In this recent criminal appeal, Patrick Mulligan challenged a previous Colorado appellate ruling on the question of proportionality of a sentence. The Colorado Court of Appeals agreed with Patrick’s argument, and ruled that the previous case was no longer binding precedent.

Patrick initially filed a postconviction (Rule 35c) motion, challenging the proportionality of the defendant’s sentence. The trial court denied the motion, and ruled that vehicular homicide was a “per se grave and serious” offense. This ruling effectively eliminated any chance at relief on proportionality grounds.

In a particularly complex appeal, Patrick argued that vehicular homicide could not be recognized as per se grave and serious, in part because it is a strict liability offense. The Court of Appeals agreed, and effectively overruled a prior appellate court decision on the same issue. The Court’s ruling opens the door to new proportionality challenges, particularly in vehicular homicide cases.

With 36 years of experience in criminal law, Patrick Mulligan has litigated every type of criminal case from DUI through First Degree Murder at the trial, appellate, and postconviction stages.

If you need assistance with a criminal law issue, contact us at 303-295-1500.

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