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    Colorado Felony Sentencing For Crimes Of Violence  18-1.3-406 CRS


    introduction – Mandatory sentencing in Colorado gives the Government major power in the typical negotiating – plea bargaining process.  Often weak cases that should be tried are impacted by the “thumb on the scale” effect of mandatory sentences, which mandate often long prison sentences as a result of guilty verdicts.

    Colorado Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer

    If convicted of a Colorado crime of violence, there are – depending on the convictions – lengthy sentences mandatory prison sentences

    Colorado Revised Statute 18-1.3-406 states the following:

    (1) (a) Any person convicted of a crime of violence shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of section 18-1.3-401 (8) to the department of corrections for a term of incarceration of at least the midpoint in, but not more than twice the maximum of, the presumptive range provided for such offense in section 18-1.3-401 (1) (a), as modified for an extraordinary risk crime pursuant to section 18-1.3-401 (10), without suspension;

    [ Safety Valve Provision ]

    ….except that, within ninety days after he or she has been placed in the custody of the department of corrections, the department shall transmit to the sentencing court a report on the evaluation and diagnosis of the violent offender, and the court, in a case which it considers to be exceptional and to involve unusual and extenuating circumstances, may thereupon modify the sentence, effective not earlier than one hundred twenty days after his or her placement in the custody of the department. Such modification may include probation if the person is otherwise eligible therefore. 

    Whenever a court finds that modification of a sentence is justified, the judge shall notify the state court administrator of his or her decision and shall advise said administrator of the unusual and extenuating circumstances that justified such modification.  The state court administrator shall maintain a record, which shall be open to the public, summarizing all modifications of sentences and the grounds therefore for each judge of each district court in the state.  A person convicted of two or more separate crimes of violence arising out of the same incident shall be sentenced for such crimes so that sentences are served consecutively rather than concurrently.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), any person convicted of a sex offense, as defined in section 18-1.3-1003 (5), committed on or after November 1, 1998, that constitutes a crime of violence shall be sentenced to the department of corrections for an indeterminate term of incarceration of at least the midpoint in the presumptive range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (1) (a) (V) (A) up to a maximum of the person’s natural life, as provided in section 18-1.3-1004 (1).

    (2) (a) (I) “Crime of violence” means any of the crimes specified in subparagraph (II) of this paragraph (a) committed, conspired to be committed, or attempted to be committed by a person during which, or in the immediate flight there from, the person:

    (A) Used, or possessed and threatened the use of, a deadly weapon; or

    (B) Caused serious bodily injury or death to any other person, except another participant.

    (II) Subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) applies to the following crimes:

     (A) Any crime against an at-risk adult or at-risk juvenile;

     (B) Murder;

     (C) First or second degree assault;

     (D) Kidnapping;

     (E) A sexual offense pursuant to part 4 of article 3 of this title;

     (F) Aggravated robbery;

     (G) First degree arson;

     (H) First degree burglary;

     (I) Escape; or

     (J) Criminal extortion.


    (b) (I) “Crime of violence” also means any unlawful sexual offense in which the defendant caused bodily injury to the victim or in which the defendant used threat, intimidation, or force against the victim.  For purposes of this subparagraph (I), “unlawful sexual offense” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 18-3-411 (1), and “bodily injury” shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 18-1-901 (3) (c).

    (II) The provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) shall apply only to felony unlawful sexual offenses.

    (c) As used in this section, “at-risk adult” has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-6.5-102 (1), and “at-risk juvenile” has the same meaning as set forth in section 18-6.5-102 (1.5).


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    H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
    A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
    Colorado Criminal Law For Over 40 Years.
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