Asked in Criminal Law and Wrongful Death for Colorado

Q: If thc is found in my system after a deadly force encounter, will i be held liable?

I work as an armed security officer in Colorado, im curious if i were to be involved in a deadly force encounter while at work and thc was found in my system, would i be charged with anything?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
Tristan Kenyon Schultz
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Functionally THC is just like alcohol. If an encounter occurs and THC is found in your system it can impact whether the police proceed with criminal charges and you can potentially be sued for civil damages. If the THC level is too high (i.e. making you intoxicated or under the influence) your decision making skills are materially affected and this opens the door to a host of legal problems. I imagine that your employment contract prevents the use of drugs/alcohol (and their effects) during work hours. Most private security follow similar rules to the police and testing positive is grounds for immediate dismissal. Generally speaking what you do during your non-work time is not subject to review, but if you test positive during work hours you may encounter problems.

As an aside, it is generally inadvisable for any private security operating in the US to use deadly force or generally discharge a firearm. Private security do not qualify for any of the legal protections afforded to the police (or other government agent authorized to carry a firearm at work). This means that a private security officer is treated just like a normal citizen (with proper county authorization) walking around with a gun. Simply put, the US Constitution allows most Americans to own a gun, but the 2nd Amendment does not sanction or authorize a discharge of a firearm.

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