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CRS 18-3-204

Colorado Third-Degree Assault

According to CRS 18-3-204, third-degree assault is defined as intentionally inflicting bodily harm on another person while acting carelessly or negligently. The crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor with an extraordinary risk that attracts, at maximum, a sentence of 18 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.

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Penalties for Third-Degree Assault in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Third-Degree Assault Class 1 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 18 months in jail and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
Third-Degree Assault Class 1 (Extraordinary Risk Crime)

  • Maximum jail sentence of 24 months
(Colo. Rev. Stat.  § 18-3-204,  18-1.3-501 (3) )

Elements of Third-Degree Assault in Colorado

A prosecutor must prove that the defendant:

Possible Defenses for Third-Degree Assault in Colorado

Your Colorado criminal defense attorney would directly vitiate your mental health by trying to prove any one of the following defenses.


To establish that the assault was committed in self-defense, you must demonstrate that you employed whatever amount of force you believed to be required to defend yourself because you thought the other person was ready to use force against you without authorization. Your actions must be reasonable in the circumstances.

Absence of Intent

According to Colorado criminal law, third-degree assault cannot be proven if the wounds were accidental. This is because conviction requires one’s mental state at the time of the act to be one that was acting in negligence.


If the defendant was inebriated at the time of the assault, this might be a defense. This is crucial, mainly if the intoxication affects their capacity for deliberate and conscious action. A few situations allow for the intoxication defense to be used successfully. It usually depends on whether the intoxication was voluntary and the level of intent required by the criminal accusation. The defense of voluntary intoxication may not always completely exonerate the defendant from responsibility. Still, it may lessen their overall punishment for the crime.

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-3-204:

(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 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) Repealed by Laws 2016, Ch. 304, § 5, eff. July 1, 2016.

(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) Repealed by Laws 2015, Ch. 109, § 2, eff. July 1, 2015; and Laws 2015, Ch. 337, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 2015.

Have you been charged or arrested for third-degree assault in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

Whether a Class 1 misdemeanor or extraordinary risk crime, the standard remains proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Colorado’s prosecution still bears this burden. You may have an uphill battle establishing any of the defenses listed above. To defend yourself in court against the District Attorney in Colorado Springs, you need an accomplished criminal defense attorney.

Call now if you have been Arrested

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I get prison time since this is a misdemeanor charge in Colorado?

Yes, this charge still carries a penalty involving prison time. Where the charge is deemed an extraordinary risk crime, you face your sentence being extended by six months.

Do I need an attorney for a misdemeanor charge in Colorado?

Since you are risking jail time if you are convicted, it is advised that you have your defense brought by a professional and experienced criminal defense attorney in Colorado. Attorneys at Right Law Group know the legal procedure and understand the applicable laws.

Why was I charged with menacing as well?

Menacing may be charged alongside assault in Colorado. Menacing is a felony that intentionally puts another person in dread of impending death or significant bodily harm through threats or actions. This is because, before the bodily injury is inflicted, the victim may be given cause to be in fear.

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