July 22, 2017

Colorado Court of Appeals: Concealed Weapon Statute Requires Person to Carry Weapon “Unlawfully”

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of L.C. on Thursday, June 15, 2017.

Protection Order—Constitutionality—Evidence—Possession of Weapon.

A police officer observed L.C. in a public park after hours. The officer contacted L.C. and discovered that he was subject to a protection order, which provided, among other things, that L.C. was not to “possess or control a firearm or other weapon.” When the officer searched L.C.’s backpack, he found a knife with a five and one-half inch blade inside a sheath. L.C. was found guilty of violating a protective order and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon. He was adjudicated delinquent and sentenced to probation. L.C. petitioned for district court review, which was denied.

On appeal, L.C. contended that C.R.S. § 18-12-105, which defines the offense of unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. The statute is not unconstitutionally vague, and the merits of L.C.’s overbreadth argument were not addressed because he did not raise it in the district court. L.C. also contended that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he carried a concealed knife “on or about his . . . person,” as required to sustain a conviction for the statutory violation. He argued that because the knife was in a sheath in an interior zippered compartment of his backpack, it was not readily accessible and therefore was not “on or about” his person. The Court of Appeals disagreed with L.C.’s interpretation.

L.C. further contended that because the prosecution failed to prove that he did anything directed at the protected person named in the protection order, the evidence was insufficient to establish that he violated it. Violation of a protective order does not always require proof that the accused contacted the protected person. Thus, evidence that the protection order contained a provision prohibiting L.C. from possessing a weapon and that L.C. was found in possession of a weapon was sufficient to sustain his conviction for violation of a protection order.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Limitations Period Tolled while Juvenile Participating in Diversion Program

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in the Interest of K.W. on September 13, 2012.

Juvenile Delinquent—Diversion Program—Statute of Limitations—Tolling—Disorderly Conduct—Evidence.

K.W., a juvenile, appealed the judgment adjudicating her delinquent based on findings that she committed acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute disorderly conduct in violation of CRS § 18-9-106(1)(a). The judgment was affirmed.

The People charged K.W. with one count of interfering with staff or students, a class 3 misdemeanor. As an alternative to prosecution, the case was diverted to the Juvenile Offender Services Program. K.W. agreed to enter the program. Subsequently, K.W. was terminated from the diversion program based on her noncompliance. The People thereafter filed a second petition in delinquency in the district court. This petition encompassed the original interference charge and the additional charge of disorderly conduct. K.W. was found to be delinquent on the disorderly conduct charge.

K.W. contended that the magistrate and the district court erred when they exercised jurisdiction over the disorderly conduct charge. A petition in delinquency must be filed in a “court of competent jurisdiction” within the applicable time period. For petty offenses, the applicable period is six months. However, CRS § 16-5-401(12) tolls the limitations period for charges “brought to facilitate the disposition of the case,” which includes a diversion program. Here, K.W. was initially charged within the six-month statute of limitations period and entered into a diversion program. After she failed the diversion program, and eleven months after the initial date she was charged, the People added a charge. Therefore, the court had jurisdiction to adjudicate the juvenile on the disorderly conduct charge, because the limitations period for bringing the charge was tolled while the Diversion Agreement concerning the same conduct was pending.

K.W. also argued that as a matter of law there was insufficient evidence to adjudicate her on the disorderly conduct offense. K.W. was hostile and threatening; refused to leave the scene; used obscene language; and attempted to reach the students, causing the security officer to intervene and push her back. Therefore, the evidence was sufficient to support the disorderly conduct adjudication.

Summary and full case available here.