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When Does Simple Assault Become Aggravated Assault in CO?

In Colorado, simple assault is classified as third-degree assault, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor (as well as an “extraordinary risk” offense) that carries a maximum jail term of 24 months and a fine no more than $5,000.

However, based on the facts and circumstances of the case, a simple assault offense can be elevated to aggravated assault. This type of assault is generally charged as either first-degree or second-degree assault.

A person commits first-degree assault if the following circumstances are evident:

  • The person intends to cause serious bodily injury to someone else and he/she causes such injury with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  • The person intends to permanently or seriously disable or disfigure someone else.
  • The person shows extreme indifference to human life and knowingly does something that puts other people’s lives in grave risk of death, then causes serious bodily injury.
  • The person intends to inflict serious bodily injury on a police officer, correctional facility employee, or firefighter and uses a dangerous or deadly weapon to threaten the individual.

Common examples of serious bodily injury include broken or fractured bones, second- or third-degree burns, or otherwise any injury involving a substantial risk of death or permanent injury. Assault in the first degree is a Class 3 felony (as well as a “crime of violence”), punishable by imprisonment for up to 32 years and a maximum fine of $750,000.

A person commits second-degree assault if the following circumstances are evident:

  • The person intends to cause bodily injury to someone else and he/she causes such injury with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  • The person intends to cause bodily injury to someone else and he/she causes bodily injury to that individual or another.
  • The person recklessly causes serious bodily injury when using a dangerous or deadly weapon.
  • The person intentionally prevents a police officer, correctional facility employee, or firefighter from fulfilling their duty and intentionally causes bodily injury.
  • When in custody or lawfully confined, the person knowingly uses violent physical force against a police officer, correctional facility employee, or firefighter while they are performing their duties.

Common examples of bodily injury include physical pain or any physical or mental impairment as a result of an assault. Assault in the second degree is a Class 4 felony, which carries a prison sentence of up to six years and a fine not exceeding $500,000.

If you or a loved one has been accused of aggravated assault in Denver, contact the Law Offices of David L. Owen, Jr. P.C. today at (303) 622-3281 for a free initial consultation. Get 33 years of trial-tested experience on your side!

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