The sentence for a criminal conviction is partly determined by how the crime is classified. For instance, a felony crime will carry more serious penalties than a misdemeanor crime. But, there’s another crime classification that can affect the way a defendant is sentenced. Here’s what you need to know about extraordinary risk crimes in Colorado:
What is an Extraordinary Risk Crime?
When a crime presents a substantial risk of harm to society, it is classified as an extraordinary risk crime. If a crime is classified as an extraordinary risk crime, the maximum sentence imposed on the defendant convicted of the crime can be increased.
Which Crimes Are Classified As Extraordinary Risk Crimes?
Both felonies and misdemeanors can be classified as extraordinary risk crimes. Some of the many extraordinary risk crimes include:
- Assault in the third degree
- Child abuse
- Aggravated robbery
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- Repeat violations of domestic violence protective orders
How Does This Classification Affect Sentencing?
The maximum sentence can be increased if the crime is classified as an extraordinary risk crime. If the crime is a misdemeanor, the maximum sentence can be increased by six months. If the crime is a felony, the maximum sentence can be increased by anywhere from six months to four years depending on the class of felony. For example, the maximum sentence for an extraordinary risk crime that is a class 3 felony can be increased by four years, whereas the sentence for a class 6 felony can be increased by six months.
However, it’s important to note that this classification simply increases the maximum possible sentence, not the maximum actual sentence. For example, third degree assault is a class 1 misdemeanor. This class of misdemeanor crimes usually carries a sentence of between 6-18 months in jail. But, since it is classified as an extraordinary risk crime, the maximum sentence is increased to 24 months. This means the judge can impose a sentence of 6-24 months in jail if a defendant is convicted of this crime. The judge does not have to sentence the defendant to the maximum of 24 months, but it is an option. Therefore, the enhanced sentence may not affect every defendant convicted of extraordinary risk crimes.
If you have been charged with a crime, it’s in your best interests to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney from Reisch Law Firm. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients facing a wide range of misdemeanor and felony charges. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.