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Homicide laws cover the death of another person. Homicide may be voluntary, such as in the case of murder or voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary, such as in the case of involuntary manslaughter.

In the following article, we’ll go over Colorado’s different homicide laws as well as penalties and defenses for violating them.

Homicide Attorneys

Being responsible for the death of another person is the most serious offense you can be charged within the state of Colorado.

If you are charged with any form of homicide, including murder, manslaughter or vehicular homicide, then you need a strong defense attorney to represent you in court. Homicide investigations are difficult to fight and can be extremely complex.

If you’ve been charged with homicide, contact Matthew Martin for the strongest legal defense in Colorado.

To request an initial consultation call (303) 725-0017.

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Definition of Homicide

In Colorado, homicide is defined as categorized under several headings, each with its own legal definitions and implications.

Murder in the First Degree: Involves deliberately and with premeditation taking someone’s life. This also includes felony murder, where a death occurs during the commission of a felony, even if the death was unintentional – CRS § 18-3-102.

Murder in the Second Degree: Killing someone without premeditation but with the intent to cause death or serious harm – CRS § 18-3-103.

Manslaughter: Recklessly causing the death of another person or intentionally causing or aiding another person to commit suicide, except under specific medical circumstances – CRS § 18-3-104.

Criminally Negligent Homicide: Causing a death through conduct that amounts to criminal negligence, which means failing to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a result will occur – CRS § 18-3-105.

Vehicular Homicide: Using a vehicle to cause the death of another person, intentionally or otherwise – CRS § 18-3-106.

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The penalties for homicide in Colorado vary widely based on the type and circumstances of the crime. The following schedule provides the name of the crime and its associated penalties.

Crime Name Level of Offense Penalties
Murder in the 1st Degree Class 1 Felony Life in Prison
Murder in the 2nd Degree Class 2 Felony
  • Imprisonment of 8-24 years
  • Fines of $5,000 – $1 million
Manslaughter Class 4 Felony
  • Imprisonment of up to 4 years
  • Fines of up to $500,000
Criminally Negligent Homicide Class 5 Felony
  • Imprisonment of up to 3 years
  • Fines of up to $100,000
Vehicular Homicide Class 4 Felony
  • Imprisonment of 2-6 years
  • Fines of $5,000 – $500,000

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Defenses to homicide charges can vary widely depending on the specifics of the case but may include:

Self-Defense: Arguing that the defendant was protecting themselves or others from imminent harm.

Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, but applied when protecting another person.

Insanity: Claiming that the defendant was unable to understand the nature of their actions or distinguish right from wrong due to a mental disorder.

Accident: Asserting that the death was unintentional and occurred without recklessness or negligence on the defendant’s part.

Duress: Arguing that the defendant committed the act under the threat of imminent harm to themselves or others.

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Additional Resources

Victim Compensation – The state of Colorado complies with the Victim Rights Act, a legal document that provides compensation avenues for victims of violent crimes. Use the attached link to find your nearest VRA representative.

Violence Free Colorado – This is a domestic abuse organization located in Colorado. Organization may be a good avenue to turn towards for people suffering domestic abuse, before they become victims of a stronger violent crime.

Trauma Health – Provides free services to those affected by crime and the resulting trauma. Crimes include: arson, assault, burglary, caregiver abuse, child abuse/neglect, domestic violence, elder abuse, fraud, gang-related crimes, home invasion, harassment, hate crimes, homicide, kidnapping, questionable death, robbery, sexual assault/incest/retrospective sexual assault, stalking, suicide/attempted suicide and vandalism.

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Hire a Homicide Defense Attorney in Denver, Colorado

Matthew Martin represents clients on Manslaughter charges throughout the state of Colorado, including the city of Denver in Denver County, and the surrounding areas in the Front Range region including: Brighton in Adams County. Centennial and Littleton in Arapahoe County, Castle Rock in Douglas County, Golden in Jefferson County, and Boulder and Longmont in Boulder County.

To request an initial consultation call (303) 725-0017.

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