Colorado Assault and Menacing Laws (a/k/a Battery)

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Colorado assault and menacing laws

Under Colorado law, assault and battery (known as "menacing") are two separate, yet related, crimes.

Colorado defines “assault” as knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person.

“Menacing” (called “battery” in some states) occurs when, by any threat or physical action, you knowingly place or attempt to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. It is the threat of assault.

Which charge is brought against you depends on the seriousness of the injury, the weapon used, and the victim. From most to least serious, the possible charges are:

If you have been arrested for Colorado assault or menacing, having the best Colorado criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between a long stint in prison or a short one in jail.

1. First degree assault

Colorado first degree assault is one that results in serious bodily injury. There are many ways to commit Colorado first degree assault. They include:

  • You intentionally cause serious bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon,
  • You intentionally disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of his body,
  • You cause serious bodily injury to someone after knowingly creating a grave risk of death, or
  • You intentionally cause serious bodily injury to a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical service provider.

First degree assault is a felony as well as a "crime of violence." Penalties for first degree assault in Colorado can include up to 32 years in prison and fine of up to $750,000.

2. Second degree assault

Colorado second degree assault is similar to first degree assault except that the resulting injury need not be as serious. Specific crimes that constitute Colorado second degree assault include:

  • You intentionally cause bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon,
  • While intending to injure someone, you cause serious bodily injury,
  • You injure someone while intentionally interfering with a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical service provider trying to do his/her duties,
  • While in custody, you knowingly and violently apply physical force against a peace officer, firefighter, EMT, judge or court official, or
  • While in custody, you throw bodily fluids at an employee of the detention facility.

Second degree assault is a felony and a "crime of violence." Penalties for second degree assault in Colorado can include up to 16 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

3. Felony menacing

Menacing is a felony when you put someone in fear of immediate physical injury because:

  • You threaten that person with a deadly weapon or an item that appears to be a deadly weapon, or 
  • You represent verbally or otherwise that you are armed with a deadly weapon.

Consequences of Colorado felony menacing can include up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

4. Third degree assault

You commit Colorado third degree assault when:

  • You knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to another person,
  • You negligently cause bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or
  • You intentionally throw bodily fluids, or toxic, caustic or hazardous materials at a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical service provider.

Penalties for Colorado third degree assault can include up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

5. Menacing

You commit Colorado misdemeanor menacing when by a threat or physical action:

  • You knowingly place or attempt to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

As a misdemeanor, menacing can be punished by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $750.

Call us for help...

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If you or someone you know has been charged with Colorado assault or menacing, we invite you call us for a free consultation.

Our caring and experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyers know there are at least two sides to every story. Tell us your side of things and find out why we are considered among the best criminal lawyers in Denver.

To reach us use the form on this page, or contact us at:

Colorado Legal Defense Group
1400 16th Street
16 Market Square
Denver CO 80202
(720) 955-6112

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