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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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Working with Jeff was the best choice I could have made for my circumstances. Not only did he take his time in hearing my side but also those around me. This allowed me to take care of myself as I moved through the legal process and provide the best results possible. Thank You for all the Help Jeff!!

— Anonymous

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Jeff is the best attorney my husband and I have used. He actually cared about what was best for my family. He actually fought for my husband and was on his side. He listened to my husband and made us feel like he was on our side and we could trust him with my husband’s future. I suggest to anyone looking for an attorney to put your trust in Jeff, he got us the best deal ever.

— Raena

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When I was arrested for DUI/careless driving, I was overcome with a profound sense of hopelessness – I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I thought my life (including my career) was ruined. Making the decision to call Mr. Wolf for a consultation was the best decision I could have made. His immediate response set my mind at ease and gave me a the peace of mind that I so desperately needed.

Upon meeting him in person, I was thoroughly impressed by his experience and expertise, but what really struck me was his personable demeanor and genuine interest in helping me. He was very patient in explaining the legal process and made sure I was well prepared for every step of the way.

There is no doubt that his representation and advocacy, as well as the advice he had given me in order to prepare for court, resulted in an outcome that was more positive than I had dared hoped for (a DWAI with license intact and a reduced probation sentence), allowing me to move forward with my life. Mr. Wolf far exceeded my expectations, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone seeking legal counsel.

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— Marisa

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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.

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Jeffrey Wolf has been a beacon of hope to me when my situation seemed limited and unlikely of a positive outcome. He represented me for a DUI and as a domestic violence victim and did a phenomenal job on both. Not only was he able to defend and represent me, but his empathetic and ethical demeanor offered hope to myself and someone I truly care about. My partner and I are eternally grateful for his service, and I hereby recommend him without hesitation since I could not imagine a better result without him representing me.

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I was charged with my first DUI and was referred to Jeff by a friend of mine. He gave me a realistic expectation of what would happen and is an expert at navigating the process. Jeff is always incredibly quick to respond and is very knowledgeable. He is professional and represented me well in the courtroom. The experience of being charged with a DUI is a terrible, humiliating and challenging event – having an experienced attorney was priceless!

— Anonymous

Ms. Kelly was a professional rock for us!

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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After a misread medical record, I was wrongly accused of a serious crime. Even though doctors admitted that the nurse misstated the severity of an injury, law enforcement tried to destroy my life. Law enforcement threatened to take away my wife, my kids and my life. I called around to a couple of attorneys, and no one offered the type of first-class customer service that Jeff provided. He was immediately available. Throughout the process, Jeff was there to guide and protect me. He was always available. And, after a long journey together, we found justice and freedom. During the process, I found Jeff to be intelligent, determined and highly personable. I strongly recommend Jeff!

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