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Castle Rock Attempted Murder Lawyer

Attempted Murder Charges in Castle Rock, CO
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If you or a loved one are facing attempted murder charges in Colorado — call now.

The pounding on your front door jolts you awake. As you scramble out of bed, the muffled voice on the other side shouts “Police!” Your mind races, thinking this must be some mistake. But as officers put you in handcuffs and recite your Miranda rights, reality sets in – you’ve been arrested for attempted murder.

In an instant, your whole world changes. You may feel confused, overwhelmed, and absolutely terrified of what comes next. Will you spend decades in prison for a crime you feel you didn’t commit? Will your family, career, and reputation be destroyed forever?

As criminal defense attorneys who have represented many clients facing attempted murder allegations in Colorado, we understand these fears intimately. While the charges are deeply serious, hope exists. With an experienced legal team guiding you, it is possible to avoid a conviction, even for violent crimes like attempted murder.

How Much Time Do You Get For Attempted Murder in Colorado?

Attempted murder usually involves taking substantial steps towards intentionally causing the death of another person. Unlike homicide charges, where someone was actually killed, attempted murder applies when the victim survives. However, these are still some of the most serious violent crime allegations that can be made in our state.

There are two degrees of attempted murder in Colorado:

  • First-degree attempted murder involves premeditation and deliberation with the intent to kill someone. It is a Class 2 felony punishable by up to 48 years in prison.
  • Second-degree attempted murder involves taking actions that show an extreme indifference to human life. It is a Class 3 felony with up to 32 years in prison as the potential sentence.

Attempted murder requires the conscious intent and objective to actually end someone’s life or engage in an action that demonstrates that a person does not care about who they could potentially hurt or how badly. The prosecution has a high burden of proof to show you had this specific intent. That’s where an experienced criminal defense attorney can start developing your defenses.

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What The Douglas County District Attorney Has To Prove for An Attempted Murder Charge in Castle Rock, CO?

For an attempted murder conviction, the prosecution needs to establish certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You took a substantial step towards the commission of murder. For example, this could include buying weapons, surveilling the intended victim, or beginning to act on a plan to kill.
  • You acted with the conscious objective and intent to kill the victim. There must be evidence you meant for the person to die.
  • You acted after deliberation and with premeditation if charged with first-degree attempted murder.
  • You showed extreme indifference to human life through your words or actions if charged with second-degree attempted murder.

The prosecution might point to actions you took while angry or upset with the victim. But this alone does not prove you intended to commit murder without additional evidence. A Castle Rock attempted murder lawyer can carefully analyze the evidence or lack of evidence regarding your state of mind.

Common Defenses Against Attempted Murder Allegations

Some of the most common defenses we build in attempted murder cases include:

  • Lack of intent to kill: We would argue the prosecution has not proved beyond a reasonable doubt you intended for the victim to die. There are many scenarios where an assault occurs, but death was never the goal.
  • Self-defense: If we can show you acted reasonably in response to a threat against your life, self-defense could provide a complete justification. However, self-defense claims can be complicated in disputes between family members or partners.
  • Defense of others: This is similar to a self-defense claim, but it is saying that you took the action you did because you were defending someone other than yourself.
  • Intoxication: You may have been too impaired by substances to form the requisite intent to kill. But intoxication cannot be used as a defense against general intent crimes.
  • Mistaken identity: If we can demonstrate it was someone else who planned and carried out the attempted murder, we can defeat the charges against you.
  • Duress: If you can show you acted under immediate threat against your life, you may have a duress defense. The threat has to be both imminent and involve deadly force.
  • Entrapment: This applies in cases where you were induced by police to attempt to commit murder you otherwise wouldn’t have without that persuasion.

A skilled attorney will look at every angle of your case to build the strongest defense possible against attempted murder allegations.

Domestic Violence and Attempted Murder Charges in Castle Rock, CO

There are certain complexities when attempted murder charges stem from domestic violence incidents. Some important points to understand include:

  • The existence of any restraining orders against you will be used as evidence of premeditation.
  • Claims of self-defense become more difficult if there is a history of domestic violence from either party.
  • Sentencing enhancements often apply based on the relationship between you and the victim as family or household members.

Navigating the Criminal Justice Process in Douglas County

Here is an overview of the key stages of the criminal justice process in an attempted murder trial:

  • The police conduct an investigation, which may lead to your arrest if they believe they have sufficient evidence.
  • Hiring legal counsel immediately allows us to start building your defense. We can conduct our own investigation as well.
  • Prosecutors may offer plea bargain deals to avoid trial or if we are able to show them that the evidence is weak. Whether to take a plea deal depends entirely on the facts of the case and what goals the client wants to accomplish. Many attempted murder charges do end up on the trial track.
  • We file motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence and any other motions needed to ensure a fair trial.
  • If a trial happens, jury selection and opening statements come first. Then, the prosecution presents their case and witnesses to try to prove their guilt. You do not have to testify if you choose not to.
  • We thoroughly cross-examine all prosecution witnesses and make motions for acquittal if the state has not met its burden. Then, we present our defense and call our witnesses.
  • The jury receives instructions from the judge and hears closing arguments before deliberating on a verdict. If convicted, sentencing occurs later before the judge.

Seeking the Best Possible Outcome for Your Case

The penalties for attempted murder convictions are severe, especially for first-degree charges. But skilled defense attorneys have a wide range of strategies for achieving the best possible outcome, whether that involves a not guilty verdict at trial or a favorable plea bargain agreement.

  • We leverage every possible defense and hold the prosecution accountable for their high burden of proof. Reasonable doubt about intent can defeat the charges.
  • Negotiating an agreement for reduced charges in exchange for a guilty plea is often preferable over the risks of trial. Manslaughter, for example, has lower sentencing guidelines and risks.
  • When a trial is the best option, we are not afraid to put the prosecution’s case to the test before a jury. Their burden is high, and just one juror voting not guilty prevents a conviction.
  • Sentencing guidelines provide a range, and we work to position you for the lowest end through mitigating factors.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for attempted murder in Colorado?

The penalties for attempted murder in Colorado depend on whether it is charged as a first or second-degree offense. First-degree attempted murder is a Class 2 felony with up to 48 years in prison. Second-degree attempted murder is a Class 3 felony with up to 32 years in prison. Sentences can be increased with certain aggravating factors.

What's the difference between attempted murder and assault charges?

Unlike assault charges focused on causing bodily injury, attempted murder requires the prosecution to prove the defendant acted with the conscious intent to kill the victim. Assault may involve reckless actions, but attempted murder means specifically trying to end someone’s life or acting in a way that shows you do not care if you do end someone’s life.

Can you claim self-defense against attempted murder charges?

Yes, self-defense can be claimed as a justification against attempted murder charges if you reasonably believed force was necessary to protect yourself or someone else from imminent harm. However, self-defense claims become more difficult if there is domestic violence history between the defendant and victim.

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