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Felony Convictions

The state of Colorado sets aside a number of crimes as “felony” crimes. These crimes are considered far more serious than the rest and often carry prison sentences ranging in years or decades.

Felony crimes are treated harsher than misdemeanors or infractions. In the following article, we’ll go over some of the more common felony convictions and what you can expect if you’ve been charged with one.

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What Makes a Crime a Felony?

Whether a crime is a felony, misdemeanor or some other level of punishment is up to the state, and may change from one legislative session to the next. There are, however, some general principles by which the state determines severity. These include:

  • Age: The age of the victim plays a large part in determining the severity of a crime. Many statutes include provisions for crimes against children or older people. Generally, these limits are below the age of 18, below the age of 14, or above the age of 65.
  • Protected status: Similarly, crimes against vulnerable populations are treated much harsher. These include crimes against the disabled and the nonfunctional, such as those in a comatose or vegetative state.
  • Consequence: The potential consequence of the crime may be a factor in determining a felony. These consequences may include physical debilitations, severe mental health problems or financial issues. Serious theft in the amount of hundreds of thousands may leave a person completely unable to recover for the rest of their life; serious assault may leave a person paralyzed or dead, and many crimes may result in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health complications.
  • Prior history: While some crimes like small theft may not have serious implications on their own, the state takes a dim view of pattern offenders.
  • Aggravating circumstances: Some crimes may be tried as a simple or high-level misdemeanor until certain circumstances are met. A simple example of this is in assault cases. Assault is generally tried as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. However, the presence of a firearm or other deadly weapon will automatically elevate the crime to a felony conviction.

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Felony Crimes in Colorado

The following is a non-exhaustive list of felony convictions in Colorado.

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Collateral Consequences of Felony Convictions

Felony convictions often carry penalties beyond jail time and fines. Some of these consequences include an impact on housing, education and social life. The following list are a few of the possible impacts of a felony conviction, beyond the obvious:

  • Employment Restrictions: Individuals with felony convictions may face difficulties in obtaining employment, especially in fields requiring licenses or security clearances.
  • Voting Rights: Those convicted of felonies lose their right to vote while incarcerated. Voting rights are restored upon completion of their full sentence, including parole.
  • Jury Service: Individuals with felony convictions are generally disqualified from jury service in Colorado.
  • Public Benefits: Restrictions may apply to accessing certain public benefits, such as housing assistance and some social services.
  • Firearm Rights: Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms under both Colorado law and federal law.
  • Professional Licenses: A felony conviction can lead to ineligibility for certain professional licenses or create barriers to entry into various professions that require state licensing.
  • Educational Opportunities: Some scholarships and educational opportunities might not be available to those with felony convictions, and convictions may affect admissions into certain educational programs.
  • Housing: Convictions can make it more difficult to secure housing, as many rental agreements include clauses that allow landlords to deny applications based on criminal history.
  • Family Rights: Felony convictions can impact family rights, including parental rights, with potential implications during custody and visitation proceedings.
  • Immigration Status: For non-citizens, a felony conviction can lead to deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization.

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Hire a Felony Criminal Defense Attorney in Denver, Colorado

Felony convictions carry harsh punishments. If not defended properly, felony charges may result in decades in prison or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

If you or a loved one have been charged with a felony crime, you need to contact a strong criminal defense attorney with a history of success. The Law Office of Matthew Martin, LLP is ready to provide legal defense for any person charged under Colorado state law.

Call now at (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation free of charge.

Matthew Martin accepts clients throughout the greater Denver area and surrounding counties including Douglas County, Broomfield County, Jefferson County, Adams County, and Arapahoe County.

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