What is Assault?
Assault and battery are two distinct crimes, although people often use the terms interchangeably to mean the same thing because they’re usually charged together. Consulting skilled criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs is crucial if you face charges for either crime. They can take you through the basics of each offense and your risks and options.
Assault is a crime that involves putting the victim in reasonable apprehension or offensive or harmful contact. It is the threat of causing physical harm without physically hitting or harming the victim.
What is Battery?
Battery is the willful and unlawful use of force or violence on someone else. In its legal definition, battery requires that you inflict harm on the victim or create offensive contact with them. There’s no requirement that you cause personal injury or bodily harm to the victim, as even the slightest touching can be battery, even if it happens:
- Through the victim’s clothing
- Indirectly using an object to touch the victim
Unlike assault, a battery charge has to include allegations of actual touching. For example, someone could charge you with assault if you went to shove them but missed them, but they can’t accuse you of battery.
You could be charged with aggravated battery if you cause severe bodily harm to the victim. The offense is more severe than a simple battery, and the penalties are equally harsher. Consult skilled domestic violence lawyers in Colorado Springs to help you fight the charges to protect your rights and future.
Colorado Springs recognizes the following categories of assault and battery:
First Degree Assault- Felony
Assault in the first degree is the most severe classification in Colorado. It happens when a person intentionally causes serious bodily harm to another using a deadly weapon. The charge can also be first-degree if the injuries or the intent to injure are fatal or permanent.
You will face charges for first-degree assault if you threaten or harm a police officer, emergency medical provider, firefighter, prison worker, or judge. First-degree assault is primarily characterized by the following elements:
- Use of a deadly weapon
- The severity of the injuries
- Crime of passion
- Whether the victim was acting in an official capacity
A first-degree assault charge is a Class 3 felony. If found to have been committed as a “crime of passion,” the court elevates the offense to a Class 5 felony. Assault in Colorado is a violent crime that can cause you to serve jail time for a specified minimum term. Let experienced domestic violence lawyers in Colorado Springs fight to protect and defend you against the charges.
Second-Degree Assault- Felony
Second-degree assault happens when someone intentionally causes bodily injury to someone without using a deadly weapon. However, the court may classify the crime as second-degree assault if it established that the offender recklessly caused bodily injury using a deadly weapon.
Other characteristics that qualify a crime as second-degree assault are:
- Causing a victim to come into contact with toxic substances
- Intentionally drugging someone
- Using physical force against the officials listed under first-degree assault
- Being indifferent toward human life
Colorado laws classify a second-degree assault offense as a Class 4 felony. If the court establishes that it was committed as a crime of passion, the charge can increase to a Class 6 felony.
Courts require mandatory incarceration for second-degree assault, but they can lower the sentence depending on previous charges. Long-serving domestic violence attorneys in Colorado Springs can fight to get you a probation sentence instead of jail time upon conviction.
Third Degree Assault- Misdemeanor
Third-degree assault in Colorado is defined as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a victim. Pain alone is sufficient to justify the injury requirement, even without injury. Sometimes, the crime can be accidental or negligently, causing actual harm to a person with a deadly weapon.
Third-degree assault is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is an extraordinary risk crime, and its penalty increases by six months, making it possible to face a two-year jail term in a county jail. If the assault is established to be a domestic violence offense, you must take mandatory domestic violence classes as a condition for probation.
What Are the Legal Implications of Assault and Battery?
Assault and battery are charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the severity of the damage caused. Assault cases are rarely presented as stand-alone since threats can be challenging to prove.
However, battery is often easy to establish because it entails physical injury. Battery essentially involves assault, but assault doesn’t necessarily involve battery. Let skilled domestic violence attorneys in Colorado Springs evaluate your case and provide legal representation to help you beat the charges.
What Are the Defenses to Assault and Battery Charges?
Despite the varying degrees of assault and battery in Colorado, the legal defenses cut across the board. The most common defenses are the following:
- Self-defense or defense of others: You can avoid a conviction if you prove that you used force against the victim to protect yourself or another person against imminent danger. You must also show that you reasonably believed you were in danger.
- Defense of property: You can argue and show that you used force against the victim to protect your property from theft or destruction.
- Lack of intent: You can have the charges dropped if you can show that the assault was accidental or that you had no intention to cause harm.
- Mistaken identity: Your defense lawyer can argue that you did not commit the crime. Eyewitness testimony can help corroborate the claim.
Battle Assault and Battery Charges in CO With Skilled Legal Counsel
When faced with assault and battery charges, which are often charged together, consider talking to criminal defense lawyers in Colorado Springs. They can assess the prosecution’s evidence against you, look for any weaknesses, and exploit them to create a solid defense approach.
Our lawyers have many years of experience in the courtroom and know how to navigate complex criminal cases. We fight aggressively to help our clients get the most favorable outcome no matter the charges they’re facing, and we can help you too. Call the Lux Law Firm at 719-451-7469 to start building a defense strategy.