The holidays are a time of the year that many people look forward to, but they can also be very stressful. If that stress goes unchecked, it can cause you to do things you may not normally do – and get charged with assault.
Crowded shopping malls, traffic, holiday parties, and gift exchanges are all scenarios that can lead to stress. If you reach a point where you simply cannot cope and lose your cool, then you can find yourself in a precarious position legally, with charges such as assault. That’s why everyone needs to know what assault is in North Carolina, what penalties can be faced if convicted, and how you can avoid these charges by practicing a little self-care this season.
Understanding Assault in Colorado
Assault is considered a violent crime in Colorado, depending on the amount of violence used and the damage that results. In Colorado, assault is a misdemeanor or felony.
There are three degrees of assault in Colorado. They are:
Assault in the First Degree
When someone uses a deadly weapon intentionally to injure, disable, or disfigure another person, you’re acting in a way that puts the safety of others in danger without the intent to harm them, and then you’re perpetrating first-degree assault. Assault in the first degree can occur in scenarios where on-duty officials such as police officers feel threatened with a deadly weapon.
If found guilty of first-degree assault, a person can face up to 32 years in prison. You can also be required to pay fines of as much as $750,000.
Assault in the Second Degree
A person commits second-degree assault if they intentionally cause serious bodily injury to someone else without a deadly weapon. You can also commit this crime by causing injury due to being reckless or drug someone intentionally without their consent. This crime can also occur when someone threatens to or intends to cause serious bodily injury to prevent an official on duty from working or causing that official to come into contact with toxic chemicals or bodily fluids to harm them.
Finally, anyone in the custody of the police or another official who violently and knowingly applies physical force to them or causes them to come into contact with bodily fluids also faces assault charges in this degree.
If found guilty, a person can serve up to 16 years and be liable for fines of up to $500,000.
Assault in the Third Degree
This final degree of assault is perpetrated when someone recklessly or knowingly causes bodily injury to another person or is criminally negligent in such a way as to cause physical injury to another with a deadly weapon. Assault in the Third Degree occurs when a person comes into contact with a toxic substance or bodily fluid with the intent to threaten or harass them.
If found guilty, a person can serve up to 18 months of incarceration and be responsible for fines of up to $1,000.
How to Cope with Holiday Stress
The best thing you can do to avoid a criminal record involving an assault to any degree is to find ways to cope with the stress of the holidays so you don’t boil over and make a poor decision that can land you an assault charge.
The first step is recognizing signs of your holiday stress and anxiety mounting. Some people feel out of control or overwhelmed, while others may feel tired or have problems sleeping. Avoiding social gatherings, lack or increase in appetite, or feelings of hopelessness are all signs that the holidays may get to you.
It is an excellent idea to Identify what situations may trigger your stress and anxiety surrounding the holidays. Sometimes, families can trigger a stressful episode, or maybe the increased traffic on the roads can do it for you. Crowds in stores are another trigger for a lot of people that add to feelings of overwhelming stress that cause them to lash out.
During this time of the year, it’s important to practice self-care. Get some exercise each day to help you more effectively deal with the stress you may face. Take a walk or go to the gym. Make minor adjustments to your day that can help you to feel more relaxed such as taking a break from social media or putting your phone on silent for a while. Figure out what you need and then do it to avoid bigger problems this season.
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.