Colorado separates the crime of assault into three different levels: first and second degree assault are considered forms of aggravated assault, and the consequences for these offenses can be severe.
The third degree of assault is also known as simple assault and is the least serious of the three types. While the first and second degree assault charges are considered felony offenses, simple assault is often a misdemeanor crime.
If you are arrested and charged with a first time simple assault charge in Colorado, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Miller Leonard, P.C. are here to help explain what you can expect and how a lawyer can help.
Simple Assault in Colorado
Third degree assault, otherwise known as simple assault, is defined in Colorado as causing another person bodily injury knowingly, recklessly, or through criminal recklessness by means of a deadly weapon.
A person can also be charged with this offense for knowingly injuring, threatening, or harassing any police, firefighter, or other protected employee with a dangerous substance.
The use of a deadly weapon can include a firearm, either loaded or unloaded, as well as a knife, bludgeon, or any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance that has the potential to cause death or serious bodily injury.
Dangerous substances refer to bodily fluid or toxic material such as blood, semen, feces, urine, saliva, mucus, vomit, or any toxic, caustic, or hazardous material.
Simple assault in Colorado is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor offense as well as an “extraordinary risk” crime. Under state law, any extraordinary risk offense carries the additional possible penalty of an extra six months in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Other penalties for simple assault include between six months to two years in jail and a fine between $500 and $5,000.
Defenses to Simple Assault Charges in Colorado
Although it is referred to as simple assault, in many cases assault charges are quite complex. Defenses for simple assault charges depend significantly on the unique facts and circumstances of your case.
Some of the most common defenses to simple assault charges in Colorado include the following:
- You did not intend to hurt anyone
- You did not use a deadly weapon
- You reasonably did not know the person was an official performing their duty
- You did not act recklessly
- You did not act knowingly
- You were acting in good faith in self-defense or defense of others
- You were involuntarily intoxicated
However, voluntary intoxication is not a valid defense to simple assault crimes. One mitigating factor to simple assault is that you acted in the heat of passion.
This occurs when the intended victim provokes you in a way that any reasonable person would react and react immediately without time for thought. It is important to note that this is not a valid defense to simple assault but can lessen the severity of punishment if convicted for the crime.
Call or Contact Us Today
To learn more about simple assault charges and how our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys can help you, call or contact the office of Miller Leonard, P.C. in Golden, Colorado today.