We often have clients come to us who have never been in trouble with the law before—but who have picked up an assault and battery charge. They are shaken up, scared, and overwhelmed. Unlike other crimes, individuals charged with assault and battery are not always “career criminals.” Sometimes, it’s a matter of a verbal altercation between neighbors that escalates or partners that get into a disagreement that becomes physical. Our experienced assault & battery defense attorneys are here for you, no matter the situation. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we appreciate and understand the difficulties and stress of your position. Our goal is always to provide the most robust defense possible. Contact our assault attorneys to discuss your options.
Colorado Assault Charges
Under Colorado law, as in many other states, there are varying degrees of assault. Precisely which assault charge you face depends on the facts and circumstances surrounding the altercation and the alleged victim’s injuries.
First-degree assault is the most serious of all assault charges. You can be charged with first-degree assault if you:
- Intended to cause serious bodily injury to another person,
- Caused serious bodily injury to another person through the use of a deadly weapon,
- Intended to disfigure another person seriously and permanently,
- Intended to amputate or destroy a vital organ,
- Engaged in conduct that exhibited extreme indifference to human life,
- Put another person at grave risk of death or serious bodily injury,
- Intended to cause or threaten a peace officer or firefighter with a bodily injury during the performance of their duties,
- Intended to cause serious bodily injury to a judge or officer of the court, or
- Committed an assault during the “heat of passion.”
If you have been charged with first-degree assault, you must speak with our experienced assault lawyers immediately to protect your rights.
Although not quite as severe as first-degree assault, assault in the second degree is no laughing matter and carries steep consequences.
Under Colorado law, second-degree assault is intentionally or recklessly causing injury to another person with a deadly weapon. The main difference between first and second-degree assault is first degree typically results in severe or grave bodily harm.
Unlike first and second-degree assault, third-degree assault is not a felony offense. Instead, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Under Colorado law, you can be charged with third-degree assault if you knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence inflict bodily injury on another person. Third-degree assault is typically charged for minor physical altercations with no readily apparent injuries. It is common to see third-degree assault charges in domestic violence cases that began as a verbal altercation and ended in accusations of a push or a shove.
Vehicular assault needs little explanation. If a motor vehicle driver, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, causes bodily injury to another person, they could be charged with vehicular assault.
The penalties for an assault conviction vary widely depending on the charge and specific facts and circumstances surrounding the assault. They can range from months in jail to life in prison. In addition, a defendant may be sentenced to hefty fines, probation, and anger management therapy. Below is a snapshot of the penalty classifications.
In Colorado, third-degree assault is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. Typically, a class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail. However, because assault is considered an extraordinary-risk crime, the class 1 misdemeanor offense becomes punishable by 18 to 24 months in jail.
In Colorado, second-degree assault is considered a Class 4 felony. Depending on the circumstances, sentencing can range from 2 to 16 years in prison. Additionally, you may be ordered to pay a fine up to $500,000.
A conviction will also result in a felony criminal record.
A first-degree assault conviction is considered a Class 3 felony as well as a crime of violence under Colorado law. Again, depending on the circumstances, sentencing can range from 4 to 32 years in prison. You may also be ordered to pay a fine of up to $750,000.
As with a second-degree assault conviction, a defendant will have a felony criminal record.
A battery offense is usually charged under the menacing statute as there is technically no “battery” statute under Colorado law.
In Colorado, menacing is generally a Class 3 misdemeanor but can increase to a Class 5 felony if it involves the use or the threat of use of a deadly weapon.
Menacing occurs when an individual, by threat or physical action, knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
It is common to see assault and menacing charges filed together as one is the threat of harm, and the other is the actual harm. Our knowledgeable battery attorneys can tailor a defense unique to the facts of your case.
Many people do not initially recognize that what starts as a spat between parties can quickly ruin your life. In addition to incarceration and fines, a conviction for assault or battery has other rippling consequences. A conviction will result in a criminal record that can hinder your ability to earn a living, apply for loans, enroll in educational courses, and more. An assault or battery conviction also carries a negative stigma. Family, friends, and neighbors may be less inclined to socialize and interact with you. Don’t let a brief lapse in judgment wreak havoc on your life. Hire our knowledgeable, skilled, and sharp-witted defense attorneys to defend you!
Assault and battery charges are not indefensible. However, it is essential to remember that every case is unique. Some of the most common defenses to an assault offense or a battery charge are as follows:
- False allegation (i.e., the defendant is falsely accused);
- Self-defense; or
- The incident was an accident.
Our experienced assault and battery lawyers will listen to your story, review the evidence, and devise a defense tailored to you. Creating a solid defensive strategy can also improve the odds of receiving a favorable plea offer, should that be an option.
Colorado Springs Assault & Battery Defense Lawyers
Facing a criminal charge is one of the biggest dilemmas you could face in life. We understand the gravity of the potential consequences and believe everyone has the right to a vigorous defense. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., we have decades of experience fighting for our clients in court. Let us be your voice! Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation with one of our assault & battery defense attorneys today.