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Sentence Estimation

Sentence CalculationStep One: Add the Maximum Sentence for Each of Your Charges

The tables below show the presumptive range of incarceration for each class of criminal charge. These tables will give you an idea of your possible sentence, however, you should not rely on this information alone. Other factors complicate the analysis of your possible sentence, since some offenses carry mandatory sentences to jail or prison, and others allow the judge the option of placing you on probation. It may also be true that you are not eligible for probation due to your criminal record. Further, the judge can increase the sentence to double the maximum if the jury determines that there are extraordinary aggravating circumstances involved in the crimes. Please call us to discuss the facts and charges of your unique case.

Misdemeanor Sentencing

Class Jail Time
M1 Up to 18 Months in Jail*
M2 Up to 12 Months in Jail
M3 Up to 6 Months in Jail

Felony Sentencing

Class Presumptive Minimum
Presumptive Maximum
1 Life in Prison Death Sentence
2 8 Years in Prison 24 Years in Prison
3 4 Years in Prison 12 Years in Prison*
4 2 Years in Prison 6 Years in Prison*
5 1 Year in Prison 3 Years in Prison*
6 1 Year in Prison 18 Months in Prison*

Step Two: Consider How The Factors Below May Affect Your Sentence

There are many other factors the court will consider in determining how much time, within the presumptive range, you will be sentenced to upon a conviction. In the alternative, these factors may also convince the judge that you are deserving of an opportunity to avoid jail altogether, and to serve your sentence on probation. This list of factors is not all-inclusive. In the event of a conviction, we will explore every idea that will help you to avoid a tough sentence, and may have suggestions for you based on your unique situation. Factors that are considered by the judge at sentencing in most criminal cases include:

The facts of the case. Is the case worse than most (aggravated) or not as bad as most (mitigated)?

The defendant’s prior criminal history — especially for similar offenses.

The victim’s input as to what the punishment should be (except in cases with no direct victim, like many DUI cases).

The expression of remorse from the defendant, or lack thereof.

The future risk to reoffend. Punishment is intended to dissuade the defendant from repeating the conduct upon release. In other cases, the judge may use incarceration as a form of containment — meaning that it directly prevents the conduct from recurring because the defendant is locked up.

The criminal defense lawyer is allowed to discuss many things at sentencing that are not mentioned in this list. Kevin Churchill will work with you to develop additional mitigation — which can be anything about you that puts you in a favorable light. For example, you may do regular volunteer work for your community, in Boulder County or elsewhere. There may be evidence that you are an exceptional parent, or an exceptional employee. These sorts of facts paint a picture for the judge of what kind of person you are, and can have a dramatic influence on the sentence you receive.