If you have been charged with assault in Colorado, you need to understand what happens next. In this post, we’ll detail the assault laws and penalties as well as the potential defenses you can use to fight your charges.
Laws and Penalties
Assault in the third degree
Recklessly or knowingly causing bodily injury to someone
Using criminal negligence with a deadly weapon to cause bodily injury to someone
Intentionally threatening, harassing, alarming, or annoying persons of protected status by causing them to come into contact with certain bodily fluids or chemicals
Charge classification and penalties
Class 1 misdemeanor and an extraordinary risk crime: 6 to 18 months in jail, fine of $500 to $5,000
Assault in the second degree
Intentionally causing serious bodily injury to someone
Intentionally choking someone
Intentionally or recklessly causing bodily injury to someone with a deadly weapon
Intentionally causing bodily injury or serious bodily injury to a person of protected status with the intent to prevent them from performing their duties
Intentionally causing someone else to experience unconsciousness, stupor, or other impairment by administering a controlled substance without consent
Knowingly using violent physical force against a person of protected status while lawfully in custody or confined
Intentionally harming, infecting, or injuring persons of protected status by causing them to come into contact with certain bodily fluids or chemicals
While confined to a Colorado detention facility, intentionally threatening, harassing, alarming, annoying, infecting, or injuring persons of protected status by causing them to come into contact with certain bodily fluids or chemicals
Charge classification and penalties
Class 6 felony for offense committed in heat of passion: 1 to 1.5 years in prison, fine of $1,000 to $100,000
Class 4 felony: 2 to 6 years in prison, fine of $2,000 to $500,000
Class 3 felony if assault occurred when the victim was fleeing another act or attempt of certain high-level offenses: 4 to 12 years in prison, fine of $3,000 to $750,000
Assault in the first degree
Intentionally causing serious bodily injury to someone with a deadly weapon
Intentionally causing serious and permanent disfiguration or disability to someone
Intentionally causing serious bodily injury by choking someone
Creating a serious risk of death to someone through serious bodily injury
Threatening a person of protected status with an intent to cause serious bodily injury, or while confined in a Colorado detention facility
Classification and punishment
Class 3 felony: 4 to 12 years in prison, fine of $3,000 to $750,000
Class 5 felony for offense committed in heat of passion: 1 to 3 years in prison, fine of $1,000 to $100,000
Potential Defenses against Assault Charges
You can make a plea bargain with the prosecution for a reduced sentence or lesser charge if you are willing to plead guilty. You can also use the following defenses to fight back against assault charges:
Self defense. If you acted to protect yourself from injury, this defense may work.
Defense of others. Similar to self defense, if you acted to protect others from harm, your charges may be dropped.
Defense of property. If someone was trying to destroy your property, did you try to stop them? If so, this defense may be viable.
These strategies are just a few of the options that may be available to you. Which one is most appropriate in your situation will depend upon exactly that – your specific situation and details.
That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced Colorado criminal lawyer who has had success in these types of cases. Get in touch today for a free case review, and we’ll begin building your defense.
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.