Patterson Weaver Law, LLC is a law practice with extensive experience helping clients get the best possible outcomes with assault charges. Whether in El Paso County, Teller County, Pueblo County, or the surrounding areas, lawyer Patterson Weaver has the experience and knowledge to help minimize the impact your criminal case will have on your life, job, and career.What is Assault?
While the term Assault seems fairly straight-forward, the truth is that Colorado has numerous levels of assault charges. However, even the mildest of these charge levels, Assault in the Third Degree, is still a Class 1 Misdemeanor, the highest level of misdemeanor in Colorado.Misdemeanor Assault—Assault in the Third Degree
While the higher degrees of assault typically result from very serious incidents, Assault in the Third Degree (Assault 3 for short), can result from such common and mild incidents that the charge is an extremely common one in Colorado. According to Colorado law, Assault 3 means that:
“[t]he person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person . . . .” (C.R.S. 18-3-204 (2013)).
Importantly, in Colorado the term “bodily Injury “means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical or mental condition.” (C.R.S. 18-1-805 (2013)). Because the definition is so broad, including even very minor physical pain, many cases where there is any physical contact at all, even if it is minor, are charged as assaults. All that is needed is for the alleged victim to claim that the physical contact hurt.
As many incidents are charged as Assaults, even when the alleged physical contact may have been very minimal, it is absolutely key to protect yourself by consulting with an experienced criminal law attorney as soon as possible regarding your case.Felony Assault
Assault can also be charged in the First and Second degree. Both of these charge levels involve more serious instances, often involving deadly weapons and/or resulting in serious bodily injury. Both Assault in the First Degree as well as the Second Degree are Crime of Violence charges in Colorado—meaning they can result in years of mandatory time in the Department of Corrections, even on a first offense.
All felony Assault charges are extremely serious and life-altering, and anyone charged with them should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.Domestic Violence and Assault Charges
Many misdemeanor Assault charges occur in domestic violence or domestic abuse situations between couples. In fact, Assault 3 is one of the most common charges related to domestic violence (DV) cases, and is very often accompanied by a Harassment charge.
Domestic Violence Assault is actually just Assault with a domestic violence enhancer. The enhancer both removes discretion from the police and the District Attorney’s Office in handling the case (arrests are mandatory and the DA’s office cannot typically dismiss the case or plead it down to a non-DV charge), and dictates domestic violence treatment after any type of conviction or deferred sentence. Moreover, as any domestic violence conviction, or even deferred sentence, prevents one from owning or possessing firearms, these cases can have extreme career repercussions for military personnel and defense contractors.
Because of this, Domestic Violence Assault cases are particularly delicate to handle, especially when a member of the military is involved, and anyone charged with it, whether military or not, should consult with an experienced criminal law attorney at the earliest opportunity.What are the consequences of an Assault Conviction?
Convictions for Assault charges can have severe consequence, often resulting in one or more of the following:
- A jail sentence;
- Years in the Department of Corrections (Felonies only);
- Anger management classes;
- Domestic Violence Classes;
- Useful Public Service;
- Court Costs;
- Loss of the right to own or possess a firearm (Felonies and Domestic Violence cases).
Additionally, while Patterson Weaver Law, LLC cannot advise anyone on military law or procedures, because individuals with domestic violence convictions and even deferred sentences cannot possess firearms under either Federal or Colorado law, repercussions for military personnel can also include:
- Dishonorable discharge from the military;
- Inability to Reenlist;
- Loss of benefits.
If you are a member of the military and are facing this type of a charge, Patterson Weaver Law, LLC strongly encourages you to not only consult a civilian attorney regarding the civilian criminal case, but also a military attorney or JAG officer that can fully advise you on threats to your career.How Can An Attorney Help?
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and navigate the system to reduce the impact this type of case will have on your life and career. If needed, a competent and experienced trial attorney such as Patterson Weaver can represent a client at trial and often obtain a very positive outcome. While every case is different and has unique challenges, specific benefits to clients of hiring an attorney can include:
- Reduced or eliminated jail time;
- Reduced or eliminated useful public service;
- A plea to a lesser charge;
- Reduced probation term;
- Obtaining a Deferred Sentence;
- Reduced fine;
- Dismissal of the Case;
- Acquittal at trial.
In addition, Patterson Weaver Law, LLC has an excellent track record in helping military clients navigate the system in a way that allows them to maintain their careers.
Whether you are a soldier or a civilian, and whether your case is labeled as domestic violence or not, attorney Patterson Weaver will work hard to get you the best outcome in your situation. Call today for a free consultation.
Life happens. Let us help.