Strong Criminal Defense Representation For Individuals Charged With Committing Violent Crimes
Violent crimes involve criminal conduct directed toward another person. These offenses, which are often charged at the felony level, are also commonly referred to as “Crimes Against The Person” as opposed to property crimes.
A Respected Lawyer For Violent Crime Defense
If you or a loved one has been charged with a violent crime, Boulder lawyer Mark Langston can put more than 28 years of criminal defense experience to work for you. If you have been contacted as part of an investigation, the time to consult an experienced attorney is now. Mr. Langston’s successful defense efforts on behalf of the accused have covered a broad spectrum of violent offenses across Colorado, including those discussed below.
Colorado law generally defines three levels of assault, distinguished by the degree of injury caused, the state of mind of the perpetrator, the status of the victim, and whether a weapon was used. A prison sentence is generally mandatory upon conviction for a felony assault.
First-degree assault, the most serious type of assault, is a class 3 felony. Second-degree assault is generally a class 4 felony, but is increased to a class 3 felony if it is committed during the commission of, or flight from, certain other felony offenses. Third-degree assault is a class 1 misdemeanor, committed when a person either “knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another” or negligently “causes bodily injury to another [with] a deadly weapon.” (C.R.S. § 18-3-204)
Vehicular assault is committed when a person drives recklessly and the driving is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another person. A person also commits vehicular assault if the person drives while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both and is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another.
Child abuse charges fall into several different categories, depending upon the degree of injury to the child and the state of mind of the offender. Colorado law provides that a person commits child abuse if the person: (1) causes an injury to a child; (2) permits a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat to the child’s life or health; or (3) engages in a continuing pattern of conduct that results in malnourishment, lack of medical care, cruel punishment or an accumulation of injuries that results in the death or serious bodily injury to the child. Under the child abuse statute, a child is defined as a person under 16. (C.R.S. § 18-6-401)
Homicide And Manslaughter
The most serious criminal offense one can commit is first-degree murder. Murder in the first degree is a class 1 felony. The punishment for a class 1 felony is execution or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The most common charge of first-degree murder requires proof that the defendant, “after deliberation and with the intent to cause to the death of [another] person,” (C.R.S. § 18-3-102) caused the death of that other person or another person. However, first-degree murder can also be committed in other ways.
A person commits first-degree murder if the person:
- Intentionally causes the death of another after deliberation
- Commits any of several listed serious crimes and, during the commission of that crime or the flight from that crime, the death of a person other than a participant in the crime is caused by anyone
- “With an attitude of universal malice manifesting extreme indifference to human life generally, […] knowingly engages in conduct [that] creates a grave risk of death to another and causes the death of another” (§ 18-3-102(1)(d), C.R.S. 2015.)
- Sells controlled substances to a person under 18 on school grounds and the controlled substance causes the death of the purchaser
- Knowingly causes the death of a child under the age of 12 and the person is in a position of trust with respect to that child
Second-degree murder is committed when a person knowingly causes the death of another person. Knowingly is a less culpable mental state than the mental state of “after deliberation” required for first-degree murder. Second-degree murder charges are appropriate when the prosecution believes that the defendant intentionally caused the death of another person, but did not plan that death beforehand.
Manslaughter is committed if a person recklessly causes the death of another person or intentionally causes or aids another person to commit suicide. Recklessness is a less culpable mental state than intentionally or after deliberation. The defendant did not intend to kill anyone, but his recklessness resulted in a death.
Criminally negligent homicide occurs when a person negligently causes the death of another person. Negligence is a less culpable state of mind than recklessness. Recklessness requires that the person disregards a known risk, while negligence requires only that the person fails to perceive the risk.
First-degree kidnapping is committed when a person who seeks money or other concessions in order to release someone under the person’s actual or apparent control either (a) forcibly seizes and carries any person from one place to another, (b) entices or persuades any person to go from one place to another, or (c) imprisons or forcibly secrets any person. (C.R.S. § 18-3-301)
Second-degree kidnapping is committed when a person knowingly seizes and carries any person from one place to another, or entices a child with the intent to keep the child from the child’s parents, or with the intent to sell or trade the child. Kidnapping is a felony, and can be committed just by taking a person from one room of a house to another without his or her consent.
Menacing, Stalking And Harassment
Menacing occurs when a person places another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury through threat or physical action. Menacing is a felony if it is committed with a real or simulated deadly weapon or through a threat that the person is armed with a deadly weapon. In Colorado, the courts have held that even a person’s hands can be considered “deadly weapons.”
Stalking is another very serious charge in Colorado, a felony offense punishable with years in prison and huge fines. Mr. Langston also defends clients against charges of criminal harassment, which is typically a misdemeanor charge, but one that can have serious collateral consequences in addition to criminal consequences. All such charges may also invoke specific requirements and procedures pertaining to crimes of domestic violence if committed in the context of any intimate relationship.
Robbery is generally defined as taking anything of value from the person or presence of another by the use of force, threats or intimidation. Robbery is a more serious offense when committed against an at-risk victim. Aggravated robbery occurs when a person commits a robbery as just defined and, either during the robbery or the immediate flight from the robbery, the defendant: (a) is armed with a deadly weapon and the defendant intends to harm anyone if resisted; (b) wounds or strikes the victim with a deadly weapon, or puts the victim in fear of death or bodily injury with a deadly weapon; (c) has a confederate who is armed with a deadly weapon and is aiding or abetting the defendant; or (d) possesses a simulated deadly weapon in fashion that would lead a reasonable person to believe it is an actual deadly weapon.
A person who “knowingly possesses a dangerous weapon commits a class 5 felony,” with subsequent convictions being a class 4 felony. “A person who knowingly possesses an illegal weapon commits a class 1 misdemeanor.” A person commits the crime of carrying a concealed weapon, in violation of C.R.S. § 18-12-105, if the person knowingly and unlawfully carries a knife or firearm concealed on or about his person, or if the person brings any firearm, explosive or incendiary device into the capitol building. This offense is a class 2 misdemeanor. A person who has been convicted of a second offense in five years is guilty of a class 5 felony.
Any conviction for a weapons offense may impact your ability to legally possess any firearms or other weapons in the future.
The more commonly charged offenses related to the possession or use of weapons are:
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Possession of a dangerous weapon
- Possession of an illegal weapon
- Prohibited use of a weapon
- Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
- Possession of an explosive or incendiary device
- Felony menacing
- Possession of a firearm while intoxicated
Call 303-440-0856 Now To Protect Your Rights And Your Future
The Law Office of Mark T. Langston, P.C., is a premier resource for people facing serious charges in Boulder and all surrounding areas. For a prompt, personally attentive consultation, call or email our offices now.