There's a reason many assault accusations are met with the excuse of self-defense. Self-defense is one of the most common defenses in an assault case because there is an incredibly subtle distinction between the two. In the state of Colorado, assault is defined as causing severe bodily injury or an intent to cause serious physical harm. Self-defense, on the other hand, can include an intent to cause serious bodily injury in specific circumstances.
Almost all courts will understand the need to defend yourself or another person in an attack. If someone comes after another person with a knife, the average individual will do anything in his or her power to prevent a deadly strike, including disabling the attacker. Many states allow people to defend themselves from force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.
The distinction between assault and self-defense, however, has to do with the circumstances of the situation. Self-defense is only justified in response to an immediate threat. If a person doesn’t fear for his or her safety, he or she would have no reason to attack another person.
When the court looks at a case of assault vs. self-defense, a judge or jury will have to determine whether any other reasonable person would have responded in a similar way to the defendant. For example, if a person was trespassing on your property, under Colorado’s “Make My Day” law, you are allowed to use deadly force if the intruder threatens you. Any reasonable person under threat in his or her own home would likely respond to the intrusion by becoming violent, especially if the homeowner has a family to protect.
Remember, Colorado law permits you to use physical force up to a certain degree to defend yourself or someone else when you believe someone is using or is about to use unlawful physical force against you or another person. Likewise, if someone has unlawfully entered your home and you believe they have or are going to commit a crime which might use physical force, you can use physical force against the intruder.
If you’re facing an assault charge, don’t hesitate to give me a call. I have over 30 years of legal experience to offer your case.
Contact us at (303) 622-3281 to schedule your free consultation today.