Assault in the First Degree is the most serious nonsexual crime in Denver, Arapahoe, and Douglas County. If you or a loved one is facing felony First Degree Assault charges or any other type of Assault, it is vital that you contact an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who will advocate for you in the courtroom. This offense is charged whenever a person commits a crime of violence against another person, and this act of force results in serious injury to the alleged victim.
What are the Elements of First Degree Assault?
In order to be charged with First Degree Assault – C.R.S. 18-3-202, there are multiple elements which must be present. The District Attorney looks at all these requirements before charging 1st Degree Assault in Adams, Jefferson, or El Paso County.
The Intent of the Crime
The most important aspect of a First Degree Assault charge is the intent behind the commission of the crime. In order for this most serious form of Assault to be charged, the District Attorney must prove that the defendant knowingly engaged in conduct which put another person in danger, or acted with extreme indifference to the value of human life. In other words, they must prove the defendant's intent was to cause injury.
Serious Bodily Injury
Another aspect the District Attorney must prove in order to charge 1st Degree Assault, is the severity of the alleged victim's injuries. The First Degree Assault statute states a person must have received “serious bodily injury.” The definition includes serious damage to a person, including burns, breaks, fractures, the loss or impairment of a function of the body, permanent disfigurement, or a strong risk of death.
Another aspect of First Degree Assault charges in Boulder and Pitkin County, Colorado, is the presence of a deadly weapon. If a person, with the intent to cause serious bodily injury to another person, causes such injury using a deadly weapon, the elements of 1st Degree Assault are met. Unfortunately, the term “deadly weapon” is vague, and can mean a fist or a foot as well as more typical weapons like a gun or a knife.
If you've been charged with First Degree Assault, contact an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately to protect your future.
What is the Sentence for First Degree Assault?
First Degree Assault ranges from a class 5 felony to a class 3 felony. The difference in the classification is due to the reason the assault took place. For example, if the accused experienced a“sudden heat of passion” as a reaction to the alleged victim's actions, and it resulted in an act of violence, the crime is charged less seriously. But, more serious violations are charged as a class 3 felony. If the alleged victim was injured seriously, judges and District Attorneys are more likely to charge the more serious classification.
Class 5 Felony
Charged in Situations Involving a “Sudden Heat of Passion”
1 – 3 Years in the Colorado Department of Corrections is the possible sentence.
Class 3 Felony
Charged in Most Scenarios of First Degree Assault
4 – 12 Years in the Colorado Department of Corrections is the possible sentence.
Why You Need the Best Lawyer for 1st Degree Assault Charges
First Degree Assault is considered to be one of the most serious crimes in Colorado. A conviction may result in long-term consequences such as prison time. The two most important things you can do now are to:
1.Remain Silent: Don't talk to the police about your situation.
2.Get Help: Contact an expert defense lawyer to work on your case.
Don't put your future on the line and plead guilty or work with an overworked public defender, or an inexperienced lawyer. Instead, protect your future by hiring the best Denver criminal defense attorney for your case. The attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer have 40 years of combined experience, and will put this experience to work for you. We are often able to get cases dismissed, work out favorable plea agreements, or lessen sentences by interviewing witnesses and showing your lack of intent in committing the offense. The prosecution is gathering evidence against you; work with a lawyer who will gather proof to protect your freedom in the courtroom.
Colorado First Degree Assault Statute – 18-3-202
“ (1) A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if:
(a) With intent to cause serious bodily injury to another person, he causes serious bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or(b) With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person; or(c) Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he knowingly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury to any person; or(e) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider, he or she threatens with a deadly weapon a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider engaged in the performance of his or her duties, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider acting in the performance of his or her duties; or(e.5) With intent to cause serious bodily injury upon the person of a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, he threatens with a deadly weapon a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court, and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a judge of a court of competent jurisdiction or an officer of said court; or(f) While lawfully confined or in custody as a result of being charged with or convicted of a crime or as a result of being charged as a delinquent child or adjudicated as a delinquent child and with intent to cause serious bodily injury to a person employed by or under contract with a detention facility, as defined in section 18-8-203 (3), or to a person employed by the division in the department of human services responsible for youth services and who is a youth services counselor or is in the youth services worker classification series, he or she threatens with a deadly weapon such a person engaged in the performance of his or her duties and the offender knows or reasonably should know that the victim is such a person engaged in the performance of his or her duties while employed by or under contract with a detention facility or while employed by the division in the department of human services responsible for youth services. A sentence imposed pursuant to this paragraph (f) shall be served in the department of corrections and shall run consecutively with any sentences being served by the offender. A person who participates in a work release program, a furlough, or any other similar authorized supervised or unsupervised absence from a detention facility, as defined in section 18-8-203 (3), and who is required to report back to the detention facility at a specified time shall be deemed to be in custody.”