Can a Car Be Considered a Dangerous Weapon in a CO Assault?

When most people think of a deadly or dangerous weapon, they envision a gun or knife – even a baseball bat. But most people’s minds don’t go to a car.

Can a car be a dangerous weapon in a Colorado assault? Yes, it can. Anything used to kill or injure another person can have a case made for it to be a dangerous or deadly weapon.

For those facing assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon charge in Colorado, there’s a lot to understand about this charge.

Colorado Law

Under Colorado law, assault is when the accused willfully intends to do bodily harm to another or threatens to do so. There are several types of assault one can perpetrate under the law as well, such as:

Aggravated Assault

Aggravated assault is like assault in nature but also includes the usage of a deadly weapon in the commission of the crime. Remember, a person only has to threaten another with a deadly weapon to be charged with assault.

Aggravated assault is considered a charge in the first or second degree. For first-degree assault, you can face a Class 3 felony. That can result in up to two years in prison and fines of as much as $750,000.

Motor Vehicle Assault

Under Colorado law, a motor vehicle such as a car or truck is considered a dangerous and deadly weapon. If you try to run someone over with your car, then you may be guilty of vehicular assault. Additionally, driving recklessly without regard for the safety of others can also be considered motor vehicle assault, as is driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury to another person.

Reckless motor vehicle assault in Colorado is a Class 5 felony. It can send you to prison for up to three years and make you responsible for fines of as much as $100,000. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a Class 4 felony will be issued. That can result in up to six years of incarceration and fines of as much as $500,000.

Colorado Springs Assault Lawyer

Defenses to Assault with a Motor Vehicle

You have the right to hire an attorney to represent you in court. They can work with you to create a defense that works best for your particular case, though there are some defenses commonly used in these matters:

You Were Not Driving

If you were not driving the vehicle in question, you can’t be responsible for the assault. Prosecutors have to show the court that you were not operating a car and not responsible for the events. However, shouting threats to someone may be enough to prove assault if the victim fears for their safety.

You Weren’t Reckless

Poor driving isn’t enough for a reckless driving charge. You may win your case if you provide evidence of not driving recklessly.

Self Defense

If you want to claim your actions were self-defense, your actions must be considered reasonable by the court. You must have believed to be in danger to claim self-defense. If self-defense is not proven, you will be responsible for the crime.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his client’s rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.