What Do Police Consider a “Deadly Weapon”?
Colorado defines a deadly weapon as any object, instrument, or device capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. This broad category includes firearms, knives, bludgeons, explosive devices, and even everyday devices when used with intent to cause harm. For example, if someone uses a rock to smash someone else’s skull intentionally, that rock would be considered a deadly weapon under the law. Determination of a deadly weapon is based on the potential for harm rather than on the specific characteristics of the object itself.
How Does the Use of a Deadly Weapon Enhance Penalties and Offenses?
The presence or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime can result in enhanced penalties and charges. For example:
- Simple assault is a class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Assault with a deadly weapon (first-degree assault) is a class 3 felony punishable by 10 to 32 years in state prison and a fine of up to $3,000.
- Robbery is a class 4 felony that carries penalties of two to six years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000. When aggravated with the use of a deadly weapon, this crime is punishable by four to 16 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $750,000. If anyone was seriously injured in the commission of the crime, the maximum prison sentence increases to 32 years with a mandatory 10-year minimum.
- Burglary is a class 4 felony that carries two to six years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000. When burglary involves the use of a deadly weapon, it is a class 3 felony, punishable by four to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of $3,000 to $750,000.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Challenge Deadly Weapon Allegations?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, our Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer can employ various strategies to challenge allegations of a deadly weapon. To begin with, we can thoroughly examine the evidence to determine if the object in question meets the legal definition of a deadly weapon. We can assert all applicable defense arguments, including:
- Lack of intent
- Mistaken identity
- Improper police procedures
How Can Mitigating Factors Affect Sentencing?
When defending against charges involving a deadly weapon, it is important to consider mitigating factors. Our skilled criminal defense attorney can present evidence of mitigating circumstances to reduce the severity of sentencing. Examples of mitigating factors include a lack of a criminal record, cooperation with the authorities, and proof of rehabilitation. Your lawyer plays an important role in negotiating plea bargains and presenting arguments for leniency during sentencing hearings.
What Is the Importance of Case Preparation in Defending Against Charges Involving Deadly Weapons?
The importance of thorough case preparation and early intervention cannot be overstated in defending against charges involving deadly weapons. If you are facing these charges, it is critical to consult with an attorney who has experience handling cases involving deadly weapons as soon as possible. The sooner you get our skilled criminal defense attorney on your side, the sooner we can begin conducting investigations, interviewing witnesses, examining the evidence, and building a strong defense strategy.
Charges and penalties can be significantly enhanced when allegations involve the presence of a deadly weapon. If you are facing criminal charges involving the use of a deadly weapon, your potential penalties upon conviction could be severe.
Contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. at (719) 475-2555 for the skilled criminal defense you need. Our founding attorney, Timothy Bussey, has been voted Top Attorney in Colorado Springs by Colorado Springs Style Magazine for nine years in a row.