Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 3 – 104 – Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-3-104. Manslaughter

(1) A person commits the crime of manslaughter if:

(a) Such person recklessly causes the death of another person; or

(b) Such person intentionally causes or aids another person to commit suicide.

(c) (Deleted by amendment, L. 96, p. 1844, § 13, effective July 1, 1996.)

(2) Manslaughter is a class 4 felony.

(3) This section shall not apply to a person, including a proxy decision-maker as such person is described in section 15-18.5-103, C.R.S., who complies with any advance medical directive in accordance with the provisions of title 15, C.R.S., including a medical durable power of attorney, a living will, or a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) directive.

(4) (a) This section shall not apply to a medical caregiver with prescriptive authority or authority to administer medication who prescribes or administers medication for palliative care to a terminally ill patient with the consent of the terminally ill patient or his or her agent.

(b) For purposes of this subsection (4):

(I) “Agent” means a person appointed to represent the interests of the terminally ill patient by a medical power of attorney, power of attorney, health care proxy, or any other similar statutory or regular procedure used for designation of such person.

(II) “Medical caregiver” means a physician, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or anesthesiologist assistant licensed by this state.

(III) “Palliative care” means medical care and treatment provided by a licensed medical caregiver to a patient with an advanced chronic or terminal illness whose condition may not be responsive to curative treatment and who is, therefore, receiving treatment that relieves pain and suffering and supports the best possible quality of his or her life.

(c) Paragraph (a) of this subsection (4) shall not be interpreted to permit a medical caregiver to assist in the suicide of the patient.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.


Colorado Penalties for Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness

Penalties

The charge of Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness, is categorized as a:

F4

Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a CO Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your CO Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness below. These will be adapted by your CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of manslaughter are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. recklessly, 4. caused the death of another person. 5. [without the affirmative defense in instruction number .] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of manslaughter. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of manslaughter. NOTES ON USE When this instruction is given, the definitions of ?recklessly? and ?person? must be given.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Manslaughter Caused By Recklessness.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca