What Are Considered Violent Crimes?
In Colorado, there is a wide range of crimes that are considered to be violent crimes. Violent crimes are always taken extremely seriously by the Colorado justice system, carrying with them mandatory jail time. Violent crimes are typically severe crimes with devastating consequences, such as first-degree assault, kidnapping, sex offenses, arson, murder, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, crimes against at-risk adults or juveniles, and burglary.
What Happens If You Are Convicted of a Violent Crime in Colorado?
Typically, those who are convicted of a felony in Colorado will face three different potential outcomes. They may be sentenced to prison time, community corrections, or probation. While other felony crimes have this leniency, this is not the case if your felony is a result of committing a crime of violence. Instead, the judge is mandated to sentence you to time in prison.
Additionally, if you face prison time for a violent crime, the judge cannot legally reduce your sentence. Instead expect to serve at minimum the midpoint of the presumptive sentence for your crime. If you are wondering what a presumptive sentence entails, it is simply a range of time dictated by State sentencing guidelines for the crime of violence you committed. Simply put, if you committed a violent crime and were subsequently charged with a Class 2 felony, state guidelines suggest your presumptive sentence be between 8-24 years behind bars. Colorado laws dictate that using the guidelines of presumptive sentencing, you would be required to serve the midpoint of the listed years, meaning you would be required to serve a minimum of 16 years in prison.
If you are wondering if things could get any worse for you, they could. Even though a judge must order you to serve at least the midpoint of the presumptive sentence if you receive a felony related to a violent crime, they can also increase the penalty. It is legal for the judge to increase your penalty, as high as double the maximum presumptive sentence required for your crime. This can be some very bad news. For example, if you find yourself in the above situation, your maximum presumptive sentence of 24 years could be potentially doubled, requiring you to serve 48 years behind bars.
If you have gotten yourself into several criminal incidents, penalties are even more severe. For each violent crime and subsequent felony, you receive, you will be required to serve at least the midpoint presumptive sentence consecutively. Thus, each sentence will begin after the one previously has been served. Basically, if you receive three class 2 felonies and serve the midpoint presumptive sentence, you will be in prison until you have served all three or a total of 48 years behind bars.
Due to the severe and long-ranging consequences of a conviction for a Colorado violent crime, it will be imperative to seek the help of a skilled defense attorney, immediately if you or a loved one find themselves charged with a violent crime. A competent attorney can help you achieve a better outcome for your case by utilizing defenses that can help your charges be thrown out, reduced, or dropped. Be sure your case is tried fairly, and you receive the best outcome possible!