Mandatory Offenses / Sentencing

Denver Trial Attorneys

Under Colorado law, there are many crimes that carry a sentence which requires the judge to place the defendant in prison for a minimum number of years. These are referred to as Mandatory Offenses. They are called this because the prison sentence is mandatory and the judge has no choice.

There are many areas where sentences are mandatory. The main areas are:

  1. "two felony rule"
  2. violent crimes
  3. weight aggravators in drug crimes

The "two felony rule" means anyone who has been convicted twice of a felony is no longer eligible for probation. Prison is not the only option here, as the judge can sentence the Defendant to community corrections or another type of treatment program. However, probation is no longer an option unless the District Attorney waives that rule. Our attorneys have been able to convince prosecutors to waive the two felony rule, thus making our client eligible for probation, and successfully arguing to the judge that probation was a good option. We did that by discussing the option with our client and going over several things he should be doing, long before the sentencing hearing, so that he will present himself well at the sentencing hearing.

Violent crimes are listed in the statute and generally include any crime that involves the use of a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury. These crimes have very severe punishments. For example, the Court can sentence up to twice the normal maximum. The minimum sentence is higher than the normal, or presumptive, minimum and it is a mandatory sentence to prison. In addition, crimes of violence must be consecutive to any other sentence.

While most drug crimes are not mandatory offenses, if there is a large amount of drugs found by the police, it can carry a mandatory prison sentence. This area of the law is very complex and constantly changing. If you find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a weight aggravator, contact one of our experienced attorneys for advice.

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For a free initial consultation with Fuicelli & Lee, PC, send us an e-mail or call 303-355-7202.