Third Degree Assault is a common domestic violence charge that many people in Colorado face. It is not limited to domestic violence, however.
Third Degree Assault is committed “if a person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person.” Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-204. Bodily injury is also defined as “physical pain, illness, or any impairment of the physical or mental condition.” Colorado Revised Statutes 18-1-901.
This is obviously a very broad charge that can be committed in a variety of ways. It can also be very subjective. What causes “pain” for one person may be completely different for someone else. This is a big issue in cases where a victim of an alleged assault does not have any visible injuries, yet still claim they were injured by the defendant. The absence of photographs, medical records, or medical treatment requires police officers who are investigating an assault to make a gut call on whether or not an assault was committed. Also, the absence of witnesses other than the victim and alleged assailant can also influence the resolution of these cases.
Third degree assault is a class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious misdemeanor category in Colorado. It can have far reaching consequences including up to two years in jail.