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Before You Sweep the Leg…

By Peters & Nolan, LLC on March 21, 2019

What do karate, Guam, and the Department of Revenue and Taxation all have in common?

Perhaps you’ve heard the old line, possibly from a movie, that goes something like: “I’m a trained karate expert. My hands and feet are registered as deadly weapons.” As a matter of fact, it turns out that’s simply not true unless you live on the island of Guam. In which case, if you’re an expert in karate, judo, or any “similar arts,” you must register your hands and feet with the Department of Revenue and Taxation.

What exactly is an expert? According to the Supreme Court of Guam, an expert is:

“…a person trained in the arts of karate, judo or other hand-to-hand fighting technique, whereby the hands, feet or other parts of the body are used as weapons, who shall have completed at least one level of training therein and shall have been issued a belt or other symbol showing proficiency in such art.”

And while some of you reading this may think that it sounds like a good idea to fly off to Guam so you can legitimately register your hands and feet as legal weapons to impress the ladies and help assert your alpha status over other males, well, we wouldn’t recommend it. Keep the following in mind:

  • Aggravated assault is a serious offense that can come into play if you are accused of physical violence and you are trained in any hand-to-hand combat.
  • The legal boundaries in self-defense arguments are be hard to define, and individual cases can hinge on one of the parties involved having a background in fighting, wrestling, or boxing.
  • Even the size of an individual accused of aggravated assault can come into play. A man of over six feet in height can appear more threatening to a jury than a man under 5’8″.
  • The nature of your training and competence as a fighter can be a factor as well. That proficiency in violence that you’re so proud of can land you in jail for a very long time if you’re convicted of assault.

If you’re trained in karate, boxing, or similar arts, be aware of the legal aspects and responsibilities that come along with those skills. Reach out to Peters & Nolan, LLC, by calling us at (970) 243-4357 to set up a free consultation today if you’ve been accused of assault.

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Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.

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