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Castle Rock Misdemeanor Lawyer

Facing Misdemeanor Charges?
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Most people don’t realize how much a misdemeanor conviction can hurt them. But make no mistake – misdemeanors can do serious and long-lasting damage to your future.

Even petty offense charges are a big deal. The attorneys at Right Law Group know misdemeanors aren’t just “slaps on the wrist.” We’ve seen too many clients face life-changing penalties for minor offenses they thought would go away.

We won’t let that happen to you. With guidance from our Castle Rock misdemeanor lawyers, you may be able to avoid the harm of a misdemeanor conviction. We know the legal arguments prosecutors hate. We’ll dig up every flaw in their case against you. And we won’t quit until your charges are lowered or dismissed altogether.

Don’t go it alone. The prosecutors won’t take it easy – you need strong advocates on your side. Let us use our experience to give you the best shot at keeping your record clean. The stakes are high, but we’re ready for the fight.

Misdemeanor Classifications and Penalties in Colorado

Misdemeanors in Colorado fall into three main classes – petty offenses, class 1, 2, and 3 misdemeanors. Petty offenses are the least serious, while class 1 misdemeanors are the most severe. Why does the class matter? It determines the potential penalties if convicted.

Here’s a breakdown of the classifications and presumptive penalties as defined under state statute C.R.S. 18-1.3-501. These can be higher with aggravating circumstances:

Misdemeanor Class Max Jail Time Max Fine
Petty Offense Up to 10 days Up to $300
Class 2 Misdemeanor Up to 120 days Up to $750
Class 1 Misdemeanor Up to 364 days Up to $1,000

The Collateral Damage of a Misdemeanor Conviction

Beyond the direct sentencing penalties of a misdemeanor conviction, there can also be many collateral consequences that harm your life long-term.

Some examples of collateral damage from a misdemeanor conviction include:

  • Immigration issues – Any criminal conviction can negatively impact visa or green card applications. Misdemeanors can also make a non-citizen deportable in some cases.
  • Employment problems – Many employers conduct background checks and may decline to hire someone with a recent misdemeanor. Certain careers, such as nursing, teaching, security, or childcare, may be restricted.
  • Housing denials – Landlords often do not rent to applicants with a recent criminal history, including misdemeanors. This can make finding housing much harder.
  • Custody loss – Convicted misdemeanants may be deemed unfit parents, leading to loss of child custody or visitation rights.
  • Financial aid issues – Those with drug-related misdemeanor convictions may be ineligible for state and federal college financial aid for 1-2 years.
  • Gun ownership bans – Under federal law, those convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors cannot legally purchase or possess firearms.
  • Driving privileges suspension – Those convicted of misdemeanor DUIs will lose their driver’s license for an extended time.
  • Reputational damage – News of a misdemeanor arrest or conviction can spread quickly on social media and cause significant embarrassment.

castle rock criminal defense attorney

As you can see, even a minor misdemeanor conviction carries consequences that can negatively impact your daily life for years to come. This is why hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight the charges is so crucial. An aggressive legal defense may be able to mitigate or avoid these devastating collateral penalties.

Defending Against Misdemeanor Charges in Castle Rock, CO

Some of the most common misdemeanor allegations we see in Castle Rock include DUI, domestic violence, theft, trespassing, drug possession, and simple assault. Even a conviction on a lower-level misdemeanor charge can be detrimental.

Don’t leave the outcome to chance. Engage a skilled criminal defense lawyer as early as possible after being charged. An experienced attorney can immediately start working to protect your rights and future.

Every misdemeanor case is unique, which is why we tailor a targeted defense strategy to the specific circumstances of each client’s situation.

But generally, some effective techniques we often employ include:

  • Thoroughly investigating the claims and weak points in the prosecution’s case. We leave no stone unturned.
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor to get charges dismissed or reduced. We leverage our close relationships and respected reputation.
  • Identifying and raising all viable legal motions – like challenging improperly collected evidence.
  • Assembling a robust array of witnesses and evidence to undermine the state’s accusations.
  • Providing compelling legal arguments to judges and prosecutors to destroy probable cause.
  • Taking cases to trial when advantageous and vigorously disputing guilt before a jury.

Our assertive advocacy has led to charges being dropped, lowered, or plead down to probation or fines rather than jail for hundreds of misdemeanor clients over the years. Let us fight to defend your freedom.

The Waiting Game: How Long Will a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record in Colorado?

Unlike some states, Colorado does not allow expungement of misdemeanors for non-juvenile offenses- the conviction remains on your record forever. The only option is record sealing – which removes the case from public background checks but is still visible to officials.

However, sealing is not immediate following a misdemeanor conviction. You must wait at least seven years before even applying.

During those seven years, the misdemeanor remains visible to all background checks by employers, landlords, lenders, and licensing agencies. This can lead to rejection for jobs, housing, loans, education, and occupations requiring licenses.

In 2019, Colorado’s Clean Slate law automated sealings for certain petty offenses after 1-3 years. But common criminal misdemeanors still require waiting seven years before a seal application can even be submitted manually.

The takeaway? Avoiding conviction through an assertive legal defense is critical. Once convicted of a misdemeanor, you face an uphill battle for years before the record can be sealed and life gets easier.

Why Choose Right Law Group for Your Misdemeanor Case?

When your reputation and record are at stake, you need an experienced team of legal professionals on your side. At Right Law Group, our attorneys have decades of combined criminal law expertise, specifically focused on Colorado courts and statutes.

Beyond our extensive legal skills and trailblazing litigation tactics, we also provide the following:

  • Empathetic guidance so you understand the process and impact of each decision
  • Customized defense strategies built around the nuances of your situation
  • Tireless commitment to uncovering every opportunity available under the law
  • Counsel on avoiding future legal pitfalls after your case concludes
  • Accessibility and responsiveness when you need our help urgently

Additionally, we offer free initial consultations so we can evaluate your case details and advise you on the best path forward at no cost. Reach out to schedule a completely confidential case assessment.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a misdemeanor stay on your record in Colorado?

Misdemeanors cannot be expunged in Colorado, but they can be sealed 7 years after the disposition date for most classes. Petty offenses can be sealed immediately after the case ends.

What's the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony in Colorado?

Felonies are more serious crimes punishable by over 1 year in prison. Misdemeanors are minor crimes with maximum jail sentences of 1 year or less.

What are some examples of misdemeanors in Colorado?

Common misdemeanors include DUI, theft, trespassing, simple assault, domestic violence, drug possession, and traffic offenses.

What should I do if charged with a misdemeanor in Colorado?

Immediately contact a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights. Promptly gathering evidence and finding witnesses is also crucial to build your defense.

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