Assault can be considered a crime of violence under Colorado law depending on the severity of the assault charged. Because of the seriousness of these charges, you could face jail or prison time, high fines, or probation. Also, an assault conviction could create much difficulty getting a job in the future since most employers conduct thorough background checks and will not hire someone with an assault conviction on their record. Although assault in some jurisdictions involves threats of violence to other persons, assault in the State of Colorado constitutes actual unlawful physical contact that results in injuries to others (including even a small mark or bruise). The severity of the injuries to others and the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault determine the level of the offense charged and the resulting penalties.
If you have been accused and charged with assault, speaking to a Greenwood Village assault lawyer may be in your best interest. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help you build a strong defense to assault charges and will work toward a more favorable resolution to the charges against you.
Degrees of Assault
Colorado law provides for three degrees of assault:
- First-degree assault having the potential for the harshest penalties including prison,
- Second-degree assault including the potential for a prison-based sentence—especially if it involves harm to law enforcement or paramedics, and
- Third-degree assault having serious consequences but only rising to the level of a misdemeanor.
Assault can be a misdemeanor or felony offense based on the severity of the situation, including the persons involved, what led to the crime, and the degree of injuries that others sustained. If serious bodily injury is involved (a term defined by statute in Colorado), then the consequences can become exponentially more egregious. An experienced Greenwood Village assault lawyer can advise individuals of the charges and help them understand their options. In Colorado, offenses range from petty offenses (least serious) to F1 felonies (first degree murder), with misdemeanors falling in the middle. The range for offenses looks like this PO, M3, M2, M1, F6, F5, F4, F3, F2, and F1. Read on to find out more about where assaults can fall on this spectrum.
First-degree assault under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-3-202 occurs when individuals cause intentional and severe bodily harm to others with a deadly weapon. The injuries sustained in a first-degree assault could pose a substantial risk of permanent disfigurement, physical impairment, or even death. First-degree assaults also may include injuries to police officers or other first responders and may result in F5 to F3 felony charges.
Under Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-203, second-degree assault is an F3, F4, or F6 offense, depending on the circumstances. Second-degree assault occurs when individuals intentionally injure others or when an assault results in any injuries to a police officer, however minor.
Third-degree assault according to Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 18-3-204 is an M1. Individuals commit third-degree assault when they knowingly or recklessly cause physical injuries to others.
Common Penalties and Consequences in Greenwood Village
For an M1 conviction, individuals can face a county jail sentence ranging from six to 18 months, as well as fines of $500 to $5,000. Although third-degree assault charge is only a misdemeanor, it is considered an extraordinary risk crime, which adds another six months to any potential jail sentence, making the max sentence 24 months in county jail. Due to the risk of lengthy terms of incarceration in assault cases, individuals facing these charges should always get the advice of an assault attorney in Greenwood Village.
Colorado law classifies felony offenses into six separate categories according to severity. For example, conviction on a F3 could result in a prison sentence of 4-12 years and fines of between $3,000 and $750,000. However, since first-degree assault is a crime of violence, then individuals may face longer prison terms under state sentencing guidelines. Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may even be facing more prison time and longer parole sentences, as judges are free to consider extraordinary aggravating circumstances. Alternatively, mitigating circumstances can reduce the presumptive range for an offense, too. A good attorney can work on identifying mitigating factors and effectively expressing them to a court on your behalf to reduce your sentence.
Speak to a Greenwood Village Assault Attorney Today
What may start as a minor disagreement or conflict can quickly spiral out of control as tempers flare and emotions run high. Before you know it, you may have inadvertently caused injury to another person, and you are sitting in a jail cell following an arrest. If you are in this situation, you definitely need the advice that only an experienced Greenwood Village assault lawyer can provide you.
In any criminal proceedings, it is essential to have an advocate on your side to protect your rights and advance your interests. A strong defense strategy may allow you to escape some of the potential repercussions of an arrest on assault charges and minimize its impact on your life. Let Justie and Jenn get Justice for You Today!