The terms assault and battery are often heard as a single phrase. This leads some to believe that they part and parcel of the same charges. This is not the case. In fact, Colorado law does not even have battery – similar actions fall under the category of menacing. In either case, assault and menacing do not mean the same things, but each can involve a conviction with severe penalties.
What is assault?
Assault involves reckless or intentional to another person without their consent. Colorado has degrees of assault with serious penalties:
- Third-degree assault: This is a misdemeanor with up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.
- Second-degree assault: This violent crime is a felony with up to 18 months in prison and 100,000 in fines.
- First-degree assault: This violent crime is a felony with up to 12 years in prison and $750,000 in fines.
Circumstances will dictate the degree, but acts involving a law officer or domestic violence are often more severe.
Menacing in Colorado
While the term is different than battery, menacing guidelines are similar to battery in other states. It involves the threat or attempt to create fear of severe bodily injury. No physical harm is necessary. Those circumstances without a deadly weapon are generally considered a misdemeanor. It is also a misdemeanor if the events involve a deadly weapon or the representation of a deadly weapon, but the penalties are much more severe.
These charges are serious
There are two sides to every story, so some may be surprised to learn that they face assault or menacing charges for disagreeing with a stranger or someone they know. These are serious charges that involve severe penalties. Whatever the circumstances, it is best to fight a conviction or reduce charges because these can have a long-term impact that includes jail and steep fines. Even a small fine with conviction can still mean there is a criminal record, which can impact one’s ability to seek employment or curtails certain rights.