Colorado Second Degree Assault Defense Attorney in Aurora
Second Degree Assault is the second highest level of assault. It is an extremely serious criminal offense. It can fall under the category of crime of violence which requires mandatory prison time. It is an extraordinary risk crime which can increase the maximum possible sentence a judge can impose.
Defendants need to have a criminal defense attorney when dealing with charged of second-degree assault. Our Colorado Second Assault Defense Attorney regularly represents clients in Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Adams County, and the Denver Metro Area.
What is Second Degree Assault under Colorado Law?
Colorado law defines second-degree assault as the following:
· Intentionally cause bodily injury to a victim through use of a deadly weapon.
· Recklessly cause serious bodily injury to another through use of a deadly weapon.
· Intending to and causing serious bodily injury.
· Causing bodily injury while trying to prevent a peace office from performing their duties.
· Intentionally drugging someone without their consent.
Colorado Revised Statute § 18-3-203. provides the legal definition of second-degree assault. The statute uses specific words and phrases. Terminology is important in understanding a Second-Degree Assault charge.
What is the difference between bodily injury and serious bodily injury?
A third-degree assault involves bodily injury. This is an injury that causes physical pain. Bodily injury is the lowest form of injury when dealing with assault cases.
There doesn’t necessarily need to be a mark, but you would typically expect injuries consistent with the allegation. There can be physical or mental impairment.
Serious bodily injury is a much more serious injury. It involves injury that poses a substantial risk of death. It also is an injury that leads to serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment.
People often shorten serious bodily injury to SBI. A common SBI is a fractured bone. A physician must diagnose SBI. Police officers seek opinions from doctors during their investigation.
What is the legal definition of Deadly Weapon?
Second-Degree assault includes any injury caused by a deadly weapon. A deadly weapon includes any weapon that can cause serious bodily injury. This definition includes guns, knives, and other dangerous weapons.
Dangerous weapons always aggravate criminal cases. The use of a weapon can result in mandatory prison time.
What is Strangulation under Colorado?
Second-degree assault includes strangulation. Strangulation is the use of on a victim in a manner that will prevent a victim from breathing. This type of assault is a common charge in Colorado courts.
Law enforcement training includes questioning victims concerning strangulation. Allegations involving strangulation will result in police having a forensic nurse examine the victim. The forensic nurse looks for evidence of strangulation and photographs any bruising.
Strangulation is a specific intent crime. A defendant needs to intend to strangle the victim. Recklessness is not sufficient. Recklessness is being aware of potential risk and still performing an action.
Second-Degree Assault can be an Act of Domestic Violence.
Domestic violence is not a criminal offense under Colorado law. Domestic violence is a sentence enhancer. Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-800.3 defines domestic violence.
Domestic violence is any crime where the victim had an intimate relationship with the defendant. Intimate relationship means a serious romantic attachment, married couple, or couple that has a child.
When the victim is an intimate partner, the second-degree assault is within the domestic violence definition. Domestic violence is more than acts of violence.
It includes any act or threatened act of violence. Property crimes will also be included in acts of domestic violence. DV includes any crimes committed for the purpose of intimidation, harassment, or control.
The enhancement typically requires defendants to complete domestic violence counseling and treatment. A conviction will result in a domestic violence tag being placed on the defendant's record. This designation impacts a defendant's ability to find employment and housing.
Common Second-Degree Assault Defenses
Colorado law permits defendants to assert affirmative defense. These defines admit the underlying allegations, but the law justifies the actions.
The most common affirmative defense is self-defense. Self-defense involves two elements. A defendant must be under attack or think they are being attacked. The defendant must respond with the appropriate amount of force to repeal that attack.
Colorado provides several affirmative defenses. It is important to speak with a second-degree assault attorney to understand what defense may be applicable.
A defendant can also attack the intent element of the criminal charge. For example, a defendant can claim they acted within the heat of passion. The heat of passion defense will not result in a not-guilty verdict, but it will lower the felony.
Finally, defendants can assert a general denial. A general denial would require the prosecution to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This is their burden in all cases.
What is the Punishment for Second Degree Assault?
Second Degree Assault is a class 4 felony. It is punishable by 2 to 6 years in prison or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000. There is mandatory parole after any prison sentence. Second degree assault is a crime of violence in some circumstances.
Strangulation, for example, does not fall under the category of crime of violence. Intentionally causing serious bodily injury does qualify as a crime of violence.
This means prison time is mandatory and would be in the range of 5 to 16 years. You can also be charged with an attempted Second-Degree assault. This takes the crime to a class 5 felony. For information concerning the sentencing ranges, please see our criminal defense section.
A Second-Degree Assault can also be charged as an act of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a sentencing enhancer that can cause additional jail and probationary requirements.
Common Secondary Charges in Second-Degree Assault Cases
When a second-degree assault occurs, prosecutors file multiple charges including the assault charge. A common lesser assault is third-degree assault. This is a crime of assault resulting in bodily harm or physical harm. The injuries are bodily injuries as discussed above.
Speak with A Qualified Assault Lawyer Today
There is not a cookie cutter approach to an assault case. Facts will determine the representation. They define the arguments that can be made.
A second-degree assault may seem simple and straight forward. They can get complicated quickly and requires a skilled criminal defense attorney.
If you are charged with an assault type case in Aurora or the Denver Metro Area, request a consultation today. We are open during regular business hours, and we will stay late and be available on the weekends if necessary. Schedule a free consultation with an Assault Defense Attorney from the Lawrence Law Firm. We are ready, willing, and able to represent you.