Fights that break out among college students are not unusual. There could be a tussle among the members of competitive fraternities after a baseball game, or a brawl that breaks out at an off-campus bar. However, if the fight becomes vicious or weapons are used, the resulting assault charges could be serious.

Measure 11 outlines strict minimum sentencing requirements for assault convictions, which include jail time. If your son is charged with assault, a defense attorney experienced with allegations at this level will work toward the best possible outcome for his case.

What Measure 11 means

Ballot Measure 11 sets forth mandatory minimum prison terms for certain felony convictions. Approved by Oregon voters in 1994, the measure addresses various crimes for which sentencing will be stiff with no possibility for sentence reduction, even if the prisoner exhibits good behavior while behind bars. For example, the penalty for Assault II, a lesser assault charge, is five years, 10 months in prison. 

Understanding assault in the second degree

The fraternity bash could get out of hand if someone wields a baseball bat and injures someone else. During the bar brawl, someone could throw a glass that shatters against another patron’s head or pulls a knife and cuts one of the other brawlers. Under Oregon law, anyone who knowingly or intentionally injures another person seriously could be charged with Assault II. Even if the perpetrator does not use a dangerous weapon, the charge may still stand.

Jeopardizing a future

Not only would your son face criminal charges if convicted of assault, his college career would likely be over and his chances for a great career abruptly curtailed. Your son may never have had problems with the law prior to becoming a college student. In terms of the assault charge, he may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, which, in itself, could adversely affect his college enrollment status. However, experienced representation will see him through the rigors of the legal system and, if at all possible, head off the chance of a Measure 11 sentencing.