Logo of Law Office of Richard B. Huttner

Charged with a Crime? Get Help Now!

Is Verbal Assault a Crime in Colorado


Abuse can come in different forms. In some cases, words can be enough to cause emotional distress, anxiety, and trauma. While verbal assault is a serious offense, such allegations can be false or exaggerated. If you’re facing a verbal assault charge in Colorado, contact a criminal defense attorney. Getting convicted of verbal assault can lead to severe penalties. You want experienced representation to fight these harassment charges.

What Is Verbal Assault in Colorado?

A verbal assault is when someone uses words to intimidate, threaten, insult, or provoke another person causing them to fear for their safety. This can include the use of obscene language, obscene gestures, or emotional abuse. In some cases, verbal assault can escalate to physical violence, causing bodily injury to the person. Verbal assault is a type of harassment.

Understanding Colorado Verbal Assault Laws

In Colorado, verbal assault laws fall under the broader term of “assault laws.” According to these laws, a verbal assault is typically a misdemeanor. A person can be charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, or third-degree assault.

A first-degree assault, the most serious assault offense, is when someone intentionally causes serious injury with a deadly weapon or engages in conduct that results in a risk of death to the other person.

As the act of verbal assault alone does not include the use of a deadly weapon or cause bodily injury, there can be some uncertainty about how it is legally categorized.

It is worth noting that you could be convicted of harassment or assault even if there is no physical contact with the alleged victim. The laws for verbal assault are often complex, so it’s best to consult with a criminal defense attorney.

Potential Consequences and Penalties For Verbal Assault Crime in Colorado

The penalties for verbal assault can vary depending on several factors, including the criminal record of the defendant, and the severity of the act. If there were any aggravating factors in the case, the penalties could be significantly more severe. A third-degree assault is typically a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable with fines up to $750 and six months in jail.

On the other hand, a first-degree assault conviction — which is unlikely for just a verbal assault incident — is considered a felony and can mean 10-32 years in prison. If you threaten bodily injury or engage in a violent or disorderly response or domestic violence, then the penalties could be more severe.

These are general guidelines for potential consequences and penalties for verbal assault crimes in Colorado. Consult with an attorney for more specific legal guidance in your case.

Legal Defenses For Verbal Assault

While verbal assault charges can result in serious penalties, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. There are several legal defenses to verbal assault charges. A common defense used in such cases is your First Amendment right which protects freedom of speech. You have the right to express your opinion, even if it is offensive. However, you are not allowed to threaten or provoke others. Your attorney can guide you on whether the alleged verbal assault incident may fall under freedom of speech.

Another defense to such charges is the lack of evidence. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. If the evidence they present is inadmissible in court or unreliable, then the charges against you could be dismissed.

Another way to dismiss the criminal charges is to have a strong alibi. For example, proving that you were not even present at the scene where the alleged incident happened would serve as a strong defense. If your actions were in an effort to defend yourself or others from imminent harm, then you could use self-defense as a legal defense to the allegations.

Consult with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

If you face verbal assault charges, respond swiftly and strongly. Consult with our criminal defense attorneys, who can guide you on your legal options. The law protects people from any type of verbal abuse or discrimination due to sexual orientation, national origin, religion, or physical or mental disability.

Contact the Law Office of Richard B. Huttner to learn more about the legal consequences of harassment in Colorado. If you are ready to consult with a criminal defense attorney, call us to schedule a free consultation.

10 + 1 =