Are You Facing A Felony Charge in Colorado? You Need Experienced and Effective Legal Counsel Immediately
Patterson Weaver Law, LLC is a law firm dedicated to providing effective legal advice and responsive felony criminal representation to its clients. Proudly serving El Paso County (Colorado Springs), Teller County, Pueblo, Park County, Fremont County, and the nearby areas. The Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyers Patterson Weaver Law have the ability and experience to guide you towards the best outcome possible on your case.
We tend to think of ourselves as good people; very few of us think of themselves as a “felon." However, if you find yourself charged with a felony, that is exactly what you are in danger of becoming. If you have been charged with a felony, you need to speak to a capable and experienced Criminal Defense Attorney immediately.
What you want, what you need, when you are standing in a courtroom in front of a judge or jury, is a criminal defense attorney with experience defending the exact crime you are charged with; someone to advocate on your behalf who knows and understands the criminal justice system. If you want to avoid serving jail time, be sure that you have an experienced trial attorney by your side who is working hard to get you the best possible outcome.
What is a Felony?
Colorado law generally broken down charges into three broad categories: 1) Petty Offenses, 2) Misdemeanors, and 3) Felonies. Felonies are by far the most serious, and most life changing, of these categories. Felony charges can range from Pre-Meditated Murder (a Class 1 Felony) to False Information to a Pawn Broker (a Class 6 Felony) in severity.
What are the penalties for a Felony Conviction?
Felonies are distinguished from misdemeanor criminal charges by the potential sentences available to the court. Generally speaking, misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, while felonies are punishable from one year in jail up to life imprisonment.
The more serious the offense, the higher the chance that the District Attorney will charge it as a felony. Take assault, for example: Colorado law allows you to be charged with assault for any conduct that causes pain to another person, an absurdly low standard. It is the extent of the pain/injury caused, in conjunction with the means used to cause that pain/injury that can change the charge from a misdemeanor harassment charge to a felony battery. If you used a deadly weapon as part of the assault, or if you caused serious bodily injury, you are more likely to be charged with a felony than a misdemeanor.
Theft charges are similar to the above. If the amount you are alleged to have stolen is only a couple hundred dollars, you will likely be facing a misdemeanor; taking or embezzling thousands of dollars, however, is going to lead to a felony indictment. Stealing from a car may be classified as a misdemeanor, but taking those same things from a residence could result in a felony burglary charge. Taking something of value from someone's person, especially with the use of a weapon, could easily be charged as robbery.
Violent crimes or those involving deadly weapons are more likely to be charged as felonies by the investigating police officers and the deputy district attorney than non-violent offenses. The alleged victim may play a role in the charges filed against you, especially if they are part of a protected class, such as the elderly.
What are the Potential Legal Repercussions if I am Convicted of a Felony?
If someone is convicted of a felony, a judge can sentence them to probation (generally supervised), a Community Corrections sentence, or even time (sometimes substantial time) in prison.
Even defendants that avoid prison and community corrections and are sentenced to probation instead will likely have a large number of unwieldy and difficult requirements as a part of their sentence. These may include:
- As much as 90 days in the county jail ordered as a part of probation;
- No consumption of alcohol (ensured by random breath or urine analysis tests);
- No use of illicit drugs (enforced by random urine analysis tests;
- No violations of Colorado or any other jurisdiction’s law;
- Evaluation for Domestic Violence, treatment and therapy;
- Mental health evaluation and therapy and medication;
- Alcohol/Drug evaluation, classes, and therapy;
- Substantial Hours of Community Service;
- Parenting Classes;
- Restitution Payment.
These are some of the conditions that the Court may order in a typical probation sentence, but there may be others as well. Cases involving sexual offenses or defendants placed on Intensive Supervised Probation may have significantly restrictive, and life altering, additional requirements.
It is also important to know that when a felony includes domestic violence charges, a court's sentence can include domestic violence conditions, including a requirement that a defendant do a domestic violence evaluation and comply with whatever recommendations that evaluation requires.
What does a Felony Conviction Mean for My Rights in the Future?
A Felony conviction can have far-reaching repercussions on your rights well beyond the immediate case.
For instance, felony convictions can interfere with your right to vote. In Colorado, someone with a felony conviction cannot vote while in prison or on parole. Someone on probation or that has completed parole may vote in Colorado. But in many states, a felony conviction permanently deprives individuals of their fundamental right to vote in elections, or even the right to sit on a jury.
Additionally, a felony conviction makes it illegal to own or possess a firearm under either Colorado or Federal law. Violation of this prohibition can result in being charged with a new felony. While this does not matter much to some people, hunters, gun enthusiasts, and even those that simply want to protect their home are often very adversely affected by this repercussion. Moreover, although the lawyers at Patterson Weaver Law are not military attorneys and can’t give anyone advice on military legal consequences or law, common experience of attorneys with military clients teaches that a felony conviction often results in the end of a client’s military career. The outcome is often similar for any civilian career requiring a security clearance.
Additionally, a felony conviction can cause teachers, doctors, nurses, and child care providers significant difficulties with their licenses. Even for a typical person without licensure concerns, future employers will always be able to see your felony conviction on a background check, and few employers are in the habit of hiring employees with a felony on their record.
Other less known repercussions can result from a felony conviction as well, including limited job or promotional opportunities, reduced access to government programs, added obstacles in custody disputes, and a plethora of others. A felony conviction can follow you for a lifetime.
What can I Do?
Whatever the specific charge, a felony is an extremely serious matter that carries serious life and legal consequences. It’s imperative that you talk with a capable and experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer such as attorney Patterson Weaver, a former prosecutor and trial lawyer as quickly as possible about your case. A capable and experienced criminal law attorney can scrutinize your case for law enforcement errors and substantive motions issues, factual weaknesses and strengths, and helpful factors for negotiation with the prosecutor. While every case, and every circumstance, is different, your odds for getting an outcome with as limited an impact on your life as possible greatly increases with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney fighting for you.
Patterson Weaver Law proudly serves Pueblo, Colorado Springs, Park County, Teller County, Elbert County, Fremont County, and the nearby areas.
Do not face the weight and force of the government alone. If you are accused of a crime and facing prosecution, you need experienced and effective legal representation. Contact the criminal attorneys at Patterson Weaver Law today and schedule your free consultation..