Colorado Assault Defense Attorneys

In Col­orado, assault cov­ers a wide vari­ety of sit­u­a­tions in which one per­son injures or threat­ens to injure another per­son. There are three degrees of assault, rang­ing from a class 1 mis­de­meanor to a class 3 felony. Whether a per­son com­mits assault-and the degree of the assault-depends upon his or her state of mind at the time of the inci­dent, his or her actions, and the victim’s identity.

First-Degree Assault, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–3-202

Gen­er­ally, a per­son com­mits first-degree assault under the fol­low­ing circumstances:

  • He or she intends to cause seri­ous bod­ily injury to another per­son, and does in fact cause seri­ous bod­ily injury to any per­son with a deadly weapon.
  • He or she intends to seri­ously and per­ma­nently dis­fig­ure another per­son, or intends to destroy, ampu­tate, or per­ma­nently dis­able another person’s body part, and does in fact cause such an injury to any person.
  • He or she dis­plays extreme indif­fer­ence to the value of human life and know­ingly acts in a way that cre­ates a grave risk of death to another per­son, and thereby causes seri­ous bod­ily injury to any person.

In order to deter indi­vid­u­als from act­ing vio­lently toward cer­tain gov­ern­ment offi­cials, Col­orado law man­dates that under cer­tain cir­cum­stances, a per­son need not cause bod­ily injury to the vic­tim in order to com­mit first-degree assault. Thus, in addi­tion to the gen­eral cir­cum­stances listed above, a per­son com­mits first-degree assault under the fol­low­ing circumstances:

  • He or she intends to cause seri­ous bod­ily injury to a peace offi­cer or fire­fighter, threat­ens with a deadly weapon a peace offi­cer or fire­fighter engaged in the per­for­mance of his or her duties, and knows or should know that the vic­tim is a peace offi­cer or fire­fighter engaged in the per­for­mance of his or her duties.
  • He or she intends to cause seri­ous bod­ily injury to a judge or an offi­cer of the court, threat­ens a judge or offi­cer of the court with a deadly weapon, and knows or should know that the vic­tim is a judge or offi­cer of the court.
  • He or she is law­fully con­fined or in cus­tody, intends to cause seri­ous bod­ily harm to a deten­tion facil­ity employee or to a youth ser­vices worker engaged in the per­for­mance of his or her duties, threat­ens such a per­son with a deadly weapon, and knows or should know the vic­tim is a deten­tion facil­ity employee or a youth ser­vices worker engaged in the per­for­mance of his or her duties.

All first-degree assaults are con­sid­ered vio­lent crimes that present an extra­or­di­nary risk of harm to soci­ety. First-degree assault com­mit­ted under “heat of pas­sion” is a class 5 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of two and a half years of impris­on­ment, and a max­i­mum sen­tence of eight years of impris­on­ment. Oth­er­wise, first-degree assault is a class 3 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of ten years of impris­on­ment and a max­i­mum sen­tence of 32 years of imprisonment.

Second-Degree Assault, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–3-203

A per­son com­mits second-degree assault in the fol­low­ing circumstances:

  • He or she intends to cause bod­ily injury to another person-as opposed to intend­ing to cause seri­ous bod­ily injury-and does in fact cause bod­ily injury to any per­son with a deadly weapon.
  • He or she intends to pre­vent a peace offi­cer from per­form­ing a law­ful duty and inten­tion­ally causes bod­ily injury to any person.
  • He or she reck­lessly causes seri­ous bod­ily injury to another per­son with a deadly weapon.
  • He or she inten­tion­ally causes stu­por, uncon­scious­ness, or other phys­i­cal or men­tal impair­ment or injury to another per­son by admin­is­ter­ing, with­out con­sent, a drug or substance.
  • He or she is law­fully con­fined or in cus­tody, know­ingly and vio­lently applies phys­i­cal force against a peace offi­cer or fire­fighter engaged in the per­for­mance of his or her duties, or against a judge or an offi­cer of the court, or against a deten­tion facil­ity employee, or against a DHS youth ser­vices employee, AND that per­son knows or should know that the vic­tim is one of those spec­i­fied individuals.
  • He or she is law­fully con­fined in a deten­tion facil­ity, intends to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm a deten­tion facil­ity employee, and causes such an employee to come into con­tact with blood, sem­i­nal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, or any toxic, caus­tic, or haz­ardous mate­r­ial by any means.
  • He or she intends to cause bod­ily injury to another person-as opposed to intend­ing to cause seri­ous bod­ily injury-but actu­ally causes seri­ous bod­ily injury to any person.

Like first-degree assaults, all second-degree assaults are con­sid­ered vio­lent crimes that present an extra­or­di­nary risk of harm to soci­ety. Second-degree assault com­mit­ted under “heat of pas­sion” is a class 6 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence eigh­teen months of impris­on­ment and a max­i­mum sen­tence of four years of impris­on­ment. Second-degree assault that causes seri­ous bod­ily injury and occurs dur­ing the com­mis­sion, attempted com­mis­sion, or flight from a com­mis­sion or attempted com­mis­sion of cer­tain seri­ous felonies is a class 3 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of ten years of impris­on­ment and a max­i­mum sen­tence of 32 years of impris­on­ment. Oth­er­wise, second-degree assault is a class 4 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of 5 years of impris­on­ment, and a max­i­mum sen­tence of six­teen years of imprisonment.

Third-Degree Assault, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–3-204

A per­son com­mits third-degree assault in the fol­low­ing circumstances:

  • He or she know­ingly or reck­lessly causes bod­ily injury to another person.
  • He or she acts with crim­i­nal neg­li­gence and causes bod­ily injury to another per­son with a deadly weapon.
  • He or she, with intent to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another per­son he or she knows or should know to be a peace offi­cer, a fire­fighter, an emer­gency med­ical care provider, or an emer­gency med­ical ser­vice provider, causes the other per­son to come into con­tact with blood, sem­i­nal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or toxic, caus­tic, or haz­ardous mate­r­ial by any means.

Third-degree assault is a class 1 mis­de­meanor and is a crime that presents an extra­or­di­nary risk of harm to soci­ety. Its min­i­mum pun­ish­ment is six months of impris­on­ment, or $500, or both; and its max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is two years of impris­on­ment, or $5,000, or both.