Statute for 18 – 3 – 103 – Second Degree Murder
Here is the charge you are facing:
18-3-103. Murder in the second degree
(1) A person commits the crime of murder in the second degree if the person knowingly causes the death of a person.
(2) Diminished responsibility due to self-induced intoxication is not a defense to murder in the second degree.
(2.5) (Deleted by amendment, L. 96, p. 1844, § 12, effective July 1, 1996.)
(3) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), murder in the second degree is a class 2 felony.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), murder in the second degree is a class 3 felony where the act causing the death was performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the defendant sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person; but, if between the provocation and the killing there is an interval sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, the killing is a class 2 felony.
(4) A defendant convicted pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be sentenced by the court in accordance with the provisions of section 18-1.3-406.
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 Second Degree Murder
The charge of Second Degree Murder, is categorized as a:
F3, if provoked passion found
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 Second Degree Murder below. These will be adapted by your CO Attorney for your case.
The elements of murder in the second degree are: 1. that the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. knowingly, 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 murder in the second degree. 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 murder in the second degree. NOTES ON USE The definitions of ?knowingly? and ?person? must be given with this instruction.
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 Colorado 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 Second Degree Murder.
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.
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.