Not just in these uncertain times, but nearly any time, tensions can flare when disagreements based on perceived insults arise between friends, acquaintances and strangers. Some situations can abruptly pivot, turning into a scenario similar to a pressure cooker ready to blow its top. Tempers at a boiling point can lead to physical altercations. And some of these incidents involving fisticuffs may even be unprovoked.

Regardless, you have found yourself in the middle of a major predicament: criminal charges. Faced with an assault charge, you understand the seriousness. A conviction can lead to incarceration, probation, fines and civil legal action. In addition, expect a downward spiral to your personal and professional reputations.

Self-defense, lack of intent to harm

Assault charges vary from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on the seriousness of the allegations. In Colorado, they include first-, second- and third-degree assault. The first two are felonies and considered aggravated assault in which intent to cause injury is established. The latter a misdemeanor. And depending on the circumstances, your situation can even lead to domestic violence and involuntary manslaughter charges.

If charged with assault, here are some common defenses:

  • Selfdefense: If forced to defend yourself after an attack, you can rely on this defense strategy.
  • Justification: When an assault is “necessary” due to emergency measures as you attempt to avoid injury.
  • Duress: When someone and their actions forced you to use force against them.
  • A lack of intent to cause harm to the other person: This defense also is a reliable one.

When facing assault charges, court dates and potential incarceration, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will attempt to get charges reduced or dismissed.