An assault charge in Colorado Springs can stem from many different scenarios. If law enforcement has reason to believe you knowingly or recklessly caused another person’s bodily injury, an arrest often follows. The defense attorneys at Sawyer Legal Group have decades of combined experience successfully representing defendants accused of assault in El Paso, Pueblo, and Teller County.
We know the southern Colorado courts and their prosecutors. We can quickly identify why they’ve decided to charge you and arguments / strategies to either reduce the charges against you, or get them dismissed altogether. Contacting a Colorado Springs assault lawyer early on can have a significant impact as your case progresses.
Colorado Springs Assault
There are three elements to assaults in El Paso County that decipher which degree is charged:
- Seriousness of Injury
- Weapon Used
- The Victim
The extent of the victim’s injury, the presence / use of a deadly weapon, and who the victim was (officer, juvenile, at-risk individual, elderly, etc) all play a significant role in the severity of the charges themselves.
3rd Degree Assault – CRS 18-3-204
2nd Degree Assault – CRS 18-3-203
1st Degree Assault – CRS 18-3-202
Third Degree Assault in El Paso County
The majority of third-degree assault cases in Colorado Springs, Briargate, and Manitou Springs involve allegations that a defendant caused non-serious bodily injury or physical pain to another. Cuts, scratches, and bruises usually apply to this degree of 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
(b) The person, with intent to 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.CRS 18-3-204
Knowingly hurting someone involves awareness that your actions could in fact end up injuring another person. While it isn’t the same as causing injury intentionally, prosecutors look to prove you were aware your actions could lead to injury. Recklessly injuring another includes actively ignoring risks involved with your behavior.
Finally, the combination of criminally negligent behavior and use of a deadly weapon that injures a person is also assault in the third-degree. These are actions taken with a firearm or other deadly weapon that exhibit extreme ignorance beyond what the law believes a reasonable person would do. A skilled Colorado Springs assault lawyer can analyze your unique case to see if these levels of intent apply to your case, or if you’re being overcharged.
Colorado 3rd Degree Assault = Class 1 Misdemeanor
- up to 18 months in county jail
- fines of up to $1,000
Second Degree Assault in El Paso County
Colorado Springs 2nd Degree Assault
Second-degree assault cases in El Paso, Lincoln, and Elbert County typically involve someone recklessly or intentionally injuring another with a deadly weapon. Injuries caused by suffocating or strangling someone are also considered 2nd degree assault.
(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, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, or emergency medical service provider 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 or she causes serious bodily injury to that person or another; or
(h) With intent to infect, injure, or harm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be engaged in the performance of his or her duties as a peace officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, or an emergency medical service provider, he or she causes such person to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or any toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including by throwing, tossing, or expelling such fluid or material; or
(i) With the intent to cause bodily injury, he or she applies sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes bodily injury.CRS 18-3-203
A deadly weapon in El Paso County is a firearm (loaded or not), knife, vehicle, bludgeon or club, or any item that can cause death or serious injury. If a defendant is accused of making threats of violence prior to or while assaulting someone, they may also be charged with menacing. Additionally, if the victim and defendant are or were in an intimate relationship at one time, a domestic violence enhancement can accompany charges as well.
Colorado 2nd Degree Assault = Class 4 Felony
- up to 16 years in a state prison (can be even longer in aggravated cases)
- fines of $2,000 – $500,000
- 3 years of parole
First Degree Assault in El Paso County
Colorado Springs 1st Degree Assault
First-degree assault charges in Colorado Springs, Fort Carson, and Cimarron Hills occur when evidence suggests a person intentionally and seriously injured another, often by a deadly weapon or physical force. Disfiguring someone, permanently disabling their body part or organ, or aiming a gun at an officer and threatening to fire are examples of 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, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider, he or she threatens with a deadly weapon a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider engaged in the performance of his or her duties; or
(g) With the intent to cause serious bodily injury, he or she applies sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes serious bodily injury.CRS 18-3-202
Serious bodily injury in Colorado refers to traumas that include a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, or loss or impairment of any body part or organ. Fractured or broken bones and 2nd or 3rd degree burns are examples of 1st degree assault injuries as well. In some cases, injuries sustained during the crime itself become worse (or better) over a period of time. Representation from a strategic Colorado Springs assault lawyer is essential when analyzing how serious the injuries you’re accused of causing actually are.
Colorado 1st Degree Assault = Class 3 Felony
- up to 32 years in a state prison
- fines of $3,000 – $750,000
- 3 years of parole
Top Colorado Springs Assault Lawyer
El Paso County assault charges come with heavy, long lasting penalties that can impact a defendant indefinitely. Incarceration, fines, and supervision are just a few of the ramifications the accused face. Defendants often encounter other hurdles passing background checks, qualifying for loans, and finding employment or adequate housing. However, now is not the time to panic or lose hope. Contacting an experienced Colorado Springs assault lawyer from Sawyer Legal Group should be the next step in your defense.
Perhaps you were acting in self defense, the necessary intent wasn’t present, the injuries aren’t serious, or maybe you were provoked. Nevertheless, contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation. Our criminal lawyers offer same-day jail visits, affordable fees, and flexible payment plans for those facing violent crime charges in Colorado Springs, Monument, Pueblo, and throughout southern Colorado.