Violent crimes are on the rise in Colorado, according to data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). There is an array of offenses classified as crimes of violence by Colorado Law. Some of these crimes include murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and certain sex crimes.
You will be charged with a felony no matter the violent offense. In addition to this, state law requires all those convicted of a violent crime to endure a mandatory sentence well above what is typically handed down for crimes of the same charge. It’s advised you contact legal representation if you or someone you know has been charged with a crime of violence.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Finding legal counsel should be your number one priority if you have been charged with a violent crime. The likelihood of you being sentenced to probation or a reduced sentence is not likely. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put up a fight. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. will use their experience to your advantage and stop at nothing to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved.
Take the first step in your defense and contact the defense attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a confidential case evaluation. We defend those accused of violent crimes in areas such as El Paso County, Pueblo County, Fermont County and Teller County.
- Crimes of Harm to Another
- Sexual Assault
- Are Property Crimes Considered a Crime of Violence?
- Enhanced Penalties for Violent Crimes
- Additional Resources
Crimes of Harm to Another
Any crime where someone is harmed or threatened harm is considered a violent offense. Examples of violent crimes in this category include aggravated assault and murder. Aggravated assault comes in two forms: first and second-degree assault. Setting these two classifications apart is the extent of the injuries. If serious bodily injury occurred, it’s considered first-degree assault whereas bodily injuries will result in second-degree assault charges.
Murder is considered the most violent crime. Like aggravated assault, the offense is divided into two classifications: first and second-degree murder. What sets the two charges apart is premeditation. First-degree murder involves the premeditated and deliberate killing of another while second-degree involves a deliberate killing that wasn’t premeditated.
Other crimes falling into this category of violent crimes include:
- First or second-degree unlawful termination of pregnancy
- Any crime against an at-risk minor or adult
Escape and extortion are not always considered a violent crime. For the offenses to be classified as violent, a deadly weapon must have been used, possessed or threatened to be use or the crime resulted in serious bodily injury or death.
Sexual assault, also known as rape, is the only sex offense in Colorado that can be classified as a crime of violence. According to the Colorado Revised Statute, sexual assault is the knowing sexual penetration under any of the following circumstances:
- Against the victim’s will
- The victim is physically helpless
- You know the victim is unable to understand the nature of the conduct
- The victim submits believing you to be their spouse
- Claiming to offer medical treatment
- Using authority to coerce the victim to submit
- The victim was under 14, and you are at least four years older
- The victim was 15 or 16, and you are at least 10 years older
Not every instance of sexual assault is considered a crime of violence. For the offense to be classified as such, the victim must have suffered physical injury, someone else aided in the offense or you were armed with a deadly weapon.
Are Property Crimes Considered a Crime of Violence?
Generally, property crimes are not classified as a crime of violence. But there are certain circumstances where robbery, arson and burglary will be considered violent. Aggravated robbery and first-degree burglary, for instance, will be regarded as a violent crime under the following circumstances:
- Caused serious bodily injury
- Were armed with a deadly weapon
- Used a deadly weapon
- Threatened to use a deadly weapon
Arson is only considered a violent crime when an explosive device is used on an occupied structure. This is considered first-degree arson and it’s a serious crime in Colorado.
Enhanced Penalties for Violent Crimes
A judge has three options for sentencing when you are convicted of a felony crime in Colorado: incarceration, community supervision or probation. However, when you are charged with a felony designated as a crime of violence, the judge has no choice but to sentence you to prison.
In addition to this, the judge cannot reduce your prison term. Instead, they are required to sentence you to at least the minimum of the midpoint of the presumptive sentence for the offense and up to twice the maximum.
For example, assume you were convicted of first-degree arson, which is a class 3 felony. Class 3 felonies entail between four and 12 years in prison, but since first-degree arson is a crime of violence, you will instead be sentenced to eight to 24 years in prison.
Listed below are the possible punishments for the crimes of violence mentioned on this page:
- First-degree assault: Eight to 24 years in prison
- Second-degree assault: Three to 12 years in prison
- First–degree murder: Life in prison or the death penalty
- Second–degree murder: 16 to 48 years in prison
- Aggravated robbery: eight to 24 years in prison
- First-degree burglary: eight to 24 years in prison
- First-degree arson: eight to 24 years in prison
A sex crime classified as a crime of violence is not sentenced the same as other violent crimes. The crime is still subject to the minimum of the presumptive range, but instead of doubling the maximum time of incarceration, you could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
A judge may modify a sentence or place you on probation, but only under unusual and extenuating circumstances. Even in the unlikely event this does happen, you will be released no earlier than 190 days after you’ve been placed in police custody.
Mandatory Sentences for Violent Crimes | Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link provided to read the section of the revised statutes governing sentencing for violent crimes. You can find a full list of offenses classified as a violent crime, the definition of a crime of violence and what happens if you are convicted of multiple violent crimes.
Violent Crime Statistics | Colorado Department of Public Safety – Visit the official website of the Colorado Department of Public Safety to view the most current set of statistics for violent crimes in the state. You can find out which gender is commonly arrested for the crime, which age is most likely to be a victim and where the offenses are most likely to take place.
Violent Crimes Defense Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
By viewing this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges against you. Take the next step and contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C.. We will aggressively advocate on your behalf and ensure your side of the story is heard.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, P.C. represents clients charged with violent crimes in Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Woodland Park, Cañon City and more.