Engaging in protests in Colorado can end in criminal charges if participants aren't careful. More severe rioting offenses can lead to a significant period of time in jail and steep fines. These offenses escalate when a deadly weapon comes into play. As protests remain consistent throughout Colorado, an understanding of the laws pertaining to these demonstrations is important. Consult a skilled Colorado riot lawyer if you've been charged with a riot offense in Denver, Lakewood, or Aurora.
Colorado Riot Laws
There are several different laws in Colorado that address unlawful behavior in disruptive groups and gatherings. These include:
- Disobeying a Public Safety Order – CRS 18-9-105
- refusing to move, disperse, or discontinue behavior when a riot is occurring or impending
- Engaging in a Riot – CRS 18-9-102
- joining a demonstration of 3 or more that creates danger of injury, property damage, or obstructs a government function
- Inciting a Riot – CRS 18-9-102
- encouraging, instructing, or signalling a group of 5 or more to start or join a riot,
- Arming Rioters – CRS 18-9-103
- providing a deadly weapon for a riot or showing someone how to use one for that purpose
Are Riot Offenses a Misdemeanor in Colorado?
Some riot offenses are a misdemeanor in Denver, Lakewood, and Aurora. Disobeying a public safety order and certain cases of engaging or inciting a riot can result in months in county jail and up to $5,000 in fines. Other riot crimes do, however, result in felony charges. When someone engages in a riot using a deadly weapon or incites a riot that leads to property damage or injury, felony consequences apply for conviction. Additionally, a felony charge also applies when someone arms rioters with a deadly weapon. Defendants face up to 6 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, as well as six-figure fines for felony riot crimes.
Colorado Criminal Defense Attorneys
Sometimes law enforcement overreacts to peaceful protests and treats the situation as a riot. Even if there wasn't a risk of property damage or injury, police may target organizers, leaders, and participants of certain group demonstrations. Allegations of engaging in a riot or inciting a riot require skilled representation. Perhaps you were doing your best to leave the demonstration or you didn't suggest any destructive actions. Nonetheless, contact our practice for a free consultation. A Colorado riot lawyer will thoroughly analyze your unique case, as well as recommend next steps.
So, if you or someone you know is facing a riot charge, the time to act is now. Contact our strategic criminal lawyers at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo by OrnaW