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Assault vs. Battery in Colorado: What's the Difference?

Assault vs Battery

Folks often, mistakenly, use the phrase “assault and battery” as a singular term to describe a violent criminal act. However, in Colorado, these two crimes are in fact separate. While someone may commit both assault and battery, an individual can also be charged with either one or the other. However, differentiating between the two can be tricky.

Understanding Assault & Battery

Assault and battery are both violent crimes, and depending on the severity of the violence and the resulting damage, they can result in either misdemeanor or felony charges. Traditionally, assault crimes referred to threats of violence or harm, while battery referred to the physical act itself. Now, however, Colorado law has expanded to include Menacing charges, thus reworking the way in which assault and battery crimes are categorized.

Menacing Charges

Menacing, under Statute § 18-3-206, refers to the act of placing or attempting to place a person under threat of serious bodily injury. For our purposes, menacing charges have replaced battery charges in the state of Colorado.

Depending on the age of the person, the resulting damage, and other factors, this charge can be categorized as either a Class 3 misdemeanor or a Class 5 felony. The resulting penalties can include up to $750 in fines and up to 6 months in jail. However, if someone is found guilty of menacing with a weapon, they could face up to $100,000 in fines and up to 3 years in jail.

Assault Charges

Assault refers to a crime where someone intentionally causes serious bodily injury or harm to another person. Depending on several factors, including the age of the victim, the person’s occupation, the resulting damage, and the circumstances of the alleged attack, the individual charged may face first, second, or third degree assault charges. The resulting penalties may vary if the assaulted person was a peace officer, a minor, or if it was deemed a crime of passion. The penalties can also be more severe if the assault involved the use or threat of a deadly weapon, such as a firearm.

If you were charged with assault or menacing, you need to act fast to protect your rights. These charges can have life-altering consequences, including significant jail time, costly fees, community service, and probation. At Orr Law Firm, we can help stand up for you.

Contact Orr Law Firm today to discuss your assault or battery charges.