Felony Assault

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dan e g baby
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Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:56 am

I am as of now considering considering applying to law school. My biggest issue is that I was convicted of felony assault as an adult. I did not receive any jail time, and have not been convicted of any misdemeanors or serious crimes since. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the topic. I understand that with this conviction "prima facie" would negate my opportunity at passing the character and fitness section of the Bar. This being said, with a high GPA and high Lsat, along with extensive volunteer work and military service what are my chances of not only getting into a school, but eventually passing the bar. Thank you.

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NZA
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:01 pm

dan e g baby wrote:I am as of now considering considering applying to law school. My biggest issue is that I was convicted of felony assault as an adult. I did not receive any jail time, and have not been convicted of any misdemeanors or serious crimes since. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the topic. I understand that with this conviction "prima facie" would negate my opportunity at passing the character and fitness section of the Bar. This being said, with a high GPA and high Lsat, along with extensive volunteer work and military service what are my chances of not only getting into a school, but eventually passing the bar. Thank you.


Felony assault and no jail time? I'm assuming you got credit for time served? :? Or was it like Assault 3 or something?

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:06 pm

Assault 3. Basically what happened was i was at a bar with a friend. A guy started a fight with me and i beat him up pretty bad. (did not use any weapons, purely my hands). The guy had been kicked out of the bar that night for starting fights, and he had been kicked out multiple times prior. The prosecutor believed me and my friend, the issue was the serious injury the victim received. Along with this, it could not be considered self defense because the victim was on the ground and I continued to hit him.

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NZA
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:10 pm

dan e g baby wrote:Assault 3. Basically what happened was i was at a bar with a friend. A guy started a fight with me and i beat him up pretty bad. (did not use any weapons, purely my hands). The guy had been kicked out of the bar that night for starting fights, and he had been kicked out multiple times prior. The prosecutor believed me and my friend, the issue was the serious injury the victim received. Along with this, it could not be considered self defense because the victim was on the ground and I continued to hit him.


Lol, you're savage.

But in all seriousness, I don't think it would be a terrible idea for you to contact the Bar of the state/jurisdiction you're planning on practicing in and asking them what they think. Explain exactly what happened and see what they say? I'd be more worried about the Bar than law schools, frankly. It would suck way worse to be 100K in debt and then find out that you can't even pass the Bar.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:28 pm

That is what i have heard. I know that prima facie does have loop holes, and everything is taken on a case to case bases. Thanks for the help

jaestro
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby jaestro » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:28 pm

Whaling on a guy when he's down? You should have done jail time. Maybe you should try being a cop and not a lawyer.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:34 pm

Jaestro,
I didnt want to get into details but that bothered me a little bit. What I failed to include was that the guy had pushed me multiple times and I walked away from him twice to avoid the fight. I was smoking a cigarette on the side of the bar and he came up to me and smacked the cigarette out of my mouth, and hitting me in the face in the process. He was also with a crew of friends, which is a strong part of the reason I wanted to make sure he wasnt getting up, I wanted to scare his friends. It was a fear based reaction, but honestly i feel that my actions were justifiable in that situation.

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StillHerexxx
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby StillHerexxx » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:36 pm

Definitly contact the bar in your state or where you want to practice. I am interested to hear what their response is. Did you get snitched on? Normally arrests don't come from bar fights, even if they are bad.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:43 pm

furthermore, I didnt ask for a judgement of moral fiber, or if you felt the judge's ruling to be fair, I just wanted an assessment of my situation.

To answer the other question, we were not snitched on. Instead of running myself and the other guy just walked home. We didnt think anything of it. We both knew the guy had started the fight, and thought it would all be on camera. We were both intoxicated and didnt think the victim was seriously injured. When the cops met up with us we complied and really didnt realize the magnitude until long after, we thought it was just a "bar fight"
Last edited by dan e g baby on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jaestro
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby jaestro » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:44 pm

With the details, I apologize if I was too harsh. Your case still could have been considered self defense, if you still thought the guy on the ground would have gotten back up and continued. If it is a judgement call, maybe it depends on how much you hit the guy when he was down. Were you you punching and kicking him for a full minute? Did you put him in a coma? Military service should work in your favor.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:46 pm

It was 25 seconds the fight all together, 14 punches, no kicks. He had a broken jaw, and two broken eye sockets.

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NZA
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby NZA » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:47 pm

dan e g baby wrote:It was 25 seconds the fight all together, 14 punches, no kicks. He had a broken jaw, and two broken eye sockets.


Ouch. I'm surprised he didn't have some damage to the back of his skull.

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thunderflesh
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby thunderflesh » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:51 pm

jaestro wrote:Whaling on a guy when he's down? You should have done jail time. Maybe you should try being a cop and not a lawyer.


Not helpful, Jaestro.

dan e g baby wrote:Jaestro,
I didnt want to get into details but that bothered me a little bit. What I failed to include was that the guy had pushed me multiple times and I walked away from him twice to avoid the fight. I was smoking a cigarette on the side of the bar and he came up to me and smacked the cigarette out of my mouth, and hitting me in the face in the process. He was also with a crew of friends, which is a strong part of the reason I wanted to make sure he wasnt getting up, I wanted to scare his friends. It was a fear based reaction, but honestly i feel that my actions were justifiable in that situation.


I can totally imagine myself in a similar situation; when your adrenaline is pumping, and someone is being aggressive towards you, it can be hard to suddenly dial it down after having to defend yourself. EDIT- In particular, if you feel threatened by a whole group.

I agree with other people's advice, start with the state bars, that's probably the biggest hurdle, based on what I've read (I did a little bit of research on this for my own misconduct addendum).

My own $.02 (take with a grain of salt, I'm no expert): show remorse, and don't make excuses, but make sure law schools see that you're not a brute, and that you were just trying to defend yourself. Yes, law schools might be nervous about an assault charge, but if I were them, I would actually regard academic dishonesty as worse, especially considering the context of your arrest. If you frame it as "I was afraid for my own safety, so I defended myself, and in the course of doing so, the aggressor was injured; I let my fear get to me more than it should have." Something like that.

Also important is how long it has been. If it was 5 years ago, cool. If it was 6 months ago, wait a year or two to apply, and maybe take an anger management course (whether or not you actually need it; this is to show that you're serious about putting it behind you).

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TLSanders
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby TLSanders » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:12 am

You're giving out far too much information here. For example, I don't know how far in the past this incident is, but often our perspective on this sort of thing changes over time. It would be a shame if, just for example, you were coming to realize that while you might have lost control and felt justified in the moment, your reaction really was extreme and not something you would ever repeat under any circumstances and then someone's response to you in a forum like this made you feel defensive and you started justifying your actions and then in a few years you found yourself before the character and fitness committee explaining your true current thoughts on the event and were haunted by a record you'd created in a public forum when you were feeling backed into a corner.

Re the specific question you asked, different states have very different policies. In addition to contacting your own state bar for information, you may want to look into the rules in various other states you might consider; you may be surprised by how varied the responses are and you may have more options than you anticipate.

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JazzOne
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby JazzOne » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:21 am

jaestro wrote:Whaling on a guy when he's down? You should have done jail time. Maybe you should try being a cop and not a lawyer.

lol

bartleby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby bartleby » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:31 am

Was this before or after your time in the military? I think it could be concerning if it was after.

There's one website that has what states do automatic bars with felony convictions. I don't want to sound like an idiot, but did you for sure get convicted? You didn't receive a deferred sentence or probation instead of a conviction? Pleading guilty isn't the same as a conviction, I think (from personal experience).

Hope it works out for you.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby holdencaulfield » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:31 am

How long ago was the arrest? The further in your past the better.

dreakol
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dreakol » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:37 am

FWIW

know a dOOd with two felonies and one was for assault admitted to CA bar (recently)

you are, however, not him. DISCLOSE DISCLOSE DISCLOSE.

my understanding is that being dishonest is the far worse than a lot of crimes.

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joebloe
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby joebloe » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:40 am

The NCBE's Bar Examiner publication runs a column called "Litigation Update" periodically that discusses bar applications that have gone on to be litigated, including a number that were denied because of C&F issues. You can see many of them on the NCBE's website, but it's not easy to navigate to it, so here's a search page that should get all of them: http://www.google.com/#q=site:ncbex.org+%22litigation+update%22&fp=1&cad=b

Anyway, the general advice here seems to be that you should straight up ask the bar in the state you want to practice if it's going to be a major C&F problem. That's probably all you can do aside from consulting with a lawyer that handles these sorts of cases.

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edgnarly
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby edgnarly » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:57 am

Once you get a satisfactory response, you should really delete this thread.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:04 pm

Thanks for all the help. that link really gave me a great idea of where i stand.

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Drake014
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby Drake014 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:05 pm

edgnarly wrote:Once you get a satisfactory response, you should really delete this thread.


Why? I suppose him saying he felt justified might not look good but otherwise, it seems all right.

Honestly though, I don't think his actions at the time were unjustified. When you're attacked, you don't have 30 minutes to weigh everything. The guy had friends and had picked a fight for no reason. Beating the crap out of him so that he couldn't get back up and have friends join in may have saved OP's life. Who knows how things might have escalated.

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dan e g baby
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby dan e g baby » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:08 pm

I dont quite understand the early comment. I plead guilty to assault. I was put on probation... but I was always under the assumption that a plea of guilt is the same as a conviction.... I would be pleasantly surprised to find I am wrong. Oh and it happened about 4 1/2 years ago, in my first year with the military

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paratactical
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby paratactical » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:09 pm

edgnarly wrote:Once you get a satisfactory response, you should really delete this thread.

Only mods can delete threads. OPs do not have control over them.

That being said, OP - you really should contact directly the states where you would like to practice and see what they say. Maybe one state will tell you it will be okay but another will say it isn't. Only they can tell you for sure.

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paratactical
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Re: Felony Assault

Postby paratactical » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:09 pm

dan e g baby wrote:I dont quite understand the early comment. I plead guilty to assault. I was put on probation... but I was always under the assumption that a plea of guilt is the same as a conviction.... I would be pleasantly surprised to find I am wrong. Oh and it happened about 4 1/2 years ago, in my first year with the military

I would think that with the circumstances and the time passed since the incident that you wouldn't have trouble, but you really should contact your state bar associations to be sure.




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