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Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults – Three Classes – First Degree Assault 18-3-202, Second Degree 18-3-203, and Third Degree Assault 18-3-204

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults – In Colorado, Assaults make up a very large portion of the cases filed – both in and outside the expanding world of domestic violence cases. The crime of assault may be charged, depending on the facts alleged as evidence, as First Degree Assault, Second Degree Assault, or Third Degree Assault.

The two felony assaults – First Degree and Second Degree Assault are Colorado Crimes of Violence, requiring mandatory minimum sentences to prison of 10 years and 5 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) respectively. In Colorado, Third Degree Assault is the least serious charged but is still an extraordinary risk crime  and the maximum sentence is up to two years in the county jail.

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults – A Closer Look At The Colorado Felony Assaults

Colorado First Degree Assault 18-3-202

To understand First Degree Assault – You, As Always, Must READ The Law

The Most Often Charged and Relevant Sections of The Colorado First Degree Assault Are:

18-3-202. Assault in the First Degree

(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

(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

…..

(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

[HMS – Heat Of Passion – reduction of sentence section]

(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.

(b) If assault in the first degree is committed without the circumstances provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), it is a class 3 felony.

(c) If a defendant is convicted of assault in the first degree pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the court shall sentence the defendant in accordance with the provisions of section 18-1.3-406.

What Makes First Degree Assault – FIRST DEGREE?

The difference between First Degree and Second Degree is simple. If the defendant – with specific intent – caused serious bodily injury, serious and permanent disfigurement, or grave risk of death, and used a deadly weapon.  A conviction for this crime -(if it falls under subsection (1))  the most often charged section) requires mandatory and enhanced sentencing.

Colorado Second Degree Assault 18-3-203

To understand Second Degree Assault 18-3-203, You – As Always, Must READ The Law

The Most Often Charged and Relevant Sections of The Colorado Second Degree Assault Are:

18-3-203. Assault in the Second Degree

(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

(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

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

(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

…..

(g) With intent to cause bodily injury to another person, he causes serious bodily injury to that person or another.

[HMS – Heat Of Passion – reduction of sentence section]

(2) (a) If assault in the second 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 6 felony.

(b) If assault in the second degree is committed without the circumstances provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), it is a class 4 felony.

(b.5) Assault in the second degree by any person under subsection (1) of this section without the circumstances provided in paragraph (a) of this subsection (2) is a class 3 felony if the person who is assaulted, other than a participant in the crime, suffered serious bodily injury during the commission or attempted commission of or flight from the commission or attempted commission of murder, robbery, arson, burglary, escape, kidnapping in the first degree, sexual assault, sexual assault in the first or second degree as such offenses existed prior to July 1, 2000, or class 3 felony sexual assault on a child.

     

The Feonly Assault Charged

Charge The Level Of Felony The Possbile Sentence
First Degree Assault Class 3 Felony (F3) Mandatory 10 Years
Second Degree Assault Class 4 Felony (F4) Mandatory 5 Years
     
BUT SEE  – The impact of a finding of – “Heat of Passion.”

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults – A Closer Look At The Colorado Misdemeanor Assault – Third Degree Assault

Colorado Third Degree Assault 18-3-204

To understand Third Degree Assault – You, As Always, Must READ The Law

18-3-204. Assault in the Third Degree

(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

….

(3) Assault in the third degree is a class 1 misdemeanor and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501 (3).

How Colorado Third Degree Assault Is Different – The Injury and the Mental State

One difference between the felony and the misdmeanaor is the mental state underlying the crime. The Colorado crime of Third Degree Assault does not require specific intent but rather the person must act either “knowingly,” or “recklessly,” with the act of causing bodily injury to another person. Any pain will satisfy the “injury” requirement, even if there is no actual injury.

If, on the other hand, Third Degree Assault is a result of the “lesser”mental state of acting negligently, (accidentally), and the injury was caused through the use of a deadly weapon, it still qualifies as a Third Degree Assault in Colorado.

Colorado Domestic Violence And Third Degree Assault

Because of the very slight nature of “bodily injury” – individuals charged in domestic violence are surprised to see third degree assault charged.  It, along with harassment are the most common charges in Colorado domestic violence cases because of the low threshold on “any physical pain” which meets the laws requirement of bodily injury.

Colorado Classes of Misdemeanors Sentences

The Class Of Misdemeanor The Range Of Possible Penalties
Class One Misdemeanor (M1) Up to 18 Months Jail – (Extraordinary Risk)
Class Two Misdemeanor (M2) Up to 12 Months Jail
Class Three Misdemeanor (M3) Up to 6 months Jail

* An “Extraordinary Risk Crime,” this increases the maximum sentence from 18 months jail to 24 months jail for a Class One Misdemeanor.

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults – Understanding Self Defense and “Heat Of Passion”

If an individual charged with these crimes convinces a judge (at the preliminary hearing) or a jury (at trial) that there existed a “Heat of Passion,” such that the provocation by the alleged victim was such that the assault occurred “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.

Under these circumstance the the crime is no longer a “crime of violence” requiring mandatory sentencing. Thus, the Class 3 felony -First Degree Assault is reduced to a class 5 felony and the Class 4 felony -Second Degree Assault- is reuced to a class 6 felony. Thus “mitigating” the sentence substantially from the original mandatory minmum prison sentences.

Self Defense, is in the nature of a complete defense and renders guilt for the crime an impossibility. 

Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults

Colorado Criminal DefenseABOUT THE AUTHOR: : H. Michael Steinberg – Email The Author – A Denver Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – at hmichaelsteinberg@denver-colorado-criminal-lawyer.com or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-227-7777.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions aboutColorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults], 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.

H. 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.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm Today.

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 …Colorado Felony and Miisdemeanor Assaults. 


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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
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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