Assault, in its most basic form, is causing pain to another person. The crime is the most common charge in Colorado, but it can be elevated to aggravated assault when certain factors are present. The Centennial State divides aggravated assault into two categories: first and second-degree assault.
You run the risk of being labeled a convicted felon if you’ve been charged with aggravated assault. As a result, you could spend time in prison, be required to pay expensive fines and lose some of your basic rights. No matter the charge, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
Aggravated Assault Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO
Aggravated assault is too serious of a charge to be handled by an inexperienced attorney. The attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have proven experience defending violent crimes, and they will stop at nothing to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved. Don’t hesitate when it comes to your future. The sooner you contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, the better your chances of a more favorable outcome in court.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule your confidential consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC proudly represents clients in El Paso County, Denver County, and Arapahoe County.
- Aggravated Assault Laws in Colorado
- Is Aggravated Assault a Felony?
- Bodily Injury vs. Serious Bodily Injury
- What’s the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault in CO?
- Sudden Heat of Passion and Aggravated Assault
- Additional Resources
Aggravated Assault Laws in Colorado
As mentioned earlier, Colorado divides aggravated assault into two categories. Whether you are charged with first or second-degree aggravated assault will depend on the extent of the injuries and how they occurred. Listed below is a brief explanation of each aggravated assault charge:
First-degree assault is considered the most serious form of assault. Under Colorado law, you can be charged with first-degree assault under the following circumstances:
- With intent to cause serious bodily injury you caused serious bodily injury using a deadly weapon
- With intent to seriously and permanently disfigure another person, or destroy, amputate or permanently disable an organ of their body, you cause such injury
- Acted with extreme indifference to the value of life and knowingly created a substantial risk of death that resulted in serious bodily injury
- With intent to cause serious bodily injury, you cause serious bodily injury to a police officer, firefighter, judge, or prison staff using a deadly weapon
What sets first and second-degree assault apart is the extent of the injuries. In addition to this, various other actions can result in charges for second-degree assault, such as:
- With intent to cause bodily injury, you cause such injury using a deadly weapon
- Recklessly causing bodily injury using a deadly weapon
- With intent to cause bodily injury, you cause serious bodily injury
- Injuring another person while trying in interfere with a police officer or firefighter performing their duties
- Intentionally drugging another without their consent for intended harm
- Knowingly applying violent force to a first responder or court official while in custody
According to the Colorado Revised Statues, a deadly weapon is considered a loaded or unloaded firearm, knife or anything else capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. As you can tell, the definition of a deadly weapon is rather broad. Everyday objects such as pillows and baseball bats have been considered a deadly weapon.
Is Aggravated Assault a Felony?
Both forms of aggravated assault are classified as a felony in Colorado, but this does not mean all hope is lost. A quality criminal defense attorney can evaluate your case and formulate a defense plan to have the felony charges reduced or dropped.
Listed below are the possible penalties for aggravated assault in Colorado:
- First-degree assault: Class 3 felony punishable by eight to 24 years in prison and a fine between $3,000 and $750,000
- Second-degree assault: Class 4 felony punishable by three to 12 years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000
Various defenses can be utilized by a defense attorney. Depending on the factors of your case, you may be able to argue the assault was in self-defense, you had no intention to cause harm or you were acting in duress. The best defense you can take for charges of aggravated assault is contacting a proven defense attorney.
Bodily Injury vs. Serious Bodily Injury
Knowing where bodily injury ends, and serious injury begins can be difficult to determine. For starters, the state definition of serious bodily injury is confusing and vague. According to the Colorado Revised Statutes, serious bodily injury is an injury causing a substantial risk of:
- Serious permanent disfigurement
- Protracted loss or impairment of a bodily organ
- Break or fracture
- Second or third-degree burns
A break or fracture can be something as simple as a broken tooth to as serious as broken ribs. Other injuries the court may consider serious bodily injury include lost limbs, blindness, deep cuts and paralysis.
The legal definition of bodily injury is just as vague as serious bodily injury. Under Colorado law, bodily injury is considered any physical pain, illness or impairment of physical or mental conditions. As the name implies, bodily injury is not as severe as serious bodily injury. Common examples include bruises, minor cuts and strained muscles.
What’s the Difference Between Assault and Aggravated Assault in Colorado?
Assault in the state of Colorado is categorized by severity with both first- and second-degree assault commonly referred to as “aggravated assault.” What separates the two crimes is the intention of the defendant. When a person recklessly or with criminal negligence causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon, it’s third-degree assault. The reason for this is the defendant didn’t intend to hurt anyone, but their lack of awareness or negligence meant they failed to act in a situation with substantial risk of death or injury.
Second-degree aggravated assault is when the defendant causes serious bodily injury intentionally to the victim. They can also be charged with aggravated assault if they had intent to cause bodily injury with a deadly weapon. There are other factors involved that could elevate a charge to second-degree aggravated assault, but what divides it from standard assault is how the defendant intended to hurt the victim the entire time. The same is for first-degree aggravated assault, which when the defendant had intent to commit serious bodily injury with a weapon.
Sudden Heat of Passion and Aggravated Assault
Your defense attorney may be able to reduce the charges against you if they can prove the assault was committed during a sudden heat of passion. Sudden heat of passion occurs when someone is overwhelmed by anger, loses their sense of judgment and injures or kills another as a result.
Sudden heat of passion is commonly associated with finding your significant other in bed with another person, but it’s also common with road rage and other highly provoking acts. Your assault charges may be reduced to the following if it’s proven the crime was committed during sudden heat of passion.
- First-degree assault: Reduced to a class 5 felony punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000
- Second-degree assault: Reduced to a class 6 felony punishable by one year to 18 months in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000
You cannot claim sudden heat of passion if a waiting period took place between the provoking act and the assault. If there was a waiting or cool down period, the court will assume you had time to think about your actions, which will result in the assault being considered premeditated.
Resources for Aggravated Assault
Assault in the First Degree | Colorado Revised Statutes– Read the section of the Revised Statutes over first-degree assault. You can read the legal definition of the crime, how it’s charged and learn more about sudden heat of passion. The statute can be read on Justia, an online legal resource.
Assault in the Second-Degree | Colorado Revised Statutes – Visit Justia to learn more about second-degree assault. You can find a full list of factors associated with the crime, how it’s charged and if the offense is considered a violent crime.
Aggravated Assault Lawyer in Colorado Springs, CO
Due to the seriousness of the crime and the penalties associated with it, it’s crucial you work with a proven criminal defense attorney. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has been defending clients of violent crimes across Colorado for nearly 20 years. Exercise your right to legal counsel and contact us today.
Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. We will evaluate the facts of your case and formulate a defense plan in your best interest. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC defends those accused of aggravated assault in areas such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Littleton.