Pueblo is known to have one of the highest crime rates in all of Colorado. In fact, according to one source, Pueblo is safer than just 4% of the cities in the United States. Pueblo police officers are constantly on the lookout for any type of criminal activity to keep the already high crime rates from increasing. And local prosecutors aggressively prosecute even seemingly minor crimes to convey their “tough on crime” message. If you face criminal charges in Pueblo, CO, your future is literally on the line. At Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., our dedicated team of Pueblo criminal defense attorneys has extensive experience defending the rights of individuals facing all types of serious crimes. We have decades of trial litigation experience and are not afraid to fight for you in court.
Types of Pueblo Criminal Cases We Handle
Facing a criminal charge can be overwhelming, especially if you have not been through the process before. You may not know what to expect, where to go for your court dates, whom you can safely talk to about your case, and how to best prepare a defense. At Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., we can help. Our Pueblo criminal defense lawyers handle all types of misdemeanor and felony cases, including the following:
- Domestic violence allegations,
- Drug charges,
- DUI and DUID offenses,
- Juvenile crimes,
- Sex offenses,
- Theft crimes,
- Violent crimes, and
- White collar crimes.
Regardless of the nature of the charges you face or your prior record, the Pueblo criminal attorneys at Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., can help you develop an effective defense strategy.
What Is at Stake in a Criminal Case?
Every case is different; however, state law breaks all crimes down into two groups: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies but can still carry a significant sentence.
There are three types of misdemeanor crimes in Colorado:
- Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by six to 18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000;
- Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by three to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000; and
- Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
A few examples of misdemeanor offenses include:
- Theft of property valued at less than $2,000,
- Criminal mischief,
- Resisting arrest, and
Misdemeanor offenses will stay on your record forever unless you later qualify for an expungement. However, you must wait at least two years from the date your case is completed to apply for an expungement. Additionally, some misdemeanors are not eligible for an expungement, such as DUI offenses. An experienced Pueblo criminal attorney can help you understand the seriousness of the offenses you face and develop a compelling defense to the charges.
Colorado law defines a felony as a crime that carries a maximum penalty of at least one year in state prison. Felonies are much more serious than misdemeanors and almost always present the possibility of a jail sentence if you are convicted. Colorado state law breaks down felony crimes into six classes.
- Class 1 felony, punishable by a mandatory sentence of life in prison;
- Class 2 felony, punishable by eight to 24 years in state prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000;
- Class 3 felony, punishable by four to 12 years in state prison and a fine of up to $750,000;
- Class 4 felony, punishable by two to six years in state prison and a fine of up to $500,000;
- Class 5 felony, punishable by one to three years in state prison and a fine of up to $100,000; and
- Class 6 felony, punishable by one year to 18 months in state prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Additionally, there are four types of Pueblo felony drug crimes:
- Level 1 drug felony, punishable by eight to 32 years in state prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000;
- Level 2 drug felony, punishable by four to eight years in state prison and a fine of up to $750,000;
- Level 3 drug felony, punishable by two to four years in state prison and a fine of up to $500,000; and
- Level 4 drug felony, punishable by six months to one year in state prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
If you are convicted of any Pueblo felony crime, there may be alternatives to a jail sentence, depending on the nature of the crime and your prior record. Certain felony convictions may be eligible for an expungement after waiting at least three years. However, you must wait five years to apply for an expungement after a Level 2 drug felony. Class 1 felonies, Class 2 felonies, and Level 1 drug felonies are not eligible for an expungement and will remain on your record for life.
Defending Against a Pueblo Criminal Case
Just because you were arrested and charged with a serious offense does not mean that you are guilty and certainly doesn’t mean that you will be found guilty. However, it does mean that now is the time to reach out to a lawyer. Pueblo criminal defense lawyers can help those facing serious charges navigate the complex and high-stakes system to pursue the best possible result.
For example, your lawyer may be able to successfully challenge the admissibility of certain evidence the prosecution plans to use against you. Your lawyer will also interview witnesses who may have a different version of events than the prosecution. Perhaps one of the most critical skills Pueblo criminal lawyers bring to the table is the ability to effectively cross-examine the government’s witnesses, exposing weaknesses in their testimony.
Are You Facing a Serious Criminal Case in Pueblo?
If you have a criminal case in Pueblo, CO, you deserve Pueblo criminal defense lawyers who will take your case as seriously as you do. At Gerash Steiner & Blanton, P.C., our lawyers have earned a reputation as aggressive negotiators and litigators, giving us an edge over many other local Pueblo criminal defense law firms. We take a comprehensive approach to every case we handle, taking the time to listen to you and answer your questions before developing a defense strategy. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 303-830-0630 today. You can also connect with us through our online contact form, and one of our Pueblo criminal defense lawyers will contact you soon.