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Denver Colorado Criminal Lawyer – Colorado Criminal Sentencing Laws: The Range of Sentencing

Understanding Extraordinary Mitigating or Aggravating Circumstances In Colorado Sentencing Cases (18-1.3-401 (6), C.R.S.)

The court may impose a sentence that is lesser or greater than those in the presumptive range when the court finds that extraordinary mitigating or aggravating circumstances are present.

Aggravating or mitigating factors may be determined by the court based on evidence in the record at the sentencing hearing and information contained in the pre-sentence investigation report. The court may not impose a sentence which is less than one-half of the minimum sentence in the presumptive range, and may not impose a sentence that is not more than twice the maximum in the presumptive range.

The minimum and maximum sentencing ranges allowed after applying extraordinary mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

What Are the Colorado Crimes of Violence ? (18-1.3-406, C.R.S.)

Any offender convicted of a crime of violence must be sentenced to a prison term which is at least at the midpoint in the presumptive range but not more than twice the maximum term. The following offenses which are committed, conspired to be committed, or attempted to be committed are specified in statute as crimes of violence when a person:

a) used, or possessed and threatened the use of, a deadly weapon;

or

b) caused serious bodily injury or death.

These crimes of violence are contained within the following special sentencing categories: crimes with extraordinary aggravating circumstances and crimes presenting an extraordinary risk of harm to society:

• a crime against an at-risk adult or at-risk juvenile;

• murder;

• first or second degree assault;

• kidnapping;

• a sexual offense;

• aggravated robbery;

• first degree arson;

• first or second degree burglary;

• escape;

• criminal extortion; or

• any unlawful sexual offense in which the defendant caused bodily injury to the victim or in which the defendant used threat, intimidation, or force against the victim.

The sentencing ranges for an offender convicted of a crime of violence are

• Second degree assault;

• kidnaping;

• a sexual offense;

• aggravated robbery;

• first degree arson;

• first or second degree burglary;

• escape;

• criminal extortion; or

• any unlawful sexual offense in which the defendant caused bodily injury to the victim or in which the defendant used threat, intimidation, or force against the victim.

What Are Colorado Extraordinary Aggravating Circumstances? (18-1.3-401 (8), C.R.S.)

An offender convicted of a crime with extraordinary aggravating circumstances must be sentenced to a term of at least the midpoint in the presumptive range but not more than twice the maximum term. Offenders committing offenses under the following scenarios are charged with a crime which has extraordinary aggravating circumstances:

• the defendant is convicted of a Section 18-1.3-406, C.R.S., crime of violence

• the defendant was on parole for another felony at the time he or she committed the felony offense;

• the defendant was on probation or was on bond while awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for another felony when he or she committed the felony offense;

• the defendant was under confinement, in prison, or in any correctional institution as a convicted felon, or an escapee from any correctional institution for another felony when he or she committed the felony offense;

• the defendant was on appeal bond when he or she committed the felony offense following a conviction for a previous felony; or

• the defendant is less than 18 years of age and, at the time he or she committed the offense, was on probation for or on bond while awaiting sentencing following revocation of probation for another offense that would have been a felony if committed by an adult.

Colorado Crimes Presenting an Extraordinary Risk of Harm to Society (18-1.3-401 (10), C.R.S.)

Sentences for offenders convicted of crimes presenting an extraordinary risk of harm to society are increased as follows:

• the maximum sentence in the presumptive range is increased by four years for class 3 felonies;

• the maximum sentence in the presumptive range is increased by two years for class 4 felonies;

• the maximum sentence in the presumptive range is increased by one year for class 5 felonies;

• the maximum sentence in the presumptive range is increased by six months for class 6 felonies; and

• the maximum sentence for misdemeanors is increased by six months.

Misdemeanor crimes which present an extraordinary risk of harm to society include the following:

• class 1 misdemeanor sexual assault where the victim is at least 15 years old but less than 17 years old and the actor is at least ten years older than the victim and not the victim’s spouse;

• class 1 misdemeanor unlawful sexual contact; and

• class 1 misdemeanor failure to register as a sex offender.

Felony offenses which present an extraordinary risk of harm to society include the following:

• aggravated robbery;

• child abuse;

• violation of a protection order (second and subsequent offenses):

• unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing, sale, or possession of a controlled

substance with the intent to sell, distribute, manufacture, or dispense;

• any Section 18-1.3-406, C.R.S., crime of violence

• stalking; and

• sale or distribution of materials to manufacture controlled substances.

 


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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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