Colorado Weapons Crime Defense Attorneys
If you are facing weapon violation charges, we can help. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we have decades §of experience, which we have devoted to defending clients charged with crimes, including felonies. Our lawyers are ready to put that experience to work for you.
To understand what might and might not be considered a violation of Colorado gun and weapon law, let's discuss some of the basics.
The answers below notwithstanding, please be mindful that the law changes all the time, with respect to firearm and weapon law, so be sure to discuss any questions or concerns with an attorney if you're confused about whether an action you wish to take or have taken might be considered legal.
Weapon Violation Case Results
- Possession of Weapon, Theft, False Imprisonment - Dismissed
- Illegal Discharge of a Weapon - Dismissed
- First-Degree Assault Felony (With Deadly Weapon) - Reduced to Third-Degree Assault/No Jail
View more case results.
Knowingly possessing a dangerous weapon is a felony offense, under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-12-02. This crime is charged as a class 5 felony for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is charged as a class 4 felony. Under the statute, weapons included in the dangerous weapons category are:
- Firearm silencers
- Machine guns
- Short shotguns
- Short rifles
- Ballistic knives
Knowing possession of an illegal weapon is a different offense, charged as a class 1 misdemeanor. The statute defines an illegal weapon as:
- Gas gun
- Metallic knuckles
It is an affirmative defense to charges of either crime if the accused is a police officer, a member of the Colorado National Guard, or a member of the U.S. armed forces who was acting in the lawful discharge of his or her duties. It is also an affirmative defense if the accused has a valid permit and a license to possess an illegal or dangerous weapon.
Criminal penalties are severe for possession of a dangerous weapon. If you are convicted on a first offense, you could be sentenced to up to three years in prison. The maximum prison term for a second of subsequent conviction is six years. For possession of an illegal weapon, penalties are not as severe. However, you could still do up to 18 months in jail.
Our Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney will raise every available legal defense against the charges. Depending on the circumstances of your particular case, legal defenses may include any of the following:
- You had a valid license and permit to possess the weapon.
- The weapon was inoperable and could not easily have been made operable.
- You did not know you were in possession of a dangerous or illegal weapon.
- You were a peace officer, a member of the Colorado National Guard, or a member of the United States armed forces lawfully discharging your duties.
- Police found the weapon during an illegal search and seizure.
Colorado has no child access prevention laws on the books, but it does have laws governing juvenile possession of firearms as well as the sale and transfer of guns. The state does not require individuals to register, license or get permits to own handguns, rifles, or shotguns.
On the other hand, if you want to carry a concealed handgun in the state, you do need a permit. Violating this law can result in everything from fines to jail-time, depending on the circumstance of the violation.
In addition, while these rules generally apply, obviously, there are times, places, and occasions where owning/carrying a firearm could land you in legal hot water. For instance, if you carry an undeclared weapon onboard an airplane or smuggle a weapon through a security checkpoint at Denver airport, you could face extremely stiff penalties.
Alternatively, if you've been sentenced to probation that bars you from owning, carrying, or registering a sidearm, and you do so in spite of your probation; if you're caught, your probation can be revoked, and you may face additional charges.
However, there are also exceptions to prohibition laws! For instance, juveniles (people less than 18 years old) may use handguns:
- During permitted safety courses for firearm use
- During target shooting with a valid Colorado license
- While on a parent or guardian's property as long as the parent/guardian has issued permission and is allowed to keep a weapon.
Other weapons violations might include:
- Firing a weapon from a car, truck, airplane, motorbike, or other moving vehicle
- Possessing a dangerous weapon while drunk or under the influence of narcotics.
- Knowingly possessing a weapon that's had its serial number removed.
- Keeping a rifle or any other sidearm (with the exception of a handgun) in a car, truck, or other vehicle -- unless the said weapon is not loaded.
Felony weapons charges include felony menacing (using a deadly weapon or perceived deadly weapon to cause another to fear bodily injury), knowingly possessing a dangerous weapon such as a silencer, bomb, ballistic knife, short rifle, machine gun, or short shotgun, and committing a crime with a weapon. In addition, previous felons, and offenders face felony charges in Colorado if they are found to possess firearms and other weapons in violation of federal and state laws.
Felony charges are far more severe than misdemeanor ones and can trigger mandatory sentences, long incarceration and probation periods, and serious future consequences in terms of work and community life.
Each felony weapons charge will vary depending on the circumstances surrounding the alleged violation; for this reason, it is vital that the accused seek out legal representation to gather the best possible evidence to counter the prosecutor's thorough investigation. In addition, Fourth Amendment issues of search and seizure could be in question. The best Colorado Springs felony weapon violation attorneys understand the legal system inside and out, are well-respected in their communities, and have track records that demonstrate aggressive and disciplined pursuit of their clients' best interests, from dropped charges to diminished penalties or plea deals.
For assistance with weapon violation charges, turn to The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. Timothy Bussey, an experienced, tough, and very successful attorney who has won the highest possible peer review rating from the independent Martindale Hubbell service, can provide a free, private consultation about your matter. Find out more information on our criminal defense website, or book a time to meet by dialing (719) 475-2555.
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