Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Colorado Criminal Lawyer McCluskey Law

Felonies are crimes that carry a minimum of more than a year in prison.  In Colorado there are six classes of felonies with Class 1 Felony carrying the greatest punishment or longest sentence.

The first court appearance in a felony case is usually the advisal/advisement where the court gives the accused a copy of the complaint or charges against him by the prosecution on behalf of the people of the state of Colorado.  Bond is often set at this time. If you have been charged with or the police are talking to you about felonies you need to consult with a Denver Criminal Defense Attorney Colorado Criminal Lawyer.

Preliminary Hearing or Dispositional Hearing
For the more serious crimes, class 1, 2, 3 felonies, the accused is entitled to a preliminary hearing to determine if there is probable cause to bind the case over to District Court.  Hearsay is admissible at the preliminary hearing and the DA must prove it is more likely than not that a crime was committed.  An attorney can help you make critical decisions such as whether or not to waive a preliminary hearing.
For lesser offenses, class 4,5, 6 felonies, the accused is entitled to a dispositional hearing.  At the hearing the prosecution has the opportunity to make a reasonable offer through plea bargaining. Your attorney can negotiate with the deputy district attorney to get you an acceptable offer or if none is forthcoming set if for a jury trial.

If the court finds there was probable cause to believe that it was more likely than not that a crime had been committed by the accused the defendant is bound over to District Court to be arraigned.
The District Court judge will advise the defendant of his rights once again or ask if the defendant wants to waive the advisal.  At arraignment the defendant has the choice to enter his plea or ask for a continuance.
At the arraignment dates for motions to be filed and heard will be set by the judge.  Motions to keep out or suppress evidence based on violation of defendant’s constitutional rights can be filed and argued.

Pre-Trial Hearings
A judge will set a date for a hearing on the motions to allow the parties to set forth arguments as to why their motions should be granted.

Approximately 8 weeks after a defendant is convicted at trial or has entered a guilty plea through plea bargaining the court will determine the sentence.  The sentence will be determined by many factors such as the sentencing range set forth by the legislature, guidelines set forth by the court, and input by the probation department.  An attorney can point out mitigating factors that might result in a lighter sentence.

Felony Sentencing Chart
Presumptive Minimum                  Presumptive Maximum
1       Life in prison                       Death Penalty

2       8 years prison                     24 years prison

3       4 years prison                     12 years prison
(*16 yrs prison)

4       2 years prison                     6 years prison
(*8 years prison)

5       1 year prison                       3 years prison
(*4 years prison)

6       1 year prison                       18 months prison
(2 years prison)

Note: * Extraordinary risk crime

Even the least serious felony, Class 6, is punishable by more than one year in the Dept. of Corrections/Colorado State Prison.
Where the court finds “exceptional aggravation” the range can be twice the presumptive maximum.  Where the court finds “exceptional mitigation” the range can be as low as one half the presumptive minimum. If the charge is designated as a “Crime of Violence” this can result in a mandatory prison sentence.  A crime of violence means an offense that has as one of its essential elements the use, attempted use, or threatened use of force against the person or property of another.

Disclaimer  - The charts and lists are not all inclusive. The sentencing chart does not include Habitual Offender, Sex Offender and or Youthful Offender guidelines. The information on this website is not presented as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified criminal defense attorney.

Felonies include: Arson, Burglary, Computer Crime, Criminal Impersonation, Criminal Mischief ($500 to more than $15,000), False Imprisonment, Forgery, Fraud, Kidnapping, Homicide, Menacing, Perjury, Robbery, Stalking,Theft, Trespass, Drug Crimes, Unlawful Use of a Controlled Substance, Unlawful Possession with Intent to Distribute a Controlled Substance, Assault, Child Abuse, Criminally Negligent Homicide, Domestic Violence, Manslaughter, Murder, Sexual Assault, Sexual Assault on a Child, Sexual Assault on a Child by one in a Position of Trust, Unlawful Sexual Contact, Indecent Exposure, Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, Incest, Aggravated Incest, Internet Luring of a Child, Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child.