While Prohibited Use of Weapons is less serious than many felony gun cases, it still rises to the top of misdemeanor criminal offenses in Denver, Jefferson and Douglas County. DAs and judges worry that the use or involvement of a firearm runs the risk of serious bodily injury to others. For this reason, having a top criminal lawyer on your side is a must.
Common Scenarios and Fact Patterns for Prohibited Use of Weapons Charges
While this crime can involve aiming a firearm at another person, the discharge of a firearm or bow and arrow, setting a loaded gun trap, possession of a gun while under the influence of alcohol and the use of a throwing star or nunchaku, 90 % of the time we see charges involving only two categories: the discharge of a firearm and possession of a gun while drinking alcohol. Let's get into more detail on each of these.
The Discharge of a Gun, Firearm, Rifle, Handgun, or Shotgun
Prohibited Use of Weapons in Denver, Gunnison and Chaffee County includes the reckless or criminally negligent discharge of a gun, firearm, rifle, handgun, or shotgun. To understand this subsection, we need to define reckless and criminal negligence. Reckless is defined at C.R.S. 18-1-501, as "consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur or that a circumstance exists." Criminal Negligence occurs "when, through a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise, he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur or that a circumstance exists." As you can imagine, these definitions are critical to your charges. Less certain is how a jury will apply these essential definitions to the facts of your case. With our 20+ years of experience, we can usually predict what a jury will do in your case.
An example we often see is when a gun discharges during cleaning or handling. The gun is dropped, the trigger is accidently pulled, or a discharge occurs unintentionally. In many cases, the noise of the gun's report causes neighbors to become alarmed and call police. In some cases, the bullet actually exits one house and enters another.
Possession of a Gun or Firearm While Drinking
Alcohol plus gun is a potentially deadly combination. Yet, are charges justified when a person is having a few drinks and their gun is locked in a secure safe or lock box? Does a person need to get rid of all the guns in their house to have a few glasses of wine during dinner? We can all agree that having a gun in your hand while drunk is a safety issue. The closer questions are: 1) How close or available can the gun be while drinking? And, 2) How much can a person have to drink when a firearm is nearby and accessible? These are factual questions for the jury in your Adams, Pitkin and Arapahoe County court case.
We have defended innocent men and women from unjustified Prohibited Use of Weapons charges for over two decades. Trust your life with the best lawyer from O'Malley Law Office, P.C., by calling 303-731-0719, today. Together, we can protect your future.
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