Murder in the first degree is the most serious category of all homicide charges. A first degree felony murder conviction can result in life without the possibility of parole or even the death penalty.
If you are under investigation or if you have been arrested for any criminal homicide charge, you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is knowledgeable in Colorado law immediately. It is essential that you politely exercise your legal right to remain silent by refusing to answer any questions posed to you by law enforcement without your attorney present. If you are a person of interest in a criminal investigation you might very well be a suspect.
Criminal charges as serious as first degree murder will require an extremely skilled and effective defense. Your attorney may need to employ the help of expert witnesses that are trained in DNA evidence, blood spatter, ballistics medical science or psychology.
How is first degree murder set apart from other forms of criminal homicide? First off, it is considered the most heinous form of murder and is therefore punished as such. First degree includes the elements of deliberation, premeditating and malice aforethought. In other words, first degree murder is the kind where somebody makes the conscious decision to murder another human being and then takes necessary steps to carry out that plan. First degree murder does not happen by accident.
If you are convicted of first degree murder in Colorado you are typically facing one of two sentences: (1) life without the possibility of parole and (2) the death penalty. In most cases a person who is convicted of first degree murder will be sentenced to life without parole, but there is no guarantee.
In Colorado a person can be convicted of first degree murder for extremely cruel, heinous and depraved acts. First degree murder can involve any acts where the person was lying in wait to kill their victim; for example, hiding in a closet or in the backseat of a car. Or, they can be convicted of first degree murder for killing a police officer, firefighter, federal agent, judge, juror or other government employee.
The suspect can be convicted if they intentionally killed a pregnant woman, knowing that she was pregnant or if they committed the killing because of a prejudice against the person’s race, color, ancestry, religion or national origin.
There are a number of circumstances that can lead to a first degree murder conviction above and beyond the ones aforementioned. If you are under investigation or if you have already been arrested for a criminal homicide charge a private Denver criminal defense lawyer will give you the best chances to overcome the charges against you. Your future and your life are extremely important and they should not be compromised by hiring a weak or inexperienced defense attorney.