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Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) charges are serious offenses that aim to combat organized criminal activity within the state. If you or someone you know is facing COCCA charges, it is crucial to understand the implications, legal framework, and potential consequences involved. 

Overview of COCCA

COCCA is a state law designed to target and dismantle organized criminal enterprises operating in Colorado. It allows prosecutors to bring enhanced charges against individuals involved in criminal organizations or engaged in a pattern of racketeering activities. The law provides law enforcement with tools to investigate and prosecute organized crime activities effectively.

Elements of COCCA Charges

To secure a COCCA conviction, prosecutors must establish certain elements. These include demonstrating a pattern of racketeering activity, showing that the defendant is part of an enterprise, and proving that the defendant knowingly engaged in a pattern of criminal conduct as part of the enterprise. Understanding these elements is crucial when building a defense strategy.

Racketeering Activities

COCCA charges typically involve a pattern of racketeering activities. These activities encompass a wide range of criminal conduct, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud, extortion, illegal gambling, and acts of violence. It is important to note that a single criminal act, on its own, may not qualify as a pattern of racketeering activity under COCCA.

Enhanced Penalties

COCCA charges carry enhanced penalties compared to individual criminal charges. If convicted, defendants may face substantial prison sentences, hefty fines, asset forfeiture, and other severe consequences. Prosecutors often aggressively pursue COCCA charges, emphasizing the need for a strong defense strategy.

Collaboration and Conspiracy

COCCA charges often involve allegations of collaboration and conspiracy within a criminal enterprise. Prosecutors may try to establish connections and relationships between individuals accused of participating in the criminal organization. It is crucial to analyze the specific allegations and determine the level of involvement attributed to the defendant.

Defenses to COCCA Charges

An effective defense against COCCA charges requires a comprehensive understanding of the law and the case’s circumstances. Potential defense strategies may include challenging the evidence presented, disputing the existence of a pattern of racketeering activity, questioning the defendant’s role within the enterprise, or raising constitutional and procedural issues.

Legal Representation

Given the complexity and severity of COCCA charges, it is imperative to seek experienced legal representation if you are facing such allegations. A skilled criminal defense attorney with expertise in COCCA cases can navigate the intricate legal framework, protect your rights, and develop a strategic defense tailored to your situation.

Importance of Early Action

When facing COCCA charges, taking early action is crucial. Time is of the essence, as investigations may be ongoing, and evidence gathering by both the prosecution and defense is critical. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible allows for a thorough assessment of the case, preservation of evidence, and development of a robust defense strategy.

COCCA charges in Colorado are complex and carry severe consequences for those accused of organized criminal activities. Understanding the elements of COCCA charges, the significance of racketeering activities, the potential penalties, and available defense strategies are vital when facing these allegations. Seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work towards the best possible outcome in your COCCA case. Remember, each case is unique, and consulting with a legal professional will provide personalized guidance based on your circumstances.


About the Author:

Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019-2022” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2022 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state.  Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020-2022. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.

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