This is the fourth time I have asked the same question and have not yet received an answer! My adult son was at a party two months ago and had a verbal altercation with an alcoholic male whose blood alcohol later tested at 0.28. My son's was 0.04. The man pulled my son close to him and hit him in the jaw. My son acted in self defense and hit the man in the neck. Unfortunately, he was holding a wine glass and cut the man in the back of the neck. Police were called. My son waived his rights and spoke to the police admitting that the struck the man. Three weeks later he was charged with misdemeanor battery and pled not guilty. Today at a pretrial conference, the prosecution asked for and received a continuance until May 24th to develop further evidence. The prosecution is now talking about a charge of "mutual combatants". Is this good or bad for my son? What does it mean? This is a self defense case that has gotten out of hand.
My son has retained an attorney, pled not guilty, and is facing probably trial for defending himself against a drunken man.
Typically it is illegal for people to engage in a fight, even if both are at fault - this is the mutual combat mentioned. You ask if this is good or bad for your son, and I would say it is good in that the DA is considering a mutual combat situation rather than just a straight battery against your son. On the other hand, it would be better if your son had counsel and the case is either dismissed or he is found not guilty at a trial. Please be sure he has a lawyer, either a hired lawyer or a public defender. If he does not have money to hire his own lawyer, he can ask the court to appoint him one. I hope this helps.
My son has retained an attorney who has advised him that his case is winnable at trial. How could the case be dismissed without a trial? If he is found guilty in a mutual combat situation what does this mean? Will he have a permanent criminal record?
I understood I could ask more questions. How can I do this when the expert is "offline"?
Sometimes a prosecutor can move the court to dismiss a case, prior to or even during trial. If your son has a lawyer who believes that they can win the case at trial, that sounds good. If he is found guilty then he will have a conviction and all records are always "permanent" unless it is actually expunged which may or may not be available in your jurisdiction.
Does this answer your question more fully?
Licensed since 1985 representing those accused of crime.
What Happens Now?Your chat has ended, but you can still work with your Expert to get an answer to your question if you have not yet received one.Come back to this page at any time to see additional information from your Expert. You will also receive an email when your question is updated. If you want to send a message to your Expert, use the box below.If you have already received a satisfactory answer to your question, click the Accept button above. Experts are credited for each accepted answer they provide.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).