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A Close Look At The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205

By H. Michael Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – Attorney 

The Colorado Crimes Of Assault - First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree - 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault - 18-3-205

The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205

A Close Look At The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205 – Colorado assault crimes are among the most charged crimes in the criminal court system.. but the differences between the levels of these crimes is not well understood by the public.

One important example between punching a police officer – and punching your significant other or an obnoxious man on the bar stool next to you – is if you punch the cop – go to trial and are convicted – you cannot receive probation – and the judge MUST sentence you to a minimum of 5 years in prison – the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Another example involves Vehicular Assault 18-3-205 – If you are in a single car crash and are intoxicated the charges are DUI and Careless Driving. If someone is in your car and is only slightly injured – the charge is Vehicular Assault – a felony – and DUI.. A BIG difference in sentencing.

The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205

Here is a quick “Cheat Sheet” on the penalties for each of these crimes:

Colorado Criminal Sentencing – Assaults (F = Felony; M = Misdemeanor)

18-3-202 Assault, 1st Degree 3 F … in the Heat of Passion 5 F

18-3-203 Assault, 2nd Degree (Includes Assault on a Police Officer) 4 F – in the Heat of Passion 6 F

18-3-204 Assault, 3rd Degree 1 M

18-3-205 Vehicular Assault 5 F … involving DUI, DUID, DWAI 4 F

Here is a LINK to A Chart ON Colorado Sentencing For Different Levels of Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes

Colorado First Degree Assault Crimes

 [What Follows Is A Section by Section Analysis Of Colorado’s Various Assault Crimes – [With Analysis by “HMS”]

18-3-202 (1)(a)(b) First (1st) Degree Assault

[HMS – First Degree Assault – 18-3-202 (1) – This is the most serious of all assaults. The elements of this crime require the SPECIFIC INTENT to cause serious bodily injury to another and actually CAUSING THAT INJURY and he causes the injury by means of a DEADLY WEAPON. Section (1)(b) is rarely charged.]

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if:

(a )With intent to cause serious bodily injury to another person, he causes serious bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or

(b) With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person; or

18-3-202 (c) First Degree (1st) Degree Assault

[HMS – 18-3-202 ( c ) – is what is called an EXTREME INDIFFERENCE crime. This is one step from Extreme Indifference Homicide (18-3-102 (c), (d) First Degree Murder) – here there is the lesser mental state of “knowingly.” The conduct must create a grave risk of death and then cause serious bodily injury.]

( c ) Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury to any person; or

18-3-202 (e), (e.5) and (f) First (1st) Degree Assault

[HMS – This Section of First Degree Assault is also rarely charged – it involves heightened protection for peace officers – firefighters and judges as well as other governmental employees … this crime requires ONLY the threat itself and the use of a deadly weapon – it does NOT require any injury.]

(e) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer or firefighter, he or she threatens with a deadly weapon a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer or firefighter acting in the performance of his or her duties; or

18-3-202 (e.5) First Degree (1st) Assault

(e.5) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, he threatens with a deadly weapon a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court;

18-3-202 (f) First Degree (1st) Assault

(f)While lawfully confined or in custody as a result of being charged with or convicted of a crime or as a result of being charged as a delinquent child or adjudicated as a delinquent child and with intent to cause serious bodily injury to a person employed by or under contract with a detention facility, as defined in section 18-8-203 (3), or to a person employed by the division in the department of human services responsible for youth services and who is a youth services counselor or is in the youth services worker classification series, he or she threatens with a deadly weapon such a person engaged in the performance of his or her duties and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is such a person engaged in the performance of his or her duties while employed by or under contract with a detention facility or while employed by the division in the department of human services responsible for youth services

18-3-202 (2)(a)  First Degree (1st) Assault – Heat Of Passion

[HMS – Heat Of Passion – First Degree Assault – 18-3-202 (2) (a) – This section is found in the First Degree Assault and Second Degree Assault laws and also in Colorado’s Homicide Statute 18-3-102(d)) – Heat of Passion Assault occurs when the actual victim of an assault does such a highly provoking act that the accused’s actions are “mitigated” or reduced in severity by several felony levels... First Degree Assault is reduced from a Class 3 to a Class 5 felony – Second Degree Assault is reduced from a Class 4 to a Class 6 Felony.]

(2) (a) If assault in the first degree is committed under circumstances where the act causing the injury is performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the person causing the injury sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and without an interval between the provocation and the injury sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, it is a class 5 felony.

Colorado Second Degree Assault Crimes

[HMS – 18-3-203 – Second Degree Assault in Colorado can be a deadly and totally unexpected charge – as noted for a broken facial bone for example – even the delicate bones of the face around the eyes – called the “orbital bones,” it mandates a minimum 5 year prison sentence if convicted. A Third Degree misdemeanor assault can easily turn into a mandatory prison crime of violence Second Degree Assault if some damage is done to the victim’s body beyond mere pain… (except section 18-3-203 (e) below.)]

Also – if a deadly weapon is used but the result is just bodily injury – not serious bodily injury – it is Second Degree Assault.

18-3-202 (2) (a) (Heat of Passion Second Degree Assault)

 (2)(a) If assault in the first degree is committed under circumstances where the act causing the injury is performed upon a sudden heat of passion, caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim, affecting the person causing the injury sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and without an interval between the provocation and the injury sufficient for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard, it is a class 5 felony.

18-3-203 (b)(c) Second (2nd) Degree Assault

[HMS -18-3-203 (b) Bodily Injury plus a deadly weapon]

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the second degree if:

(b)With intent to cause bodily injury to another person, he or she causes such injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon – or

[HMS – 18-3-203 (c) Peace Officer – Firefighter “sentence enhancer”)

(c) With intent to prevent one whom he or she knows, or should know, to be a peace officer or firefighter from performing a lawful duty, he or she intentionally causes bodily injury to any person; or

18-3-203(d) Second (2nd) Degree Assault

[HMS – 18-3-203 (d) Recklessly causing bodily injury plus deadly weapon.]

(d) He recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

18-3-203 (e) Second (2nd) Degree Assault

[HMS – 18-3-203 (e) – Non Mandatory Prison Sentence Section – Often used by Colorado prosecutors and defense lawyers who plea bargain to avoid the mandatory prison sections of the Second Degree Assault Law – section (e) – applies to causing submission by means of some kind of drug or substance). 

(e) For a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, he intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to another person by administering to him, without his consent, a drug, substance, or preparation capable of producing the intended harm; or

[HMS – The next section (f) applies to the actual violent application of physical force against peace officers and firefighters. Section (f.5) applies in the unusual situation where an inmate in a prison facility throws some kind of bodily fluid at at employee of the facility.

18-3-203 (f) Second (2nd) Degree Assault – Peace Officer – Firefighter Enhancer

While lawfully confined or in custody, he or she knowingly and violently applies physical force against the person of a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties, or a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction, or an officer of said court, odor other stuff too

18-3-203 (f.5) Second (2nd) Degree Assault – Inmate Assault On Law Enforcement Enhancer

While lawfully confined in a detention facility within this state, a person with intent to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm a person in a detention facility whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be an employee of a detention facility, causes such employee to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or any toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including but not limited to throwing, tossing, or expelling such fluid or material

 Colorado Third Degree Assault Law 18-3-204

[HMS – This is the most common form of assault in Colorado. It is a misdemeanor and the elements of the crime are very simple]

18-3-204 (1)(a) Third (3rd) Degree Assault

(1)A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

(a)The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence the person causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or

18-3-204(b) Third (3rd) Degree Assault – Police Officer – Firefighter Etc Enhancer

[HMS – This is the sentence enhancer for Peace Officers – Firefighters and emergency medical service providers].

(b)The person, with intent to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably 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, including throwing, tossing, or expelling the fluid or material.

Colorado Vehicular Assault

[HMS – Colorado’s vehicular assault law is very strict law. It takes two forms – reckless driving Vehicular Assault (1)(a) and DUI Vehicular Assault (1)(b)(I). The elements are simple.

18-3-205 Vehicular Assault

(1)(a) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle in a reckless manner, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault.

 (b)(I) If a person operates or drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or one or more drugs, or a combination of both alcohol and one or more drugs, and this conduct is the proximate cause of a serious bodily injury to another, such person commits vehicular assault. This is a strict liability crime.

The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael SteinbergEmail The Author A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about the Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Colorado Criminal Defense LawH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

 

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Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,.. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving … The Colorado Crimes Of Assault – First Degree -18-3-202, Second Degree – 18-3-203, Third Degree -18-3-204, and Vehicular Assault – 18-3-205.


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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
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