The holiday season is meant to be a time for family gatherings, heartfelt cheer, and meaningful reflection. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for some people. Along with the positive aspects of the season, the holidays also include a higher rate of depression and can bring about new stressors. We love the holidays and the time spent with our families, but here at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we know that sometimes things can get a little out of control.
Holiday Shopping Can Be a Stress-Filled Mess
As soon as the Thanksgiving plates are cleared, holiday sales begin in full force. We find these sales everywhere, from online outlets to crowded malls as frantic parents and significant others rush to find last-minute gifts. Every year our team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., meets with people who have had negative encounters at area malls, shopping centers, and other retail establishments, many of which rise to the level of criminal complaints. Why is this?
Anytime you put crowds of people in tight quarters, tensions are bound to run high. Malls, department stores, and big-box stores can suddenly seem very small when flooded with people. Beginning with the post-Thanksgiving weekend all the way through the post-holiday clearance sales in January, this period is by far the busiest time of year for most businesses.
Stories like what happened during Black Friday in a Louisville, Kentucky, mall a couple years back are commonplace. Two shoppers were filmed by a bystander throwing punches and wrestling with each other. In another example, Houston shoppers at a Walmart nearly got into a brawl when a dispute arose over a deeply discounted price. They were looking for a specific TV that was apparently out of stock, but when the manager allowed some people to buy a different TV at the same price, it ended in violence. Police had to break up the altercation.
Just this past Christmas season, a shopper was shot in a Missouri mall. Elsewhere in Alabama, an entire shopping center shut down because several fights broke out. When the violence has gotten so bad that you can’t keep track of all the encounters, then it’s safe to say the problem is widespread and not isolated to a random event or two. While it may seem reasonable in the moment to react forcefully during these hectic events, the police don’t look at it that way and you or a loved one could be facing an assault allegation.
The Penalties for Assault Are Severe
If you have been accused of assault, you will be faced with stiff penalties that could have a negative impact on your life. A person convicted of assault could face any of the following:
- A permanent criminal record
- Lengthy jail time or prison if there are serious bodily injuries
- Steep fines
- Restitution to the victim for medical expenses
- Damaged reputation
- An inability to obtain certain licenses and certifications
- Employment consequences
If you have been accused of such a crime, it is imperative that you seek out legal representation right away. Building a successful defense often depends on acting quickly—as the longer you wait, the more difficult it can become to obtain evidence that can exonerate you. For example, stores may have video surveillance that would support a self-defense claim but they will only keep the recordings for a set period of time. Waiting to seek counsel may deprive you of the evidence of your innocence.
Our competent and experienced Colorado Springs team of attorneys have a number of tactics available to them. Every charge of assault is different, but it’s possible to get you a reduced sentence, a dismissal of charges, or probation instead of jail time. Reach out today to learn more about how we at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., can help you. Don’t let a stressful shopping experience ruin future holidays! Call (719) 401-0585 for a free consultation.