Nuisance Abatement Charges in Colorado
If you commit a crime in the City and County of Denver, then the city will consider you a public nuisance and Denver may seize your property (typically your car or home) that was involved in that crime and sell it. This “nuisance abatement” is civil in nature and is not handled through the district attorney’s office but rather a team of lawyers in the Denver City Attorney’s office handles these matters.
This nuisance abatement is most commonly seen with cases of prostitution in Denver. For example, John drives up and solicits an undercover police officer in a prostitution sting. John will likely be arrested, and the City and County of Denver will seize his car. The Denver City Attorney’s office will now file a lawsuit against John in an effort to keep his car and sell it.
I was not charged with prostitution in Denver. What other crimes can trigger nuisance abatement?
Denver’s Nuisance Abatement law is not just limited to cases of prostitution but includes all class one public nuisances. These are some of the nuisances described under the Denver Municipal Code Sec. 37-50:
- Prostitution, 18-7-201, C.R.S.; soliciting for prostitution, 18-7-202, C.R.S.; pandering, 18-7-203, C.R.S.; keeping a place of prostitution, 18-7-204, C.R.S.; or pimping, 18-7-206, C.R.S.
- Professional gambling, 18-10-102(8), C.R.S.; maintaining a gambling premises, 18-10-102(5), C.R.S.; or keeping of a gambling device or record, 18-10-102(3) and 18-10-102(7), C.R.S.
- Unlawful manufacture, cultivation, growth, production, processing, sale, distribution, storage, use, transportation, or possession of any controlled substance, sections 18-18-102, 18-18-402, 18-18-403, 18-18-404, 18-18-405, 18-18-406, C.R.S.; any imitation controlled substance, sections 18-18-420(3) and 18-18-421, 18-18-422, C.R.S.; or any counterfeit controlled substance, Section 18-18-423, C.R.S. except for simple possession of less than eight (8) ounces of marijuana.
- Felony or misdemeanor theft by receiving, 18-4-410, C.R.S.
- Unlawful manufacture, sale, advertisement, or distribution of drug paraphernalia, sections 18-18-426, 18-18-427, 18-18-429, 18-18-430, C.R.S.
- Prostitution of a child, 18-7-401, C.R.S.; soliciting for child prostitution, 18-7-402, C.R.S.; pandering of a child, 18-7-403, C.R.S.; keeping a place of child prostitution, 18-7-404, C.R.S.; pimping of a child, 18-7-405, C.R.S.; or inducement of child prostitution, 18-7-405.5, C.R.S.
- Sexual exploitation of children, 18-6-403, C.R.S.
- Two (2) or more offenses of disturbing the peace, Denver Revised Municipal Code, section 38-89 within any 180-day period.
- Unlawful discharge, possession, carrying, flourishing, concealment, storage, use, or sale of firearms, knives and/or assault weapons, dangerous weapons, or defaced firearms, Denver Revised Municipal Code sections 38-117, 38-119, 38-121, 38-122, and 38-130, and C.R.S. Sections 18-12-102, 18-12-103, 18-12-105, 18-12-106, 18-12-108, 18-12-108.5, or any offense relating to incendiary devices, section 38-126, Denver Revised Municipal Code and C.R.S. section 18-12-109.
- Any gang-related criminal activity.
- Any drive-by crime, section 16-13-301, C.R.S.
- Three (3) or more offenses within any one-year period of selling, serving, giving away, disposing of, exchanging, delivering, or permitting the sale, serving, giving or procuring of any malt, vinous, or spirituous liquor, or fermented malt beverage, to or for any person under lawful age or to a visibly intoxicated person, as prohibited by C.R.S. section 12-47-901(1)(a) et seq., as amended. Each incident, to be counted as an offense within the meaning of this section, must occur on separate dates and rely on discrete facts.
- The sale at retail of any malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors, or fermented malt beverages in sealed containers, or the manufacture, sale, or possession for sale of any malt, vinous, or spirituous liquors, without holding a valid license in full force and effect to do so under title 12, article 47, C.R.S., as prohibited by C.R.S. 12-47-901(1)(f) and (g).
- The unlawful transportation or storage of any property that is the subject of a felony theft, misdemeanor theft, or theft by receiving under title 18, C.R.S.
- The storage or concealment of weapons or tools used in the commission of crimes of violence, C.R.S. section 16-11-309, drive-by offenses, C.R.S. section 16-13-301, or any offense in paragraph 9 above.
- Vehicular eluding, C.R.S. section 18-9-116.5, or eluding or attempting to elude a police officer, C.R.S. section 42-4-1413.
- Speed contests, C.R.S. section 42-4-1105.
- Habitual traffic offenders, C.R.S. sections 42-2-202, 42-2-206.
- Sexual assaults or attempted sexual assaults, C.R.S. sections 18-2-101, 18-3-402, 18-3-404, 18-3-405, 18-3-405.3, 18-3-405.5.
- Indecent exposure, C.R.S. section 18-7-302.
- Keeping, maintaining, controlling, renting, or making available property for unlawful distribution or manufacture of controlled substances, C.R.S. § 18-18-411; or the unlawful possession of materials to make amphetamine and methamphetamine, C.R.S. § 18-18-412.5; or, the unlawful sale or distribution of materials to manufacture controlled substances, C.R.S. § 18-18-412.7; or possession of one (1) or more chemicals or supplies or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, C.R.S. § 18-18-405; the unlawful cultivation, manufacturing, sale, offer for sale, or distribution of medical marijuana without a license, article XII, chapter 24, D.R.M.C.; or the unlawful cultivation, manufacturing, sale, offer for sale, or distribution of retail marijuana without a license, article V, chapter 6, D.R.M.C.; or keeping, maintaining, controlling, renting or making available property for the unlawful operation of a medical marijuana dispensary without a license, article XI, chapter 24, D.R.M.C.; or
- Criminal mischief where the aggregate damage exceeds one thousand dollars ($1,000), C.R.S. section 18-4-501.
I am charged with nuisance abatement. Is my car or home lost forever? What do I do?
There is hope for you in this situation. The first thing to do is to consider hiring an experienced Denver nuisance abatement attorney at Shazam Kianpour & Associates and fight to keep your property from being seized and sold by the City and County of Denver. We have gone to battle for our clients’ property and often have reached a settlement and managed to get our clients their car or home back! Timing is very important, so do not delay! Call our team of Denver nuisance abatement lawyers today for a free consultation at 303-578-4036 today!