Grand Junction Misdemeanor Lawyers
Many people hear the word “misdemeanor” and think they aren’t a big deal - maybe because the strict definition of the word is “minor crime.” However, the way our legal system is set up, misdemeanors aren’t trivial. In fact, being charged with one can have a long-lasting, negative impact on a person’s life.
Any Grand Junction resident facing a misdemeanor needs to fight it just as aggressively as they would a felony. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our trial lawyers understand how important your reputation is, and we want to ensure you maintain a clean record. Before you agree to a guilty plea or make a deal with prosecutors, give us a call at (970) 243-4357 and schedule a free consultation.
According to Colorado’s statutes, a misdemeanor is defined as a crime that is less serious than a felony, but more serious than a petty offense. There are other types of infractions in Colorado that don’t fit any of these three categories, such as misdemeanor traffic offenses like speeding and parking violations. The penalties include:
- Class 1 traffic offenses: Minimum 10 days in jail or a $300 fine, or both; maximum 12 months in jail or a $1,000 fine, or both.
- Class 2 traffic offenses: Minimum 10 days in jail or a $150 fine, or both; maximum 90 days in jail or a $300 fine, or both.
So while many people think of misdemeanors as minor crimes, another way of looking at them is as the second most serious class of offenses in the Colorado legal system. Remember, if you are ever convicted of a future crime, the judge will look at any prior convictions when deciding on your sentence. If the judge sees you have previously been convicted of a misdemeanor, it won’t seem like a minor thing when you are handed a stiffer sentence because of it.
Colorado has three classes of misdemeanors, and they are typically handled in county courts. In Grand Junction, that would be Mesa County, which is notoriously tough on even minor offenses.
Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious of the three classes. Crimes of this type include property theft with a value of between $50 and $300, prostitution, disorderly conduct, hazing, fourth-degree arson, third-degree criminal trespass, and other similar crimes. The penalty for a Class 3 misdemeanor is up to six months in jail and a fine up to $750.
Next in line are Class 2 misdemeanors. These include theft of property above $300 but less than $750, illegal possession of a concealed weapon, resisting arrest, the manufacture or sale of drug paraphernalia, second-degree arson, and criminal invasion of privacy. The penalties for a conviction can range from three to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
The most severe category is Class 1 misdemeanors. The crimes in this class include theft of property valued between $750 and $2,000, third-degree assault, indecent exposure, second-degree forgery, criminal mischief, and other comparable offenses. The penalties range from six to 18 months in jail with fines of up to $5,000. When a Class 1 has an “extraordinary risk of harm,” the maximum penalty increases to 24 months in jail.
If you are facing misdemeanor charges, you should immediately call an experienced Grand Junction criminal defense attorney. Some people worry that hiring a lawyer may make them “look guilty,” but every defendant is entitled to legal representation. The only difference is that when you hire your own lawyer, you will get higher-quality defense.
This is essential when it comes to misdemeanor charges, because they are anything but minor. Any jail time will take you away from your family and your job, and give a judge reason to throw the book at you in the future.
The Western Slope criminal defense lawyers at Peters & Nolan, LLC, are dedicated to protecting the rights of every single client. We’ll advise you on the best course of action and do everything we can to get the charges against you thrown out altogether or reduced.
Call our knowledgeable team today at (970) 243-4357 to schedule a free consultation.
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Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.