Free Consultation. Call 24/7 and leave a voicemail. We will call back quickly!
Your Rights. Your Future. Your Freedom.
View Our Practice Areas

How does adult sentencing work in Colorado?

Colorado residents may benefit from learning more about the state's sentencing laws for adults. While operating within statutory parameters, judges are permitted to use their own discretion when sentencing a defendant. Sentencing laws are often complicated because there may be multiple levels affected by different criteria. In Colorado, six classes constitute the hierarchy of felony offenses.

The maximum penalty for a Class 1 felony is death, and the minimum penalty is life in prison. In contrast, the maximum penalty for a Class 6 felony is 18 months in jail while the minimum is one year in jail. Defendants' sentences may be shortened, but any reduction would occur after their hearing. If the convict qualifies for a reduced sentence, a panel will evaluate the earned time and determine their eligibility for parole. The sentence remains unchanged, but the time that's actually served in prison is subject to modification.

Five types of crimes allow judges to order special sentencing that provides longer terms for more serious offenses. The five instances that may warrant special sentencing include crimes involving violence, crimes with aggravating and extraordinary circumstances, crimes presenting a significant risk of harm to society, crimes involving circumstances that enhance the sentencing and crimes involving extraordinary mitigating circumstances. Special sentencing for Class 2 felonies may add up to 48 years onto the normal presumptive ranges.

People who have been accused of a committing a serious felony typically benefit from meeting with a criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. Legal counsel may be able to investigate the charges and identify the most effective strategy for exonerating the defendant. Exposing misconduct or incompetence in the prosecution's case may compel a judge to dismiss or reduce the charges against the defendant. Lawyers may also be successful with negotiating a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor.

Source:, "Colorado's Adult Sentencing Laws", September 19, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Tell Me What Happened

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Contact the Law Offices of J.B. Katz, P.C.

Breckenridge Office
P.O. Box 5200
101 N. Main Street, Suite 3
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Phone: 970-368-2321
Fax: 720-208-0630
Breckenridge Law Office Map

Breckenridge Office
US Postal Mailing Address
P.O. Box 5200
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Map & Directions