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Colorado Title 18. Criminal Code § 18-3-102

Posted on January 25, 2024 in

Violent crimes tend to be the more serious type of offense that can carry a lengthy prison sentence. In Colorado, trying and failing to take another person’s life is attempted murder. Attempted murder can be charged as first-degree or second-degree attempted murder, and a defendant can face decades of prison time if convicted if they do not have a proper Denver criminal defense attorney.

Legal Definition of Attempted Murder in Colorado

A few key elements differentiate an attempted first-degree murder from an attempted second-degree murder, including demonstrating utmost indifference to human life and premeditation in an attempt to end another person’s life. Multiple victims who were not the original target can be included in an attempted first-degree murder.

Some situations that could lead to a first-degree attempted murder charge in Colorado include:

  • Shooting a gun at someone’s head to kill but missing
  • Trying to suffocate someone via strangulation
  • Causing non-lethal stab wounds
  • Poisoning one or more people
  • Shooting a firearm into a crowded area
  • Detonating an explosive in the vicinity of a group of people

A second-degree attempted murder charge can apply to any other failed attempt to take another person’s life. These cases do not involve extreme indifference to human life nor include premeditation. In addition, second-degree attempted murder typically applies to situations where one single victim is targeted.

Jail Time for Attempted Murder in Colorado

No two attempted murder cases in Colorado are the same. Therefore, the consequences will also be different from one case to the next, but at minimum, an accused will face a class 3 felony. A second-degree attempted murder conviction can lead to:

  • A prison term of 4 to 32 years,
  • Fines between $3,000 and $750,000,
  • 5 years of parole

However, when premeditation and exhibition of extreme indifference to the value of a human life is included in an attempted murder allegation, the charges become a class 2 felony. The consequences for these charges are more severe and are listed in the Criminal Code § 18-3-102. Defendants accused of these allegations can face:

  • A prison term of 8 to 48 years,
  • Fines between $5,000 and $1,000,000
  • 5 years of parole

Defense Against a Colorado Attempted Murder Charge

The most effective strategies to defend an attempted murder charge will depend on the specific facts of the case and any available evidence. It is important to follow the guidance of your criminal defense attorney throughout the process. The best potential defenses, which can raise reasonable doubt, include the following:

  • The act was not intentional but rather accidental.
  • The defendant was acting in defense of someone else or in lawful self-defense.
  • The conduct of the defendant did not cause a grave risk of death.
  • The defendant was falsely accused.
  • The defendant was not knowingly engaging in conduct that created a risk of death.
  • The defendant was mistakenly identified (for instance, a witness incorrectly picks the defendant out of a police lineup).
  • The defendant is not guilty through reason of insanity.
  • The evidence collected by the state was found through an unlawful search and seizure.
  • The police coerced a confession out of the defendant.

Contact Flesch & Beck Law Today

If you have been charged with attempted murder in Colorado, you need a strong criminal defense team to help you protect your future. Contact the attorneys at Flesch & Beck Law today using our online contact form to discuss the details of your case.