What Does It Mean to Be Charged with CO Assault?

Assault can be a confusing topic for a lot of people. You may think you know what assault means, but, in practice, the state of Colorado may have a very different idea of how this crime is perpetrated than you.

The truth is that there are many ways to commit assault in Colorado and varying degrees of it. It’s vital for everyone to understand what assault is in Colorado, how it is charged, and the penalties that can be faced.

What Is Assault in Colorado?

Assault in Colorado is defined as causing bodily injury to someone else unlawfully. That can include stabbing or shooting, pushing, kicking, shoving, or even throwing an object at someone else.

Colorado goes further in defining assault in different degrees. The degree charged depends on a few factors, such as whether or not a deadly weapon was involved in the incident, the state of mind of the perpetrator at the time of the incident, the physical injuries suffered by the victim, and whether or not the victim was an on-duty official, like a police officer or paramedic.

The different degrees of assault in Colorado are:

First Degree Assault

This is often charged in situations where the perpetrator intentionally uses a deadly weapon to inflict injury on another, inflicts permanent disfigurement, or disables the function of an organ. It also encompasses behavior considered risky in that it led to serious bodily injury, even if there was no intent to inflict the injury.

Second Degree Assault

Second-degree assault is often charged in cases where someone inflicts serious bodily injury intentionally without the use of a deadly weapon, causes serious bodily injury to another recklessly with a weapon, has the intent to cause bodily injury, or intentionally drugs another without their consent.

This degree can also be charged if an on-duty official is the victim of the assault.

Third Degree Assault

This final degree of assault is often charged in cases where the perpetrator recklessly or knowingly:

  • Caused bodily injury to another
  • Caused bodily injury with a deadly weapon through criminal negligence
  • The perpetrator caused the victim to come into contact with toxic substances or bodily fluids

The Penalties for Assault in Colorado

If you are facing assault charges in the state, then you face some very steep penalties depending on the degree of the assault with which you are charged. The penalties include:

First-Degree Assault

If you are found guilty of this, it is a crime of violence and a Class 3 felony. That means you can be sent to prison for up to 32 years and be responsible for fines of as much as $750,000.

Second-Degree Assault

This level of assault is a Class 4 felony. If convicted, you face as many as 16 years behind bars and fines of as much as $500,000.

The Penalties for Assault in Colorado

Third-Degree Assault

Assault in the third degree is a Class 1 misdemeanor, but it is also considered a crime of extraordinary risk. That means a conviction can send you to jail for up to 18 months and make you responsible for fines of as much as $1,000.

Assault is not a crime the state of Colorado takes lightly, so being accused isn’t something you should take lightly. Make sure to have an experienced attorney on your side to help guide you through the process and get the outcome you deserve.


About the Author:

Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.