Colorado Springs Assault Attorney
U.S. and Colorado Statistics on Assault
Violent crime rates have been steadily declining across the United States since the early 1990's but this widely celebrated trend was abruptly interrupted last year by a 17% increase in 2011, according to information provided by the Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey. The majority of this increase can be attributed to a sharp rise in the rate of one violent crime in particular: assault. The Survey reports that the number of simple and serious assaults increased by a staggering 22% last year. According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, there were a total of 38,170 assaults statewide last year, a figure which includes 10,573 cases of aggravated assault.
Colorado law provides separate statutes for three degrees of assault:
Assault in the First Degree
Assault in the First Degree is a Class 3 felony, punishable by up to 24 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. It occurs in a number of different ways, including:
- Intentionally causing serious bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon
- Intentionally disfiguring another person seriously and permanently, as well as destroying, amputating or permanently disabling a member or organ of the person's body
- Causing serious bodily injury by knowingly engaging in conduct which creates a grave risk of death and which displays an extreme indifference to the value of human life
In the event that the assault is committed in a sudden heat of passion with reasonable provocation, the charge is reduced to a Class 5 felony, with a sentence of between 1 and 3 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
Assault in the Second Degree
Second-degree assault may be charged as high as a Class 3 felony, with the same maximum sentence as described above. It is charged in a variety of circumstances, including:
- Intentionally causing bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon
- Causing bodily injury while intentionally preventing a peace officer or firefighter from performing a lawful duty
- Recklessly causing serious bodily injury by means of a deadly weapon
- Intentionally causing stupor, unconsciousness or other physical or mental impairment or injury by administering a drug or other substance without the consent of the victim
Assault in the Third Degree
As a Class 1 misdemeanor, Assault in the Third Degree would normally be penalized with a sentence of between 6 and 18 months in jail, but given that it is an Extraordinary Risk misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is increased to 24 months of imprisonment. It is charged in cases including:
- Recklessly causing injury to another person
- Causing injury with a deadly weapon through criminal negligence
- Causing a peace officer, firefighter or EMT to come into contact with blood, semen, urine, feces, saliva or other bodily fluids with the intent to infect, injure, harm, harass, annoy, threaten or alarm
Take action to defend yourself against the possibility of a conviction by contacting Clawson & Clawson, LLP now for a free consultation. Our criminal defense firm is highly skilled in handling assault cases and we can counsel you as to the best course of action to avoid a conviction.