Colorado, like most other states, has enacted significant restrictions on who can carry a gun, where you can take a firearm, and what you can do with a gun. As a result, you can face significant consequences if you run afoul of these gun laws. An experienced Greenwood Village gun lawyer may be able to defend you against criminal charges that relate to gun possession and use.
A conviction on a gun-related criminal offense can often result in a permanent criminal record that may hinder your career and educational opportunities in the future. For a felony conviction, you may lose the ability to own a gun ever again, as well as lose other civil rights. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer could explain the intricacies of Colorado gun laws to you and help develop the best defense strategy possible to the charges that you are facing. What’s more, if you’ve previously had an old case that resulted in a dismissal of your case, you may not be able to purchase a firearm until your record is sealed. A local criminal attorney will advise you about the consequences of any plea deal you may take, but we can also help you address older cases to restore your gun rights in some situations.
Certain classes of people may not own or possess firearms under Colorado law. For example, Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-12-108 provides that individuals with a felony conviction under any state or federal law may not possess guns. In addition, if you are merely charged with domestic violence, a Court will make a finding that you are not to own or possess any guns or ammunition even while your case is pending (so much for “innocent until proven guilty”).
While Colorado residents can carry weapons without a permit while traveling in their cars, or while lawfully hunting, they otherwise must have a concealed carry permit. Open-carrying of a firearm is allowed in most places, although not recommended, and restrictions on open-carry still exist for certain government properties such as courthouses and schools. In addition, for a concealed weapons permit, the sheriff has to deny a permit application for certain classes of individuals, including alcoholics, individuals under the age of 21, and those who cannot demonstrate firearm competence through previous training or military service. Other classes of individuals who may not obtain concealed carry permits include:
It is a Class 2 misdemeanor (M2)offense to illegally carry a concealed handgun without a permit, as per Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-12-105. However, individuals with prior felony convictions caught with firearms are subject to Class 5 or 6 felony (F5 or F6) charges, depending on the circumstances, for what we call POWPO (possession of a weapon by a previous offender). A dedicated criminal lawyer in Greenwood Village may be able to provide legal assistance to individuals whom law enforcement officials have accused of carrying guns without the proper permits or in violation of Colorado laws.
Colorado has established various criminal firearms offenses that gun owners should avoid violating. For example, with a few narrow exceptions, individuals commit an F6 offense under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-12-105.5 if they knowingly and unlawfully carry a deadly weapon, including firearms, onto any school property, whether public or private, such as elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, or universities.
Another common firearms-related offense is prohibited use of weapons under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-12-106. This statute makes it an M2 for individuals to knowingly and unlawfully aim firearms at others, discharge a firearm with recklessness or criminal negligence, or possess a firearm while intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance. So, if you’ve regularly traveled with a gun in your car and you’re pulled over for DUI—be wary since it can land you in trouble for “drunk with a gun,” as well.
Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-12-111 relates to the unlawful purchase of firearms. Under this statute, it is an F4 to knowingly purchase or obtain a firearm to transfer it to someone whom they know or reasonably should know is ineligible to possess a gun. We often see friends or family members getting in trouble for this kind of offense, and generally not even being aware that this is a crime in Colorado. Unfortunately, ignorance of the law is not an excuse for violating it, and you’ll still find yourself in hot water for such actions. For individuals who are facing any gun-related criminal charges such as theses, getting the advice of a skilled gun attorney in the area may be advisable.
Federal and state gun laws are detailed, complex, and prone to change over time. A conviction for a gun charge could cause you to lose your job and miss career opportunities in the future, have housing applications denied by landlords and lending institutions and even face significant criminal penalties, including fines and incarceration. A Greenwood Village gun lawyer at Nicol Gersch Petterson well-versed in defending weapons charges will be able to advocate on behalf of those facing gun-related charges. Getting legal advice in any of these situations outlined above is crucial to your ability to overcome the criminal charges against you and move on with your life.