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Felony Assault

Assault, in its most basic form, is causing pain to another person and is the most common charge in Colorado. Colorado divides 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 felony 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 assault attorney in Colorado Springs on your side.

Assault Attorney in Colorado Springs, CO

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 individuals charged with assault, 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 the 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, Douglas County, and Teller County.


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Assault Laws in Colorado

As mentioned earlier, Colorado divides assault into two categories. Whether you are charged with assault in the first, second, or third degree will depend on the extent of the injuries and how they occurred. Listed below is a brief explanation of each assault charge:

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree 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

Assault in the Second Degree

What sets assault in the first and second degree apart is generally the extent of the injuries or the use of a weapon. 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

Assault in the Third Degree

While a misdemeanor instead of a felony, third-degree assault is still a serious charge. A person commits assault in the third degree if they:

  • Knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person
  • Negligently causes bodily to another person with a deadly weapon
  • With intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, causes an emergency responder to come into contact with bodily fluid

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.


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Possible Penalties for Assault in Colorado?

Assault in the first and second degrees 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 felony assault in Colorado:

  • First-degree assault: Class 3 felony punishable by 8 to 24 years in prison and a fine between $3,000 and $750,000
  • Second-degree assault: Class 4 felony punishable by 2 to 12 years in prison and a fine between $1,000 and $100,000

The punishment for assault in the third degree, as a class 1 misdemeanor are:

  • Up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both

Various defenses can be utilized by an experienced assault attorney in Colorado Springs. Depending on the factors of your case, you may be able to argue the assault was in self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, and other potential defenses, you had no intention to cause harm or you were acting in duress. The best defense you can take for charges of assault is contacting an experienced defense attorney.


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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:

  • Death
  • 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.


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What’s the Difference Felony Assault and Misdemeanor Assault in Colorado?

Felony assault in the state of Colorado is categorized by severity with both assault in the first and second degree commonly referred to as “felony assault.” What separates the two crimes is the intention of the defendant.

Generally assault in the first degree is when the defendant causes serious bodily injury intentionally to the victim and causes seriously bodily injury with the use of a deadly weapon. Generally assault in the second degree is when the person caused bodily injury 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 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 assault, which when the defendant had intent to commit serious bodily injury with a weapon.

You can also be charged with assault in the first degree if (with extreme indifference to human life)you knowingly engage in conduct that creates a grave risk of death to another person.

When a person recklessly or with criminal negligence causes bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon, it’s a misdemeanor assault in the third degree. 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.


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Sudden Heat of Passion 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. If you have questions about asserting a heat of passion defense, call our office today. Our experienced assault attorney in Colorado Springs are ready to defend your rights.


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Resources for 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.


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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 an experienced assault attorney in Colorado Springs. The Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC has been defending clients charged with assault in Colorado Springs for over 20 years. Exercise your right to legal counsel and call us today.

Call (719) 328-1616 to schedule a case evaluation. We will review the facts of your case and formulate a defense plan in your best interest. The Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC defends those accused of assault with expertise and precision.


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Contact Us

Schedule a Case Evaluation Today

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 assault in areas such as Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, and Teller.

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