According to section 18-12-10 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.), it is a felony to knowingly possess, use, or carry a firearm or other weapon if you have been previously convicted of the following crimes:
- A felony
- An attempted felony
- Conspiracy to commit a felony
The penalties for possession of a weapon by a previous offender depends on the type of conviction, how long it has been since the conviction, and whether the weapon is considered a “dangerous weapon” under Colorado law. First-time possession of a weapon by a previous offender is punishable by up to 3 years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $100,000.
“A person commits the crime of possession of a weapon by a previous offender if the person knowingly possesses, uses, or carries upon his or her person a firearm as described in section 18-1-901(3)(h) or any other weapon that is subject to the provisions of this article subsequent to the person's conviction for a felony, or subsequent to the person's conviction for attempt or conspiracy to commit a felony, under Colorado or any other state's law or under federal law.”
Under Colorado state law, a firearm is any “handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable or intended to be capable of discharging cartridges, or other explosive charges.”
Legal Defenses for Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender
The following are common legal defenses used in possession of a weapon by previous offender cases:
- The weapon belonged to another person
- You were unaware you had the weapon
- You knew you had the object, but did not know it was considered a weapon
- The weapon in your possession is for the constitutional purpose of defending your home, person, or property
- The weapon was found during an illegal search and seizure
Denver Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you a previous offender who has been accused of possessing a dangerous weapon in the state of Colorado? If so, you should immediately contact our law firm to get help defending your rights. At the Orr Law Firm, we are committed to serving clients throughout the state of Colorado, and we are prepared to use our extensive resources and experience to fight for the justice you deserve.