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.
1st Degree Murders Sentences in Colorado – 3 Things to Know
First-degree murder (CRS 18-3-102) carries a life sentence without parole in Colorado State Prison. The state no longer has the death penalty. So defendants who had been on death row for a first-degree murder conviction will instead serve life imprisonment. Here are three things to know:
1. First-degree murder sentences are served in state prison
Unlike county jails, state prisons are typically located in more rural areas, and they only hold inmates who have been convicted of felonies.
2. First-degree murder is the most serious crime in Colorado
Colorado’s first degree murder statute – CRS 18-3-102 – comprises the five most egregious types of homicides:
Premeditated killings, where the defendant intentionally ended the victim’s life.
Committing perjury, which then results in an innocent person being convicted and executed.
Under circumstances showing extreme indifference to the value of human life, causing the death of another person by knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a grave risk of death.
Giving controlled substances to a child under 18 on school grounds, and the child dies from the drugs.
A person in a “position of trust” to a child under 12 knowingly causing the child to die.
First degree murder is therefore classified as a class 1 felony, the most serious category of crime under Colorado law. Now that the state no longer practices capital punishment, defendants convicted of first degree murder face life prison sentences without the possibility of parole.1
As of September 15, 2021, first-degree murder no longer comprises felony murder. Felony murder is unintentionally causing the death of another person in perpetration of certain serious or violent crimes, such as kidnapping or sexual assault. Now, felony murder is treated as second-degree murder – a class 2 felony. The sentence is 16 to 48 years in prison.3
3. There are many possible defenses to first-degree murder charges
Three potential defenses to criminal charges in first degree murder cases include:
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.