Third Degree Assault in Colorado

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Statute for 18 – 3 – 204 – Third Degree Assault

StatuteHere is the charge you are facing:

18-3-204. Assault in the third degree

(1) A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if:

(a) 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

(b) The person, with intent to infect, injure, harm, 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.

(2) (a) An adult or juvenile who has had a court find that there is probable cause to believe that he or she has committed an offense pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section or is convicted of an offense pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section or any person who is determined to have provided blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces, saliva, mucus, or vomit to a person for whom probable cause has been found or been convicted of such an offense shall be ordered by the court to submit to a medical test for communicable diseases and to supply blood, feces, urine, saliva, or other bodily fluid required for the test. The results of such test shall be reported to the court or the court’s designee, who shall then disclose the results to any victim of the offense who requests such disclosure. Review and disclosure of medical test results by the court shall be closed and confidential, and any transaction records relating thereto shall also be closed and confidential. If a person subject to a medical test for communicable diseases pursuant to this subsection (2) voluntarily submits to a medical test for communicable diseases, the fact of the person’s voluntary submission shall be admissible in mitigation of sentence if the person is convicted of the charged offense.

(b) In addition to any other penalty provided by law, the court may order any person who is convicted of the offense described in paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section to meet all or any portion of the financial obligations of medical tests performed on and treatment prescribed for the victim or victims of the offense.

(3) Assault in the third degree is a class 1 misdemeanor and is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501 (3).

(4) “Emergency medical care provider” means a doctor, intern, nurse, nurse’s aid, physician’s assistant, ambulance attendant or operator, air ambulance pilot, paramedic, or any other member of a hospital or health care facility staff or security force who is involved in providing emergency medical care at a hospital or health care facility, or in an air ambulance or ambulance as defined in section 25-3.5-103 (1) and (1.5), C.R.S.

Case Law

When you look at the Statute, you may have questions about definitions of certain words or how the Colorado Court will interpret certain phrases.  To answer these questions, Criminal Defense Attorney turn to "case law."  That is, lawyers look at previous cases to determine how these words and phrases should be defined and interpreted. The best way to locate caselaw for free is to go to google scholar and search for legal opinions involving your charges from Colorado courts. Remember to talk to your attorney about any issues in your case and how the lawyer believes that the issues should be handled.

Colorado Penalties for Third Degree Assault


The charge of Third Degree Assault, is categorized as a:


Click here to find out how much jail time is associated with this penalty.

How to Use This Information

After you have hired a Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney, you will need to sit down with him to talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  To begin this process, you should think about what the prosecutor will attempt to show in order to say that you are guilty. This involves analyzing the statute language above as well as the jury instructions (which is the set of instructions that the jury will use to understand the law). This will allow you to get a better idea of how you can attack the prosecutor’s case and build your own case. So to begin, you should understand that the prosecutor will need to prove certain things beyond a reasonable doubt for you to be found guilty.  These things are called “elements”.

The jury will be notified of the elements through a set of instructions called “Jury Instructions.” The Jury Instructions will be crafted by your attorney and the prosecutor. Your Denver CO Criminal Defense Attorney will mold the jury instructions to your case, adding facts that are specific to the case and omitting unnecessary parts of the instructions.

Please find the model jury instruction for Third Degree Assault below. These will be adapted by your Denver CO Attorney for your case.

The elements of assault in the third degree are: 1. That the defendant, 2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged, 3. [knowingly or recklessly, 4. caused bodily injury to another person.] -or- 3. [with criminal negligence, 4. caused bodily injury to another person, 5. by means of a deadly weapon.] [5. or 6. without the affirmative defense in instruction number __________.] After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has proven each of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty of assault in the third degree. After considering all the evidence, if you decide the prosecution has failed to prove any one or more of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty of assault in the third degree. NOTES ON USE When this instruction is used, the applicable definitions of ?knowingly?, ?recklessly?, ?criminal negligence?, “bodily injury” and “deadly weapon” must be given. Delete inapplicable bracketed material. If the victim is a peace officer or firefighter engaged in the performance of his or her duties or a mental health professional employed or under contract with the department of human services, see ?18-1.3-501, C.R.S.

To begin the process of analyzing your case, think about your case from the perspective of the prosecutor.  Think about the facts that the prosecutor will have to prove to establish each element. Next, sit down with your Colorado Defense Attorney and talk about some of the legal ways that you can use to counter the prosecutor’s evidence.  Talk to your attorney about whether he thinks any of the prosecutor’s evidence can be kept out of court.  For example, if you were illegally searched, your attorney may be able to keep the things that were found, as a result of that illegal search, out of court.  Additionally, talk to your attorney about whether you have any defenses to Third Degree Assault.

Important Notes:

Don’t Forget about Immigration:

If you are not a U.S. citizen, be sure to ask your attorney whether your charges will trigger deportation if you are found guilty or plea to the charge.

Good Luck!

The information in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as the creation of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice, please contact an Attorney.

Written by

Nathaniel has worked in criminal law on both sides of the aisle spending time working for the prosecution as well as the defense. Most recently Nathaniel has represented individuals in violent felonies and drug cases. Prior to this work, Nathaniel handled DWIs, Domestic Violence Cases, Property Crimes, and White Collar Crimes. On the prosecutorial side, Nathaniel has most notably worked in Bosnia helping to prosecute individuals who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Bosnian War from 1993-1995. In particular, Nathaniel helped in the prosecution of military leaders who arranged for the organized murders and rapes of innocent civilians in various towns in Bosnia. Nathaniel is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Northwestern University, and Phillips Exeter Academy. Google Profile: Nathaniel Baca