In addition to traffic violations, the criminal defense attorneys in the Colorado law office of Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C. represent people throughout the Denver Metropolitan Area who have been charged with a misdemeanor, including assault, domestic violence, theft, criminal trespassing, tampering, and criminal mischief. These are just a few examples of misdemeanors.
A misdemeanor is typically defined as an offense for which the punishment may be up to one year in jail, as opposed to a felony which is punishable by more than one year in prison. Fines may also be imposed as punishment, in addition to other costs, surcharges and legal disabilities. However, regardless of this traditional distinction between felonies and misdemeanors, most crimes today are defined by statute, so a misdemeanor is any offense defined as such by the state law criminalizing the conduct in question. Most states, including Colorado, further divide misdemeanor offenses into various classes, with different ranges of fines and jail time among the various classes.
Many traffic offenses may be classified as misdemeanors or infractions, depending on the severity of conduct, such as how much over the speed limit someone was driving, or if an injury resulted from the violation. Similarly, driving under the influence (DUI) can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the person's blood alcohol level or whether it is a first offense or not.
Generally speaking, a misdemeanor conviction will not create legal impairments to voting or holding public office the way a felony conviction can, but there are many other ways a misdemeanor conviction can negatively affect one's life. A criminal conviction can disqualify a person from employment in many areas, such as those dealing with security, finances, or law enforcement. Also, "at-will" employees can be fired when the fact of a conviction becomes known to their employer. A driver's license may be suspended for conviction of certain misdemeanors, and the ability to obtain or retain a professional license can be denied based on a criminal conviction.
No criminal charge should ever be taken lightly. Even seemingly minor offenses can have major consequences. Always contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer if you have been arrested or charged with a crime. For a free consultation regarding your rights in a given situation, contact Rotole, Rotole & Blanchard, L.L.C.