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Miss Scarlett in the Library with the Candlestick: Deadly Weapons in CO Cases

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Oct 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

“Miss Scarlett, in the library, with the candlestick.”

A momentary pause, then a cry of exultation when you realize you've just won the game of Clue. Whether the murder weapon ends up being a revolver, lead pipe, rope, or a candlestick, this childhood game is quite accurate when it comes to deadly weapons. In Colorado, the definition of “deadly weapon” can mean pretty much anything which could cause death or serious injury.

Defining Terminology in Criminal Cases

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Denver, Arapahoe, or Jefferson County, or anywhere in Colorado, you have most likely heard many terms which are difficult to understand. There are specific terms which lawyers, District Attorneys, judges, and police officers use which are foreign to the general public. In this series of blogs, we're going to look a few terms which are used commonly in criminal cases throughout the Denver metro area.

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An Example of the term “Deadly Weapon”

In context:

The first definition we're going to look at is the term: “Deadly weapon.” This term is used often in many different criminal cases. For example, the Assault statutes mention a deadly weapon. Let's look at the crime of First Degree Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-202:

“Aperson commits the crime of assault in the first degree if:

With intent to cause serious bodily injury to another person, he causes serious bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon.”

As you can see, in order to be charged with 1st Degree Assault, a deadly weapon must be used during the incident in Adams, El Paso, or Douglas County. Now that we know the context, let's look at the actual definition.

Defining Terms: Deadly Weapon

The definition of deadly weapon can be found in Colorado statute 18-1-901 (3)(e).

“Deadly weapon” means:

  • A firearm, whether loaded or unloaded; or
  • A knife, bludgeon, or any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, that, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.”

Examples of Possible “Deadly Weapons” in Criminal Cases

As you can see, anything “capable of producing death or serious bodily injury” can be termed a deadly weapon in Colorado criminal cases. While items such as a gun or knife are easily believable deadly weapons, it is important to understand that almost anything can be a deadly weapon. We have seen cases where the following items meet the criteria according to the law:

  • Cars
  • Fists
  • Feet
  • Metal bars
  • Heavy objects
  • Dogs

The candlestick, revolver, lead pipe, and rope in the game of clue aren't that far-fetched. If you use something (whether it be the toe of your steel-toed boot, or your own fists) to cause serious bodily injury or death to another person, you have met the definition of “deadly weapon” in Colorado criminal cases.

Crimes Involving a Deadly Weapon

Why you need a lawyer:

If the term “deadly weapon” is mentioned in the police report in your case, you need to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. This is because crimes involving deadly weapons are usually Assault, Manslaughter, or Vehicular Assault. These are serious crimes which require the expertise and knowledge of a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The possible punishments are much greater for violent crimes, and an experienced attorney can mean the difference in probation, prison, or your innocence. Don't stand alone in the courtroom and try to defend yourself. Work with an attorney who is passionate about fighting for your rights and freedoms.

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If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime involving a deadly weapon, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we will protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

Photo used under Creative Commons from John Lambert Pearson
Photo used under Creative Commons from evanrudemi

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation