Asked in Personal Injury for Colorado

Q: My son was charged with Assault while being treated for a seizure.

Son has formal diagnosis of seizures due to brain damage from car accident in 2005 & has antiseizure meds. He was despondent by job loss due to seizure & was drinking. We had him taken to Detox and gave police meds w/ instruction that he MUST get these timely. Police note he was cooperative. Was NOT given meds & had a seizure at the Detox unit 2 hours later. Taken to hospital, where 1 of the hospital staff felt that they were assaulted & he was charged. Discharge diagnosis was seizure. City defines assault as knowingly causing injury to another person. Son was having a seizure had no awareness of surroundings no intent to knowingly commit an assault. While he does have a history of drinking, he has no history of assault. Ref case of Monica Chavez innocent of negligent homicide due to seizure. Can this be simply defended by presenting medical records, or do we need to spend money for attorney. Does the detox (Arapahoe House) have liability for failing to provide seizure meds?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Paul Fisher

  • Denver, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: That is a great question, and without more information difficult to answer. However, most lawyers offer a free initial consultation to see if there is a case and/or what it will take to fight the assault charges.

Tristan Kenyon Schultz

  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: Have formal charges been filed? If they haven't providing the medical records may cause the police and/or DA to drop the charges. However, if your son has be arraigned you can try contacting the DA to drop the charges, but realistically you will need a lawyer. As for the liability of the detox center, they probably cannot be held liable for not providing the meds, however, a medical malpractice claim is a possibility.

I agree with Paul, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney or request a public defender. Note: a public defender cannot (and will not) handle any malpractice claim against the detox center.

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