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The potential consequences of weapons-related criminal charges in Colorado include prison time and fines that can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because weapons charges often accompany other criminal charges, the accused may face both state and federal crimes, and penalties may be compounded.

If you or a loved one was arrested for a weapons-related charge in Colorado, the criminal defense lawyers at Wolf Law are ready to hear your story. Please call us today at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Colorado Weapons and Firearms Laws

A young man in a hoodie holding
Weapons charges are not limited to guns. In Colorado, possessing an illegal weapon like a switchblade carries criminal charges.

Weapons charges are not limited to firearms alone. In fact, nearly any object can constitute a weapon in the context of criminal charges if that object is linked to other criminal charges, such as assault.

Colorado’s firearms and weapons statutes define two broad weapons categories:

  • Dangerous weapons: In Colorado, it is a felony to possess a “dangerous weapon,” which includes firearms with silencers, machine guns, short shotguns, short rifles and ballistic knives (knives in which the blades are forcefully projected from the handle via a spring-loaded device or explosive charge).
  • Illegal weapons: In Colorado, it is a misdemeanor to knowingly possess an “illegal weapon,” which includes blackjacks, gas guns, switchblade knives or metallic knuckles.

Intent is often an important factor in weapons-related charges. For example, an otherwise harmless object may be considered a “deadly weapon” if the object was used with the intent to cause harm.

Colorado Gun Charges

horizontal photograph of a sign showing a no gun zone area
Colorado recognizes concealed handgun permits, but it is still illegal to possess firearms in certain premises like schools and government buildings.

The right to own firearms comes with qualifications, and even valid gun owners can face criminal charges based on where the firearms are possessed or how they are used. Common firearms charges in Colorado include but are not limited to:

  • Prohibited use of a firearm: This includes using a gun while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or recklessly firing a gun.
  • Defacing a firearm or possession of a defaced firearm: It is illegal to remove or alter a firearm’s serial number, or to possess a firearm whose serial number has been defaced.
  • Unlawful purchase of a firearm: Federal law prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms by certain people, including convicted felons. Those who purchase a firearm illegally or those who purchase a firearm for another who is not legally allowed to own a gun could face felony charges.
  • Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon: Although Colorado recognizes concealed handgun permits, firearms are not permitted in certain premises, including schools and government buildings.
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender (POWPO): It is unlawful for a convicted felon to own, possess or carry a firearm. It is also unlawful for an adjudicated minor who was convicted of an offense that would have been a felony if committed by an adult to own, possess or carry a firearm.
  • Illegal discharge of a firearm: If a person knowingly or recklessly discharges a firearm into any dwelling or occupied structure he or she could face felony charges.

Firearms charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies, and their corresponding penalties can be severe, especially if the individual has a criminal record or additional corresponding criminal charges are filed.

Penalties for Weapons-Related Criminal Charges

A firearm or other weapon change can have far-reaching consequences including incarceration and/or costly fines. A firearm or weapon charge can also limit a person’s right to own a gun in the future, job eligibility, and even housing opportunities.

Following is a list of some common firearms and weapons charges, as well as their potential punishments:

  • Possession of a dangerous weapon: Class 5 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000
  • Possession of an illegal weapon: Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by six to 18 months in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000
  • Possession of a defaced firearm: Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by six to 18 months in prison and/or a fine up to $5,000
  • Unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon: Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of jail time and/or a fine up to $1,000
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender (POWPO): Class 6 felony punishable by one year to 18 months in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000
  • Unlawful purchase of a firearm: Class 4 felony punishable by two to six years in prison and/or a fine up to $500,000
  • Possession of a handgun by a juvenile: Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by three to 12 months in jail

Penalties typically increase for repeat offenders, crimes of violence, or when aggravating circumstances are present.

Gun Crimes in Colorado

A law book with a gavel - Gun law
Weapons charges range from misdemeanors to felonies, and their penalties can be severe, especially if you have a criminal record or other charges are filed.

There were nearly 6,000 violent crimes involving firearms in Colorado in 2017, and more than 5,000 violent crimes involving dangerous weapons. The same year, more than 360,000 guns were purchased in Colorado.

According to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report, 4,905 firearms were traced and recovered in Colorado in 2017. Not all of the firearms traced were used in crimes, but the top categories reported for firearm traces were related to possession charges and weapon offenses.

Colorado Weapons Charges Attorneys

If you’re facing weapons-related charges in Colorado, you need an attorney who understands the complex state and federal regulations that impact your case.

The Denver criminal defense lawyers at Wolf Law have extensive experience handling a broad range of criminal offenses, including those involving weapons. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate, aggressive representation for those charged with or under investigation for a crime.

Please call Wolf Law today at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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Jeff provided excellent legal advice and guided my situation to a very desirable outcome. He was in frequent contact via phone and email throughout the process, answered all of the questions that I had, and gave me the ability to confidently choose the best outcome for my circumstances. Legal issues are scary, complicated, and stressful but Jeff reduces all those negatives and makes you feel like someone has your back. Would highly recommend his services if you ever find yourself in need of criminal defense.

— Max I.

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I happened to find Jeff through a Google search for a DUI lawyer and I would have to say I really lucked out. I had heard horror stories about attorneys that overcharged their clients and that they would send others to represent them in court. From the initial phone call he helped me understand the process and prepared me for what was ahead. Having never needed a lawyer he was patient and made sure I understood everything before making any decisions. Jeff always made me feel like I was on the same level as him which I really appreciated. Jeff always prepared me for the worst, but in the end with his hard work and suggestions beforehand he managed to get me a pretty good deal. The best advice I could give is to be informed and START EVERYTHING right away. I would also say to hire a lawyer that you can relate to and that you trust. Don’t waste your money on someone that isn’t going to give you the personal attention you deserve. I would gladly recommend Jeff Wolf! He is down to earth and I never felt judged. He gave it to me straight and without hiring him I don’t know where I’d be. Thanks Jeff!

— Issac

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Colleen was a great lawyer and made everything easily understandable.

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— Anonymous

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This law firm is the true example of professionalism. They are very responsive, very up front and extremely respectful. Colleen is an amazing attorney who truly enjoys what she does. I would recommend Colleen to anyone. She is honest, hard working, no BS, and gets the job done. She knows what to say and when to say it. She definitely went above and beyond for me. I would 100 percent use her again without a doubt.

— Zach

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Jeff was a terrific advocate while representing me through my DWAI. He was professional. I am convinced that it was his prior trial experience and effective communication skills that secured a much more desirable sentence than I had expected. I am positive that Jeff’s representation made it so that I could keep my job.

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Best Possible Outcome Thanks to Wolf Law

When I walked into the office I was at a low point I can’t describe. When I talked to Jeffrey Wolf I wanted to hear, “Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine.” Instead I was told the honest truth: I was in serious trouble, but he would fight like crazy to get me the best possible outcome. After thinking about that I realized it was far better to hear the truth rather than a lawyer trying to get my business, and in the end I got exactly what Jeff said: Good advice, an excellent professional defense, and I believe the best possible outcome I could have wanted. I highly recommend Wolf Law.

— David R.

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I hired Jeff Wolf to represent me for a DUI and accident involving damages. While I knew I was 100 percent in the wrong, Jeff never once made me feel like a terrible person for making a mistake. He quickly responded to emails and always called me back quickly when I had questions (I had a lot of questions). I’ve never been in trouble with the law before, and Jeff was patient in explaining everything thoroughly to me throughout the entire process, and was also able to get my sentence reduced. I recommend him to anyone going through a similar situation.

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We found ourselves in an unimaginable situation with criminal charges pressed against my husband relating to a firearm. We were both petrified. Especially with the gun climate we find ourselves in. Neither of us had ever been in trouble with the law and after a terrible accident, we found just that. Ms. Kelly is extremely professional and knowledgeable of the legal system. She took the time to explain everything to us and prepare us for what would follow.

We are happy with the outcome of the case and would highly recommend Ms. Kelly to anyone who may find themselves in our situation.

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