COCCA = Colorado Orgainized Crime Control Act
Colorado has an organized crime control act, located at C.R.S. 18-17-102. That sounds good, right? We want to keep gangs from ruling our state. Like all good laws in Denver and Arapahoe Count, however, the facts of some criminal cases and crimes which were not intended to fall under the terms of this law sometimes do, and the results are ridiculous. While I am the first to admit we have some great deputy district attorneys who make charging decisions to keep this from happening, some don’t.
Meet the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act
Broad. That is the best summary I can give you of this act. It covers any crimnal case or crime from a huge list. Here are just a few: first or second degree murder, kidnapping, arson, assault (including misdemeanor), criminal mischief, fraud, forgery, criminal impersonation, sexual exploitation of children, gambling, firearms, menacing, etc. Really, most any crime in Jefferson and Douglas County will qualify. Next, there must be at least two acts of “racketeering activity”. Racketeering Activity just means that a person commit, attempt to commit or conspire to commit any of the crimes I listed above (or a ton others). Third, you need a pattern of racketeering activity – which means at least two instances of one or more of the crimes listed. Fourth, a person involved in the racketeering activity cannot use the proceeds to purchase real estate, or operate the enterprise; to purchase securities; acquire an interest in the criminal enterprise or real estate; or participate in the enterprise. Again, this is really broad.
The Penalty for Participating in a COCCA Crime
The sentence and related penalties are ridiculously tough. First, it is a class 2 felony criminal case, which means you can be sentenced to the Department of Corrections from 8 – 24 years. There is up to a 25,000 fine. All property involved in the Adams or Park County COCCA crime (including misdemeanor activity) shall be forfeited. Additionally, there are severe civil remedies listed at C.R.S. 18-17-106. All I can say in summary is “overkill”.
If you are charged in a COCCA criminal case, be very smart and keep your mouth closed. Really. With stakes this high, you can’t afford to help police convict you. And, no, they are not your friend like on TV. Our criminal defense lawyers care about you and don’t want to see you end up in prison. Call us at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.