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One Punch Can Escalate into Serious Criminal Charges in Denver

Posted by Kyle B. Sawyer | Apr 08, 2015 | 0 Comments

Sometimes, fights can get out of hand quickly. A few choice words of frustration can lead to a physical fight, which can result in serious Assault charges, even if you are acting in self defense. This happened just last week, when a teenager and a man got into an argument in El Paso County. Let's take a look at just how quickly criminal charges can escalate.

Teen Punches Man Who is Now Critically Injured

Image Credit: Pixabay - PublicDomainPictures

Image Credit: Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures

According to the news, a man was hospitalized after he got into an altercation with a young man at a Colorado Springs park. Allegedly, a man and a 15-year-old boy got into a fight, when the teen punched the 56-year-old man once. The man fell, and hit his head on the cement. Unfortunately, one punch is all it took – the man is now in the hospital in critical condition.

Facing Assault charges?

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Assault Charges Can Escalate Quickly

The teenager is being held under suspicion of Second Degree Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-203. 2nd Degree Assault is charged whenever a person:

“…with intent to cause bodily injury to another person, he or she causes such injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon…” or;

“…recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon.”

When it comes to assault charges, it can be difficult to understand just why a person was charged with a particular degree of assault. In situations like these, it is helpful to look at the definition of “bodily injury” and “serious bodily injury.”

What are the Definitions of Bodily Injury and Serious Bodily Injury?

‘Bodily Injury' is defined under Colorado statute 18-1-903. It means:

“…physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical or mental condition.”

‘Serious Bodily Injury' is defined in the same statute, and means:

“…bodily injury which, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, involves a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, a substantial risk of protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or breaks, fractures, or burns of the second or third degree.” The definitions in the 2nd Degree Assault statute are vague – you need an expert lawyer to protect your rights.

How Can a Fist be a Deadly Weapon?

Now, we can understand partly why the teenager is being held for Second Degree Assault. The man he punched suffered ‘serious bodily injury' which is necessary under the law. But, another aspectEven a fist can be considered a ‘deadly weapon' under the law.of the law must be addressed – in order for 2nd Degree Assault to be charged, a ‘deadly weapon' must have been used during the assault. There is no mention in the news regarding a weapon. So, how can the teen be suspected of 2nd Degree Assault? We've written about the vague definition of “deadly weapons” in criminal cases in Adams, Jefferson, and Douglas County before. Put very simply, a deadly weapon is anything “capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.” This can even include a fist. The bottom line is that if a person suffers serious bodily injury, the government will always allege that the object or method of injuring him qualifies as a “deadly weapon.” This occurs even if the object or method is not normally used to cause serious bodily injury.

Vague Definitions Lead to Escalated Charges: Contact a Lawyer

As you can see, the definitions related to assault charges are extremely vague in Denver, Arapahoe, and Boulder County. It's up to the translation of the District Attorney to decide what classification of assault a person is charged with in Colorado. This is why you need the expertise of a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. Don't' simply accept the charges you are facing – instead, contact anWe have 40 years of combined experience to put to work on your case. expert defense lawyer who can look at the discovery in your case in order to determine whether or not the District Attorney is overcharging you. We work hard to highlight the prosecution's common lack of evidence in assault cases, and bring our own key evidence into the courtroom to prove your innocence. The criminal defense attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office have 40 years of combined courtroom experience, and we will put it to work for you – we fight to win.

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If you or a loved one is facing assault charges, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

About the Author

Kyle B. Sawyer

I have a passion for defending others in criminal cases. I am able to empathize with my clients and understand their emotions and fears. I have a unique perspective on the criminal justice system and I understand what it feels like to be wrongly accused of a crime.


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If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the top criminal defense lawyers at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation