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CHAPTER 6: SELECTED CRIMINAL OFFENSES - Table of Contents

6.1 - Overview6.2 - Inchoate Offenses6.3 - Homicide6.4 - Assault6.5 - Domestic Violence6.6 - Other Unlawful Offenses against the person6.7 - Unlawful Sexual Behavior6.8 - Offenses against Property6.9 - Tresspass, Tampering and Mischief6.10 - Offenses involving Fraud6.11 - Offenses involving Family Relations6.12 - Offenses relating to Morals6.13 - Offenses against Government Operations and Public Order6.14 - Offenses relating to Weapons6.15 - Offenses relating to Controlled Substances6.16 - Alcohol/Drug related Traffic Incidents6.17 - Crimes Against Vulnerable Victims6.18 - Computer Crimes6.19 - Identity Theft

6.4 ASSAULT

Colorado has codified three variations of assault. First degree assault, the most serious form of assault, is codified at C.R.S. § 18-3- 202. There are several variations of first degree assault. A person commits first degree assault if the person:

  • intends to cause serious bodily injury to another person and causes such injury with a deadly weapon;
  • intends to cause a disfiguring or disabling injury to another person and causes such an injury;
  • causes serious bodily injury to another person under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life;
  • intends to seriously injure a peace officer or firefighter and threatens that person with a deadly weapon;
  • intends to seriously injure a judge or an officer of the court and threatens that person with a deadly weapon; or,
  • is lawfully confined, intends to cause serious bodily injury to a detention facility employee, and threatens that employee with a deadly weapon.

Generally, first degree assault is a class 3 felony, but it is reduced to a class 4 felony if it is committed upon a sudden heat of passion. First degree assault is increased to a class 2 felony when committed against an at-risk victim, but it is reduced to a class 4 felony if it is committed upon a sudden heat of passion against an at-risk victim. C.R.S. ¤ 18-6.5-103(3)(a).

Serious bodily injury is defined in C.R.S. ¤ 18-901(p) as bodily injury that, either at the time it was inflicted or later, involves a substantial risk of death, serious permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of any body part or breaks, fractures or burns of the second or third degree. Serious bodily is distinguished from bodily injury, defined in C.R.S. ¤ 18-901(c), in that bodily injury requires only "physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical or mental condition."

Second degree assault, C.R.S. § 18-3-203, can also be committed in a variety of ways. A person commits second degree assault if the person:

  • intends to cause bodily injury to another person and causes such injury with a deadly weapon;
  • intends to prevent a peace officer or firefighter from performing a lawful duty and intentionally causes bodily injury to any person,
  • recklessly causes bodily injury to a person with a deadly weapon,
  • intentionally causes the physical or mental impairment of another person by administering drugs or other substances to that person without that person's consent,
  • is lawfully confined and knowingly and violently applies actual physical force against a peace officer, firefighter, judge, court officer or detention facility employee,
  • is lawfully confined and causes a detention facility employee to come into contact with feces, urine, saliva or other bodily fluids for the purpose of infecting, injuring, harassing or annoying that employee, or
  • intends to cause bodily injury to another and causes serious bodily injury.

Second degree assault is generally a class 4 felony. It is reduced to a class 6 felony if it was committed upon a sudden heat of passion. It is increased to a class 3 felony if it is committed during the commission of, or flight from, certain serious felony offenses. Second degree assault is also increased to a class 3 felony when committed against an at-risk victim, but it is reduced to a class 5 felony if it is committed upon a sudden heat of passion against an at-risk victim. C.R.S. ¤ 18-6.5-103(3)(b).

Third degree assault is a class 1 misdemeanor, and is committed when a person either knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another or negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. Third degree assault is codified at C.R.S. § 18-3-204. Third degree assault is increased to a class 6 felony if it is committed against an at-risk victim. C.R.S. ¤ 18-6.5-103(3)(c).

Vehicular assault is committed when a person drives recklessly and the driving is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another person. A person also commits vehicular assault if the person drives while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both and is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another. The alcohol related version is a strict liability crime, meaning that the prosecution need not prove any criminal intent or other state of mind.

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