Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor?

Most people don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer when they’ve been charged with, or even suspected of, a felony crime. But when it comes to misdemeanor charges, there are many defendants who do not realize that having a lawyer can be nearly as important.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a misdemeanor in the state of Colorado, it would definitely be a mistake to underestimate the seriousness of your situation. Misdemeanors in Colorado can be punished, in some instances, with a jail sentence of 24 months. Additionally, a seemingly small matter may result in lifelong consequences, including the loss of an individual’s right to own and/or possess firearms.

There are three categories of misdemeanors, ranging from class 3, the least serious, to class 1, the most serious. Let’s take a look at the typical crimes that lead to misdemeanor charges.


Class 3 Misdemeanors

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor?Class 3 misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine up to $750:

  • Criminal mischief (damages less than $100)
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Invasion of privacy
  • Prostitution
  • Fourth degree arson

Class 2 Misdemeanors

On to class 2; these crimes are subject to 3 to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 dollar fine:

  • Computer crime
  • Criminal mischief (damages between $100 and $500)
  • Second degree criminal tampering
  • Disorderly conduct
  • False imprisonment (without force or threats, and less than 24 hours)
  • Obstructing a peace officer
  • Resisting arrest
  • Theft (goods valued at less than $500)
  • Second degree arson

Class 1 Misdemeanors

And as mentioned above, class 1 misdemeanors can garner sentences up to 24 months, with fines as high as $5,000. They include:

  • Computer crime
  • First degree criminal tampering
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Second degree forgery
  • Theft (goods valued between $500 and $1,000)
  • Certain drug crimes, including unlawful use of some controlled substances
  • Child abuse
  • Third degree assault

The unpleasant truth is that no matter what class of misdemeanor you are facing, jail time is a real possibility. But even without incarceration, a conviction can have serious implications for your future; impacting your career, personal relationships, and current or future legal proceedings like custody battles.

With so much at stake when you’ve been accused or charged with a misdemeanor offense, it is imperative that you at least consult with an experienced Colorado Springs misdemeanor defense attorney. Timothy Bussey and his team at the Bussey Law Firm, P.C. possess years of experience litigating cases in what can be a complicated and intimidating legal system. Call us today at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free case consultation, and get started on preparing a top-notch defense.