Although rare, treason is an incredibly serious violent crime that carries life-changing penalties. The offense is often considered the “highest of all crimes” —and internationally it’s defined as levying war against the government or providing aid or comfort to those participating in treason. The crime of treason is located under the Colorado Revised Statutes 18-11-101 and the offense is classified as a class 1 felony, which is the highest level of offense in Colorado.
Committing an act of treason could result in a sentence of life in Colorado State prison with no mandatory parole period. With so much on the line, it’s crucial you have legal representation ready if you’ve been accused of committing treason against the Colorado government. The State has quite a high burden to prove when it comes to treason cases and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can utilize their skills and resources to poke holes in the prosecution’s argument to ultimately secure your freedom.
Treason Lawyer Colorado Springs, CO| Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC
If you or someone you know has been accused of treason, then it’s within your best interest to call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our skilled veteran Colorado criminal defense attorneys have decades of collective experience we can utilize for your case. In addition, one of our criminal defense attorneys, Christopher Welch, was a former Senior Public Defender and has tried hundreds of complex class 1 felony cases with success. He has an in-depth understanding of how to craft a well-rounded defense and how to effectively execute it in order to cast doubt on the prosecution’s argument.
Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today or submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has two locations: our primary office is in Colorado Springs and our secondary office is located in Denver. We also accept clients throughout the greater El Paso County area including Monument, Fountain, Peyton, Calhan, Manitou Springs, Falcon, and Palmer Lake.
- How Do You Prove Treason?
- What is the Penalty for Treason?
- Crimes Similar to Treason
- Additional Resources
How Do You Prove Treason?
Treason is one of the most serious crimes a person can face under the Colorado Revised Statutes. The offense is located under CRS 18-11-101 and is defined as either levying war against the State of Colorado or adhering to Colorado’s enemies by providing relief or security in some way. Acts of treason can range based on the circumstances of the crime.
Listed below are some possible examples of treason under Colorado law.
- Creating a plan to plant an exploding device at the Colorado State Capitol
- Planning and preparing for a coup against the Colorado government
- Conducting a social media campaign to dismantle the Colorado government
- Providing material support to terrorists who plan to overthrow the Colorado government
- Conspiring to give confidential secrets in order to take down the Colorado government
- Making propaganda videos on behalf of terrorists with a goal of overthrowing the Colorado government
According to Colorado law, a defendant cannot be convicted of treason unless either:
- The defendant confesses to the acts of treason in an open court; or
- Two different witnesses provide testimony of the defendant’s treason
Physical evidence alone is insufficient if the State attorney wishes to prove guilt of treason beyond a reasonable doubt. They must obtain either a confession or viable testimony from two different witnesses or co-conspirators. The crime cannot apply to a foreign national as they don’t owe any allegiance to the United States or the Colorado government. However, it does apply to any Colorado resident who has dual citizenship or those who immigrated to the U.S. on a temporary or permanent visa.
What is the Penalty for Treason in Colorado?
It’s vital you have experienced and skilled legal defense on your side if you’ve been charged with treason as the penalties are guaranteed to change the trajectory of your life. Treason is prosecuted as a class 1 felony under Colorado law, which will result in a term of life imprisonment in a Colorado State Prison.
Please note, there is no mandatory parole period for class 1 felonies in the State of Colorado. With such drastic consequences, it’s imperative you have legal counsel you can trust on your side throughout every step of your trial. It’s important to remember the prosecution does have quite a high burden of proof to satisfy. If the defense successfully casts doubt on their case by providing ample evidence and even expert/witness testimony, then the prosecution will be forced to either reduce the charges or dismiss them altogether.
Crimes Similar to Treason in Colorado
- Insurrection (18-11-102) – A person commits the crime of insurrection if they resist, obstruct, or retard the execution of any law in the state of Colorado by force of arms. The crime also includes any person who engages, cooperates, or participates with any armed force or has an armed force and invades any portion of this State. Insurrection is prosecuted as a class 5 felony in the State of Colorado.
- Advocating Overthrow of Government (18-11-201) – Under Colorado law, it’s illegal for any person, either orally or in writing, or by exhibiting, printing, or circulating written printed words or photos, or otherwise teach, incite, advocate, aid, abet, propose, encourage or advise resistance by physical force, or the destruction or overthrowing by physical force the Colorado government. This also includes any destruction or overthrowing of the general government or laws of the U.S. that constitutes a clear and present danger that violence will occur from these actions. Sedition is a classified as a class 5 felony under Colorado law.
- Inciting Destruction of Life or Property (18-11-202) — The defendant is guilty of inciting destruction of life or property if they express plans or incite others to inflict unlawful injury or destruction on private or public property by use of physical force, violence or bodily injury on another person—which includes the unlawful taking of another human life. Penalty for inciting destruction of life or property is a class 6 felony.
- Membership in Anarchistic and Seditious Associations (18-11-203) – It’s illegal to act or profess to act as an officer of any unlawful anarchistic or seditious association. Those who speak, write, or publish as a representative or professed representative of any unlawful association, or knows the purpose, teaching, and doctrine of such association, shall become or contribute to be a member or contribute funds, or other valuable things to it is in violation of C.R.S. 18-11-203. The crime is classified as a class 5 felony.
Colorado Treason Laws | 18-11-101 – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about the State’s laws regarding treason and other offenses involving disloyalty. Access the site to learn the elements of treason, penalties, and detailed information about other similar criminal offenses.
Notable Treason & Sedition Cases in American History – Visit the official website for US News to learn more about the various sedition and treason cases that have occurred in the U.S over time. Access the site to learn more about these cases, the details surrounding the charges, and the final outcomes determined by the court.
Treason Defense Colorado Lawyer | Colorado Springs
The consequences of treason could potentially strip you of your civil rights and ultimately your freedom. That is why it’s crucial you secure legal representation as soon as possible if you’ve been accused of treason or another high-level offense. Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC for effective and efficient legal representation from a seasoned Colorado defense lawyer. Our attorneys can craft a formidable defense and work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Call Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC today or submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation. You can find the primary office for Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC in Colorado Springs, but we also have a secondary location in Denver.