Colorado prosecutes violent offenses aggressively. Serious crimes, like murder, aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and sex crimes, carry significant penalties that can severely limit your freedom and future. If law enforcement has arrested you for allegedly committing a violent crime, you need to contact the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, immediately to discuss your situation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys will fight aggressively to protect your rights and obtain the best possible outcome given the specifics of your case.
Crimes Causing Harm to Another Person
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. Most types of bodily injuries will result in second-degree assault charges, while severe bodily injuries may result in first-degree felony assault charges.
Colorado considers murder to be the most violent crime. First-degree murder involves the premeditated and deliberate killing of another person, while second-degree murder involves a deliberate killing that wasn’t premeditated or planned out beforehand. Other types of violent crimes include kidnapping, extortion, escape, or any crime against an at-risk minor or adult. The severity of the charges may be enhanced if the defendant used, possessed, or threatened to use a deadly weapon at the time of the offense.
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, a deadly weapon was involved, or the offense involved more than one perpetrator.
Sentencing Enhancements for Violent Crimes in Colorado
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 must 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—a class 3 felony. Class 3 felonies are punishable by between 4 and 12 years in prison, but since first-degree arson is a crime of violence, the court will sentence you to 8 to 24 years 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.
Protect Yourself Today
Facing criminal charges of any kind can be overwhelming, especially when you stand to lose your freedom. Contact the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, as soon as possible to discuss the details of your situation. Together, we will mount a defensive strategy that aims to protect your future and freedom.