If I was involved in an altercation with a bouncer at a bar and have now been charged with assault, should I hire an attorney or test my luck with the DA?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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If I was involved in an altercation with a bouncer at a bar and have now been charged with assault, should I hire an attorney or test my luck with the DA?

I was exchanging words with the fellow from about 15 feet away. He then charged at me and started swinging violently at me. I was backing him of and then went down to the ground with him. I was taken to the hospital and was told that I was hit in the head with a flashlight by either the police or the bouncer. I was released from the hospital a few hours later. I thought the situation was over but low and behold I received a post card from the court saying that I had an upcoming hearing for assault. It’s odd that I was never charged or arrested or given any sort of a citation. I would like to know what my best course of action is.

Asked on October 26, 2015 under Criminal Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

ALWAYS hire an attorney if you can afford one: hiring a lawyer, especially experienced local counsel who knows the prosecutor and judge, while greatly increase your chance of a positive outcome (e.g. having the charge dismissed), or at least minimizing the charges and punishment. If can't afford an attorney and have to go it yourself, be calm, be contrite, tell the truth (because you can assume there are other witnesses, so don't be cauht in a lie), and explain how you learned your lesson. If the other fellow swung first, state that--but if you were "exchangeing words" with him, admit that and just say you know now this was wrong. If you have an otherwise clean record, make sure to highlight that.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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