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Colorado State Gun Laws Explained
/ 22 October, 2020

According to the Colorado State law, residents aged 18 or older can possess or own unless prohibited from doing so. There is a long list of categories of people who shouldn’t possess or own firearms. Therefore, you must know these categories before you use a firearm. These categories include:

  • Fugitives from justice
  • People who are subject to a protective order that bars them from possessing a gun
  • Addicted to or unlawful use of a controlled substance
  • You are illegally living in the United States
  • You’ve been adjudicated as someone who is mentally defective
  • You are admitted in the country under a non-immigrant visa
  • You renounced your United States citizenship
  • You got discharged from the U.S. armed forces under dishonorable circumstances

Additionally, you shouldn’t carry a firearm if, under the United States or federal law, you’ve been convicted of or are under indictment for the following;

  • Any crime that is punishable by imprisonment for a period exceeding 12 months
  •  Felony
  •  Attempt to commit a felony crime
  •  A misdemeanor crime related to domestic violence
  •  Any action that constitutes a felony under the Colorado State laws

Keep in mind that many residents can’t openly carry a firearm if they come from a state that doesn’t have firearm reciprocity with Colorado State. The ‘red flag’ law permits law enforcement or family members to request a judge to confiscate temporarily guns of people deemed to be erased to themselves or others. These are commonly known as extreme risk protection orders.

Consequences of unlawful firearm possession

Possession of a gun by a felon is a felony crime. Depending on the specific crime you were previously convicted of, and the time the conviction occurred, the consequences of a felon owning a firearm in Colorado can run as high as 6 years in prison and hefty fines of up to $500,000.

Additionally, depending on the specific circumstances of the crime, unlawful possession of a firearm in Colorado may be considered a misdemeanor, and the punishment could be one to three years in prison or a fine that ranges from $1000 to $100,000.

What firearms are legal in Colorado?

Here are the specific guns that are legal in Colorado.

  • Full-length rifles
  • Pistols, handguns, or other firearms that have a barrel more than 12 inches in length
  • Full-length shotguns
  • Firearms that are defined as or Relics and the United States law
  • Antique guns manufactured not later than 1898

Colorado residents who are permitted to possess guns can openly carry the weapons listed while in the state as long as they are in a location that permits firearms.

Not all guns are legal in Colorado. Any firearm or firearm accessory classified under state law or federal law as a dangerous weapon is illegal. Some of these firearms include firearm silencers, armor-piercing ammunition, machine guns, and short shotguns with a barrel less than 18 inches and an overall length of less than 26 inches. Any defaced firearm or large-capacity ammunition magazines are illegal in Colorado.

Some local governments have also banned assault weapons like Boulder and Vail. However, pre-emption renders these local government laws unenforceable, but Denver’s assault weapon ban is valid.

As mentioned earlier, the consequences of being convicted of unlawful possession of firearms can significantly impact your current and future life. For instance, you could face up to six years in prison, and this record will go straight to your criminal record. In addition to disrupting your current career life, a stained criminal record can make it hard for you to get a good job in the future. This is why you should consult with an experienced attorney if you are charged with unlawful possession of guns.


What Are Possible Defenses to DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?
/ 21 October, 2020

If you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI) charges in Colorado, you need a legal professional who can protect your legal rights and fight for your freedom. You need to consult with a criminal defense attorney who understands the law and can help you identify the possible defenses to DUI or DWAI charges in your unique case.

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?

Many drivers in Colorado do not understand the difference between DUI and DWAI charges. The criminal charge depends on the alcohol concentration in your blood. The biggest difference between the two charges is that you can be charged with DUI when your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds .08%, while DWAI charges are triggered when your BAC is higher than .05% but lower than .08%.

Under Colorado’s drunk driving laws, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level of at least .08%. In Colorado, law enforcement officers have sufficient grounds to arrest a driver if their ability to operate a vehicle is even slightly impaired by alcohol or drugs.

What Are the Penalties for DUI and DWAI Charges in Colorado?

While a first-time offense of driving under the influence and driving while ability impaired is a misdemeanor in Colorado, DUI is associated with harsher penalties. In Colorado, a first-time DUI offender can face:

  • Up to 12 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 96 hours of community service
  • A suspension of a driver’s license for up to 9 months

In Colorado, a driver whose BAC level exceeds .15% can be designated as a persistent drunk driver (PDD). PDDs are sentenced as repeat DUI offenders, even if this is their first offense.

Penalties for DWAI charges include:

  • Up to 180 days in jail and no more than $500 in fines for a first offense.
  • Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, a suspension of a driver’s license for a year, and mandatory Interlock Ignition Device for a second offense.
  • Up to 1 year in jail, up to $1,500 in fines, a suspension of a driver’s license for two years, and mandatory Interlock Ignition Device for a third offense.
  • For three or more previous DWAI or DUI charges, a repeat offender can be charged with Class 4 felony and face up to 6 years in prison and three years of parole.

Unlike many other states, Colorado has no washout or lookback period for DUIs and DWAIs. In other words, your previous DUIs and DWAIs will count for the purposes of sentencing no matter how many years have passed.

Possible DUI/DWAI Defenses in Colorado

Just because you were charged with a DUI or DWAI in Colorado does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted. With a Denver DUI defense attorney on your side, you can fight a charge with one of the following defense strategies:

  • Unlawful stop. In Colorado, police officers are not allowed to stop drivers unless there is probable cause. In other words, it is illegal for law enforcement officers to pull you over if you did not violate a law. If you were charged with DUI or DWAI in Denver or other parts of Colorado after an unlawful stop, your case would be dismissed.
  • Illegal DUI/DWAI checkpoints. Law enforcement officers must comply with strict rules when it comes to setting up DUI/DWAI checkpoints or roadblocks. You could contest the validity of the DUI or DWAI arrest if the arresting police officer failed to adhere to the applicable rules when setting up the sobriety checkpoint.
  • Inaccurate field sobriety test. The validity of a field sobriety test can be contested by an experienced criminal defense attorney, especially if you are disabled, older than 65, overweight or obese, injured, or have a medical condition.
  • Improper breathalyzer test. The result of a breathalyzer test can be dismissed in your DUI or DWAI case if the arresting police officer failed to administer the test correctly or the equipment was improperly calibrated.
  • Inaccurate blood test. A skilled DUI defense attorney can cast doubt on the accuracy of the blood test, especially if the blood sample was not collected, stored, handled, or stored correctly.
  • Medical condition. In many DUI/DWAI cases, physical and behavioral attributes become grounds for an arrest. Certain signs of impairment, including bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, can be symptoms of a medical condition or use of prescription medication.

You should consult with a DUI/DWAI defense lawyer in Colorado to identify the most appropriate defense strategy in your particular case. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you get your DUI or DWAI charge reduced or even dismiss your case altogether.

Can I Use Marijuana While on Parole or Probation in Colorado?
/ 12 October, 2020

Whether you’re sentenced on a felony offense or misdemeanor offense in Colorado, your sentence is likely to include a period of probation (supervised). Many probationers have been frustrated for many years as the probation statute is broad, and many probation officers prohibited the use of marijuana entirely.

The law previously allowed probation to impose different conditions that would help the accused lead a law-abiding life. One of the common complaints of probationers is that they were not allowed to use marijuana for medical reasons.

But the law has changed 

The good news is that Colorado’s new law allows parolees and probationers to use medical pot, weed, or marijuana. Pay attention to the word ‘medicinal’ as it means all the difference between what’s legal and illegal when it comes to marijuana use. In May 2015, Governor Hickenlooper reviewed and signed the changes to marijuana-related law into effect.

Currently, the court of probation in Adams and Jefferson counties cannot prohibit the use or possession of medical marijuana as a mandatory condition of probation or parole. This is a relief to patients who desperately need weed for medical reasons such as pain management.

What would happen in case of probation revocation in Douglas and Arapahoe counties?

If you, the defendant, violate your probation terms, you are likely to face a probation revocation proceeding. Probation can be violated in two different ways. First is the technical violation, and the second the new law violation.

Generally, technical violations stem from your failure to comply with your probation’s specific conditions. Some of these failures include missed classes, monitored sobriety, inability to pay necessary fees, and other offenses. On the other hand, new law related probation violations occur when you, the defendant, are charged with a new crime while already serving an active probation period.

The good news is that the recent changes in Colorado’s probation statute allow medical marijuana use. This doesn’t constitute a technical violation or a new offense. Thus, it can’t be the basis of the revocation of probation. If you have been threatened with a probation revocation of proceedings because of a failed UAs and you have a valid medical marijuana license, it is essential to consult with a reliable criminal lawyer. 

Additional rules 

If you were previously convicted of a marijuana-related offense, you’ll be prohibited from using it on parole or probation. Other essential things that you must remember while using medical marijuana include;

  • An employer still has the right to prohibit the use of marijuana as an integral part of terms of employment
  • Though Colorado State offers protection for the possession and use of medical marijuana, it’s illegal to travel across state lines with it
  • The terms of parole or probation also apply to travels with medical marijuana
  • A valid prescription for related medical marijuana is also subject to the state laws

Colorado HB 1267 applies to the use and possession of medical marijuana only. As such, recreational weed users who are on parole or probation are not protected under this law. It’s important to mention that the terms of parole or probation vary from person to person, and in most cases, recreational weed use is prohibited.

Suppose you are unaware of the specific terms of your parole or probation. In that case, you could find yourself in trouble if you just assume that the new law applies in every situation involving the use of recreational or medical marijuana. Violation of parole or probation terms might lead to severe ramifications like jail time or an extended period of probation. So, consult with an experienced attorney if you still have questions about your parole or probation.

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