Getting charged with a misdemeanor is better than being charged with a felony but it could still have significant negative impact on your life and should be taken seriously. Misdemeanors can result in jail time. There are three basic categories of misdemeanors ranging from Class 1 to Class 3, with a Class 3 being the least serious. A chart showing the range of punishment for all three levels is below. Even a misdemeanor can impact your employment and immigration status.
Misdemeanor Assault: This may be a domestic violence or non-domestic violence case. If it is a domestic violence case, the applicable statute requires that you attend domestic violence classes and treatment. There is virtually no way to avoid this treatment unless you get a jail sentence in lieu of probation.
Other common misdemeanor charges are harassment, criminal mischief, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, misdemeanor theft, and misdemeanor drug possession (see sentencing scheme for misdemeanor drug convictions below.
|Sentencing Scheme for Misdemeanors|
|Class of Misdemeanor||Minimum Sentence||Maximum Sentence|
|Class 1 (extraordinary risk of harm||6 months jail or $500 fine or both||24 months jail or $5,000 fine or both|
|Class 1||6 mnths jail or $500 fine or both||18 months jail or $5,000 or both|
|Class 2||3 months jail or $250 fine or both||12 months jail or $1,000 fine or both|
|Class 3||$50 fine||6 months jail or $750 fine or both|
|Class 1 Traffic Offense||10 days jail||12 months jail or $1,000 or both|
|Class 2 Traffic Offense||10 days jail or $10 fine or both||90 days jail or $300 jail or both|
Many people find themselves at one point or another in the end of a volatile relationship. This may result in you getting charge with a domestic violence assault or harassment. Often the alleged victim was angry and vindictive when they called the police and they have a change of heart. When they have this change of heart they often want the case dropped. Unfortunately, they are not able to drop the charge after initially calling the police and making a report. The police and the prosecution will pursue the charge regardless of the wishes of the alleged victim because of political pressure to be aggressive about domestic violence. In fact, there are special rules that apply to domestic violence that do not apply to other types of crimes. For example, if an alleged victim changes their mind and recants, the prosecution can introduce their original statement at trial. The theory is that domestic violence victims often change their minds and are not capable of looking out for their own best interests. This has been going on since the 70s. In my experience, it is almost better to have an alleged victim exaggerate rather than recant because the “recanting” victim fits the profile of the traditional domestic violence cycle of abuse.
Misdemeanor Drug Charges and Sentencing
Colorado has a separate sentencing scheme for drug cases. Below is the sentencing scheme for misdemeanor drug charges.
|Sentencing Scheme for Drug Misdemeanors|
|Level||Minimum Sentence||Maximum Sentence|
|DM1||6 months jail or $500 fine or both||18 months jail or $5,000 fine or both|
|DM2||$50 fine||12 months jail or $750 or both|