Assault Lawyers in Denver
Colorado laws are tough on people who harm or threaten to harm others. In most cases, not only will a physical altercation bring on criminal charges, but it may also result in a civil lawsuit as well. If you are facing assault or menacing charges, you’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you defend yourself from the legal actions that might follow.
Defining the Crime
“Menacing” someone means threatening to harm another person, while “assault” means to cause them bodily injury. For the act to become criminal, the prosecution must prove that the actor was the perpetrator and that the actor intended to threaten or harm either the victim directly or another person, but the victim got hurt instead.
Five Levels of Assault and Menacing
Colorado law defines five separate levels of “assault” and “menacing,” which escalate from the least severe to the most severe. CRS § 18-3-202, et seq. Each offense covers a slightly different action, and it is possible for a person to be charged with more than one form of assault. The least severe charge is that of “menacing,” where another person is put “in fear of” imminent serious bodily injury. The most severe charge is First Degree Assault, where the prosecution accuses the defendant of intending to cause serious physical injuries that permanently disfigure or disable another by use of a deadly weapon.
The District Attorney’s office selects and prosecutes the charges, and each trial is wholly dependent on the events that underlie the case. As in all Colorado criminal cases, the prosecution must prove that the accused intended to take the action that caused the harm, and that proof must be “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Defenses to Assault
The job of the criminal defense attorney is to evaluate the evidence to find those “reasonable doubts” that often occur in assault cases to reduce the charges or have the case dismissed altogether.
Assault cases arise from heated situations where there are often differing opinions about what really happened. The accused person may have been acting in self-defense, or the alleged victim may have actually been the aggressor. Sometimes, the accused aggressor may appear to have acted aggressively when, in reality, they were avoiding another, even worse situation. And, in many cases, there is insufficient evidence to prove that the defendant intended to take the act that caused the harm. Hire Pollart Miller today to help with you assault case.