According to Colorado law, you can be charged with many types of assault and battery charges ranging from Municipal Simple Assault & Battery Charges, to State Misdemeanor Assault in the 3rd Degree, or Felony Assault in the 2nd Degree, and even Assault in the 1st Degree Charges. Each of these charges carry different types of potential jail and prison time, and in the cases where you have felony assault charges, you may be looking at guaranteed or mandatory prison time if there is use of a deadly weapon, serious bodily injury (SBI) or both! The potential consequences can be severe! You can also be charged with Assaulting an at Risk adult, an Officer, or a Firefighter and each of these also carry mandatory jail or prison time. Getting an attorney to protect you from incarceration has never been more important when facing assault and battery charges. Donʼt take unreasonable chances, retain the professionals at Trunnell and Sellers PC to represent you in our criminal matter!
What is assault? Colorado defines Third Degree Assault as "knowingly," or "recklessly," causing bodily injury to another person. Pain alone satisfies the "injury" requirement, even where there is no actual injury. (Or, Third Degree Assault is defined as negligently, or accidentally, causing actual injury to someone with a deadly weapon.)
Third Degree Assault is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. However, because it is an "extraordinary risk crime," the normal penalty for a Class 1 Misdemeanor is increased by six months, making the possible penalty a two year sentence to county jail. Obvious factors that will determine the sentence you receive include whether it is a first offense generally, whether it is a first offense of a similar nature, how aggravated (bad) the act was, and whether there were surrounding circumstances that mitigate (or justify) your actions. If the assault is categorized as a domestic violence offense, then mandatory domestic violence classes will be ordered by the court as a condition of your probation.
The sentence for any assault charge will, like all criminal charges, be based in part on how "aggravated" or "mitigated" the facts of the case are. Obviously, acts that seem unusually aggressive or mean-spirited to the judge are more likely to result in jail or prison sentences than are acts that are more minor, or are justified by provocation.
A common defense to the charge of assault is Self Defense. The person charged with assault has the right to present evidence that shows that they used violent force in order to protect themselves from the so called "victim" in their case. Nevertheless, the Defendant is only allowed to use as much force as is justified to defend herself. For example, the Defendant cannot shoot someone in order to avoid being in a fist fight, unless the Defendant can show that the victim would have tried to kill him if not stopped with deadly force. Your attorney will evaluate your case to determine if there are facts to support a Self Defense case.
There are other serious classes of assault and battery which carry stiff penalties. Be smart, hire the professionals!