Grand Junction Violent Crime Defense Lawyers
A Violent Crime Enhancement Can Land You Behind Bars
In Colorado, a conviction for a crime of violence can lead to years in prison, even longer probation, and stiff fines. That’s not to mention the permanent stain it will have on your reputation. With a violent crime on your record, it will be difficult to find future employment and your options will be limited in many ways.
Anyone who has been accused of a violent crime deserves a vigorous defense. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our experienced legal team has a proven track record of success on the Western Slope. We’re ready to advocate on your behalf as you navigate the Colorado court system. Call us today at (970) 243-4357 to learn more in a free consultation with a Grand Junction criminal attorney.
What Is the Violent Crime Sentence Enhancement in Colorado?
Violent crimes can range from a fistfight to murder. Because of this, one of the first elements to consider is the nature of the crime. We don’t want a drunken brawl being treated the same way as premeditated murder.
However, in Colorado, the Crime of Violence sentence enhancement guides judges on how to sentence any crime involving violence. The actual law is Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18 Criminal Code § 18-13-406, and it states that the judge must sentence the defendant to at least the midpoint of the presumptive sentence, and as much as twice the maximum. If it is found that the defendant committed a crime of violence, then probation or the minimum recommended sentence are not an option. The judge will have no choice but to apply a sentence of at least half the presumptive sentence for that crime.
For example, a third-degree assault, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado, normally carries sentencing guidelines of 6 to 18 months in jail. But once it is deemed a crime of violence, the judge has no choice but to sentence you to at least 9 months in jail (the midpoint of the maximum sentence), and as high as 36 months (double the maximum sentence), and you will not be eligible for parole until at least 75% of your sentence is served (6.75 months).
To be subject to the crime of violence enhancement, there are two factors. First is the crime itself. Certain crimes will almost certainly be charged as crimes of violence. Second, if during the commission of the crime, while conspiring to commit the crime, or while fleeing the scene of the crime, you possessed and threatened to use a deadly weapon, or caused serious bodily injury or death to somebody else, you can be charged with a violent crime.
What Crimes Are Subject to Enhancement in Colorado?
Some of the typical offenses subject to a Crime of Violence enhancement include the following:
- Aggravated robbery
- First-degree arson
- First-degree burglary escape
- Unlawful termination of pregnancy
Furthermore, many sex crimes qualify as crimes of violence, including if the offender made threats of violence or intimidation while committing the crime. There is another type of enhancement that applies to crimes of domestic violence, which are crimes involving someone with whom the offender is/was in an intimate relationship with.
After an Accusation of Violence, Don’t Wait to Defend Yourself
These enhancement laws allow prosecutors to ensure long prison terms for "dangerous" criminals, but unfortunately, they allow very little discretion from the judge. In many cases, individuals are punished with exceedingly harsh penalties that make little sense for the situation.
If you are under suspicion of a violent crime, don’t wait until you are arrested. Enlist the help of an attorney right away. At Peters & Nolan, LLC, our violent crime defense lawyers are dedicated to providing a vigorous defense for each and every one of our clients. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, contact us today at (970) 243-4357.
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.
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