Assault Penalties can Change the Rest of your Life
There are various levels of assault crime ranging from a felony to a misdemeanor. Felony assaults carry with them mandatory prison time and the possibility of large fines. If you are charged with assault in the Pikes Peak area then you want to have a defense attorney experienced in the Colorado Springs court.
Assault in the First Degree
A person commits assault in the first degree or first degree assault if the person uses a deadly weapon and intentionally causes serious bodily injury to another person. Assault in the first degree is a class three felony. A deadly weapon means anything used in a manner which could seriously harm someone. If a person stabs another person with a pencil, then that pencil is a deadly weapon for purposes of first degree assault. Examples of deadly weapons can include guns, knives, bats, or even under the right circumstances, a person’s fists. Serious bodily injury is another legal term that basically means a serious or permanent injury. A conviction for first degree assault carries a term of mandatory prison followed by a period of mandatory parole. If you are charged with assault in the first degree, you need a criminal defense attorney to walk you through the criminal process.
Assault in the Second Degree
A person commits an assault crime in the second degree or second degree assault, by knowingly causing serious bodily injury to another person or by causing bodily injury to another person by using a deadly weapon. Second degree assault is a class four felony. Bodily injury is a legal term and means any injury including pain. A person can easily find themselves charged with assault in the second degree without intending to hurt anyone. A conviction for assault in the second degree carries a term of mandatory prison followed by a period of mandatory parole. If you are charged with second degree assault, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to walk you through the process.
Assault in the Third Degree
A person commits assault in the third degree or third degree assault, by knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person. Third degree assault is a class one misdemeanor. It carries the possible penalties of 6 to eighteen months in jail and a fine of up to five thousand dollars. Bodily injury, as discussed before, means any injury including pain. If a person pushes another person, it can lead to a charge of third degree assault. This is a common charge in domestic violence cases. Although third degree assault, under most circumstances, doesn’t require a mandatory jail sentence, it does carry severe penalties and often times a person convicted of third degree assault will receive lengthy probation, community service, classes, and possibly a jail sentence. If you are charged with assault in the third degree you need a lawyer who will protect your rights.
Often a person is charged with third degree assault by the police officer who investigates the case. For example, a person might get into a fight at a bar. The defendant may originally be charged with third degree assault for punching another person, causing that person to need stitches. After the District Attorney’s Office reviews the case, the DA may add a charge of second degree assault because of the chance the stitches could leave a permanent scar – serious bodily injury. Without even realizing it, a person can be facing mandatory prison and a serious felony conviction and all of the consequences that come along with such a conviction.
It is always advisable when you are charged with assault at any level to have an attorney who understands the system and can protect you. Do not try to navigate the criminal justice system alone. Get a criminal defense attorney who will help protect your rights and do a thorough case evaluation. Get a defense attorney who will not just seek a plea bargain but who will go to trial if the situation requires it.