Murder charges are incredibly severe, and a conviction for murder could lead to a lifetime in prison. While state law provides for various murder and related offenses, the outcome of any of these criminal cases could be harsh. Enlisting the assistance of a Loveland murder lawyer can be vital to minimizing or avoiding a conviction and its accompanying penalties.
Although homicide charges are likely to be overwhelming, scary, and stressful, you may have defenses available to you that can improve your situation. Getting legal advice before you do anything else in your case can be critical to a favorable outcome. As a result, you should not hesitate to contact an aggressive criminal lawyer right away.
Defining First-Degree Murder in Loveland
Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated § 18-3-102 defines the criminal offense of first-degree murder. This offense may occur in several different circumstances, including:
- Intentionally causing the death of another
- Causing the death of another in the course of committing or attempting to commit some specific felony offenses
- Procuring the execution of another via perjury or subornation of perjury
- Knowingly engaging in conduct that causes a grave risk of death and that exhibits malice showing extreme indifference to human life, which results in the death of another
First-degree murder charges also may occur if individuals unlawfully distribute drugs to minors on school grounds, and the use of the drugs causes death to the minor. Furthermore, individuals may face first-degree murder charges if they cause death to a child under the age of 12, and they held a position of trust concerning the child.
First-degree murder is a Class 1 felony under state law. Individuals convicted of murder as a Class 1 felony can face a sentence of life in prison. When facing first-degree murder charges, the assistance of a murder lawyer in Loveland may be crucial.
Second Degree Murder Under State Law
Under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-103, individuals commit second-degree murder when they knowingly cause the death of another. This statute also states explicitly that diminished capacity due to voluntary intoxication is not a defense to a second-degree murder charge.
Second-degree murder is a Class 2 felony offense, which can result in a prison sentence ranging from eight to 24 years. Individuals also may face a fine of between $5,000 and $1,000,000.
State law provides that second degree murder also can be a Class 3 felony offense if individuals kill as a result of a sudden heat of passion caused by a highly provocative act by the other person. A conviction for a Class 3 felony can result in a sentence of incarceration of between four to 12 years and a fine between $3,000 and $750,000. If there is a long enough interval between the provoking act and the murder, however, the offense remains a Class 2 felony.
Murder-Related Crimes in Loveland
Individuals may cause the death of another under other circumstances that do not rise to the level of murder. For instance, persons may commit manslaughter under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-104 if they recklessly cause the death of another or intentionally cause or assist another person in committing suicide. Manslaughter is a Class 4 felony under state law.
Likewise, causing the death of another by acting in a criminally negligent manner is criminally negligent homicide under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-105. Similarly, vehicular homicide under Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. 18-3-106 occurs when individuals drive recklessly while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and proximately cause the death of another. Although these offenses result in less severe charges and penalties than those for murder, as a murder attorney in Loveland can advise, individuals may still be facing significant terms of incarceration if convicted.
Talk to a Loveland Murder Attorney for Advice
Any criminal charges that involve the death of another person are likely to have a substantial impact on your life. These crimes all are felony offenses under state law, which can leave you with a permanent criminal record, the loss of some civil rights, and an inability to pursue some careers. A Loveland murder lawyer may be able to help you develop the defense strategy in your case that is most likely to be beneficial to you.
Various defenses exist to murder, manslaughter, and criminally negligent or vehicular homicide. Consulting legal counsel as quickly as possible following your arrest may be the most effective means of successfully fighting back against your criminal charges. Call the Colorado Lawyer Team today.