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Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12683
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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I was in front of my house in the street adjusting my trailer

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I was in front of my house in the street adjusting my trailer behind my car. I backed up to see if it was straight and a jogger and I collided. I was startled and turned and punched him in his nose. He was going to call the police and file an assault charge. I asked him not to and I said I would pay his medical bills. Turns out I broke his nose and he has over $17,000.00 in bills. He says I have to pay him as I said I would or he is going to report the assault to the police. I have a record and have done some years in prison and I am spooked because I now have a good life and do not want to go back to prison. My question is: Did I assault him or is being startled and thinking that I was being attacked from behind excuse me?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be glad to help you.

Have you seen all the medical treatment bills from this jogger?

Does he have medical insurance that covers his medical bills?

Did you give this jogger anything in writing to document this incident and the promise that you made to him?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Two of my neighbors saw it happen and witnessed me telling him not to call the police and that I would pay his bills. He showed me the bills. He is a layed off pilot and has not worked in nine years. He has no medical ins. I am just concerned about being charged with assault. with my record I will have a high bail and big problems. It is because of my time in prison that I acted that way. I was jumped repeatedly in prison and you learn to swing first and ask questions later. After I hit him and realized he was not attacking me I said I was sorry but he was really hyped up about calling the police. the only thing that calmed him was that he new where I lived, he had witnesses, and I said I would pay. I thought it would be a few hundred bucks and done. I do not have the money to pay him! Did I commit assault under CA law??? If I did than I have to come up with the money or else.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
How long ago did this happened?

What was the extend of the damage you might have caused?

Was it just broken nose? $17,000 seems extremely high to treat a broken nose.

Did he have any type of nose job/corrective procedure done to fix damage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

corrective surgery! It was badly broken and sort of over to the side.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
two months ago
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Did this guy pay his bills already?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am not sure. The important question is if I do not pay and he files with the police....Did I commit an assault and will I be charged?
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I can't say whether you did or did not commit assault and battery as I was not there but I can tell you the elements of these crimes.

When it comes to Assault and Battery, intent is an essential element of both offenses. Generally, it is only necessary for the defendant to have an intent to do the act that causes the harm. In other words, the act must be done voluntarily. Although an intent to harm the victim is likely to exist, it is not a required element of either offense. There is an exception to this rule for the attempted battery type of criminal assault. If a defendant who commits this crime does not have an intent to harm the victim, the individual cannot be guilty of the offense.

So basically the law states that if someone voluntarily punches someone it would constitute assault and battery.

However self-defense can be asserted as an affirmative defense. Meaning that if someone runs into a person, the person might feel that he is being attacked and respond with a punch.

The fact that 2 months have passed is a favorable fact, however one of the biggest issues is going to be witnesses and also your prior criminal convictions which are likely to play against your chances of avoiding charges being pressed in this case.

The cops and prosecutors are very likely to question the fact that this guy has waited two months to report it and if he claims that it was because you promised to pay for his medical bill, they might just tell him to sue you in a civil court, but of course they can also make an arrest and file charges.

Also you might be able to claim that it was simply an accident (if that is your position and perception).

Also if this guy is threatening you with police if you don't pay for the medical bills, that my constitute blackmail in itself, as the legal way would be to take the matter to civil court to collect on your promise to pay and not to use a threat of a police report to put pressure on you.

I would also strongly suggest that you consult with a local attorney and have that attorney review all the relevant facts and evaluate your situation. A local attorney might be able to settle into some type of settlement with this guy, as you have to keep in mind that even of you pay all of his medical bills, he can still successfully press charges against you.



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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He waited because he had to know how much the medical expenses were. As I stated, the collission was an accident, the punch was instinct. I do not think anyone including me can take the position that that was an accident. He said to me that because I offered to pay for the medical bills if he did not call the police, that it is a contract and that it is not blackmail. I am not sure if any of that matters. With my record I can not stand an assault charge. I have done years in prison and with that record I will have a high bail and then if found guilty a long sentence. He did state that he will file in court to get paid for his bills.
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
If you really worried about any possibility of criminal charges brought up against you, no matter what the probability of conviction would be, I would still suggest that you consult with an attorney and have the attorney work out a legal settlement which would be in written form and legally sufficient, rather than simply relying on this verbal agreement.


If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is really frustrating..... did I commit assault under CA law?
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
I understand your frustration and I am very sorry that this unfortunate incident happened to you, however I have previously answered the same question and gave you the break down of the elements of the assault and battery.

Only the jury or the judge can determine whether you did or did not actually commit an assault.

A local attorney might be able to speak to the witnesses and give you a legal advice on whether assault charges are likely to be filed in your case and your chances of beating these charges.

I have provided you with an elaborate answer and unfortunately at this time I simply don't have much more to add but to wish you best of luck and to thank you for using JustAnswer.com

If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You have given me conflicting statements. You wrote; "When it comes to Assault and Battery, intent is an essential element of both offenses. Generally, it is only necessary for the defendant to have an intent to do the act that causes the harm. In other words, the act must be done voluntarily. Although an intent to harm the victim is likely to exist, it is not a required element of either offense." So you say that intent is an essential element and then say it is not required. what is it. Is intent essential or not? I struck out of insinct, there was no intent!
Expert:  Alex J. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
The information is not conflicting, but an actual definition of an assault and battery taken out of criminal law book and I am sorry if it seems confusing to you as some of the criminal law might be too complex even for some lawyers to comprehend.

Here is how the elements break down:

1) Need an intent to do the act that causes the harm- punch/swing that is done by a person and injures another person would qualify, if you had epilepsy and had a seizure and had involuntary muscle spasms that would have injured a bystander, that would not qualify.

2) Intent to harm the victim is not required- this means that as long the punch/swing was voluntary/not an involuntary muscle spasm/seizure, proof of an intent that the person who made the punch/swing had intented to harm the victim is not required under the law.

So basically only the fact that the act (punch) was done by the person's voluntarily (not involving an involuntary muscle spasm) has to be proven, as long it caused an injury to another person in order to be found guilty of assault ans battery.



If you are satisfied with my answer, I would appreciate if you would click on the accept button.
Please keep in mind if you already made a deposit or on a monthly subscription plan you will not incur any additional charges, but I will only be compensated for my time and effort only if you click on ACCEPT.

Bonus and positive feedback are always greatly appreciated!
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12683
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney / Criminal Law Mentor
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