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Class 3 Felonies in Colorado

Posted on February 1, 2023 in

In Colorado, felony crimes are classified by their severity. A Class 3 Felony is the third most serious category out of six.

Types of Class 3 Felonies in Colorado

There are many types of class 3 felonies in Colorado, including the following:

Vehicular Homicide (CRS 18-3-106)

If the defendant drove under the influence of alcohol and/or one or more drugs, and caused the death of another.

Second Degree Kidnapping (CRS 18-3-302)

Second-degree kidnapping is a class 3 felony if the kidnapping is accomplished with:

  1. The intent to sell, trade, or barter the victim for consideration; or,
  1. The use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or,
  1. The perpetrator representing that they are armed with a deadly weapon.

Sexual Assault (CRS 18-3-402)

When the victim is physically helpless and has not consented, and the actor knows it.

Theft of Property (CRS 18-4-401)

If the stolen property’s value is between $100,000 to $1,000,000.

First Degree Arson (CRS 18-4-102)

Knowingly damaging or destroying any building or occupied structure that belongs to another with fire or explosives.

Here are a few examples of class 3 felonies with extraordinary risk:

Second Degree Murder (Heat of Passion) (CRS 18-3-103)

Knowingly causing the death of another upon a sudden heat of passion caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the victim.

Aggravated Robbery (CRS 18-4-302)

When robbery involves possession or use of a deadly weapon, by the actor or an accomplice.

First-Degree Assault (CRS 18-3-202)

Intentionally and seriously hurting another person by means of physical force without a sudden heat of passion.

Unlawful Termination of Pregnancy (CRS 18-3.5-103)

A person who unlawfully terminates a woman’s pregnancy but does not kill the woman.

Penalties For a Class 3 Felony

Class 3 felony sentencing depends on the type of crime, whether violence was involved, whether the defendant has prior convictions and other factors. However, the sentencing range is as follows:

Class 3 Felony Sentence Range
  • 4 to 12 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Extraordinary Risk
  • 4 to 16 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
  • 4 to 24 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
  • 8 to 24 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Exceptional Circumstances
  • 2 to 24 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Aggravated & Extraordinary Risk
  • 10 to 32 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Enhanced & Extraordinary Risk
  • 4 to 32 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole
Exceptional Circumstances & Extraordinary Risk
  • 2 to 32 years in prison
  • $3,000 to $750,000 fine
  • 3 years mandatory parole

In some cases, a defendant will be ordered to pay the fine rather than incarceration. However, if a defendant has two prior felony convictions, they must serve time in prison.

Can Class 3 Felony Records Be Sealed?

Class 3 felony convictions cannot be legally sealed in Colorado. Therefore, a class 3 felony will remain on your criminal record unless the charges are dismissed.

How a Felony Conviction Affects Your Constitutional Rights

A class 3 felony conviction can seriously impact your life in Colorado. For example:

The Right to Own a Firearm

Felons are not legally allowed to carry or own a firearm. This privilege is revoked, as it is assumed that a gun will be used to hurt someone or incite violence.

Employment Rights

A felony conviction does not disqualify you from employment, and employers are prohibited from asking about prior convictions in job applications. However, that law does not apply to subsequent interviews. Plus, an employer can conduct a background check. Therefore, you may struggle to find a job as potential employers prefer candidates with a clean criminal record.

International Travel

Convicted felons are often barred from leaving the country. You need a passport to travel to most other countries, but the government can deny your application depending on the type of crime you committed. Furthermore, if you apply for a visa from another country, it may also be denied if they have access to your criminal record.

The Right to Vote

You may not vote while incarcerated, but in Colorado, this right is restored once you are released. However, you will likely have to register to vote again.

What Happens When I Get Charged with a Class 3 Felony?

When class 3 felony charges are filed against you in Colorado, you will be arrested and taken to jail. After you are booked, you may be released on bail or held until your initial appearance in court, depending on the charge. The judge will assign you a public defender if you cannot afford an attorney. At your arraignment, you will be informed of the charges, and the prosecutor may offer a proposed sentence. You will be given the opportunity to enter your plea, meaning “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, the case will proceed to the pretrial phase, and your next court appearance will be scheduled. After the arraignment, your attorney will be able to review the State’s evidence against you and determine the strength of their case. Most criminal cases are resolved through plea deals rather than making it to trial, but it is best to consult an experienced attorney before making a decision.

The Importance of Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney

Hiring a criminal defense lawyer goes far beyond having representation in the courtroom. With their skills, knowledge, understanding of the criminal court system, and experience, they can help you build the strongest possible defense. They can also help you negotiate a deal to reduce your charges and, in some cases, even eliminate some or all of the charges against you.

If you or a loved one is facing a class 3 felony charge in Colorado, contact Flesch & Beck Law today. We can arrange a free consultation to discuss your legal options.