1. What defines a crime?
Civil and criminal law are two completely different areas. If you have been accused of a crime, this means that the government brought charges against you. This may be the state or federal government. A crime is an action that is a violation of the law.
There may be injury to the public and can be punished by a term in jail or prison and possible court fees and fines.
2. What is a misdemeanor crime?
A misdemeanor crime in Colorado is a crime that is punishable by no more than eighteen months in jail (Class 1 Misdemeanor).
Misdemeanor crimes are more serious than petty offenses but less serious than felonies. You may also face fines of up to $5,000.
3. What is a felony?
A felony crime in Colorado is punishable by a minimum of one year in a state prison up to a lifetime sentence or even the death penalty. Felonies are the most serious criminal offenses.
4. How is a state court different from a federal court?
State courts are authorized to hear a wide scope of criminal cases and take on more cases than federal courts. Most criminal cases involve violations of state law and are thus tried in state courts, whereas only federal crimes are tried in federal courts.
A federal court is established under the Constitution to decide disputes that invoke the Constitution and laws passed by Congress. Federal courts also hear cases involving state laws that violate federal laws.
5. What is probation and parole?
Probation is a type of sentence for a criminal offense that allows the defendant to serve time in his community rather than in a prison cell so long as he or she follows certain rules.
Parole is the supervised release of a prisoner before the prisoner’s release date. This can come about from good behavior.
Educating yourself on updates to Colorado laws and cases can help you gain the upper hand when building your defense.
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