This crime is the second most commonly charged by Colorado police, particularly in DV, or Domestic Violence cases. The only thing which separates it from Harassment, is the allegation of “bodily injury”. Bodily injury is defined as “pain”, which is quite objective. The lowest form of this charge is Assault in the Third Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-204. We also have second degree and first degree versions of this crime.
As a criminal defense lawyer of 20+ years, I am amazed how police and prosecutors in Arapahoe and Douglas County continue to charge assault for any woman who calls. No, physical evidence is not required. All she needs to say is that the boyfriend who just dumped her (or she will say who she dumped in order to look better) pushed her and it hurt. Or, we see women saying they were punched or slapped by a guy and she felt pain.
Now I think there is merit for the crime of Assault if you have more evidence than a person’s word. That way, the DA has a chance of winning at trial. How else can you prove your case to a jury of six or twelve, than with some evidence? Without more evidence than a disgruntled woman’s hyped testimony, wise juries rarely convict if they follow the definition of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is the government’s burden of proof at trial in Jefferson and Adams County and thank God we have this burden in our U.S. and Colorado Constitution.
I am not a wacko defense attorney. I am a realist. I am frustrated by the number of cases bogging down the system which should not be there. DAs and judges don’t have time for important cases like Assault in the First Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-202 (requires a deadly weapon and serious bodily injury) and Assault in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-203 (requires a deadly weapon and bodily injury or a police officer injury), because they are overwhelmed with “revenge” cases which should not be there. Women should find another way to punish their exboyfriend.
If contacted by police in Denver or Boulder County, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and call our criminal defense attorneys at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.