What is the Law on Murder in Colorado and What are the Punishments for it?
Murder is a crime where one person kills the other. The reasons may be to take revenge, because the accused was provoked, for money, an accident, an act of self-defense, etc. Some of the defenses against murder charges are that the murder wasn’t committed by the accused, the witnesses have made a mistake in identifying the criminal, it was an act of self-defense, etc.
In the state of Colorado, there are many different classifications of murder. These classifications determine the degree of the punishment given to the accused once proven guilty.
The first-degree murder is the first classification. Here the murder is committed after planning and executing the plan. Once this is proven in court, the person is charged with first-degree murder. The action being part of a deliberate effort to take the person’s life, supplying drugs or other controlled substances to children under 18 causing their death, actions which take the life of a child under the age of 12 knowingly being at a trusting position to the child, killing during committing other crimes such as murder, burglary, sexual assault etc. are all part of first degree murder. In the state of Colorado, first-degree murder charges are given a death sentence of life imprisonment.
A person is charged with second-degree charges or murder when the accused unknowingly and without any preplanning and intention kills another person. The circumstances under which the crime occurred will be analyzed to determine the punishments and to fully confirm if there was no intention of murder.
Four to forty-eight years of jail term along with a fine ranging from three-thousand dollars to one-million dollars is the punishment to be expected for a second-degree charge for murder.
Engaging in any activity that disregards human life and recklessly killing people, or any activity that causes emotional trauma to a person which in turn forces them to commit suicide fall under the category of Manslaughter. Punishment for manslaughter is two to sixteen years of prison term with a fine up to five million dollars.
If a person dies due to criminal negligence, then that also falls under murder. A person who is charged with criminal negligence has to serve a jail term of up to three years and a fine ranging from thousand dollars to a hundred thousand dollars. Defenses against criminal negligence include accident, not knowing that the action could lead to the death of the person, mistaken identification, etc.
The next subdivision is a vehicular homicide. This can be considered as a subcategory of criminal negligence. If the driver drives recklessly, if a person’s reckless driving caused another person’s death then it falls under vehicular homicide.
The punishment for this includes serving a jail term of two to six years with a fine ranging from two thousand to five hundred thousand dollars. If the vehicle accident with claimed the victim’s life was caused due to the consumption of drugs, then the jail term ranges from four to twelve years in jail with a fine ranging from three thousand dollars to seven-fifty thousand dollars.
Attempted murder is when a person knowingly tries to kill another person. Attempted murder too has a first and second degree.
The punishment for the attempted murder of degree two ranges from ten to thirty-two years of jail term with a possible fine of up to seven-fifty thousand dollars, whereas for degree one attempted murder, the jail term is between sixteen to forty-eight years along with a fine of up to a million dollars. Defenses for attempted murder too are that it was accidental, it was an act of self-defense, etc.