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Colorado Criminal Assault Law

Colorado criminal law provides that an individual can be charged in the Denver metropolitan area, and in other areas of the state, with different types of criminal assault.

The classification of the crime of assault depends on several factors, including the seriousness of the injuries inflicted, the intent of the person accused of the crime, whether a weapon was used, sometimes where the assault was committed, and, under some circumstances, the employment of the alleged victim.

Third degree assault is the least serious assault charge defined under Colorado statutes. 3rd Degree Assault consists of an individual knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence causing bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon. Although not nearly as common, 3rdDegree Assault can also occur when a person, with intent to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be a peace officer, a firefighter, or an emergency medical technician, causes such other person to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or any toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including but not limited to throwing, tossing, or expelling such fluid or material.

Assault in the third degree is a class 1 misdemeanor and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in in applicable Colorado statutes.

The somewhat more serious assault set forth in Colorado law is 2nd degree assault. Second degree assault is, without other factors being present making it more or less serious, a Class 4 felony. However, if a criminal assault in the 2nd degree is committed under circumstances where the act causing the injury is performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the person causing the injury sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and without an interval between the provocation and the injury sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, it is a class 6 felony.

The crime of assault in the second degree by any person within the State of Colorado, without the circumstances of the assault being committed in a sudden heat of passion, is a class 3 felony if the person who is assaulted, other than a participant in the crime, suffered serious bodily injury during the commission or attempted commission of or flight from the commission or attempted commission of murder, robbery, arson, burglary, escape, kidnapping in the first degree, sexual assault, sexual assault in the first or second degree as such offenses existed prior to July 1, 2000, or class 3 felony sexual assault on a child.

In Colorado, several different types of actions can be deemed 2nd Degree Assault under state law. Among these are if:

(a) With intent to cause bodily injury to another person, an individual causes injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(b) With intent to prevent one whom he or she knows, or should know, to be a peace officer or firefighter from performing a lawful duty, he or she intentionally causes bodily injury to any person; or

(c) He recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(d) For a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, an individual intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering to him, without his consent, a drug, substance, or preparation capable of producing the intended harm.

(e) With intent to cause bodily injury to another person, he causes serious bodily injury to that person or another

Additional provisions in Colorado describe actions that constitute Second Degree Assault by a person lawfully detained in a Colorado detention facility.

The most serious crime which is classified as assault under Colorado law is First Degree Assault. A person can be found guilty of 1st degree assault if:

(a) With intent to cause serious bodily injury to another person, an individual causes serious bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(b) With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, an individual causes such an injury to any person; or

(c) Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury to any person; or

(d) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, an individual threatens with a deadly weapon a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter acting in the performance of his or her duties; or

(e) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, an individual threatens with a deadly weapon a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court.

Additional provisions in Colorado statutes describe actions that constitute 1st Degree Assault by an adult or juvenile lawfully detained in a Colorado detention facility.

If assault in the first degree is committed in Colorado under circumstances where the act causing the injury is performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the person causing the injury sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and without an interval between the provocation and the injury sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, it is a class 5 felony.

If assault in the first degree is committed without the circumstances of a sudden heat of passion it is a class 3 felony.

Not all alleged instances of assault are clear-cut, which is why retaining an attorney who specializes in dealing with the crime of assault within the Denver metropolitan area, or other areas within Colorado, is so important. Various circumstances and factors can affect the legal standing of a person accused of assault, such as self-defense and defense of another person or property. A qualified Colorado criminal assault attorney, if retained early enough, will be able to thoroughly prepare a case, do a complete investigation, and provide an aggressive defense to help challenge the assault charge or minimize the severity of any sentence.

Contact Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney Ross Koplin

Assault charges are serious. If you have been accused of a violent crime, you not only need an aggressive, expert defense, but also a compassionate and understanding attorney who knows what you are going through. Ross Koplin will help you evaluate every reasonable legal strategy available. For a free, confidential telephone consultation call Ross Koplin in Denver at: (303) 831-8924.

Legal Disclaimer - The information contained at this web site is not intended to be legal advice and all information regarding Colorado criminal law is general content only and should not be relied upon for any specific Colorado criminal law situation. Information on this web site is not intended to be comprehensive and does not cover all the issues, nuances or ramifications related to the topic discussed. This web site may not be updated routinely to reflect the very most current Colorado law.

Individuals should consult an experienced Denver criminal lawyer for advice regarding an individual situation.