Second Degree Assault on a Police Officer Colorado

Section 18-3-203(1)(c), C.R.S. 1999, states that a person commits second degree assault on a peace officer if he intends to prevent a known police officer from performing his duty and then intentionally causes bodily injury. Section 18-3-204, C.R.S. 1999, describing third degree assault, states: A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if he knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person. . . . Finally, 18-8-103, C.R.S. 1999, states: (1) a person commits resisting arrest if he knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer, acting under color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another, by: (a) using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the peace officer or another . . . . A plain reading of the statutes demonstrates that each has differences that are real in fact and reasonably related to the purposes of the legislative enactments. See People v. Oliver, supra; People v. Mozee, supra Conviction for second degree assault on a peace officer requires proof that the accused had the intent to prevent a police officer from performing a lawful duty. No such requirement exists for third degree assault, a lesser felony. Similarly, while second degree assault on a peace officer requires an accused to have intent to cause bodily harm, a conviction for resisting arrest requires only that an accused use or threaten to use physical force, regardless of mental culpability. Further, second degree assault on a peace officer requires that an accused act with "intent" both in causing bodily injury to a person and in preventing a peace officer from performing a lawful duty. In contrast, the mens rea applied to causing bodily injury in third degree assault is "knowingly," a less serious form of mental culpability. Likewise, the crime of resisting arrest applies the lesser mens rea of "knowingly" to preventing or attempting to prevent a peace officer from effecting an arrest. See Blehm v. People, 817 P.2d 988 (Colo. 1991); 18-1-501, C.R.S. 1999.