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Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 – Understanding This Colorado Crime

By H. Michael Steinberg – Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney

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?Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 – Understanding This Colorado Crime – 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.”

2016 BEST COLORADO SENTENCING PENALTY CHART[Click to ENLARGE – Sentencing Chart]

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:

1. That the defendant,

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

3. attempted to influence any public servant by means of deceit or by threat of violence or economic reprisal against any person or property,

4. with the intent,

5. 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.

[6. 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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The reader is admonished that Colorado criminal law, like criminal law in every state and at the Federal level, changes constantly. The article appearing above was accurate at the time it was drafted but it cannot account for changes occurring after it was uploaded.

If, after reading this article, you have questions about your case and would like to consider retaining our law firm, we invite you to contact us at the Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm – 303-627-7777.

Never stop fighting – never stop believing in yourself and your right to due process of law. You will not be alone in court, H. Michael at your side every step of the way – advocating for justice and the best possible result in your case.

Most Experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer - Attorney - Law FirmABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author at hmsteinberg@hotmail.com – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277. Attorney H. Michael Steinberg is passionate about criminal defense. His extensive knowledge and experience of Colorado Criminal Law gives him the edge you need to properly handle your case.

“A good criminal defense lawyer is someone who devotes themselves to their client’s case from beginning to end, always realizing that this case is the most important thing in that client’s life.”

You should be careful to make a responsible choice in selecting a Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – and we encourage you to “vet” our firm. Over the last 30 plus years – by focusing ONLY on Colorado criminal law – H. Michael has had the necessary time to commit to the task of constantly updating himself on nearly every area of criminal law, to include Colorado criminal law and procedure and trial and courtroom practice. H. Michael works hard to get his clients the best possible results in and out of the courtroom. He has written, and continues to write, extensively on Colorado criminal law and he hopes this article helps you in some small way – Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 – Understanding This Colorado Crime.

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Attempting To Influence A Public Servant 18-8-306 - Understanding This Colorado Crime
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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?
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___________________________
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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