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Murder Defense Lawyers in Breckenridge

Were You Charged with Homicide in Breckenridge?

If you have been charged with homicide in Breckenridge, never speak to the police or prosecutors unless your attorney is present. It’s also crucial to completely avoid revealing details about the case to friends or family or on social media.

Our experienced Summit County murder defense lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC have in-depth knowledge of the Colorado court system, and we know the best way to guide you through the legal process to get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Call (970) 368-0602 to learn more today.

Defending Your Rights and Protecting Your Freedom

Murder occurs when one person intentionally kills another person with malicious intent. This is an extremely serious crime that carries strict penalties in Colorado. People convicted of murder in Colorado face sentences between 16 years and life behind bars.

From the moment you get arrested, everything you say and do will have a significant impact on your freedom. It’s crucial to speak with an experienced homicide attorney right away. Your Summit County criminal defense lawyer will advise you of your rights and design the best strategy to protect your freedom.

Kylie Whitaker and Ehren Penix are former prosecutors who have been successful on both sides of the courtroom. This experience allows them to fully appreciate the legal challenges required when representing a defendant in a homicide case. Our team at Whitaker & Penix, LLC knows how to anticipate the actions of prosecutors and we will build the strongest possible case to defend you.

Homicide Charges in Summit County, Colorado

Homicide occurs when one person kills another. There are five primary legal categories that apply to homicide in Colorado, depending on the circumstances and the defendant’s frame of mind. Legal categories of homicide include first-degree murder, second-degree murder, vehicular homicide, manslaughter, and criminally negligent homicide.

First Degree Murder

First-degree murder is a deliberate act that causes death to another human being. Circumstance where first degree murder may apply in Colorado include:

  • After deliberation, an individual causes the death of another person.
  • An act of grave risk conducted with extreme indifference causes a person’s death.
  • The commission of a crime such as kidnapping or armed robbery results in death.
  • A person knowingly distributes drugs to someone under 18, and that person dies as a result.

First degree murder carries a life sentence in Colorado.

Second-Degree Murder

Second-degree murder occurs when someone knowingly causes the death of another person. The difference between first-degree murder and second-degree murder is that with second-degree murder the defendant doesn’t deliberate on the act prior to committing it. But second-degree murder is still the intentional taking of another person’s life.

Second-degree murder carries a prison sentence of 16 to 48 years.

Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular homicide occurs when an individual operates a motor vehicle in a reckless manner or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and this causes the death of another person.

The prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter ranges from 2 to 6 years. But if the defendant is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then prison sentences range from 4 to 12 years.


Manslaughter is an act that recklessly causes the death of another person. A manslaughter conviction doesn’t require that the defendant intended to cause someone’s death, but the defendant must have knowingly engaged in conduct that created a substantial and unjustifiable risk.

Criminally Negligent Homicide

Criminally negligent homicide is an act of negligence that causes the death of another person. There is no intent to kill, but the defendant fails to perceive a risk that a reasonable person would have perceived in the same situation.

Criminally negligent homicide carries a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years.

Long-Term Consequences of a Felony Conviction

Conviction for any type of homicide is a felony in Colorado. Even after completing your sentence, a felony conviction results in serious life-long consequences that may including:

  • Loss of the right to own a firearm
  • Loss of a professional license
  • Damage to your immigration status
  • Loss of parental or custody rights
  • Loss of public housing benefits
  • Restrictions from traveling abroad
  • Loss of voting rights

There’s no time to waste if you’ve been charged with a violent crime in Summit County. Call (970) 368-0602 to schedule a free consultation with a violent crime attorney in Breckenridge today.

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