What are Colorado’s Assault Laws?

Colorado law defines assault as causing injury to another person unlawfully. If facing assault charges, it could be a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the case specifics. An experienced lawyer from a Colorado criminal defense law firm explains the different types of assault charges in Colorado to help you understand how to defend yourself.

Assault in the First Degree

The law defines assault in the first degree as a violent act against another person under the following circumstances:

  • With the intent to cause bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon, causing severe bodily harm, or
  • With the intent to disfigure seriously and permanently by amputating, destroying, or disabling a member or organ of the victim’s body, causing such an injury to the victim, or
  • With the intent to cause serious bodily injury to the person of a firefighter, emergency medical provider, judge, or peace officer while performing their duties, having reasonable knowledge that the victim has such designation. In this case, it doesn’t matter if you caused actual injury to the victim.

It is also first-degree assault if you engage in conduct that aggravates the risk of death to the victim under specific circumstances, manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life. A skilled Colorado Springs assault lawyer can provide the aggressive defense you need to fight the charges to protect your future.

Crime of Passion First-Degree Assault

If you commit assault in the first degree under circumstances where your action occurs upon a sudden heat of passion, the offense is a Class 5 felony. It would be a crime of passion if the act was caused by the intended victim’s severe and highly provocative action. Assault committed as a crime of passion happens because the offender is sufficiently excited to have an irresistible passion.

A lack of sufficient interval for the voice of reason and humanity between the provocation and the injury in a reasonable person also characterizes the offense. It is a Class 3 felony and a Crime of Violence if the offense is committed without these circumstances.

Penalties for First Degree Assault

Assault in the first degree is a severe felony with the following penalties:

  • Fines of up to $750,000
  • Imprisonment of a minimum of 10 years and up to 32 years
  • 30 months to 8 years of prison time if the crime was committed in the heat of passion

Working with a renowned assault lawyer in Colorado Springs is your best bet for beating the charges and having them dropped or the penalties reduced.

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree is also a felony that occurs under several circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • The offender causes bodily injury, knowingly or recklessly, to the victim using a deadly weapon.
  • Intentionally intentionally inflicting serious bodily injury or strangulation.
  • Drugging or intoxicating the victim without their consent, making them impaired or unconscious
  • Using unlawful physical force against firefighters, emergency medical service providers, or correctional employees with the intention to obstruct their duties or harass them.

It is considered a less severe offense if it is committed upon a sudden heat of passion. However, it is a serious crime if committed when fleeing from certain serious felony offenses.

Penalties for Second-Degree Assault

Second-degree assault is a class 4 felony. In many cases, a Second-degree assault conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence as a “crime of violence.” Upon conviction for the offense, you face a Class 4 felony with the following penalties:

  • 2 to 6 years in prison
  • 5 to 16 years of mandatory prison if the charge is considered a “crime of violence”
  • 18 months to 4 years prison time if the offense was committed under a sudden heat of passion, which is a Class 6 felony

The penalties could increase to a Class 3 felony if the offense happened as a part of another crime, such as kidnapping or robbery. Avoid defending yourself against the charges all alone. Instead, consult a Colorado Springs assault lawyer and let them help you fight for the most favorable outcome.

Assault in the Third Degree

Assault in the third degree is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and you could face charges or the offense if you:

  • Negligently cause harm to another person using a deadly weapon
  • Knowingly or recklessly cause injury to another
  • Harass a police officer, emergency medical service officer, or firefighter by throwing or spitting bodily fluids or blood at them

Penalties for Third-Degree Assault

Third-degree assault is the least serious among the three categories of assault charges in Colorado. It is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries the following penalties:

  • 6 to 24 months of jail time
  • A fine of $500 to $5,000

Are There Other Consequences of an Assault Conviction?

If accused and convicted of domestic violence assault against a current or former spouse or dating partner, the judge would issue a protection order against you. You must undergo domestic violence treatment as well.

You cannot have Class 3 felony convictions sealed, so your future employers and landlords may see them in their background checks. That can harm your chances at employment and housing.

However, any assault charges that get dismissed can be sealed. Experienced Colorado Springs assault attorneys can provide legal counsel on how to seal your Colorado assault convictions.

Besides, assault can be a deportable offense. If you’re a non-citizen and convicted of assault, seek legal counsel from a reputable Colorado criminal defense law firm. They can fight to reduce or dismiss the charges to prevent you from being forced to leave the country.

Fight Against Skilled Against Assault Charges With Skilled Representation

Assault charges fall into three significant categories under Colorado law. The penalties can be severe, ranging from a few months to 32 years in prison. You must take these charges seriously and consult skilled assault attorneys in Colorado Springs to help you create a strong defense strategy. 

We provide legal representation regardless of whether a client faces third-degree or first-degree assault charges. A conviction can mean more than prison time, as it can adversely impact your life significantly. We want to help you fight aggressively to protect your rights and future. Call Joyner Law at (719) 548-4750 to schedule a FREE case assessment.