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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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Wonderful Experience with Colleen Kelley

I recently had the pleasure of becoming Colleen Kelley’s client. Even despite the terrible circumstances of fighting wrongful criminal charges, Colleen provided a supportive and pleasant experience during this process. Thankfully, I was introduced to Colleen through another attorney. She took my case on short notice and started working on my behalf in less than 24 hours by showing up to court the day after I secured her services.

She was diligent in her research, communication, and pursuit of justice. In just three short months, my case was dismissed. During this three-month nightmare, Colleen provided clarity and assurance along the way. While Colleen was very thorough in regards to every possible outcome I might experience, her professionalism and devotion to this case made it clear that the outcomes would be outstanding from day one. I’m so thankful that I found Colleen to represent me. I would highly recommend her services.

— Dawn R.

My Son Was in Trouble, Jeff Wolf was His Advocate

When my son got in trouble, I was referred to Jeff Wolf by a friend. He was immediately responsive, calling me back within an hour. We set up a meeting for a couple of days later with no obligation, and when we met he helped us understand the many aspects of my son’s case. We retained him and were grateful for his obvious comfort with the legal system and ability to help us navigate it. Throughout, he advocated for my son but also was stern with him, very clearly communicating the severity of his situation. We ended up with a deferred sentence and are so glad we had Mr. Wolf’s help. He is very reliable and accessible; it was reassuring to know we had him in our court.

— Lisa

Hire A Lawyer You Can Relate To and Trust

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

Deferred Sentence, Sealed Record For Pot Possession

In July of 2009 I was charged with possession of marijuana. I contacted Jeff with Wolf Law and worked with him to find my best options. Jeff was very knowledgeable, honest and professional. He worked quickly and effectively to get me a deferred sentence and ultimately seal the record of this infraction. I also had a prior charge that was many years old that was also a deferred sentence. Jeff worked to seal that record in order help maintain my privacy. I now have used this ability to change my field of work and pass a background check with no infractions visible on my record. My life is moving onward and upward due to the help that was provided by Wolf Law. Thank You Jeff!

— John

Mr. Wolf Blew My Expectations Out of the Water

After recently facing two relatively serious traffic violations, Mr. Wolf was able to obtain an outcome for my case that far exceeded my expectations. From the initial consultation onward, Jeff was extremely professional, punctual, and confident. Jeff clearly defined our objectives and provided me with some serious peace of mind. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mr. Wolf’s services to any family member or friend in need and couldn’t be more pleased with his representation!

— Michael

Professional, Passionate and Knowledgeable

This was my first experience with the law, and Jeffrey Wolf did a fantastic job of guiding me and my family through this. He was always available to answer any concerns I had, realistic in terms of what we were looking at, and passionate about getting us through this. He truly took my case to heart and was a lifesaver through a trying time. Thanks to him, I still have a chance to succeed in my career and lead a normal life!

— Tyler C.

Expert Help

I am glad that I was referred to Jeff. His capable counsel turned a really big mess into a straightforward procedure. All my contacts with the entire staff at Wolf Law were outstanding. Jeff was able to explain very complicated proceedings in a way that made sense and allowed me confidence that I was fully prepared. Jeff’s professionalism both inside and outside the courtroom was an immense help during a tough time. Legal troubles are very stressful, and it is important to have someone working for you with the experience and knowledge to be able to help. Jeff provided that and more: never feeling lost in the situation was an added benefit that was priceless. I would highly recommend the team at Wolf Law.

— John B.

I Had a Great Outcome in My Case

Jeff Wolf was recommended to me by a colleague I have known since my youth. Accordingly, I met with Jeff. I also met with other attorneys in the Denver area in preparation for my legal issues. I decided to choose Jeff because I had a good feeling about him from the moment I met him and because his ethics and views regarding the vision for his legal practice were aligned with what I hoped for despite having no experience in the legal system previously.

This decision turned out to be one of the the best I have made in my life…literally. I cannot adequately express here how much Jeff’s hard work, determination, knowledge, professionalism, experience, and clear understanding of what I am certain he has a passion for (helping others beyond just being an attorney and defending clients in court) has meant for me. I think he has exceptional skills. I had a great outcome in my case due to the defense Jeff provided in court.

More importantly however, Jeff helped me manage the emotional and professional stress I felt. Jeff reassured me when I most needed reassurance, and ultimately, transform a situation I initially felt was a life changing event into a learning experience that I was able to navigate successfully through his precise and comprehensive guidance. I would recommend Jeff to any member of my family and certainly to anyone to whom his services would apply.

— C. Jackson

The Best!

Jeff is very professional, knowledgeable, and as good of a lawyer as there is. I had a restraining order full of false allegations, and Jeff got everything dismissed. Even though it was a restraining order, Jeff treated my case as important as any other case. Thanks, Jeff!

— Anonymous

Wolf Fought Hard and I Owe Him for All He Did

I am writing this letter to show how much I appreciate Mr. Jeff Wolf for representing me in my DUI case. When I first visited Mr. Wolf I had all these questions of what is going to happen in the case and to myself. I did have a prior DUI in another state so this was new to me.

I received my DUI in April and finished my court in September. During this time Mr. Wolf had an open door policy if you wanted to visit or maybe answer any questions that I may have had. His personal attention to my case made me feel at ease at all my court appearances.

Mr. Wolf guided me through all the steps that were taking place around my case and all his advice paid off when the day came for my sentencing. Actually, the judge was impressed with all the steps I was doing to remedy my terrible mistake. Mr. Wolf fought hard for me and I owe him for all that he did for my family and myself. I can honestly say that I have found a gentleman that I would recommend to another or help my family with any issues.

— Brian G.