how to defend against their strategies and how to protect your rights.
As a skilled and tenacious criminal lawyer in Colorado Springs, I have made it my mission to protect the rights of individuals facing criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with a felony, you need a criminal defense lawyer who not only knows the law but who also is personally invested in your future.
You need an experienced and creative defense lawyer who not only will attack the prosecution’s case at every turn but who will understand your fears and concerns and listen to you with compassion and without judgment.