Colorado still has some unusual crimes on the books that carry extreme penalties for the conduct they are addressing. For example, Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-115 makes it a Class 3 Felony to “Endanger Public Transportation”. What exactly is endangering public transportation? Amongst other things, it means threatening any operator, crew member, attendant, or passenger with death or imminent serious bodily injury or threatening them with a deadly weapon or with words or actions intended to make someone believe you have a deadly weapon. You can also meet the elements of this crime by knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person on a public conveyance. What exactly is a public conveyance? It’s a train, airplane, bus, truck, car, boat, tramway, gondola, lift, elevator, escalator, or other device intended, designed, adapted, and sued for public carriage of persons or property. So if a criminal defendant were to threaten another person by saying he or she had a gun, normally that would be the offense of Menacing, a Class 5 Felony, punishable by up to 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections. But threaten someone on a bus, and then the punishment, if the District Attorney charges this crime of Endangering Public Transportation, is for an F-3 Felony punishable by up to 4-12 years in the Department of Corrections. Normally, if a criminal defendant assaults someone as listed above by “knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury” that’s a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in the County Jail. Again, do it on a bus or a plane, and the D.A. could charge a Class 3 Felony. With District Attorneys upping the stakes on criminal filings to get leverage on cases, it’s important to know that it sometimes matters more WHERE a criminal defendant commits an alleged crime, than IF he or she committed the crime.
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.