Attempting to Influence a Public Servant 18-8-306
One of the first questions I receive when a client is charged with Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 is how can my misrepresenting who I am (if there is an outstanding warrant for example) amount to attempting to influence a public servant? The key is the language used to define the crime.The Colorado Crime of Attempt to Influence A Public Servant Section 18-8-306, C.R.S.
Section 18-8-306 provides, in pertinent part, that:
“[a]ny person who attempts to influence any public servant by means of deceit with the intent thereby to alter or affect the public servant’s decision, vote, opinion, or action concerning any matter which is to be considered or performed by him commits a class 4 felony.”
The key then is your intent in trying to deceive a police officer in an attempt to alter what that public servant would have ordinarily done if he or she had the true information at hand.What Then is a Public Servant?
Under the very broad definition of a public servant in this law a police officer is without doubt a public servant.
A “public servant,” as envisioned in section 18-8-306 CRS, and is defined as follows:
“any officer or employee of government, whether elected or appointed, and any person participating as an advisor, consultant, process server, or otherwise in performing a governmental function, but the term does not include witnesses. “
A police officer, as an employee of the government, is a public servant. The definition is so expansive; it encompasses almost every employee of the government and even includes non-employees performing government functions.Providing a False Name to the Police at a Colorado Traffic Stop Intent
Intent to commit this crime is almost always established through circumstantial or indirect evidence. The typical case involves a suspect who provides a false name to a police officer at a traffic stop.
The evidence usually follows a classic fact pattern:
- A Defendant provides a false name to an officer;
- The false name usually belongs to a friend of a relative someone the Defendant knows well;
- The false name (usually but I have seen the contrary result) has “no criminal record” wants or warrants on the Police Officers’ computer;
- The Officer lets the Defendant drive away;
- Later, the Officer discovers the truth and finds an outstanding warrant for the Defendant;
It is important to note that the “public servant” in this case the Police Officer, need NOT RELY ON THE FALSE INFORMATION or actually have their decision altered as the crime includes an ATTEMPT by its’ very terms.Here is the Colorado Jury Instruction For This Crime Attempt To Influence A Public Servant
The elements of the crime of attempt to influence a public servant are:
- That the defendant,
- in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
- attempted to influence any public servant by means of deceit or by threat of violence or economic reprisal against any person or property,
- with the intent,
- to alter or affect the public servant’s decision, vote, opinion, or action concerning any matter which is to be considered or performed by him [her] or the agency or body of which he [she] is a member.
- [ and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]
After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of attempt to influence a public servant.
After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of attempt to influence a public servant.
See § 18-8-306, C.R.S.Summary And Conclusion A Class Four Felony Is Worse Than A Traffic Ticket
Don’t lie about your identity.. to avoid a traffic ticket or other minor crime it is a Class 4 Felony in Colorado a much more serious charge.Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 Understanding This Colorado Crime
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