Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
Does Colorado have a "Make My Day" law?
Grounded in the statute CRS 18-1-704.5, Colorado’s Make My Day law allows people in a home – including a hotel room – to use force and even deadly force against an intruder whom they reasonably believe is committing a crime and posing a physical danger. Make My Day law is alternatively referred to as the Castle Doctrine.
Colorado’s Make My Day law has three elements that must be met for a home invasion victim to lawfully hurt or kill an intruder.
Note that the Make My Day law applies to any home, including RV trailers and hotel rooms. But it does not include the common area of an apartment building; the intruder would have to unlawfully enter an actual apartment for an occupant to be protected under the Make My Day law.
Also note that there is no requirement that the intruder break in. Occupants can still kill intruders who enter through an unlocked door or open window.1
No. Colorado law does not impose a duty to retreat on people in a home when a seemingly dangerous intruder enters. This is true even when the people inside the home can easily escape through a door or window. Instead, the people inside the home may “stand their ground” to fight and even kill the intruder.2
Learn more in our article, Is Colorado a “stand your ground” state?”
Colorado law permits victims outside of a dwelling to kill an aggressor in self-defense – or in defense of others – when they genuinely believe non-deadly force is insufficient to stop the threat and one of the following three conditions is true:
Otherwise, victims may only use as much force as is reasonably necessary to fight off an aggressor.3
Colorado Revised Statute 18-1-704.5
Use of deadly physical force against an intruder
(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant.
(3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force.
(4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force.
(5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “dwelling” does not include any place of habitation in a detention facility, as defined in section 18-8-211 (4).
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.
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