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Understanding Your Assault Charge
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Understanding Your Assault Charge

 

In Colorado, you can be charged with assault in the first, second, or third degree depending on the circumstances of your case. But what are the differences between these degrees? And, more importantly, what are the possible penalties if you’re convicted?

 

Let’s look at the different levels of assault and the penalties associated with each crime.

 

First Degree Assault

 

First degree assault is a crime of violence and the most serious type of assault with the most severe penalties. You can be charged with first degree assault if you:

 

  • Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon
  • Intentionally caused disfigurement or destroyed, amputated, or permanently disabled an organ or member of another person’s body
  • Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to a peace officer, firefighter, judicial officer, or detention facility employee

 

First degree assault is a Class 3 felony punishable by fines ranging from $3,000 to $750,000 and 4 to 12 years in prison.

 

If the assault is considered a crime of passion, you’ll be charged with a Class 5 felony punishable by fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and 1 to 3 years in prison.

 

Denver Assault Lawyer

 

Second Degree Assault

 

Second degree assault is also a crime of violence, and you can be charged with second degree assault if you:

 

  • Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon
  • Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to a peace officer, firefighter, judicial officer, or detention facility employee
  • Intentionally caused unconsciousness, stupor, or physical or mental impairment or injury with drugs and without consent
  • Intentionally caused a detention facility employee to come into contact with a toxic or hazardous material, including blood, urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and so on.
  • Intentionally caused serious bodily injury to another person

 

Second degree assault is a Class 4 felony punishable by fines ranging from $2,000 to $500,000 and 2 to 6 years in prison.

 

If the assault is considered a crime of passion, you’ll be charged with a Class 6 felony punishable by fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and 1 to 1.5 years in prison.

 

Third Degree Assault

 

Third degree assault is the least serious assault offense. You can be charged with third degree assault if you:

 

  • Intentionally, recklessly, or through criminal negligence caused bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon
  • Intentionally threatened, harassed, annoyed, or injured a peace officer or other protected employee with a dangerous substance

 

Third degree assault is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine ranging from $500 to $5,000 and 6 to 18 months in prison. If the crime is against a peace officer or protected employee, you could possibly face a more severe penalty.

 

Menacing

 

Menacing happens when a person intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of impending serious bodily injury. As a Class 3 misdemeanor, menacing is punishable by a fine ranging from $50 to $750 and up to 6 months in prison.

 

If menacing uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, then it is a Class 5 felony punishable by fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 and 1 to 3 years in prison.

 

Regardless of your type of assault charge, you should contact an experienced Denver assault attorney to see if you can get your assault charge reduced, dropped, or even dismissed.

 

 

About the Author:

 

Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state.  She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.