Criminal Defense

Wildlife, Parks, Hunting, and Recreation Violations

Poaching, Hunting, Boating, Snowmobiling, Recreation, State Parks, National Parks, National Forests, Wildlife

BOATING

Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Colorado does not have many navigable waterways but the ones that exist are typically crowded and well patrolled during boating season. Smith & Weidinger has a staff that includes a former United States Navy Surface Warfare Officer and understands nautical matters as well as any firm in Colorado. Don't let yourself get railroaded and chose a firm that will fight for you.

Operating a vessel while under the influence (aka Boating Under the Influence), § 33-13-108.1.

(1) (a) It is a misdemeanor for any person to operate or be in actual physical control of a vessel in this state while:

(I) Under the influence of alcohol;

(II) The amount of alcohol, as shown by analysis of the person's blood or breath, in the person's blood is 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood or 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath at the time of the commission of the alleged offense or within two hours after operating a vessel, if the evidence establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the person did not consume any alcohol between the time of operation and the time of testing;

(III) Under the influence of any controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., or any other drug that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vessel;

(IV) Under the influence of any combination of alcohol and any controlled substance as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., or any other drug, when the combination of alcohol and controlled substance or any other drug renders the person incapable of safely operating a vessel.

12) (a) Every person who is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than five days nor more than one year, and, in addition, the court may impose a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this subsection (12), the minimum period of imprisonment provided for the violation shall be mandatory. In addition to any other penalty that is imposed, every person who is convicted of a violation to which this paragraph (a) applies shall perform no more than ninety-six hours of useful public service.

(b) Upon a conviction of a subsequent violation of subsection (1) of this section that occurred within five years of the date of a previous violation of subsection (1) of this section, the offender shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not less than sixty days nor more than one year, and, in addition, the court may impose a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand five hundred dollars. The minimum period of imprisonment as provided for the violation shall be mandatory, but the court may suspend up to fifty-five days of the period of imprisonment if the offender complies with paragraph (c) of this subsection (12). In addition to any other penalty that is imposed, every person convicted of a violation to which this paragraph (b) applies shall perform not less than sixty hours nor more than one hundred twenty hours of useful public service. The performance of the minimum period of service shall be mandatory, and the court shall have no discretion to suspend the mandatory minimum period of performance of the service.

Carless Boating

(2) (a) It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a careless or imprudent manner without due regard for zoning, traffic, and other attendant circumstances or as to endanger any person, property, or wildlife. For purposes of this paragraph (a), careless or imprudent vessel operation includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(I) Becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel at an unsafe distance from the vessel creating the wake or when visibility around such vessel is obstructed;

(II) Unsafely weaving through vessel traffic;

(III) Operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel so as to require the operator of either vessel to abruptly swerve or to abruptly cut speed in order to avoid collision.

(b) Any person who violates paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars.

Reckless Boating

(3) It is unlawful for any person to operate a vessel in a reckless manner. Any person who violates this subsection (3) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SNOWMOBILING

Snowmobiling under the Influence

(3) No person shall operate a snowmobile while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), C.R.S., or any other drug, or any combination thereof, which renders the person incapable of the safe operation of a snowmobile.

Reckless Snowmobiling

(2) No person shall operate a snowmobile in such a manner as to indicate either a wanton or a willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Penalties: (6) Any person who violates subsection (2) or (3) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Criminal Defense

In Custody Crimes (Crimes related to Correctional Facilities)

Introducing Contraband in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-203

(1) a person commits introducing contraband in the first degree if he or she knowingly and unlawfully:

(a) introduces or attempts to introduce a dangerous instrument, malt, vinous, or spiritous liquor, fermented malt beverage, controlled substance, or marijuana into a detention facility or at any location where an inmate is or is likely to be located, while an inmate is in the custody and under the jurisdiction of a political subdivision of the state of Colorado or the department of corrections , but not on parole; or

(b) being a person confined in a detention facility, makes any dangerous instrument, controlled substance, marijuana, or alcohol.

(2) introducing contraband in the first degree is a class 4 felony.

Introducing Contraband in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-204

(1) a persons commits introducing contraband in the second degree if he or see knowingly and unlawfully:

(a) introduces or attempts to introduce contraband into a detention facility

(b) being a person confined in a detention facility, makes any contraband

(3) introduction of contraband in the second degree is a class 6 felony.

Criminal Defense

Jail Visits and Advisement Upon Arrest

Often one of the most critical stages of any case is the first 24-72 hours after an arrest. Smith & Weidinger can help you at this critical juncture.

Has a loved one been arrested? Here is some basic information that is good to know:

  • Law enforcement in Colorado have the ability arrest a suspect. For certain lower level offenses they might issue a summons and forgo an arrest. However, for certain felonies, any instances of domestic violence, and any instances of a violations of a protection order (aka restraining) order an arrest may be mandatory.
  • Certain arrests are done because there is a warrant out. That warrant could be for an allegation of a new crime, a failure to appear in court, a failure to comply with a court order, a violation of bond conditions, a violation of probation, or one of a number of other scenarios.
  • If the arrest is for a warrant issued by a judge, then there may already be a bond associated with the case. In those instances you can post cash or use a surety (bondsman) to post a sum of money promising that a citizen will return for court. In those instances it may be possible to get someone out of jail the same day they are arrested. Unfortunately there are some warrants that are "no bond" meaning that subject will have to wait to see a judge until they have the possibility of being released.
  • If the allegation is a new crime, then the subject will most often have to see a judge who would set bond for them. Typically this is done the next day if the courts are open. However, if it is a weekend or a holiday then the subject may have to wait until the next Court date to see a judge. This means that you or your loved one is arrested on a Friday evening they may not see a judge until Monday or even Tuesday if it is a three day holiday weekend. In certain larger jurisdictions such as Denver, there may be weekend court where a judge or a magistrate can set a bond on Saturday or Sunday.

Can I go visit them?

  • Each county sheriff sets visitation for their own jail. Typically in-person visitation for non-professionals is very restrictive or non-existent. In the era of Covid this became even more common. However, most every jail has a phone or video teleconference system that allows inmates to contact friends or family. In order to use this you often need to set up an account and/or put "money on the books" of your loved ones. Each county jail has a different policy and may use different contractors for these services. Therefore it is best to search for and review the website of the county sheriff where you loved one is being held.

Can a lawyer go visit them?

  • Under Colorado law, the sheriff must permit a lawyer to speak to an incarcerated person. This can very often be done in person to preserve the confidentiality of that visit. If your loved one is a client of Smith & Weidinger please just call us and we will make arrangements as soon as possible to visit them.

What if my loved one does not yet have a lawyer?

  • Anyone who is in jail has the option to use the Colorado Public Defender to represent them at a bond hearing. These are often very skilled and conscientious lawyers. However, they also often deal with sometimes up to dozens of subjects going before the judge the same day.  So their prep time in talking to your loved one might be limited to a few minutes.
  • If you decide to retain private counsel such as Smith & Weidinger, we can visit your loved one, advise them of their rights, and then appear with them at their bond hearing.
  • Under Colorado law an individual must consult with a prospective attorney prior to having them enter representation for them. However, we can visit your loved one and give them the opportunity to make that decision. You as a guarantor can pay for that visit and even the eventual representation if your loved one is satisfied that there is a good fit for legal representation. The representation would be the incarcerated person and our duties as far as confidentiality would be due to them regardless of who was paying for the legal services. Please call us at (720)996-2600 and we can explain the process in much greater depth.

Why is it important to get an attorney at this early stage?

  • A bond hearing can be a vital part of any case. That is the point the judge decides what, if any, bond will be allowed for the Defendant. A high bond could delay your loved one from getting out of jail.
  • The bond hearing can also result in court orders for pre-trial drug or alcohol testing, sometimes in serious matters GPS monitoring, and often protection (restraining) orders. These orders can substantially impact a person's relationship with their family, their work, and their quality of life. It is important that the judge has all the information in your loved one's favor to help that decision since you can be assured the prosecutor will often be trying to portray them in the most negative light possible.

Criminal Defense

Sex Crimes

Sentencing for Sex Crimes can be extremely severe. Even lower level sex offenses may require registration as a sex offender and close probation supervision.

Misdemeanors

  • Unlawful Sexual Contact, 18-3-404: includes any person subjecting a victim to any sexual contact that is non-consensual, that the victim is unconscious or incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct, or that the victim was involuntarily intoxicated by the offender.

  • Invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification, 18-3-405.6: typically involves the taking of intimate pictures of another person without their knowledge. This can be a felony if the victim is under 15yo.

  • Criminal Invasion of Privacy, 18-7-801:  a person who knowingly observes or takes photographs of another person's intimate parts, without that person's consent, in a situation where the person observed or photographed has a reasonable expectation of privacy, commits criminal invasion of privacy. (2) criminal invasion of privacy is a class 2 misdemeanor.

  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender, 18-3-412.5: occurs if a person required to register fails to do so. This can be a felony if the underlying offense is a felony.

  • Prostitution, 18-7-201: occurs if a person receives money in exchange for a sex act. This is an M3 punishable by up to six months in jail.

  • Solicitation for Prostitution, 18-7-202: occurs is a person offers another money in exchange for a sex act. This is an M3 punishable by up to six months in jail.

  • Patronizing a Prostitute, 18-7-205: occurs if a person pays for sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with a prostitution. This is a M1 punishable by up to a year in jail.

  • Pubic Indecency, 18-7-301: involves a public act of intercourse, lewd fondly, or knowing exposure of genitals in a way to that causes affront or alarm. This is a petty offense punishable by up to six months in jail.

  • Indecent Exposure, 18-7-302: involves a knowing exposure of their genitals or masturbates in such a way likely to cause affront or alarm. This is a M1 punishisable by up to a year in jail. A second offense may be a felony.

Felonies

  • Sexual Assault, 18-3-402: can occur if sexual penetration happens due to force, the victim is incapable of consent, being 10 years older than a victim between 15-17yo, being no greater than 4 years older than a victim under 15yo.

  • Sexual Assault on a Child, 18-3-405: can occur when the child is under 15yo and the offender is no greater than 4 years older than the victim.

  • Sexual Assault on a Child by One in Position of Trust, 18-3-405.3: applies if the offender is in position of trust with respect to the child.

  • Enticement of a Child, 18-3-305: inviting or persuading a child under 15yo into a secluded place with the intent to commit sexual assault on them.

  • Internet Luring of a Child, 18-3-306: uses phone, text, or the internet to describe explicit sexual conduct and alongside that attempts to persuade a child under 15yo to meet up.

  • Internet Sexual Exploitation of a Child, 18-3-405.4: typically involves the use of the internet, text or phone, to cause a child to expose or touch their intimate parts; or to expose or touch an offender's intimate parts to that child.

  • Pandering, 18-7-203: means inducing someone through threat into committing prostitution or arranging a situation where someone commits prostitution.

  • Pimping, 18-7-206: involves a person knowingly living on or supported in whole or part by money obtained through prostituting others.
Criminal Defense

Property Crimes

Criminal mischief § 18-4-501. (this can be known as vandalism, destruction of private property, destruction of personal property etc. The severity of the charge is entirely dependent upon the amount of damage that is alleged. It is the prosecutor job to prove the amount of damage beyond a reasonable doubt.)

(1) A person commits criminal mischief when he or she knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons, including property owned by the person jointly with another person or property owned by the person in which another person has a possessory or proprietary interest, in the course of a single criminal episode.

(4) Criminal mischief is:

(a) A class 3 misdemeanor when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is less than three hundred dollars;

(b) A class 2 misdemeanor when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is three hundred dollars or more but less than seven hundred fifty dollars;

(c) A class 1 misdemeanor when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is seven hundred fifty dollars or more but less than one thousand dollars;

(d) A class 6 felony when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is one thousand dollars or more but less than five thousand dollars;

(e) A class 5 felony when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is five thousand dollars or more but less than twenty thousand dollars;

(f) A class 4 felony when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is twenty thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars;

(g) A class 3 felony when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is one hundred thousand dollars or more but less than one million dollars; and

(h) A class 2 felony when the aggregate damage to the real or personal property is one million dollars or more.

TRESPASS

There are many subcategories of trespass. These can vary from felonies all the way down to petty offenses. Much depends on what is trespassed and whether the trespasser intended to commit a crime at the time of the trespassing. You can also be charged with a municipal trespass violation, the nature and potential sentences vary from town to town.

First degree criminal trespass § 18-4-502

A person commits the crime of first degree criminal trespass if such person knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in a dwelling of another or if such person enters any motor vehicle with intent to commit a crime therein. First degree criminal trespass is a class 5 felony.

Second degree criminal trespass § 18-4-503.

(1) A person commits the crime of second degree criminal trespass if such person:

(a) Unlawfully enters or remains in or upon the premises of another which are enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or are fenced; or

(b) Knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in or upon the common areas of a hotel, motel, condominium, or apartment building; or

( c) Knowingly and unlawfully enters or remains in a motor vehicle of another.

(2) Second degree criminal trespass is a class 3 misdemeanor, but:

(a) It is a class 2 misdemeanor if the premises have been classified by the county assessor for the county in which the land is situated as agricultural land pursuant to section 39-1-102 (1.6), C.R.S.; and

(b) It is a class 4 felony if the person trespasses on premises so classified as agricultural land with the intent to commit a felony thereon.

Third degree criminal trespass § 18-4-504.

(1) A person commits the crime of third degree criminal trespass if such person unlawfully enters or remains in or upon premises of another.

(2) Third degree criminal trespass is a class 1 petty offense, but:

(a) It is a class 3 misdemeanor if the premises have been classified by the county assessor for the county in which the land is situated as agricultural land pursuant to section 39-1-102 (1.6), C.R.S.; and

(b) It is a class 5 felony if the person trespasses on premises so classified as agricultural land with the intent to commit a felony thereon.

TAMPERING

First degree criminal tampering, § 18-4-505.

Except as provided in sections 18-4-506.3 and 18-4-506.5, a person commits the crime of first degree criminal tampering if, with intent to cause interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an institution providing health or safety protection, he tampers with property of a utility or institution. First degree criminal tampering is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Second degree criminal tampering, § 18-4-506.

Except as provided in sections 18-4-506.3 and 18-4-506.5, a person commits the crime of second degree criminal tampering if he tampers with property of another with intent to cause injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to that person or to another or if he knowingly makes an unauthorized connection with property of a utility. Second degree criminal tampering is a class 2 misdemeanor.

BURGLARY: charges and consequences are highly dependent on the building involved and the intend of the accused.

First degree burglary, § 18-4-202.

(1) A person commits first degree burglary if the person knowingly enters unlawfully, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry, in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime, other than trespass as defined in this article, against another person or property, and if in effecting entry or while in the building or occupied structure or in immediate flight therefrom, the person or another participant in the crime assaults or menaces any person, the person or another participant is armed with explosives, or the person or another participant uses a deadly weapon or possesses and threatens the use of a deadly weapon.

(2) First degree burglary is a class 3 felony.

(3) If under the circumstances stated in subsection (1) of this section the property involved is a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), within a pharmacy or other place having lawful possession thereof, such person commits first degree burglary of controlled substances, which is a class 2 felony.

Second degree burglary, § 18-4-203

(1) A person commits second degree burglary, if the person knowingly breaks an entrance into, enters unlawfully in, or remains unlawfully after a lawful or unlawful entry in a building or occupied structure with intent to commit therein a crime against another person or property.

(2) Second degree burglary is a class 4 felony, but it is a class 3 felony if:

(a) It is a burglary of a dwelling; or

(b) It is a burglary, the objective of which is the theft of a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), lawfully kept within any building or occupied structure.

Third degree burglary, § 18-4-204

(1) A person commits third degree burglary if with intent to commit a crime he enters or breaks into any vault, safe, cash register, coin vending machine, product dispenser, money depository, safety deposit box, coin telephone, coin box, or other apparatus or equipment whether or not coin operated.

(2) Third degree burglary is a class 5 felony, but it is a class 4 felony if it is a burglary, the objective of which is the theft of a controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), lawfully kept in or upon the property burglarized.

ARSON: Colorado has a variety of laws against arson. The punishment and consequences vary heavily based on the circumstances of the case.

First degree arson, § 18-4-102.

(1) A person who knowingly sets fire to, burns, causes to be burned, or by the use of any explosive damages or destroys, or causes to be damaged or destroyed, any building or occupied structure of another without his consent commits first degree arson.

(2) First degree arson is a class 3 felony.

(3) A defendant convicted of committing first degree arson by the use of any explosive shall be sentenced by the court in accordance with the provisions of section 18-1.3-406.

Second degree arson, § 18-4-103.

(1) A person who knowingly sets fire to, burns, causes to be burned, or by the use of any explosive damages or destroys, or causes to be damaged or destroyed, any property of another without his consent, other than a building or occupied structure, commits second degree arson.

(2) Second degree arson is a class 4 felony, if the damage is one hundred dollars or more.

(3) Second degree arson is a class 2 misdemeanor, if the damage is less than one hundred dollars.

Third degree arson, § 18-4-104.

(1) A person who, by means of fire or explosives, intentionally damages any property with intent to defraud commits third degree arson.

(2) Third degree arson is a class 4 felony.

Fourth degree arson, § 18-4-105.

(1) A person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire or causes an explosion, on his own property or that of another, and by so doing places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage commits fourth degree arson.

(2) Fourth degree arson is a class 4 felony if a person is thus endangered.

(3) Fourth degree arson is a class 2 misdemeanor if only property is thus endangered and the value of the property is one hundred dollars or more.

(4) Fourth degree arson is a class 3 misdemeanor if only property is thus endangered and the value of the property is less than one hundred dollars.

(5) It shall not be an arson offense pursuant to this section if:

(a) A person starts and maintains a fire as a controlled agricultural burn in a reasonably cautious manner; and

(b) No person suffers any of the following as a result of the fire:

(I) Bodily injury;

(II) Serious bodily injury; or

(III) Death.

(6) For purposes of this section, "controlled agricultural burn" means a technique used in farming to clear the land of any existing crop residue, kill weeds and weed seeds, or reduce fuel buildup and decrease the likelihood of a future fire.

ROBBERY

Robbery, § 18-4-301.

(1) A person who knowingly takes anything of value from the person or presence of another by the use of force, threats, or intimidation commits robbery.

(2) Robbery is a class 4 felony.

Aggravated robbery, , § 18-4-302.

(1) A person who commits robbery is guilty of aggravated robbery if during the act of robbery or immediate flight therefrom:

(a) He is armed with a deadly weapon with intent, if resisted, to kill, maim, or wound the person robbed or any other person; or

(b) He knowingly wounds or strikes the person robbed or any other person with a deadly weapon or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation with a deadly weapon knowingly puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or

(c) He has present a confederate, aiding or abetting the perpetration of the robbery, armed with a deadly weapon, with the intent, either on the part of the defendant or confederate, if resistance is offered, to kill, maim, or wound the person robbed or any other person, or by the use of force, threats, or intimidation puts the person robbed or any other person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or

(d) He possesses any article used or fashioned in a manner to lead any person who is present reasonably to believe it to be a deadly weapon or represents verbally or otherwise that he is then and there so armed.

(2) Repealed.

(3) Aggravated robbery is a class 3 felony and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified presumptive sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (10).

(4) If a defendant is convicted of aggravated robbery pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section, the court shall sentence the defendant in accordance with the provisions of section 18-1.3-406.

Aggravated robbery of controlled substances, § 18-4-303.

(1) A person who takes any controlled substance, as defined in section 18-18-102 (5), from any pharmacy or other place having lawful possession thereof or from any pharmacist or other person having lawful possession thereof under the aggravating circumstances defined in section 18-4-302 is guilty of aggravated robbery of controlled substances.

(2) Aggravated robbery of controlled substances is a class 2 felony.

Criminal Defense

White Collar Crime

Many crimes do not involve violence or the threat there of. White collar crime is a complicated subject. It often involves political or industrial intrigue. Accusations can destroy a business, a person's private fortune, and/or put their liberty at risk. These cases are of the utmost importance in protecting your reputation and freedom.

Public Employees such as prison guards, probation officers, police officers, sheriff's deputies or other members of government can sometime be charged with violating regulations associated with their office as crimes. This prosecutions can be highly aggressive and it is important to have aggressive legal representation of the sort that Smith & Weidinger can provide:

First Degree Official Misconduct, C.R.S. 18-8-404

(1) A public servant commits first degree official misconduct if, with intent to obtain a benefit for the public servant or another or maliciously cause to cause harm to another, he or she knowingly;

(a) commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official function; or

(b) refrains from performing a duty impose upon him by law; or

(c) violates any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation related to his office.

(2) First degree official misconduct is a class 2 misdemeanor.

Second Degree Official Misconduct, C.R.S. 18-8-405

(1) A public servant commits second degree official misconduct if he knowingly, arbitrarily, and capriciously:

(a) refrains from performing a duty imposed him upon law; or

(b) violates any statute or lawfully adopted rule or regulation relating to his office.

(2) Second degree official misconduct is a class 1 petty offense.

Embezzlement of Public Property, C.R.S. 18-8-407

(1) Every public servant who lawfully or unlawfully comes into possession of any public moneys or public property of whatever description, being the property of the state or of any political subdivision of the state, and who knowingly converts any of such public moneys or property to his own use or to any use other than the public use authorized by the law is guilty of embezzlement of public property. Every person convicted under the provisions of this section shall be forever ineligible and disqualified from being a member of the general assembly of this state or from holding any office of trust or profit in this state.

(2) Embezzlement of public property is a class 5 felony.

Perjury in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-502

(1) A person commits perjury in the first degree if in any official proceeding he knowingly makes a materially false statement, which he does not believe to be true, under an oath required or authorized by law.

(2) knowledge of the materiality of the statement is not an element of this crime, and the defendant's mistaken belief that his statement was not material is not a defense is not a defense, although it may be may be considered by the court in imposing sentence.

(3) Perjury in the first degree is a class 4 felony.

Perjury in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-8-503

(1) A person commits perjury in the second degree if, other in an official proceeding, with an intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his duty, he makes a materially false statement, which he does not believe to be true, under an oath required by law.

(2) Perjury in the second degree is a class 1 misdemeanor.

Perjury in the Second Degree can sometimes be charged against someone applying to buy a firearm (gun) or applying for a concealed carry permit. It is important to protect your Second Amendment rights and to not be railroaded on this charge.

Bribery, C.R.S. 18-8-302

(1) A person commits the crime of bribery, if:

(a) he offers, confers, or agrees to confer any pecuniary benefit upon a public servant with the intent to influence the public servant's vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion, or other action in his official capacity, or

(b) while a public servant, he solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept any pecuniary benefit upon an agreement or understanding that his vote, opinion, judgment, exercise of discretion, or other action as a public servant will thereby be influenced.

(3) Bribery is a class 3 felony.

Violation of bail bond conditions aka VBBC, C.R.S. 18-8-212

(1) A person who is released on bail bond of whatever kind, and either before, during, or after release is accused by complaint, information, indictment, or the filing of a delinquency petition of any felony arising from the conduct for which he was arrested, commits a class 6 felony if he knowingly fails to appear for trial or other proceedings in the case in which the bail bond was filed of if he knowingly violates the conditions of the bail bond.

(2) A person who is released on bail bond of whatever kind, and either before, during or after release is accused by complaint, information, indictment, or the filing of a delinquency petition, arising from the conduct for which he was arrested, commits a class 3 misdemeanor if he knowingly fails to appear for trial or other proceedings in the case in which the bail bond was filed or if he knowingly violates the conditions of the bail bond.

Impersonating a Public Servant, 18-8-113

(1) a person commits impersonating a public servant if he falsely pretends to be a public servant other than a peace officer and performs any act in that pretended capacity.

(2) it is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the office the actor pretended to hold did not if fact exist.

(3) impersonating a public servant is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Abuse of a Public Records, C.R.S. 18-8-114

(1) a person commits a class 1 misdemeanor if:

(a) the person knowingly makes a false entry in or falsely alters any public record; or

(b) knowing the person lacks the authority to do so, the person knowingly destroys, mutilates, conceals, removes, or impairs, the availability of any public record; or

(c) knowing the person lacks the authority to retain the record, the person refuses to deliver up a public record in the person's possession upon proper request of any person lawfully entitled to receive such record.

(d) knowing the person has not been authorized by the custodian of the public record to do so, the person knowingly alters any public record.

(2) As used in this section, the term "public records" includes all official books, papers, or records created, received, or used by or in any governmental office or agency.

Criminal Defense

Marijuana Offenses

Wait isn't Marijuana legal in Colorado?

  • While it is legal in many circumstances, marijuana is highly regulated. There remain many criminal offenses associated with marijuana that are still prosecuted in the Colorado state courts.
  • Also, it must be emphasized that under Federal law, marijuana remains illegal. This prohibition does not often impact the average citizen but could if marijuana is taken onto federal land (national parks, national forests, bureau of land management land, military bases etc). The Federal government also can prosecute persons they believe are trafficking in marijuana.

What sort of laws do I have to be concerned about with respect to marijuana?

  • For an average user it is important to know that persons in Colorado can be prosecuted for driving under the influence if they are suspected to be impaired by marijuana. This is similar to an alcohol DUI. However, there are no breath tests and for a blood test the government would need to get a forensic toxicologist to testify as to the impact of THC on the driver.
  • It is also important to know that possession of marijuana by someone under 21 can result in charge of minor-in-possession (MIP). Giving or selling marijuana to someone under 21 can also result in potential charges.
  • Colorado still has felony laws against the unlicensed distribution or trafficking of large amounts of marijuana. Folks entering into Colorado with the intent to return to their home state with a large amount of marijuana can end up in very serious legal trouble. Trafficking charges involving marijuana can result in lengthy prison sentences and must be treated with the utmost seriousness.

What if I have an old marijuana conviction, I've hear that these can now be sealed?

  • There are many convictions for certain crimes including those involving marijuana that can now be sealed under Colorado law. Please contact us for a consult and we will be happy to evaluate if yours is eligible. There are a number of factors that determine whether a Court can seal an old criminal case and we can talk you through those.

Criminal Defense

Narcotics Offenses

Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Distribution of Cocaine, Distribution of Heroin, Distribution of Methamphetamine, Distribution of Marijuana. Distribution of a Controlled Substance.

Criminal Defense

Violent Crimes

Penalties for Violent Crimes in Colorado can be extremely harsh. It is important to know your rights.

Misdemeanors

  • Assault in the Third Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-204: generally requires simple bodily injury. M1 punishable by up to two years in the county jail.

  • Menacing, C.R.S. 18-3-206: places someone in fear of imminent serious bodily injury without using a weapon. M3 punishable by up to six months in the county jail.

  • Physical Harassment, C.R.S.

  • Reckless Endangerment, C.R.S. 18-3-208: recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury. M3 punishable by up to six months in the county jail.

  • False Imprisonment, C.R.S. 18-3-303: knowingly confining or detaining another person without their consent (longer than 12 hours is a felony). M2 punishable by up to a year in the county jail.

Felonies

Sentencing on felonies in Colorado is very complex and there are many factors that could be consequential to the maximum or minimum available sentence.

  • Murder in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-102: most commonly when after deliberation and intent a person causes the death of another.

  • Murder in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-103: most commonly when a person knowingly causes the death of another.

  • Manslaughter, C.R.S. 18-3-104: most commonly a person recklessly causes the death of another person.

  • Criminally Negligent Homicide, C.R.S. 18-3-105: causing the death of another by conduct amounting to criminal negligence.

  • Vehicular Homicide, C.R.S. 18-3-106: most commonly when you kill another through reckless and/or intoxicated driving.

  • Assault in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-202 most commonly when someone intends to and does cause seriously bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon. Also applies to the intentional disfigurement of another person.

  • Assault in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-203 most commonly when a person causes bodily injury to another by means or a deadly weapon or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon. Also applies to intentionally causing bodily injury to a first responder while they are performing their lawful duty.

  • Vehicular Assault, C.R.S. 18-3-205: most commonly occurs when someone is driving recklessly and/or intoxicated and their conduct results in serious bodily injury to another person.

  • Felony Menacing, C.R.S. 18-3-206: knowingly placing another person in fear of imminent bodily injury through the use of a deadly or imitation of a deadly weapon.

  • Kidnapping in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-301: most commonly demanding a ransom or concession through the knowing seizure or imprisonment of another person.

  • Kidnapping in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-302: most commonly carrying away another person without their consent or enticing a child away from their lawful guardian with the intent to keep or conceal the child.

  • Stalking, C.R.S. 18-3-602: can occur if a person threatens another and then repeatedly follows them or places under surveillance, can also occur if a credible threat is made and repeatedly makes communications based on that threat, can also occur if someone repeatedly follows or surveilles a victim in a way that causes serious emotional distress.

Criminal Defense

Domestic Violence

What is considered Domestic Violence in Colorado?

“Domestic violence” means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Domestic violence” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.

What qualifies as an intimate relationship?

“Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.

Is it is a separate crime?

No.  There is no crime of domestic violence in Colorado. Rather any crime can be charged as an act of DV if law enforcement or district attorney believes it meets the definition. That includes anything from littering to murder. Some of the most common crimes charged as DV include assault, criminal mischief, physical harassment, phone harassment, stalking, and protection order violations. However, almost any crime can be charged as an act of DV.

What is the punishment for Domestic Violence?

Since it is not a separate crime there is not a presumptive length of sentence for someone found guilty of DV. So if you were convicted of misdemeanor criminal mischief as DV you'd be eligible to go to jail based on the criminal mischief charge. Similarly if you found guilty of felony menacing as DV you could go to prison based on the menacing count. A conviction for DV would require DV counseling as a condition of probation.

What are the implications of the DV tag during the initial investigation?

If law enforcement has probable cause to believe a crime occurred and that it was an act of DV they must arrest the person they believe is responsible. That person cannot bond out of jail until they have seen a judge. Law enforcement cannot issue a summons in lieu of arrest in a DV case.

What is a mandatory arrest?

In Colorado, law enforcement is required to investigate any accusation of DV. If they find probable cause exists (a 51% likelihood) that a crime occurred they MUST arrest the accused. They can never simply write a ticket or summons. A person charged with a crime involving DV must see a judge who will set bond and issue a protection order.

What is a dual arrest?

In certain circumstances law enforcement may arrest both parties involved in a dispute and charge each with DV. It is highly important to get legal representation early so they you can have an effective advocate to speak to the prosecutor. Many times one or the other person charged may have their case dismissed if it can be shown that the other person was the primary aggressor.

What happen if you get arrested for DV?

A person accused of DV will be held at a county jail until they can see a judge. Often that is the next day. However, if you are arrested on Friday that can be the next Monday or even the Tuesday if it is a long weekend. Certain jurisdictions do hold Court on Saturday and/or Sunday where bond can be set. Smith & Weidinger can often appear at this weekend court appearances. This first hearing is often one of the most vital and it is vital to have a strong advocate.

What is bond? How is it set?

Bond is what the Courts use to ensure compliance with Court orders and appearance at Court. In some circumstances a Personal Recognizance (PR) bond may be set. That simply means the accused can sign a form that says that he or she will abide by Court orders and return to Court. In other situations a surety or cash bond may be set. If it is a monetary bond then that can be posted by the defendant, a family member or friend, or through the use of a bail bondsman. If someone fails to show up to Court or disobeys a court order that money may be ordered forfeited by a Judge. In Colorado, Judge are required to set bond in a way that protects the community and ensures that persons show up back at Court. They evaluate an accused's criminal history, the nature of the current allegations, the stability of a person's life in terms of housing and work, along with a host of other factors. It is important to have a strong advocate at this initial hearing.

Can bond be reduced once set?

Yes, a Defendant can apply to have bond reduced or modified. This can be done on your own (pro se) or via an attorney. Often the Court does not have very complete information when someone first appears at Court and an effective attorney can help get bond reduced by bringing positive things in someone's life to the Court's attention.

What is a protection order?

Along with bond, a Judge must issue a protection order in every case involving an allegation of DV. The protection order is essentially a restraining order. It can order a person not to have any contact with their kids, spouse, leave their home, wear a GPS tracker, abstain from alcohol, and many other infringements on your personal freedom. It is important to have a strong advocate that can minimize these orders that can have a devastating impact on your personal and/or working life.

Can a protection order be modified once issued?

Absolutely. You can always apply to a Judge to change a protection order. Under the Colorado Victims Rights Amendment the alleged victim of the crime must be consulted by the prosecutor and has a right to appear to speak to the Judge about the order. It is important to have strong advocacy when it comes to these vital issues.

What happens if someone is accused of a protection order violation?

This is another matter under Colorado law where it is a mandatory arrest. Law enforcement has no discretion and cannot issue a summons. The accused will be held in a county jail until they see a Judge who will decide what bond to set and whether or not additional conditions need to be added to the protection order. Violation of a Protection Order may be a crime of DV but it can also be charged as a ordinary non-DV crime depending on the circumstances.