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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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6-Month Jail Sentence Reduced to 90 Days

I was arrested in May 2014 for a warrant that I had since 2010 for DUR, I was facing a six month jail sentence that would have caused me to lose my business, home, as well as once again re-offend me. After countless calls and conversations and meetings with numerous attorneys I was referred to Jeffery Wolf. By simply speaking with him over the phone I felt a little at ease, until I met with him and after that I was completely at ease. He made feel the way an attorney is suppose to make a client feel. He was extremely personable, caring, honest, completely honest, and very detailed as to what his process is and what will take place in court.

On the day of my hearing Jeff arrived a little early and had me wait in the hallway while he stepped into the court room and went to bat for me. The result was a 0 point violation allowing me to keep my DL, a six-month jail sentence reduced to 90 days in-home detention, and a $67 fine, which was way more than I expected.

I highly recommend Jeff he is an excellent attorney that takes your case as serious as you do. I hope I never have to hire an attorney again but if I do without a doubt Jeffrey Wolf will be my first and only thought.

— David

First Rate Legal Representation

If one were to Google all the attributes that you want in legal representation, Wolf Law would check off each box. His entire staff is helpful and professional. As for Mr. Wolf himself, his expertise and straight-talk are exactly what you want and need in an attorney. The outcome of my case matched my most optimistic goal. I thoroughly endorse Wolf Law.

— Trenton

Professional and Honest

I was worried about looking for a lawyer because I have never done so before, but Jeff Wolf made it super easy for me and I couldn’t have been more happy with his services. He called me anytime something happened with my case or needed anything from me. He got me out of a 10 day jail sentence which really helped me since I started school this week. Honestly it was nothing but a professional and honest experience.

— Robert A.

Outstanding Law Firm

Wolf Law was very helpful in fulfilling my personal needs. Colleen Kelley knew how to approach my case and made me feel better about my results in the bargain. I would recommend her to anyone with criminal trouble; she is an amazing lawyer.

— Levi

I Will Definitely Hire Mr. Wolf Again

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.

I Couldn’t Have Asked for a Better Lawyer

Until the night of my DUI, I had never been in trouble before so one could only imagine how scared I was. Facing a DUI with a possible felony/assault charge, I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it all. I happened to find Jeffrey Wolf through another lawyer. After meeting with him in person, I knew immediately that he was going to help me. I was a complete wreck from day 1 and yet he made me feel at ease with every meeting, phone call and court appearance.

One of the traits I appreciated most was his honesty. Mr. Wolf told me straight up from the beginning what could happen and what I was facing but reassured me that he would do everything he could to get me through it with the best outcome. Having him there with me through this process and through every court appearance with him by my side made it easier to handle and I am so grateful to have worked with him. At the end of it all, I was able to get probation with a deferred judgment on my case. I would absolutely refer Mr. Wolf to any of my friends and/or family!

— Nichole G.

Jeff Wolf was Well Worth the Investment

When you get charged with a crime it is tough to deal with, mostly because you are embarrassed and disappointed with yourself for what you have done. I was charged with theft and was very worried about what type of impact that would have on my business professional career when applying for jobs. I contacted a few lawyers but knew that Jeff was the right direction to take. He made me feel more at ease knowing that people make mistakes and that this would not effect my whole life. He was very helpful and quick to respond to any questions or concerns that I had.

During my time with Jeff he made me feel very comfortable and I knew going into everything what to expect, what to say, and how to present myself. Whether you hire a lawyer or not is your own decision. But to me what Jeff was able to provide was well worth it. I literally told him my story, how I felt and what type of outcome I was looking for on the first day. Besides showing up with him to court he did everything else and took care of everything. We were sentenced to the verdict that we were looking for and now I can move forward and put this case behind me. Thanks for all your help Jeff it was much appreciated.

— Nick

Complete Professionals

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

Highly Recommended

First of all, I would like to thank Colleen Kelley and all the staff at Wolf Law for helping me greatly with my legal matters. I called and was able to get consulted that same day, and the prices are very manageable. Colleen did an awesome job and took her time reviewing all the evidence and negotiating with the DA. In my first case she was able to get the charges completely dismissed, which was very impressive. I had a second case where she got me a deferred judgment deal, which was great considering the charges pending. I am very pleased with her efforts and time spent working on my case. Again, I would highly recommend Wolf Law, giving them 5/5 stars!

— Michael

Jeff is a Powerhouse in the Courtroom

Jeff is truly an expert in his field. He is extremely knowledgeable and bright and it was clear throughout his management of my case that he is highly respected. He was very supportive of my desire to see my case through to trial, he was always empathetic, and he took the time to understand my personal and professional situation. He was determined to get me the best outcome with the least impact to my personal and professional life and he succeeded. We were dealing with a refusal and I have little doubt that I would not have had the same results with another attorney. Jeff is a powerhouse in the courtroom! I am beyond appreciative and would strongly recommend anyone facing challenging legal issues to seek out Jeff’s expertise.

— Jana S.