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Photo of Attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC

Charged With A Crime? It Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty.

Heat of Passion Criminal Defenses: Lawyer in Arapahoe County

On Behalf of | Oct 13, 2017 | Defenses |

Heat of Passion: Attorneys’ Defenses for Criminal Charges in Douglas County, Colorado

Heat of Passion for sentencing is a unique defense in Douglas County courts, which can greatly reduce your potential time to serve in the Colorado Department of Corrections prison. Heat of Passion is similar to an “irresistible impulse,” but not one of the affirmative defenses, which can result in a complete win. Let’s look at two examples used in Arapahoe County.

Assault in the First Degree, and Heat of Passion Defense in Jefferson County Courts

C.R.S. 18-3-202 (2) (a) “If assault in the first degree is committed under circumstances where the act causing the injury is performed upon a sudden Heat of Passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the person causing the injury sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and without an interval between the provocation and the injury sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, it is a class 5 felony.” Otherwise, First Degree Assault is a class 3 felony in Jefferson County, Colorado.

Effect of Heat of Passion Defense in Denver Criminal Charges

Lawyers are taught that the normal range for a class 3, Extraordinary Risk Crime, is 4-16 years, in Denver courts. But, with a Crime of Violence like this crime, the court is required to sentence to at least the midpoint of 10 years, up to twice the maximum of the presumptive range, or 32 years. With defenses like the Heat of Passion defense, your potential sentence is 1-4 years. Yes, a court could give you up to 8 years (2x the max), but that is a huge distance from 32 years without the defense.  Defenses to Murder crimes.

Murder in the Second Degree Attorney in Adams County, C.R.S. 18-3-103

A second example is Murder in the Second Degree in Adams County, which is a class 2 felony, carrying a potential sentence of 8-24 years. It is also a crime of violence, with a possible max sentence of 48 years, and a minimum of 16 years as the midpoint. With defenses like the Heat of Passion defense, murder in the second degree is a class 3 felony, where the range is 4-16 years, with a high of 32 years (2x the maximum). Definition of Murder in the Second Degree.

Colorado’s defenses like the Heat of Passion defense take many violent offenses down a notch or two in their sentencing category. Never speak with police about your case, because they will try and defeat this defense. Call our criminal defense lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.