Possession of Weapons by Previous Offenders

This charge is sometimes also known as felon in possession, because the first provision of the statute applies to anyone previously convicted of a felony or attempt, or conspiracy to commit a felony.  However, the charge is not limited to those previously convicted of a felony.  As examples, this charge can also apply to those previously convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, and those adjudicated in any way for an act that would have constituted a felony.  This can apply to someone who was charged with a crime, and resolved their case by deferred judgment and sentence.

The Colorado statute defining this crime can be found at C.R.S. § 18-12-108.  Although the statute can apply to a variety of weapons, the most common application involves previous offenders in possession of a firearm.  As such, the charge is typically classified as a class 5 felony, although some scenarios may result in a charge that is a class 6 felony.

Although the statute itself is silent with regard to the purpose for which the accused is in possession of a weapon, Colorado Courts have found that certain purposes can be an affirmative defense to the charge.  Courts have also found that possession means actual, physical control of the weapon, and that the accused must have knowingly possessed the weapon.  However, courts have also found that having a weapon in the home, or assisting with the purchase of a weapon with the weapon within reach, each satisfied the possession requirement. If you are charged with possession of a weapon by a previous offender, you should seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  The specific facts of your case may make the difference between conviction and acquittal.  Call our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your best defense.

Concealed Weapon:

It is generally illegal in Colorado to carry a concealed weapon such as a knife or firearm in public without a valid permit to do so.  These cases are most often charged as class 2 misdemeanors.  It is also illegal to carry or possess any deadly weapon on the campus or grounds of a school, college or university. The latter constitutes a class 6 felony. Some exceptions to this rule include carrying a concealed weapon while in one’s own home or place of business. Sometimes there is an exception to this rule for weapons in a person’s own car, depending upon the purpose for carrying the firearm.

Unlawful discharge and Prohibited Use

Colorado has multiple statutes making it a crime to possess a firearm while intoxicated, as well as to unlawfully point a firearm at someone, or discharge a firearm.  The standard that applies to discharge of a firearm generally under state law is criminal negligence and would likely be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor.  Knowingly or recklessly discharging a firearm into a home or dwelling is a class 5 felony.  Although these are all based upon state statutes, it is not uncommon to be charged with a municipal code violation for unlawful discharge of a firearm.  These are handled differently in each municipality, but are generally considered less serious charges than those brought in county or district courts because the accused in a municipal court typically faces less serious penalties for a conviction.

Assault with a deadly weapon

Our website has an entire page dedicated to various charges of assault that can be located by clicking here.  In Colorado, the use of a deadly weapon during an assault generally results in a higher degree of assault charge.  While assault with a deadly weapon may not be a stand alone charge, the use of a deadly weapon will be a factor when the prosecution determines whether to charge the accused with First, Second or Third Degree Assault.

If you have been charged with a weapons crime, or believe you will be, we may be able to help. Remember that the prosecution and law enforcement are already working to convict you. Let’s get to work on your defense. Call our office to schedule a consultation.