Colorado Springs Murder Defense Attorney
Ensure The Best Possible Defense for Murder, Homicide, or Manslaughter
Murder is classified as the killing of one human being by another with malicious intent. It is distinguished from other forms of homicide. Homicide is the general term for describing an instance when one person kills another, including non-criminal contexts such as self-defense, as well as separate criminal contexts like manslaughter.
In the context of criminal justice, human life is valued above all else. Disturbances to human life in any way (physical, mental, or emotional) are evaluated by their severity. Because murder is the ultimate disregard for and assault on human life, it is legally viewed as one of the most severe criminal acts and punished accordingly.
All states classify murder in several typical categories. Typically, murder is separated into two degrees, while types of manslaughter (both voluntary and involuntary) are seen as distinct crimes that are not regarded as murder. All determinations and definitions are made on a case by case basis by the justice system and the evidence at hand. The determined degree of the murder varies greatly on the circumstances of the case, the work of both legal sides (the prosecution and the defense), as well as the judge and the jury.
First Degree Murder
This involves any murder that is premeditated and willful. Murder in the first degree is considered a class 1 felony in Colorado, featuring a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole, or even the death penalty.
Second Degree Murder
This is a murder that is not considered to be calculated ahead of time. It is sometimes referred to as a "crime of passion," in that the murder was not premeditated and was committed during events that could make a sensible individual become emotionally or mentally disturbed. For instance, a fight in a bar that ends in a fatality would typically be classified as second degree murder. But if that same fight resulted from a discovery of marital infidelity, the charge may be reduced to voluntary manslaughter (discussed below) depending on the details of the case.
This kind of murder involves malicious premeditation. However, there are emotional or mental factors to the case that reduce the fault in the scope of human nature, as described in the scenario above. The reduction of a second degree murder charge to voluntary manslaughter depends on the territory and jurisdiction where the crime was committed.
Vehicular Homicide and Reckless Manslaughter
This kind of murder is unplanned and unintentional but features reckless or criminally negligent action. An intoxicated driver who unintentionally kills another would, similarly, be deemed to have committed vehicular homicide.
Colorado Laws on Murder
By federal law, second degree murder is punishable with imprisonment for any term including life, while first degree murder is punishable by a life sentence or in some cases the death penalty. In Colorado, the common law murder felony law is found in the statutes 18-3-10, and the charges include a minimum of eight to twenty four years in prison for second degree murder, and a lifetime jail sentence or potentially the death penalty for first degree murder.
A charge of murder threatens exceptional consequences. Those charged with this extremely serious offense should seek the legal representation of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Colorado Springs defense lawyers with The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can provide defendants with the necessary guidance and protection of their rights. For a complimentary consultation, call (719) 475-2555 today.