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In a physical confrontation, there’s a fine line in the difference between assault and self-defense, but the distinction is critically important since the punishment for even a misdemeanor assault charge (3rd-degree assault) can bring jail time.

The best way to explain the distinction between assault and self-defense is to describe the types of actions that are legally considered self-defense, realizing that if the physical encounter doesn’t fall within those boundaries, it could be considered assault.

If you have any questions about representation in an assault or self-defense matter in Denver or the surrounding counties, don’t hesitate to call Wolf Law today at (720) 479-8574 and talk with an assault defense lawyer.

Colorado’s self-defense laws allow people to:

  1. Defend a person (yourself or another person) from physical force; however, the use of deadly force is only allowed if it appears the attacker may seriously assault, kidnap, or sexually assault the person.
  2. Defend themselves within their own residence. Known as the “Make My Day Law,” in this case the use of deadly force is allowed as long as it appears that intruder might commit a crime (including robbery) and that the intruder might use physical force. This right to use deadly force is only allowed inside the residence. If the intruder is on the porch, at the door, in the yard or has left the premises, the relatively low threshold that allows for use of deadly force under Make My Day is no longer in effect.
  3. Defend a premises or other property (other than their home which is covered in #2). The ability to use deadly force in this environment comes with the same restrictions as in #1.

Most other physical altercations between people could be considered assault but in a different post, we list out some different scenarios on what could be assault or self-defense.

If you are charged with assault in Colorado, you may be charged with one of three levels:

  1. 3rd-degree assault, a misdemeanor, is knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to someone. The standard for bodily injury is very low—causing momentary pain could be included in the definition.
  2. 2nd-degree assault, a felony, is either assault using a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury. In some circumstances, a punch or a kick could be considered an assault.
  3. 1st-degree assault, is causing serious bodily injury, much like 2nd-degree assault, however, the bodily injury is inflicted through the use of a deadly weapon.

For both 1st and 2nd Degree assaults (collectively referred to as “crimes of violence”) the intent to cause injury must be proven. Self-defense is one possible defense that can be used in these cases.

Also, proving that the attack was a “crime of passion” committed in the “heat of the moment” could be a mitigating factor that could lessen the charge. However, if convicted of 1st or 2nd-degree assault there are mandatory prison sentences of 10-32 years under 1st degree and 5-16 years for 2nd-degree charges.

If you’ve been arrested for assault or have been involved in a self-defense altercation in the Denver area, you need expert legal guidance. Wolf Law has experienced criminal defense attorneys serving Coloradans facing criminal charges. Contact Wolf Law today for a free consultation.

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I am nothing but pleased with the service, trustworthiness, advice, compassion, and hard work that Wolf Law has provided me with. My case lasted for about six months in 2019. I had charges regarding the developing laws concerning marijuana in Colorado. Originally I wasted four months with a lawyer who made the already stressful and unfortunate situation ever more challenging and miserable. It was a blessing to meet Jeff! He was able to reach a resolution with the Colorado Springs DA that would allow me to have a chance in the future. Every step of the way he was patient, present, persistent, and a pleasure to work with. I drove all the way from Colorado Springs to find a lawyer that would fight for justice to the best of their ability and Jeff Wolf was that person – a person who cares about his clients and their lives. He did his job without judgment and exuded understanding and encouragement throughout. It is difficult to find people who are willing to genuinely help others and keep them positive. My hope is that if you find yourself in a situation where you are seeking legal counsel, please give Jeff’s firm a call. I cannot thank him enough for his kindness and work through this difficult time.

— S.M.

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If one were to Google all the attributes that you want in legal representation, Wolf Law would check off each box. His entire staff is helpful and professional. As for Mr. Wolf himself, his expertise and straight-talk are exactly what you want and need in an attorney. The outcome of my case matched my most optimistic goal. I thoroughly endorse Wolf Law.

— Trenton

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At first I was unsure, working with attorneys can be so stressful and difficult to gauge if they can help you effectively. I used this firm for two different cases and I was glad that they were reasonable and didn’t tell me falsehoods. Straight to the point and don’t promise you rainbows and butterflies. That is what you want: a straight up lawyer who doesn’t give you nonsense. Be patient, they will help you and you can feel like they forgot; but that’s just how this stuff goes. Court cases take time and they have many clients, its nothing personal. When we went to court everything was laid out for me to understand and I think they prepared for each task. Each case was handled professionally and they answered all my questions. Thank you, Cassandra and Colleen

— Anonymous

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I would highly recommend the Wolf Law Team for your legal needs. In my case, Colleen handled our legal needs in an expeditious, professional manner. She was very knowledgeable and understanding.

— Gerald W Hardesty

Services with Jeff

Jeff accepted a traffic violation case with not a ton of time to prepare. He provided clear instructions on how to proceed with the initial hearing in order for this individual to receive an extension and time to gain attorney representation. From there, he continued take the extra steps necessary to not only communicate effectively and clearly but also provide a level of advocacy that was necessary for this vulnerable individual! Thanks Jeff — Your work, patience and understanding is greatly appreciated!

— Nicole Young

Colleen Kelley is the Best

I have hired Colleen previously and she did wonders including case dismissal. The flat rate fee is such a wonderful carefree situation. I wouldn’t trust anyone else when it comes to felony legal matters.

— Dustin

Colleen Kelley, Esq.

Wolf Law Firm, LLC was not recommend to me by anyone, but as it turned out, was the best choice I could have made!

While searching for a lawyer for my two cases, a DUI and a trespassing felony, an understatement to say how scared I was! Wolf Law Firm caught my eye and, truthfully, it was because their firm provided a free consultation, which is invaluable in and of itself. Colleen Kelley is the attorney that picked-up the phone that day. After talking with her, I made the choice to hire her as my attorney.

We got off to a rocky start, mainly because of my inability to realize just how severe my situation was. Then, one day, Colleen just laid it on the line for me, my obvious unwillingness to face what was happening and the fact I wasn’t facing my drinking issues. It was a conversation that she was bold enough to have with me. Thanking her a million times over isn’t enough for the fortitude she had that day, not only as my attorney, but as a person genuinely concerned.

OUR outcome was more than phenomenal thanks to her diligence! I am, and will always remain, emotionally indebted to Colleen for her courage, kindness and overall, being an awesome attorney.

The day I came across Wolf Law Firm was the day, as it turned out, my life has a new beginning.

— Shelly O'Hayre

Fantastic Attorney, Thorough and Knowledgeable

When I had charges pending against me, I had a free consultation with many attorneys and ultimately hired Jeff wolf as my formal representation. Most of the attorneys’ capabilities were relatively equal, but what stuck out with Jeff was his ethics and personal investment in my outcome.

From the beginning he tried to get a thorough sense of who I was in society and represent that to the judge for sentencing. In court he pleaded my case and balanced remorse for the action with any positive attributes to gain a favorable outcome. He is well spoken and respected in court.

I liked that his payment model worked through stages that he “earned” along the way. I had a clear understanding of what to expect from him, from the court, and the most likely requirements of my sentence. And when I didn’t understand or had additional questions on one part (and I had many) he took the time to explain and discuss the options and his recommendation with me.

He had a thorough knowledge of the system and its players as well as knowledge on unusual factors related to my specific case, and he made well-thought-out recommendations with reasoning but ultimately let me make the final decision.

The result of my case was quite favorable thanks to Jeff. Great lawyer, highly recommend.

— Pam

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Jeffrey Wolf handled my traffic violation in a highly professional manner, giving it the same consideration and time as a more challenging case, during a very stressful time in my life. As soon as the accident happened, he was there to offer advice and help. He went to court for me, so I would not have to take time off of work to go. His care and concern for my well-being was top-notch. Thank you so much, Jeff!

— Carol P.

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Words cannot express how grateful I am to have been represented by Wolf Law. Any petition involving removal from the sex offender registry should never be handled on your own. Each case is unique, and the complications with mine were met with the highest degree of compassion and professionalism. I was treated as a human being that made a terrible mistake, rather than a monster as the stigma typically implies.

Thanks to the hard work of my attorney, Cassandra Monahan, as well as the other attorneys and legal staff that I had the pleasure of interacting with, I can finally bring a very painful chapter of my life to a close. There is much to be said about an attorney that performs as though they have a vested interest in your case as opposed to one that just wants your money. I highly recommend Wolf Law!

— JW