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Anyone accused of assault in Colorado – whether the accusation is true or not – needs to understand the charges and how to fight against them.

The laws surrounding assault in the Centennial State can be harsh, and a conviction can upend your life for years – even after you’ve served your debt to society. That’s why it’s vital to understand what a conviction for this crime means, how it’s perpetrated, and what you can do to fight for your rights.

How Is Assault Defined in Colorado?

Assault is, unfortunately, a common crime in our state. In fact, research says it’s the most common violent crime here.

Under Colorado law, assault occurs when someone causes injury to another. It can be committed in many ways, including shooting, stabbing, hitting, slapping, pushing, or shoving someone. It is also assault to throw something at someone, including acid or a hot liquid.

Colorado breaks assault into three degrees. The first and second degrees of assault are felonies, while the third degree of assault is considered a misdemeanor.

Different Degrees of Colorado Assault

The different degrees of assault and their penalties in Colorado include:

First Degree

Generally charged as either a Class 5 or Class 3 felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. This charge is frequently levied when someone intentionally harms another with a deadly weapon to disable, disfigure, or amputate them.

If convicted of a Class 3 felony assault charge, you can go to prison for up to 32 years and get fined up to $750,000.

Second Degree

Assault in the second degree is when another person recklessly or intentionally causes bodily harm to someone else with a deadly weapon. It can get charged at different levels, depending on the circumstances.

If serious bodily harm gets inflicted on the victim, you can spend up to 16 years behind bars and fined up to $500,000.

Third Degree

In many cases, anyone who recklessly, negligently, or knowingly causes harm to another person can get charged with third-degree assault, a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted, you can go to jail for up to two years and fined up to $5,000.

How Coloradans Can Fight Back against Assault Charges

As you can see, the circumstances surrounding your case will weigh heavily on the degree of assault you will face. Bringing an attorney on your case as soon as possible can help you understand the charges you’re facing while also working on your behalf to ensure your charge is correct and your rights get upheld.

How Coloradans Can Fight Back against Assault Charges

An attorney who understands these types of cases can work diligently on your behalf to see if the case against you can be dismissed or dropped. If that doesn’t work, they can ensure your rights are upheld throughout the process and work with you on a defense strategy to help you obtain the outcome you want.


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 & 2019-2022” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2022 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state.  Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020-2022. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.


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