Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
Colorado law defines deadly weapon as a gun, knife, or any other object capable of killing or inflicting substantial bodily harm. Deadly weapons include ordinary articles such as pipes, bricks, or ropes that are used to injure or kill. Many crimes such as assault and robbery carry harsher penalties if the defendant had a deadly weapon.
CRS 18-1-901 states that a “deadly weapon” means:
(I) A firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; or
(II) A knife, bludgeon, or any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, that, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.
All firearms are considered deadly weapons, whether loaded with bullets or not. These include:
Most knives are considered deadly weapons, such as:
Other weapons that count as deadly include:
Finally, many everyday objects can be considered deadly weapons if they are used in a way to cause injury or death. Examples include:
See our related articles about the open carry of firearms, carrying concealed weapons, the unlawful possession of weapons on school grounds (CRS 18-12-105.5), and the prohibited use of weapons (CRS 18-12-106).
With rare exception, violent crimes carry a mandatory enhanced sentence in Colorado State Prison if the defendant used, possessed, or threatened to use a deadly weapon.3 How judges calculate the enhanced sentence is a little tricky, so let us take an example:
Law enforcement officers arrest Jeremy after he commits aggravated robbery by holding up a cashier with a gun. Aggravated robbery is an extraordinary risk class 3 felony offense. The presumptive prison sentence for this class of crime is 4 to 16 years. But since Jeremy made use of a deadly weapon on the alleged victim during the robbery, the judge will add the deadly weapon enhancement:
The new minimum sentence becomes the midpoint of the presumptive sentence, which is 10 years – halfway between 4 and 16. And the new maximum sentence becomes double the maximum of the presumptive sentence, which is 32 years – 16 doubled. Therefore, the new sentencing range is 10 to 32 years for robbery with a deadly weapon.
Learn more about violent crime sentencing in Colorado.
No. People with past felony convictions may not possess weapons, even for self-defense. Otherwise they face charges for POWPO, short for possession of weapon by a previous offender (CRS 18-12-108).
A first-time POWPO offense with a deadly weapon is a class 5 felony, carrying:
A second-time POWPO offense is a class 4 felony, carrying:
See our related article about the possession of an illegal or dangerous weapon (CRS 18-12-102).
Our criminal defense lawyers create attorney-client relationships throughout Colorado, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Greeley, Boulder, and more. We can schedule a free case evaluation over the phone or in one of our law offices. We fight all types of misdemeanor and felony criminal charges, including DUI, assault charges (first degree assault, second degree assault, and third degree assault), menacing, domestic violence, motor vehicle offenses, restraining order violations, crimes against police officers, peace officers, and firefighters, and more.
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.
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