A Proven Criminal Defense Team

When does a fight become assault?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Crimes of Violence, Felony Assault |

Fights between two or more individuals can lead to a wide range of charges. Less severe incidents may be a Misdemeanor Assault in the Third Degree, which the courts define as a person knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence causing bodily injury to another person. More serious incidents are Felony Assault. First Degree Assault is to hurt another person intentionally and seriously through physical force (there is often a deadly weapon involved). The less severe Second Degree Felony Assault involves recklessly using a lethal weapon to cause serious bodily harm. The charges typically reflect the circumstances surrounding the incident, and seemingly minor details can significantly affect the severity of the charges.

Common issues to address

In determining the charges, the courts weigh the following circumstances:

  • Who started it? To not qualify as the aggressor, the individual must act in good faith to try and diffuse the situation, withdraw from the conflict or abandon it.
  • Was it self-defense? The details include the method of defense, their training, whether there were drugs or alcohol involved, and other mitigating details.
  • How much harm did it cause or intend to cause? The results or intended result in minimal or no harm will likely be a misdemeanor if no other mitigating factors exist.
  • Was a deadly weapon used? There are automatic increases in the severity of the charges if the individual uses a deadly weapon.
  • Who did the defendant assault? Attacking police, government employees, hospital staff or EMTs result in more severe charges. Sexual assault will also often escalate the charges.

A strong defense is critical

Fights can happen for various reasons and often result in minor repercussions. Still, Colorado takes assault allegations very seriously. Moreover, felony convictions can lead to lengthy mandatory sentences that can have a catastrophic impact on the defendant and their family. It is wise for those facing these charges to take them seriously and work toward reducing them to better reflect the incident’s reality or eliminate them.