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 If you are facing assault charges in Colorado, the government has likely stacked the odds against you. At O’Malley and Sawyer, we have seen too many people treated unfairly and harshly by the system. We realize that many people need a second chance, and we are ready with trial-tested advocacy to defend our clients’ reputations, rights, and futures.

It is extremely important to contact an experienced Denver assault defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with any type of assault including first, second, and third-degree assault. Colorado assault charges are can be very serious. In most cases, first and second-degree assault charges require mandatory prison sentences.

First Degree Assault


First degree Assault is a serious criminal offense. Therefore, if you are charged with first-degree assault you should contact an experienced Denver assault lawyer to seek advice as soon as possible.

First degree assault is defined as:

  • With intent to cause there’s bodily injury to another person, he causes series bodily injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or With intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such an injury to any person;
  • or under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he knowingly engages in conduct, which creates a grave risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious bodily injury to any person. First degree assault is a class-three felony, and requires a sentence to prison with mandatory parole.


Second Degree Assault


Colorado law provides numerous ways a person can commit the crime of second-degree assault. Most of the second-degree assault crimes require mandatory prison time if convicted. We have listed several of the ways second-degree assault is defined in Colorado.

Second degree assault is defined as:

  • With intent to cause bodily injury to another person, a person causes injury to any person by means of a deadly weapon; or with intent to prevent one whom he or she knows, or should know, to be a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical care provider, or emergency medical service provider from performing a lawful duty, he or she intentionally causes bodily injury to any person; or a person recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or with intent to cause bodily injury to another person, he or she causes serious bodily injury to that person or another.

Colorado Law Change to the Second Degree Assault Statute


New specific section for strangulation

  • With the intent to cause bodily injury, he or she applies sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person and thereby causes bodily injury.

The newly added strangulation section to the second-degree assault statute is very broad. It includes situations where a person restricts the breathing of another for any period of time no matte how brief. As a result, the newly added section could lead to felony second-degree assault charges being filed instead of more appropriate misdemeanor assault charges.

Second degree assault is a class four felony, and in most cases a crime of violence. The potential prison sentence for second-degree assault is between five (5) and sixteen (16) years in prison with a mandatory three years of parole. A recent second degree assault sentencing law change has eliminated mandatory prison time for several of the sections of second degree assault. However, despite the law change, a Colorado judge can still sentence a person convicted of second degree assault to prison. Take action immediately to protect yourself from possible prison time. O’Malley and Sawyer can help you fight for the best possible outcome and safeguard your interests.

Third Degree Assault

A person commits the crime of third degree assault if:

  • The person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence the person causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon; or the person, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person whom the actor knows or reasonably should know to be a peace officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, or an emergency medical service provider, causes the other person to come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, vomit, or toxic, caustic, or hazardous material by any means, including throwing, tossing, or expelling the fluid or material. Third degree assault is a misdemeanor offense that does not require a sentence to prison but does include an up to twenty-four (24) month jail sentence. Often times prosecutors will charge a defendant with child abuse if a child was around the alleged third degree assault.

Many prosecutors throughout the Denver metropolitan area will argue to a jury that a defendant either knowingly or recklessly caused bodily injury to another person. In these situations, the prosecutor will try to argue a defendant must have recklessly committed third degree assault if a jury does not believe the defendant knowingly committed third degree assault. It is especially important to hire an experienced Denver assault attorney to fight for your rights.

Talk to an experienced Denver Assault Attorney At O’Malley and Sawyer. As leading assault lawyers in Denver, we have successfully defended clients’ against all types of misdemeanor and felony assault charges. Call O’Malley and Sawyer today so we can determine the best course of action to defend your Colorado assault case.

Criminal Defense

I can’t thank our attorneys enough for helping my son. Their hard work and dedication to my son’s case lead to a dismissal. I highly recommend contacting O'Malley and Sawyer if you need a criminal defense lawyer.

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