It is illegal in Colorado to knowingly or recklessly shoot a gun into an occupied dwelling or motor vehicle. This crime can be committed in different ways. Sometimes, discharging a firearm is done intentionally like in instances that involve drive-by shootings. In other scenarios, a gun either goes off accidentally during cleaning or is fired at a structure for target practice / sport. Either way, if there is a risk that someone might be inside one of these structures, felony charges can ensue. Consulting an illegal discharge of a firearm attorney is a must in situations such as these.
What is Illegal Discharge of a Firearm in Colorado?
C.R.S. 18-12-107.5 defines key elements that involve committing illegal discharge of a firearm:
- A person knowingly or recklessly
- Discharges a firearm
- Into any occupied dwelling, structure, or motor vehicle
“Knowingly” in this instance refers to someone that is aware of his / her actions and the circumstances of that conduct. In addition, “recklessly” means there is disregard for the risk involved with shooting a gun into a potentially occupied structure. Firing a gun into a dwelling, structure, or car that is occupied is a felony crime, regardless of whether those inside are actually in harm’s way. Furthermore, a bullet simply needs to come into contact with the exterior surface of a dwelling or car for illegal discharge of a firearm to occur. This means a bullet doesn’t need to penetrate a surface or enter the interior for charges to apply.
Punishments for Illegal Discharge of a Firearm in Colorado
Illegal Discharge of a Firearm is a class 5 felony in Denver, and throughout Colorado. This means conviction can result in 1 to 3 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Additionally, a fine of $1,000 – $100,000 can be part of a sentence. Due to the felony conviction, owning a firearm in the future is prohibited. This criminal record can also result in the loss of a job or difficulties finding future employment. In some scenarios, if the bullet does not enter an occupied dwelling, structure, or vehicle, the lesser misdemeanor charge of Prohibited Use of Weapons can apply.
Illegal Discharge of a Firearm Attorney | Pro-Gun Defense
At O’Malley and Sawyer, we value citizen’s rights to bear arms and will aggressively fight for those freedoms. Many people charged with Illegal Discharge of a Firearm mistakenly fired a gun, but now face severe criminal charges. This is where strong, experienced criminal defense is vital. We have over 40 years combined experience working with district attorneys in Colorado and have a vast knowledge of the system. If you’ve been accused of a gun crime, don’t talk with police or give investigators statements of any kind. Instead, contact Denver’s best defense lawyers to manage your unique situation.
If you or someone you know is facing Illegal Discharge of a Firearm, be smart. Contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at O’Malley and Sawyer at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.
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