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Colorado Criminal Law – Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered? – 18-8-107

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer

Colorado Criminal Law - Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered - 18-8-107Colorado Criminal Law – Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered? – There are many laws on the Colorado that may be a surprise to the average citizen. One of these is Section 18-8-107 Refusing To Aid A Peace Officer. While it is only a petty offense to refuse to aid a police officer – it is important to understand that, under certain conditions, a police officer in Colorado can compel your help and it is no longer within your power to refuse.

The class 1 petty offense penalties in Colorado is a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and/or $500 in fines.

Article 8 of the Colorado Criminal Code (Title 18) contains crimes that are listed under “Offenses -Governmental Operations” Obstruction of Public Justice. One of those crimes is 18-8-107 Refusing to Aid a Peace Officer.

Here is the law:

§ 18-8-107. Refusing to Aid a Peace Officer

A person, eighteen years of age or older, commits a class 1 petty offense when, upon command by a person known to him to be a peace officer, he unreasonably refuses or fails to aid the peace officer in effecting or securing an arrest or preventing the commission by another of any offense.

A person commits obstructing government operations if he intentionally obstructs, impairs, or hinders the performance of a governmental function by a public servant, by using or threatening to use violence, force, or physical interference or obstacle.

Broken Down Into It’s Constituent Elements – The Colorado Crime Of Refusing To Aid A Peace Officer – 18-8-107

The crime is very simple when it is broken down into it’s constituent elements.

 

The elements of this crime are:

1. That the Defendant,

2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,

3. was eighteen years of age or older, and

4. was commanded, by a person known to him [her] to be a peace officer,

5. to aid the peace officer in effecting or securing an arrest or preventing the commission of any offense by another, and

6. unreasonably refused or failed to aid the peace officer.

7. and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by an affirmative defense.


A Similar Statute Exists Under The City Of Denver Municipal Code

Sec. 38-38. – Duty of citizens to aid police officers.

It shall be the duty of all persons, when called upon by any police officer, member of the police department, or person duly empowered with police authority, promptly to aid and assist such officer, member or person in the discharge of their duties.

Immunity From Civil Or Criminal Liability For Assisting Or Trying To Assist A Police Officer – 16-3-202

The other side of the issue concerns the protections afforded by the law to those who DO assist the police. The following two laws address this important circumstance.

The law provides for immunity from civil or criminal actions for anyany reasonable conduct in aid of the officer or for any acts expressly directed by the officer.

16-3-202 Assisting Peace Officer – Arrest – Furnishing Information – Immunity.

(1) A peace officer making an arrest may command the assistance of any person who is in the vicinity.

(2) A person commanded to assist a peace officer has the same authority to arrest as the officer who commands his assistance.

(3) A person commanded to assist a peace officer in making an arrest shall not be civilly or criminally liable for any reasonable conduct in aid of the officer or for any acts expressly directed by the officer.

(4) Private citizens, acting in good faith, shall be immune from any civil liability for reporting to any police officer or law enforcement authority the commission or suspected commission of any crime or for giving other information to aid in the prevention of any crime

16-3-202 Assisting Peace Officer – Arrest – Furnishing Information – Immunity

What If You Act To Actually Prevent A Colorado Crime?

Finally, let’s say you are sued for trying to prevent a crime. The following Colorado law protects you if you successfully defend such a lawsuit …. entitling you to reimbursement for all of your court costs and attorney fees in the defense of said lawsuit.

16-3-203 Preventing A Crime – Reimbursement.

Any person who is not a peace officer as defined in section 24-31-301 (5), C.R.S., who is made the defendant in any civil action as a result of having sought to prevent a crime being committed against any other person, and who has judgment entered in his favor shall be entitled to all his court costs and to reasonable attorney fees incurred in such action.

Colorado Criminal Law – Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered? – 18-8-107

H. Michael Steinberg Best Colorado Criminal Defense LawyerIf you found any of the information I have provided on this web page article helpful please click my Plus+1 or the Share buttons for Twitter and Facebook below so that others may also find it.

While being charged with a criminal case in Colorado such as Failure To Assist A Police Officer can sometimes cloud your judgement – it won’t cloud ours…. if you are under investigation or charged with a  Colorado crime, please don’t hesitate to call our firm for a free consultation.

 

 

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Colorado Criminal Law - Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered? - 18-8-107
Article Name
Colorado Criminal Law - Do I Have To Aid A Police Officer If Ordered? - 18-8-107
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There are many laws on the Colorado that may be a surprise to the average citizen. One of these is Section 18-8-107 Refusing To Aid A Peace Officer. While it is only a petty offense to refuse to aid a police officer - it is important to understand that, under certain conditions, a police officer in Colorado can compel your help and it is no longer within your power to refuse.
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If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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