Some gun owners learn the hard way that in Colorado, it’s illegal to possess a firearm while intoxicated. This fact can come to their attention quite suddenly, when they find out they are charged with “prohibited use of a weapon” (as defined by CRS 18-12-106) in addition to a DUI or domestic violence charge. It’s a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of 3 to 12 months and a fine of up to $1,000.
Though possession of a concealed carry permit is not a defense against this charge, there may be other viable defenses depending on the circumstances of the case.
Defense of Prohibited Use Of A Weapon Charges
A skilled defense lawyer will carefully review every aspect of the case to determine how to proceed. The words “possession” and “intoxication” are key in this regard. Neither word is defined in CRS-18-12-106.
Was the gun actually on the person or was it in the car’s glove compartment or trunk? Was the defendant even aware of the presence of the gun? Was the person actually “intoxicated” or was the person merely “impaired” or “under the influence” in violation of Colorado’s DUI laws?
The answers to questions such as these could make it difficult for a prosecutor to win at trial. They might also result in the prosecutor dropping the charge.