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In Colorado, when an inmate is found to be in possession of a dangerous instrument, they may face charges for possession of contraband. Possession of contraband in a detention facility can be a felony.
The penalties for possession of contraband involving a dangerous instrument include up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
In Colorado, when an inmate is found to be in possession of a dangerous instrument, they may face charges for possession of contraband
1. What is possession of contraband?
A person confined in a detention facility commits the crime of possession of contraband if he or she knowingly obtains or has in his or her possession prohibited items.1
A detention facility includes any building, structure, enclosure, vehicle, institution, work side or any other place where persons are lawfully held in custody or confinement. This includes detention facilities under the jurisdiction of the state of Colorado, federal facilities, or any political subdivision of Colorado. The most common detention facilities in Colorado include jail, prison, or juvenile detention facilities. 2
2. What is contraband?
Prohibited contraband in the first degree includes dangerous instruments3
Dangerous instruments include any device, material, or substance that is capable of causing or inducing fear of death or bodily injury. This includes:
Possession of contraband in the second degree includes a number of common items that are legal to possess outside of a detention facility, but prohibited to possess in jail. This includes:
Obscene pictures or obscene material
Lock picking tools
Money or coins
Counterfeit identification cards
Wigs or masks
Ladders, chains, or ropes
Electronic communication devices
Any article that may pose a threat to security5
3. What are the penalties for possession of contraband?
The penalties for possessing contraband depend on the type of contraband involved. Possession of contraband in the first degree includes bringing in a dangerous instrument.
First-degree possession of a dangerous instrument is a class 4 felony.6 The penalties for possession of contraband involving a dangerous instrument include 2 to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000. There is also a mandatory parole period of 3 years.7
Possession of any other contraband can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the contraband.8
4. Related Offenses
4.1. Escape C.R.S. 18-8-208
Escaping from police custody is a criminal offense. The penalties for escape depend on the criminal offense for why the prisoner is in custody. Escape and aiding escape is generally a felony if the person was in custody for a felony, and a misdemeanor if the person was in custody for a misdemeanor offense.
4.2. Aiding Escape C.R.S. 18-8-201
Any person who knowingly aids, abets, or assists another person to escape from custody or confinement commits the offense of aiding escape. Aiding escape is a class 2 felony if the person aided was in custody or confinement as a result of conviction of a class 1 or class 2 felony. Aiding escape is a class 2 misdemeanor if the person aided was in custody or confinement for a misdemeanor or petty offense.
4.3. Attempted Escape C.R.S. 18-8-208.1
Knowingly attempting to escape from prison or jail is a criminal offense in Colorado. The penalties for attempted escape depend on the crime for which you were incarcerated. Attempted escape will generally result in mandatory prison time.
4.4. Introducing Contraband C.R.S. 18-8-203
In Colorado, bringing prohibited items into a jail or detention facility is a criminal offense. Introducing contraband into a detention facility is a felony. The penalties for introducing contraband in the first degree include up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Call us for help…
If you or a loved one is arrested for introducing contraband into jail, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group.
C.R.S. 18-8-203(1)(a). Prior to March 1, 2022, contraband under this statute also included controlled substances, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, and alcohol. SB21-271.