If you are charged with misdemeanor or felony assault, you need to take your legal situation very seriously. Judges are very concerned about violent crime, and will often impose harsher sentences on people convicted of assault versus property crimes. 3rd degree assault is most commonly charged as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. Bodily injury is best summed up as causing pain to another person. There is no legal requirement that the act of assault leaves a mark or causes a bruise. A person convicted of 3rd degree assault can be sentenced to the county jail for up to two years.
The Fort Collins assault attorneys at Schwartz and Waible are often asked if they can ever be sentenced to prison for “a first offense”. The answer is absolutely yes, especially if you are convicted of felony assault. Felony assault is categorized as either 1st degree or 2nd degree assault. Both charges are classified as “crimes of violence” and a conviction triggers a mandatory sentence to prison. 2nd degree assault can be charged in number of ways, but it is most commonly involves causing bodily injury with a deadly weapon. An obvious example of a deadly weapon is a firearm or a knife. However, a deadly weapon is defined on how it is used. If you are accused of kicking someone down a flight of stairs, you can be charged with using your foot as a deadly weapon. If you are convicted of 2nd degree assault, the Judge has no choice but to sentence you to the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC) from five to sixteen years. The Judge, by law, cannot consider any other sentencing options such as probation or community corrections.
1st degree assault is most commonly charged as causing serious bodily injury to another person with a deadly weapon. “Serious bodily injury” means injury that involves, either at the time of the actual injury or at a later time, a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, or 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. An example of 1st degree assault would be swinging a baseball bat at another person, with the intent to seriously injure that person, and breaking their arm. If you are convicted of 1st degree assault, the Judge must sentence you to prison from ten to thirty-two years. The Court cannot impose a community based sentence, as with 2nd degree assault.
If you are charged with felony or misdemeanor assault, it is critical that you hire an experienced Fort Collins assault attorney. Jeff Schwartz and Kirk Waible are both Fort Collins assault attorneys that have successfully defended people charged with all levels of assault. The most common defenses to assault are self-defense and defense of others.
Assault laws are complex and fact specific. Self-defense, defense of another, or defense of property does not apply in every case. It is necessary for an experienced Fort Collins assault attorney to compare all the evidence in your case to the law to make sure these defenses can be utilized. Fort Collins assault attorneys Jeff Schwartz and Kirk Waible have the necessary trial experience in assault cases to give you an honest and thorough appraisal of the applicability of these defenses to your individual situation.
Fort Collins assault attorneys, Schwartz & Waible, also serve the following locations throughout Colorado: Greeley, Loveland, Windsor, and Wellington.