Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 12 – 108.5 – Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-12-108.5. Possession of handguns by juveniles – prohibited – exceptions – penalty

(1) (a) Except as provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person who has not attained the age of eighteen years knowingly to have any handgun in such person’s possession.

(b) Any person possessing any handgun in violation of paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) commits the offense of illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile.

(c) (I) Illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a class 2 misdemeanor.

(II) For any second or subsequent offense, illegal possession of a handgun by a juvenile is a class 5 felony.

(d) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is taken into custody by a law enforcement officer for an offense pursuant to this section shall be taken into temporary custody in the manner described in section 19-2-508, C.R.S.

(2) This section shall not apply to:

(a) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is:

(I) In attendance at a hunter’s safety course or a firearms safety course; or

(II) Engaging in practice in the use of a firearm or target shooting at an established range authorized by the governing body of the jurisdiction in which such range is located or any other area where the discharge of a firearm is not prohibited; or

(III) Engaging in an organized competition involving the use of a firearm or participating in or practicing for a performance by an organized group under 501 (c) (3) as determined by the federal internal revenue service which uses firearms as a part of such performance; or

(IV) Hunting or trapping pursuant to a valid license issued to such person pursuant to article 4 of title 33, C.R.S.; or

(V) Traveling with any handgun in such person’s possession being unloaded to or from any activity described in subparagraph (I), (II), (III), or (IV) of this paragraph (a);

(b) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is on real property under the control of such person’s parent, legal guardian, or grandparent and who has the permission of such person’s parent or legal guardian to possess a handgun;

(c) Any person under the age of eighteen years who is at such person’s residence and who, with the permission of such person’s parent or legal guardian, possesses a handgun for the purpose of exercising the rights contained in section 18-1-704 or section 18-1-704.5.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section, a handgun is “loaded” if:

(a) There is a cartridge in the chamber of the handgun; or

(b) There is a cartridge in the cylinder of the handgun, if the handgun is a revolver; or

(c) The handgun, and the ammunition for such handgun, is carried on the person of a person under the age of eighteen years or is in such close proximity to such person that such person could readily gain access to the handgun and the ammunition and load the handgun.

(4) Repealed.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile

Penalties

The charge of Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile, is categorized as a:

M2
F5, if subsequent offense

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a CO Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your CO Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile below. These will be adapted by your CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of the crime of possession of handguns by a juvenile are: 1. That the defendant, 2. before attaining the age of eighteen years, 3. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, knowingly, 4. possessed a handgun. 5. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number __________.] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of possession of handguns by a juvenile. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of possession of handguns by a juvenile. NOTES ON USE Delete inapplicable bracketed material. Sections 18-12- 108.5(2)(a) through (c) set forth circumstances in which the possession of handguns by a juvenile is not an offense. The definition of ?handgun? must be given with this instruction. People ex rel L.M., 17 P.3d 829 (Colo. App. 2000) (parental consent is an affirmative defense, not an element that the prosecution has to disprove).

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Possession Of Handgun By A Juvenile.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca