COLORADO ASSAULT CHARGES EXPLAINED
A Colorado Springs assault charge can be filed against a defendant when serious bodily injury is inflicted by the use of a deadly weapon. The key to this offense is the injuries suffered, not the type of weapon used. Therefore if you were accused of punching someone in the face with your fist, you could still likely be charged with aggravated assault even though you did not use a deadly weapon.
A person commits Simple Assault if they knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person or put in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, threaten with immediate physical violence to another person, or conduct that creates a reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury.
Conviction of an assault charge in Colorado is very fact-specific and the type of sentencing will vary greatly depending on if it is simple or aggravated assault. Additionally, many people are surprised to learn that they can be convicted of Assault even when they did not physically touch another person. For example, a person could be convicted of assault if while at a bar they become angry with another patron and create a reasonable fear that they will immediately punch the other individual.
WHAT IS AN ENHANCED ASSAULT CHARGE?
In Colorado, if a firearm is used to commit an assault crime it could be charged as an enhanced penalty offense. For the defendant to be convicted of this enhanced sentence, there must have been a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument involved in causing injury. A person commits a class 5 felony when they knowingly or recklessly cause serious bodily injury or use a deadly weapon to knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury.
The penalties for an aggravated assault conviction in Colorado depend on the severity of the crime and can range from probation to life imprisonment. A person convicted of a class 5 felony must serve at least one year and not more than three years in prison, be fined between $1,000-$100,000, or both. Additionally, in many cases sentences for this type of crime are subject to Colorado’s sentencing enhancement laws.
WHAT IS ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE?
Assault in the first degree is defined under Colorado Revised Statute section 18-3-202 and is filed when a person knowingly causes serious bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
Assault in the first degree is a class 3 felony and carries with it penalties that include imprisonment of between four to twelve years, a fine no more than $750,000, or both.
WHAT IS ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE?
Under Colorado state laws “assault in the second degree” is a class 5 felony and is filed when an individual knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. Alternatively, if they cause such injury by use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury they could be charged with assault in the second degree. Penalties for this crime include imprisonment of up to six years, a fine between $1,000 – $100,000, or both.
WHAT IS ASSAULT IN THE THIRD DEGREE?
An “assault in the third degree” is also filed as a class 5 felony and can be found at Colorado Revised Statute section 18-3-204. An assault in the third degree is filed when a person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. Additionally, if they cause such injury by use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury they could also be charged with assault in the second degree. Penalties for third-degree assault in Colorado include imprisonment for between one to three years, a fine of no more than $1,000, or both.
WHAT IS ATTEMPTED ASSAULT?
“Attempted” means that you have taken at least one direct step towards committing the crime, however, you have not completed all of the elements. Depending on what crime you were attempting to commit, a conviction for a lesser offense can result in significantly less time than if you had committed the full crime. As such, many times your criminal defense attorney will recommend pleading guilty or no contest to a lesser charge such as Attempted Assault in the Third Degree.
WHAT IS AGGRAVATED BATTERY?
An “Aggravated Battery” in Colorado is filed as a Class 3 felony and occurs when a person knowingly or recklessly, and with extreme indifference to the value of human life, causes permanent disability or disfigurement. A conviction for Aggravated Battery would require imprisonment of between 2-6 years in a state correctional facility, a fine between $2,000 -$500,000, or both.
POSSIBLE DEFENSES FOR ASSAULT CHARGES
Many possible defenses can be used to fight an assault case. For example, if you did not make any gestures or take any actions towards making physical contact it is unlikely that you would be convicted of an assault offense. Additionally, there could be a mistake in identifying where the prosecution witnesses misidentified your actions or the police made a mistake in identifying you as the perpetrator.
In many cases, the only way to know which defense to use is through thorough investigation and examination of all evidence concerning your case. If you find yourself facing an assault charge, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney for assistance with your case. The best Colorado criminal defense attorneys know the law, can clarify your options, and help you choose the best strategy for defending yourself against an assault charge.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT IN COLORADO?
If you have been charged with a Colorado assault crime, contact Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney Ted McClintock to discuss your charges. Depending on the facts of your case there may be many proven defenses available.
Get a free case review of the charges you face and possible defenses by contacting McClintock Criminal Defense at 719-520-3968 or use our online form. We will discuss your case with you to determine the best defense available to get your charges dropped or reduced.