What is a stun gun?
Under Colorado law, a “stun gun” is defined as a device capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge.1 Well-known brands of stun gun include Taser and Vipertek.
Section 18-12-106.5 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), makes it a Colorado class 5 felony to knowingly and unlawfully use a stun gun in the commission of a criminal offense. It is not necessary for you to discharge (shoot) the gun. You violate 18-12-106.5 C.R.S. whenever a stun gun facilitates commission of a criminal offense, whether or not it is discharged.2
Punishment for use of a stun gun
Penalties for unlawful use of a stun gun can include:
- 1-3 years in prison (with 2 years mandatory parole), and/or
- A fine of $1,000-$100,000.
These penalties can go even higher if you use a stun gun to commit a Colorado “crime of violence.”
What's more, these consequences for use of a stun gun are in addition to the penalties, if any, for the underlying criminal offense.
Defending unlawful use of a stun gun
Using a stun gun is illegal in Colorado only if you use it to commit a criminal offense. Therefore, the best defense to Colorado stun gun charges is to prove you didn't commit the underlying crime -- known as the "predicate offense."
Other common defenses to 18-12-106.5 C.R.S. include (but are not limited to):
- The “gun” didn't meet the definition of a stun gun;
- You didn't use the stun gun;
- You were acting in self-defense or defense of someone else; or
- The stun gun was discovered during an illegal search and seizure in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.
Call us for help…
Many people own a stun gun for self-defense. Yet when they use it, they can find themselves subjected to criminal charges, even when they are fully within their rights.
Our Colorado criminal defense lawyers understand this and will use every legal means possible to keep you out of prison and protect you from a criminal record.
For a free consultation with an experienced and caring lawyer, simply fill out the confidential form on this page.
Or call us at our centrally located Denver home office:
Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street ste. 400
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202
- 18-12-101 (1)(i.5) C.R.S.
- People v. Wheeler, App.2007, 170 P.3d 817.