Archives : 2010 : April
Assault and battery charges are serious in Colorado. Most assault and battery charges occur as a result of a physical fight or verbal argument that turns physical. Unfortunately, even if you did not cause the fight and you were defending yourself or your property, you could still be arrested if you caused a serious injury to the other person. Also, if you lose your temper and physically throw something at someone whether or not they are severely injured, you could also be accused of assault and battery and arrested in Colorado.
Assault in the First Degree
The most serious assault charges in Colorado are an assault in the first degree, which is considered a Class 3 Felony. Under the Colorado Criminal Code Section 18.3-202, an assault in the first degree is when you:
· Use a deadly weapon with the intent to cause serious injury to someone; or
· Knowingly engage in conduct that would cause grave risk of death to someone and which resulted in injury; or
· Intentionally disfigured or destroyed or amputated a member of someone; or
· Threaten a police offer or firefighter with a deadly weapon, and you intended to cause serious bodily injury to them.
You could face a minimum 8 years and a maximum 24 years prison time and a fine up to $750,000.
Assault in the Second Degree
An assault in the second degree is when you:
· Intentionally cause injury to someone by using a deadly weapon; or
· Cause mental impairment or injury to someone through the use of drugs or other substances; or
· Cause injury by preventing a police offer or firefight from performing their job.
It is considered a Class 4 Felony. You could face a minimum 4 years and a maximum 12 years prison time and a fine up to $500,000.
Assault in the Third Degree
An assault in the third degree is when you:
· Knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to someone; or
· When you use a deadly weapon, only negligence may apply.
It is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor. You could face up to three years in prison.
A 20 year old male was arrested at 1:14 a.m. on April 24, 2010, at his Denver home by Denver police pending investigation and later charged with robbery and third degree assault of a 59 year old male victim, which occurred on April 15, 2010 at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. A security camera showed the 20 year old fleeing the shopping center. The assailant, allegedly mangled the victim’s pinky finger so severely during an iPad theft as the victim was nearing the parking lot of the shopping center that most of the victim’s finger was later amputated. The victim had just bought the ipad at the shopping center for a friend.
If you are arrested for assault and battery charges in Colorado, you should not try and handle the matter yourself. Instead, you should hire a Colorado criminal defense attorney. A guilty plea or conviction for assault or battery could prevent you from getting financial aid for college or from obtaining employment, and you could be branded as a violent criminal for the rest of your life. The attorney may be able to get the charges reduced by arguing menacing, misdemeanor endangerment, mistaken identity, or dismissed by arguing self defense, defense of property or defense of others or no credible threat.
According to the Department of Justice FBI Crime Report for 2009, there were 682 arrests in Massachusetts for drug offenses involving persons under the age of 18 years and a total of 12, 127 total drug arrests involving all ages. Drug offenses can be for possession, distribution or drug trafficking. When making arrests, police look at the quantity, whether drug paraphernalia was found, what items were at the scene such as scales, measuring tools, other ingredients, plastic bags and if there are large amounts of cash lying around when deciding whether to charge someone with intent to sell and distribute or just for possession. Penalties for drug offenses in Massachusetts vary depending on the type of drug, the amount and the location of the drug activity. If convicted of possession or distribution of large amounts of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or prescription drug fraud, you face stiffer prison sentences and the loss of your driver’s license.
To illustrate the difference in penalties for conviction for possession of drug vs. conviction with the intent to sell or distribute, here are some typical sentences that you could face:
· Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana decriminalized in 2009 –civil infraction and a $100 fine. Juvenile offenders must pay the $100 fine and attend a drug treatment program or pay a $1,000 fine.
· First offense for possession of a Class D substance such as marijuana – 6 months probation and then dismissal if there are no other charges.
· Second or subsequent offense for possession of a Class D substance such as marijuana – drug treatment, fines or jail time.
· Possession of 200 grams of cocaine (7 ounces) – mandatory prison sentence of 15 years.
· Possession of 100 grams of heroin (3.5 ounces) -mandatory sentence of not less than 10 years.
· Any amount of any type of drug sold in an unmarked free drug zone 1,000 feet from a school or 100 feet- an additional two year prison sentence and a fine of $1,000 to 10,000.
· Cultivating marijuana with the intent to sell up to 50 lbs.-Jail sentence of up to two years and a $5,000 fine.
· Cultivating marijuana with the intent to sell 50 lbs. or more- mandatory one year sentence and up to 2.5 to 15 years jail time and fines from $500 to 10,000.
· Cultivating marijuana with the intent to sell 100 lbs or more- mandatory three year jail sentence and up to 15 years and a fine between $2,500 to $25,000.
On April 27, 2010, according to Boston Federal prosecutors and the DEA, “Big Brother” contestant Matt McDonald from Charlestown, MA was indicted in Boston’s Federal District Court for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in a purported drug operation run by another former contestant and winner of the Big Brother show, Adam Jasinski. Jasinski was arrested last October in North Reading, Massachusetts after attempting to sell oxycodone to a cooperating government witness. If convicted, McDonald faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million dollar fine.
While many Massachusetts drug offenses involve much less serious charges such as possession or sale of small quantities of marijuana, ecstasy or other class D drugs, all crimes for drug offenses in Massachusetts should be taken serious. College students and people under the age of 18 if convicted for possession or sale of small amounts of class D drugs such as marijuana could lose their college Pell grants, other school scholarships and loans. Having a conviction on your record could affect future and current employment.
If you have been arrested on a drug charge in Massachusetts, you should hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to defend you. If you were charged with possession with intent to distribute, the attorney will attempt to get the charges reduced to just possession or negotiate a lesser sentence such as community service or attendance of a drug treatment program in lieu of jail time. The attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence in order to exclude evidence seized by the police at the time you were arrested. For possession charges of a small amount of Class D drugs such as marijuana or ecstasy, the attorney may be able to get the drug possession charges dropped to a civil infraction.
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