Has another person injured you? Has someone caused you intense fear by intimidating or threatening you? Don’t fret! At Pisani Law Offices, Denver Assault Attorney Pisani and his team are ready to help.
Our legal team will immediately embark on your case and identify the most effective approach to defend you. We know there shouldn’t be any time to waste and that the most critical opportunity for defense work should be the first few days after your arrest. We begin gathering relevant evidence and witnesses immediately to get a head start in fighting your assault charges.
Traditionally, an assault has been identified as a threat to another person. Under Colorado law, however, assault is defined as the act of deliberately causing bodily harm to another person. Depending on the circumstances of your case, assault may be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
It’s important to note that assault in Colorado is not the same as menacing. As per 18-3-206 C.R.S., the latter refers to putting another person in fear of imminent bodily harm.
Colorado law recognizes three degrees of assault, ranging from first (most severe) to third-degree (least serious). The following factors determine the degrees of assault:
Under Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-3-202, first-degree assault is defined as intentionally causing serious bodily injury with a deadly weapon. It is the most serious assault offense and is often charged as a class 3 felony, which attracts a prison time of up to 32 years or a fine not exceeding $750,000.
As per 18-3-203 C.R.S., second-degree assault is defined as the act of intentionally or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to someone else using a deadly weapon. Causing injury to a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or medical care provider may also constitute a second-degree assault. Under Colorado law, assault in the second degree is punishable by up to 16 years in prison or a fine of up to $500,000.
According to § 18-3-202, assault in the third degree is defined as:
Because it is the least serious, third-degree assault attracts lesser penalties unlike first and second-degree assault offenses. Any person convicted of assault in the third degree may be sent to jail for up to 24 months or pay a fine not more than $5,000.
Much like in any other criminal trial, the burden of proof in assault cases lies with the prosecution. The prosecutor must prove every element of assault beyond a reasonable doubt to warrant the defendant’s conviction.
Typically, common elements of proof in assault cases will include:
For an assault to be proven, the defendant must have intended for their acts or behavior to create a fear of worry or harm in the victim. As such, accidents or accidental acts may not be considered an assault.
The victim should have been reasonably fearful of being harmed by the defendant. That means that the victim should have seen harm coming his or her way.
If the victim was not aware of the assault, there is not enough evidence to show that an assault took place. An instance of this would be when a person points a weapon at another person, behind that individual’s back, without that person being privy to what’s taking place behind him or her.
This is where the victim’s injury is an instant response to a threat or an impending risk of harm. The damage can both be physical, such as a kick or a punch, or a chance of undesirable and offensive contact, which include a sexually suggestive contact or embrace.
The defendant’s behavior or conduct potentially offered a real threat, or the behavior was offensive to the victim. For instance, the act of pretending to kick, punch, slap, or spit on the victim would be considered harmful or offensive conduct.
When proving an assault, the concept of reasonableness is regularly brought up. An example of reasonableness would be if someone had been ten meters away and threatens to throw a rock he or she is holding at any other person.
Regardless of what defense strategy you intend to use, it’s important to remember that there is so much at stake if you are convicted. That’s why you will need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer with expertise putting forth a winning defense.
If you are facing assault charges in Colorado, Denver Assault Attorney Pisani is ready to help. Give him a call to find out how he can help protect your rights. Our firm serves clients throughout Denver and all of Colorado.