Felony Assault in Colorado

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There are many types of felony assault in the State of Colorado ranging from Felony Assault in the First Degree with a Deadly Weapon to Misdemeanor Assault Harassment in the third degree. While the elements of the charges can be found in the State’s penal code, the penal code is not the only source of guidance for prosecutors or judges for a criminal case.

What is more important than the penal code elements are the “Jury Instructions,” which are a series of questions that will be presented to a jury when deciding whether or not to convict someone of these crimes. These instructions are important because juries must be able to find beyond a reasonable doubt each and every element in the instructions have been proven – including date, time, location, definitions or terms, and the elements of the crimes itself.

Below, you will find the Statute for felony assault charges, as well as the Jury Instructions for each charge.

ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

(DEADLY WEAPON)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the first degree (deadly weapon) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to cause serious bodily injury to another person,
  5. caused serious bodily injury to any person,
  6. by means of a deadly weapon.
  7. [ and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

 

ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

(PERMANENT DISFIGUREMENT)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the first degree (permanent disfigurement) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate, or disable permanently a member or organ of another person’s body,
  5. caused such an injury to any person.
  6. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

(EXTREME INDIFFERENCE)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the first degree (extreme indifference) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. knowingly,
  4. under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life,
  5. engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death to another person, and
  6. thereby caused serious bodily injury to any person.
  7. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

(RESTRICT BREATHING)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the first degree (restrict breathing) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to cause serious bodily injury,
  5. applied sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person,
  6. by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person, and
  7. thereby caused serious bodily injury.
  8. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

INT ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

INTERROGATORY (PROVOKED AND SUDDEN HEAT OF PASSION)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

If you find the defendant not guilty of assault in the first degree, you should disregard this instruction and sign the verdict form to indicate your not guilty verdict.

If, however, you find the defendant guilty of assault in the first degree, you should sign the verdict form to indicate your finding of guilt and answer the following verdict question on the verdict form:

Was the defendant acting upon a provoked and sudden heat of passion? (Answer “Yes” or “No”)

The defendant was acting upon a provoked and sudden heat of passion only if:

  1. the act causing the injury was performed upon a sudden heat of passion,
  2. caused by a serious and highly provoking act of the intended victim,
  3. affecting the defendant sufficiently to excite an irresistible passion in a reasonable person, and
  4. between the provocation and the assault, there was an insufficient interval of time for the voice of reason and humanity to be heard.

INT ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE

INTERROGATORY (AT-RISK PERSON)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

If you find the defendant not guilty of assault in the first degree, you should disregard this instruction and sign the verdict form to indicate your not guilty verdict.

If, however, you find the defendant guilty of assault in the first degree, you should sign the verdict form to indicate your finding of guilt, and answer the following verdict question on the verdict form:

Was the victim an at-risk person? (Answer “Yes” or “No”)

The victim was an at-risk person only if:

[1.        the victim was an at-risk adult.]

[1.        the victim was an at-risk adult with IDD.]

[1.        the victim was an at-risk elder.]

[1.        the victim was an at-risk juvenile.]

ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE

(CHOKING/STRANGULATION)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the second degree (restrict breathing) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with the intent,
  4. to cause bodily injury,
  5. applied sufficient pressure to impede or restrict the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person,
  6. by applying such pressure to the neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person, and
  7. thereby caused bodily injury.
  8. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE

(BODILY INJURY WITH A DEADLY WEAPON)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the second degree (bodily injury with a deadly weapon) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to cause bodily injury to another person,
  5. caused such injury to any person,
  6. by means of a deadly weapon.
  7. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE

(RECKLESS)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the second degree (reckless) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. recklessly,
  4. caused serious bodily injury to another person,
  5. by means of a deadly weapon.
  6. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE

(UNLAWFUL ADMINISTRATION OF DRUGS)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the second degree (unlawful administration of drugs) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. intentionally,
  4. for a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment,
  5. caused stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical or mental impairment or injury to another person,
  6. by administering a drug, substance, or preparation capable of producing the intended harm,
  7. without that person’s consent.
  8. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]

ASSAULT IN THE SECOND DEGREE

(INTENT TO CAUSE BODILY INJURY; CAUSING SERIOUS BODILY INJURY)

Statute:

Jury Instructions:

The elements of the crime of assault in the second degree (intent to cause bodily injury; causing serious bodily injury) are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. with intent,
  4. to cause bodily injury to another person,
  5. caused serious bodily injury to that person or another person.
  6. [and that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense[s] in Instruction[s] ___.]
DEFINITIONS:

 In these instructions often include terms that are also associated with the crime such as deadly weapon, injury, intentionally, and serious physical harm. These terms are also defined by additional jury instructions. These definitions must match the situation in order for the jury to convict someone under a beyond a reasonable doubt standard.

 F:88 DEADLY WEAPON

[“Deadly weapon” means a firearm, whether loaded or unloaded.]

[“Deadly weapon” means a knife, bludgeon, or any other weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, whether animate or inanimate, that, in the manner it is used or intended to be used, is capable of producing death or serious bodily injury.]

F:182 INJURY

“Injury” means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical or mental condition.

F:185 INTENTIONALLY (AND WITH INTENT)

A person acts “intentionally” or “with intent” when his [her] conscious objective is to cause the specific result proscribed by the statute defining the offense.  It is immaterial to the issue of specific intent whether or not the result actually occurred.

F:333 SERIOUS PHYSICAL HARM

“Serious physical harm” means any physical harm that [carries a substantial risk of death] [causes permanent maiming or that involves some temporary, substantial maiming] [causes acute pain of a duration that results in substantial suffering].

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