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You see, in the wild world of law, not all crimes are created equal.
Some are like jumping a red light (Oops! but hey, it happens), while others are more like a high-speed chase on a freeway (yikes! serious stuff), which is actually the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor.
But there's more to it than just the crime itself. And as your trusted Greenwood Village felony lawyer, I'm here to guide you through the consequences, penalties, and a bunch of other legal bits and bobs that come into play.
Misdemeanor vs Felony: The Basic Differences
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Misdemeanors are generally less serious offenses.
Now, that doesn't mean they're not that significant–they absolutely are–but in the grand scheme of the legal system, they're on the lower end of the spectrum.
Let's take petty theft as an example.
This could be something like taking your favorite candy bar from a convenience store without paying for it. It's illegal–yes, but it's not considered as severe as armed robbery.
Minor drug possession, for instance, getting you're caught with a small amount of marijuana in a state where it's illegal, you could be charged with a modest offense. But remember, the keyword here is "minor." So, if you're with a large quantity, or if you're selling, that's a whole different ball game.
There are also some traffic violations, not those minor offenses like a parking ticket, but reckless driving or DUI, which can be classified as a felony, depending on the circumstances.
When we talk about felonies, we're stepping into the deep end of the crime pool. These are the big ones, the most serious offenses in the eyes of the law.
Premeditated murder, for instance, falls into this category as it involves intentionally causing the death of another person.
Aggravated assault, also isn't just your everyday argument getting out of hand. This typically involves the intent to cause serious bodily harm, often with a deadly weapon involved.
But we aren't just talking about physical violence here.
Consider fraud, which involves deceiving someone for personal gain. You know, tricking innocent people into investing in a nonexistent business and pocketing the cash. Then there's embezzlement too, where someone in a position of trust–-like your company's accountant–misappropriates funds for their own use.
Both these can leave victims financially devastated, hence their classification as felonies.
Felony vs Misdemeanor Colorado Legal Consequences: A General Overview
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The consequences do vary, but they usually include fines, some probation, community service, and potentially jail time, which is usually less than a year, and often served in a local or county jail rather than a state or federal prison.
Class 1: Up To $5,000 Fine; Up To 18 Months Imprisonment
Class 2: Up To $1,000 Fine; Up To 12 Months Imprisonment
Class 3: Up To $750 Fine; Up To 6 Months Imprisonment
They're as heavy-duty as the crimes themselves. We're talking about hefty fines that can run into thousands or even millions of dollars!
Also imprisonment–that's not a short stint in a local jail, but long-term incarceration in a state or federal prison.
Class 1: Life Imprisonment or Death Penalty
Class 2: Imprisonment For 8 to 24 years; Fines Up To $1,000,000
Class 3: Imprisonment For 4 to 12 years; Fines Up To $750,000
Class 4: Imprisonment For 2 to 6 years; Fines Up To $500,000
Class 5: Imprisonment For 1 to 3 years; Fines Up To $100,000
Class 6: Imprisonment For 1 year to 18 months; Fines Up To $100,000
Currently facing a charge, be it a misdemeanor or a felony?
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