Why You Need to Hire One of Our Denver Gun Crimes Attorney?
In July of 2021, the Department of Justice announced that the Denver Police Department was partnering with federal law enforcement to crack down on gun crimes throughout the state. While the announcement did not change the gun laws, the added emphasis on prosecuting Colorado gun charges will likely impact many defendants dealing with firearms charges.
At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we carry on a decades-old Colorado tradition of providing criminal defendants with a strong legal advocate. In all legal matters, Mr. Gerash, Mr. Blanton, and Dr. Steiner proudly uphold the standard set by the now-retired legendary Colorado lawyer, Walter L. Gerash. If you or someone you know was charged with a weapon crime, reach out to one of our Denver gun crimes attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., to discuss your case.
What Colorado Gun Charges Does Denver Enforce?
There are multiple categories of gun crimes that range from unlawful possession of a firearm to illegal discharge of a firearm. No matter what kind of gun crime you are charged with, you could face significant penalties, including jail time, fines, and prohibitions on future gun ownership. Some of the common violations and penalties for gun charges are described below.
Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender
In Colorado, you cannot possess a firearm if you:
- Were previously convicted of a felony;
- Were adjudicated as a juvenile for an offense that would have been a felony if you were an adult;
- Are currently on probation; or
- Are subject to a court order restricting firearm possession.
In most cases, Colorado considers a violation of this criminal statute a class 6 felony. A class 6 felony represents the lowest level felony in Colorado. The presumptive penalty for a class 6 felony includes between 12-18 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. With a felony conviction, you cannot own or possess a firearm legally within Colorado.
Prohibited Use of Weapons
Even if you can legally possess a firearm, Colorado prohibits certain actions when the firearm is in your possession. You could face a prohibited use of weapons charge if you:
- Knowingly and unlawfully aim a firearm at another person;
- Recklessly or with criminal negligence discharge a firearm; or
- Possess a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you violate this statute, you could face a class 2 misdemeanor. A class 2 misdemeanor carries the potential of between 3-12 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Alternatively, a judge could sentence you to a term of probation.
Possession of an Illegal or Dangerous Weapon
Colorado outlaws some weapons entirely. Under Colorado law, dangerous weapons include:
- A firearm silencer;
- Machine guns;
- Short shotguns;
- Short rifles; and
- Ballistic knives.
As a class 5 felony, a violation of this statute carries a potential penalty of one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Colorado defines illegal weapons as:
- A blackjack;
- A gas gun; or
- Metallic knuckles.
Colorado considers possession of an illegal weapon a class 1 misdemeanor. A class 1 misdemeanor in Colorado carries the potential of 6-18 months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.
Defacing a Firearm
Under Colorado law, you cannot knowingly remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy the manufacturer’s serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark on a firearm. If you commit any of these acts, you could face prosecution for a class 1 misdemeanor. Colorado criminalizes the possession of a defaced firearm, which also qualifies as a class 1 misdemeanor.
Illegal Discharge of a Firearm
Colorado law authorizes charges for the illegal discharge of a firearm against anyone who knowingly or recklessly discharges a firearm into:
- A dwelling;
- An occupied structure; or
- An occupied vehicle.
Illegal discharge of a firearm qualifies as a class 5 felony. As mentioned above, a class 5 felony carries a sentence of one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon
Colorado prohibits anyone from knowingly and unlawfully:
- Carrying a concealed knife on or about their person;
- Carrying a concealed firearm on or about their person; or
- Possessing a concealed weapon in a legislative meeting.
This law applies to public areas, meaning you can carry a concealed weapon within your home. You can also carry a concealed weapon in a private vehicle or for the lawful protection of your property while traveling. Additionally, you can obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Violation of this section constitutes a class 2 misdemeanor.
Possession of a Firearm by a Juvenile
Individuals under 18 cannot legally possess a firearm. Juveniles charged with possession of a firearm will face class 2 misdemeanor charges. For a second or subsequent offense, the offense constitutes a class 5 felony. This section does not apply when the juvenile is:
- Attending a hunter’s safety course;
- Attending a firearm safety course;
- Engaging in target practice at an authorized shooting range;
- Engaging in an organized competition involving firearms;
- Hunting or trapping with a valid license;
- Traveling to any of the activities listed above.
Additionally, juveniles who are on the private property of their parents or grandparents can possess a handgun with an adult’s permission.
No matter what kind of gun crime you are facing, there is always the threat that you could end up spending time in jail. If you get a felony conviction from a gun charge, you will lose your right to legally possess a firearm. When your rights and liberty are at stake, you want an experienced gun possession lawyers who know what it takes to secure a favorable result in these types of cases.
Potential Defenses to Colorado Gun Charges
The defenses available in a gun crimes case depend on which gun crime you are charged with. Some of the common defenses include:
- The firearm found belonged to someone else;
- You have a valid concealed carry permit;
- An unlawful discharge was caused by a firearm defect; or
- You aimed a firearm at someone in self-defense.
The specific facts of your case will determine whether a valid legal defense applies. If a defense does apply, our defense attorneys could try to negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor. A favorable plea can include a plea to a lesser charge that won’t strip you of your right to possess firearms, or it can be a reduced sentence to the same charge. Which option is available to you depends on the prosecutor’s discretion and the facts of your case. And since prosecutors have the discretion to lessen your charge and sentence, having a seasoned lawyer argue your case and negotiate with them can make a world of difference in your outcome.
Other Penalties For Gun Charges
In addition to the criminal penalties that come with a gun crime conviction, you could face other consequences. If you get convicted of a felony, these collateral consequences might include:
- The inability to own a firearm in the future;
- Inability to secure employment; and
- Difficulty finding a place to live.
A criminal conviction will show up every time someone runs a background check on you. Hiring an experienced attorney at a Denver gun crimes law firm gives you the best chance of getting your gun charges reduced or dismissed. Contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. today so we can start reviewing your case.
See What Our Clients Say
We know that we have the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively and efficiently defend you against any gun charges. Still, we do not expect you to take our word for it. Take a look at what some of our former clients have to say about our services.
“I was very pleased with the services provided by Dan Gerash. At all times, he was available, supportive, and communicative. His experience and knowledge were instrumental in obtaining a dismissal of my charges. I would strongly recommend him to any of my friends or family. Once again, thanks.” – Former Client
“Being caught up in such a serious and scary situation was unbelievably stressful on many levels, but Dan and his staff were always available, helpful, supportive, and professional in handling all aspects of my case. I had total faith and confidence that I had the best representation available and that eventually, our steadfast resolve as a united team would result in a positive outcome. Dan’s hard work and determination to leave no stone unturned finally resulted in a total dismissal of all charges by the District Attorney.” – Former Client
These are just a few of the testimonials written by our former clients. If you are ready to get started on your case, contact Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., today.
How Can Attorney at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. Help With My Case?
At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we pride ourselves on providing a strong voice for defendants accused of criminal violations. We understand that dealing with criminal charges can inflict unimaginable stress on you and your family. We can help you understand what your charges mean and what legal defenses might apply to your case. Our firm is AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell®’s Peer Review Rating™.
As a former deputy public defender, Attorney Dan Gerash has extensive courtroom experience that can provide an advantage in your case. Mr. Gerash knows the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and will use his expertise to help with your case.
Our experienced lawyers also handles other types of criminal charges cases, including:
- Drug Charges
- DUI / DUID
- Felony Crimes
- Juvenile Crimes
- Sex Crimes
- Theft Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
Facing gun charges in Colorado does not mean your life is over. Contact our gun crimes lawyer today so we can get started on building your defense.