The 411 on Misdemeanors & Probation Violations in Colorado
The most common misdemeanors are Third Degree Assault, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction, Child Abuse, Harassment, Violation of a Protection Order, False Information, Unlawful Sexual Contact, Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, Criminal Mischief, Theft, Indecent Exposure, Pimping, Prostitution, and Animal Cruelty. Misdemanors are divided into three classes: Class 1 Misdemeanors carry a possible jail sentence of 6 to 18 months in jail with a possible fine ranging from $500 to $5000, Class 2 Misdemeanors carry a possible jail sentence of 3 to 12 months with a possible fine of $250 to $1000, and Class 3 Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail with a possible fine of $50 to $750. If aggravating circumstances exists, such as assault of a peace officer or assault on a pregnant woman, the maximum penalties are increased. The Statute of Limitations on misdemeanors requires the prosecuiton to file charges within 18 months of the date the crime was allegedly committed.
The most important thing to do if you are questioned by the police regarding any crime is to remain silent and invoke your right to an attorney. Under new case law, you must actually ask for an attorney to invoke your right to an attorney. You must also invoke your right to remain silent or else your silence may be used against you. Check out the L A W BLOG for more information about how to protect your rights.
Probation Violations occur when the prosecution alleges that you have violated the conditions of your probation. In such cases, the prosecution generally has a very low burden of proof - preponderance of the evidence which simply means more likely than not. However, if the alleged violation is a new criminal charge (which is punishable by any possible jail sentence), the allegation must be proven beyond a reasonble doubt as you must be convicted of the new charge in order to violate probation. Merely being charged with a new crime is not enough to violate your probation, but rather you must be convicted of the new charge and that charge must have a possibility of a jail sentence in order to violate your probation. Your probation may also be violated by failing to successfully complete sobriety testing, by missing meetings with your probation officer, or any other condition of probation.
If you are found to have violated your probation, you can face the maximum sentence for the crime to which you either plead guilty or were found guilty (unless there was a stipulated plea agreement). Check out the L A W BLOG for more information about probation violations in Colorado.