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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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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.

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When I was arrested at a concert hall for trespassing and placed in a detox center it didn’t feel right. I had confronted the police in order to find out why they where arresting somebody I knew and within seconds of my questioning I was in cuffs and associated with a crime that I seemingly had nothing to do with.

When I was released from detox I thought it was over but then I understood that I had to appear in court and my previously clean record was facing the documentation of a criminal charge. I wanted to try to keep my record clean and with some help I hired Wolf Law.

Given the relative simplicity of my case I only had to meet at the office of Jeffrey Wolf a handful of times. From the first visit I could tell that Jeffery was very professional and very serious. As more of my case was revealed and in consecutive meetings I could tell that Jeffery was building a strong defense.

While he couldn’t promise me any certain outcome his resolve to defend me as strongly as he possibly could was obvious. On my first court date, before much of the details of my case where known, I was accompanied by Jeffrey Wolf’s associate lawyer Colleen Kelley. Colleen defended me with a skillful amount of experience and made it possible for Wolf Law and me to buy more time and obtain the legal information required to build a defense.

On my second court date, after having met several times, I was accompanied by Jeffrey. Jeffrey told me to wait outside the courtroom and I complied. After roughly 20 minutes he reappeared to me with a welcoming smile and gave me the good news that he had gotten my cased dropped.

I’m not quite sure what he did in those 20 minutes but I can say with satisfaction that it was an amazing job. I felt, with fingers crossed, that it was a possibility that my case would be dropped but when it actually happened I almost couldn’t believe it. I’m very thankful for the work and service that was provided by Wolf Law. For them I have the utmost respect and my recommendation to anyone needing legal service goes to them with 100% certainty in their ability to promise and do their best.

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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.

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— C. Jackson

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I turned to Wolf Law for help after a small bumper ding in a Starbucks parking lot escalated once the Denver PD was involved. Jeff expertly stepped in to keep the matter from getting any more complex, including speaking with a Denver Police Officer who seemed intent on imposing the most severe charges possible. Jeff continued his zealous representation of my case in Traffic Court where he worked out a reduction in the ticket with the Denver City Attorney and also eloquently explained the situation and the facts at hand to the judge, resulting in a reduction in the fine. Wolf Law exceeded my expectations on this case and managed to keep me calm about the severity of the charges throughout the process. I would highly recommend Wolf Law to anyone and everyone, and if I ever have the need, I will definitely hire Mr. Wolf again.

— Gil S.

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I have contracted Cassandra twice now and both times had outstanding results. In the first case she got the results I tried to obtain with ease. When I spoke on my own behalf to the district attorney they wouldn’t budge in any way. Once Cassandra was involved it was like watching a master at work. She stated the facts and provided evidence to back her argument in my situation and actually got better results then I initially wanted. Then in a second unexpected turn of events she yet again worked her magic. She remained real with me the entire time and explained the reality of the situation and prepared me for the worst while still working hard to achieve the best results and let me tell you she far beyond exceeded expectations. Her hard work and perseverance caused unheard of result and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Throughout the entire process she never misled me, always remained patient and understanding; she always listened and always made sure to go the extra mile to make sure things went as planned. I was never charged with surprise fees or felt taken advantage of financially in any way. What I paid for the service and commitment to my case is unheard of in this day and age. I would recommend Cassandra and Wolf Law to anyone I know who is having legal troubles. You will not be disappointed! Sincerely thank you again to Cassandra and Wolf Law for everything you have done.

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