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Assault charges are nothing to take lightly in Colorado

In Colorado, violent crimes are not taken lightly by those who are charged to uphold the law. For example, those facing assault charges may spend years behind bars if convicted and be forced to pay significant fines. The penalties and potential defenses available in assault cases will the be topic of this week's column.

In the state of Colorado, an assault charge will fall under one of three categories: first, second and third degree. A first degree assault is considered the most severe. To be charged at this level, one must have purposely meant to cause serious physical harm to another human being. For second degree assault, there must have been intent to cause physical harm. Finally, for third degree assault, one must have caused bodily harm without intent.

The penalties associated with a conviction on a first degree assault charge include imprisonment up to 24 years and fines up to $750,000. For second degree assault, the penalties include imprisonment up to 12 years and fines up to $500,000. With third degree assault, punishment is a short prison term, up to six months.

Fighting against accusations of assault can be rather difficult, but it is not entirely impossible. There are a number of defense strategies that may be available. These include self defense, duress, lack of intent or deny -- among others.

Unless one is familiar with state laws and how the criminal court system works, it can be difficult to know the best way to go about fighting assault charges. Thankfully, anyone in Colorado or elsewhere who stands accused of such a crime has the right to legal representation. With the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney, one accused of assault can pursue a legal course that will best serve his or her interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Assault Laws", Accessed on Aug. 30, 2017

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