The basics of an aggravated assault charge in Colorado

The basics of an aggravated assault charge in Colorado

Aggravated assault is defined in many ways and varies from state to state. In Colorado, assault is broken down into three degrees, and each carries different penalties if convicted. First and second-degree assaults are felonies and are considered aggravated assault while third-degree assault is only considered a misdemeanor.

Both first and second-degree assault take place if a person has the intent to cause a serious bodily injury on another person, or they actually cause a serious injury by use of a deadly weapon. Both also have special designations for an individual who assaults a peace officer or a firefighter, which, by doing so keeps them from performing their lawful duty. Serious bodily injury is defined as possessing a substantial risk of death or permanent disfigurement, or the loss of a function of any part of the body or an organ of the body. Serious bodily injury can include broken bones, second and third-degree burns and other related life-threatening injuries.

Depending on the evidence that is available, an aggravated assault defense attorney may seek a plea bargain in the hopes of pleading down to a lesser charge and lesser penalties, which can be substantial if convicted.

In cases that go to trial, self-defense is the most often used defense strategy especially in cases where it can be proven that the victim is the one who initiated the violent confrontation. At other times, it may be possible to claim that there was no criminal intent and that the assault was accidental in nature.

First-degree assault convictions are either a Class 3 or a Class 5 felony, which can result in prison time of up to 24 years and fines between $3,000 and $750,000. Second-degree assault convictions are considered a Class 4 or a Class 6 felony and can result in up to 15 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.

Decker & Jones serves clients in Denver, Golden and communities throughout Jefferson County, Colorado.