Arson charges in Colorado carry severe legal consequences, making it imperative to have a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape and available defense strategies. Being accused of intentionally setting fire to property can be overwhelming and distressing, but with the right knowledge and legal guidance, you can effectively navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system. We aim to empower individuals facing these serious allegations by exploring key aspects of
A Felony Conviction Can Have a Serious and Substantial Impact on Your Life.
Felonies are handled by a district court, although they originate in county court.
A class 1 felony is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.
A class 2 felony is punishable by four to forty-eight years in prison.
A class 3 felony is punishable by two to twenty-four years in prison. However, should the charged offense constitute an “extraordinary risk crime” the sentencing range is two to thirty-two years.
A class 4 felony is punishable by one to twelve years in prison. However, should the charged offense constitute an “extraordinary risk crime” the sentencing range is one to sixteen years in prison.
A class 5 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison. However, should the charged offense constitute an “extraordinary risk crime” the sentencing range is one to four years in prison.
A class 6 felony is punishable by one year to eighteen months in prison, or up to two years in prison should the charged offense constitute an “extraordinary risk crime”.
Any sentence to prison will be followed by a mandatory period of parole.
The extraordinary risk crimes under Colorado law are aggravated robbery, child abuse, unlawful distribution of a controlled substance, any crime of violence, stalking, and sale or distribution of materials to manufacture controlled substances.
If you are charged with a “crime of violence”, your charge involves a mandatory prison sentence should you be convicted as charged. If convicted, you must serve a prison sentence of at last the midpoint of the presumptive sentencing range for that offense (as outlined above). Under Colorado, the following are classified as crimes of violence: first or second degree assault, kidnapping, aggravated robbery, murder, arson, burglary, sex offenses, and crimes against at-risk adults or juveniles.
If a “dangerous weapon” is alleged to have been used in the charged offense, an additional, consecutive, five-year sentence applies.
Nonetheless, Aggravating or Mitigating Factors May Increase or Reduce the Length of any Sentence Imposed for a Felony Offense.
Under the law, these are known as extraordinary mitigating or extraordinary aggravating circumstances.
Extraordinary aggravating circumstances require that a defendant be sentenced to some length of time in between the midpoint of the presumptive range and twice the maximum sentence length. The scenarios considered to constitute extraordinary aggravating circumstances are as follows: the defendant is convicted of a “crime of violence”, the defendant was on parole for a different offense when the charged case was committed, the defendant was on probation or on bond following a revocation of probation for another felony when the charged case was committed, the defendant was confined in a correctional institution or had escaped from a correctional institution when the charged offense was committed, or the defendant was less than 18 when the offense occurred and was on probation for an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult.
Extraordinary mitigating circumstances allow a judge to impose a sentence that is less than the presumptive range for a charged offense – specifically, down to one half of the applicable minimum sentence. Specific factors that would be deemed to constitute extraordinary mitigating circumstances are not laid out in the law.
While certain felonies must result in prison sentences, others may result in a sentence to probation, intensive supervision probation or ISP, probation along with to ninety days in the county jailed a condition of that probation or community corrections.
Should you be charged with a felony, or even multiple felonies, it is in your best interests to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as is practicable.
To schedule a free initial consultation, call 720-257-5346 or fill out a free case review form, and a representative from the Law Office of Kimberly Diego will contact you as soon as possible.