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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27201
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I recently was arrested for 2 charges of simple assault (m2)

Customer Question

I recently was arrested for 2 charges of simple assault (m2) summary harassment and false imprisonment (m2) after finding that my wife was cheating on me again I broke her phone and laptop and while trying to stop her from scratching me I held her wrists. What are my chances in court being that there is nothing on my record.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us at JustAnswer. I'm an expert here and I will be assisting you today.

Can you explain what you mean by "What are my chances"? Chances as far as not guilty, chances as far as not going to jail, etc?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Going to jail honestly. She did tell the arresting officers multiple times that she did not want me arrested. According to a PA law any domestic dispute mandates the defendant processed.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
That's not exactly true about the law but it is what a lot of people are told.

Were any bruises left on her?

Did she tell the police there was any type of contact other than the wrists?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

There where red marks left on her wrists while I was making sure she could not scratch me.


it reads


With intent to harass annoy or alarm another person namely _____ did strike, shove, kick or otherwise subject such other person to physical contact or did attempt to threaten to do the same namely held the victim down causing red marks n her wrist in an attempt to prohibit her from leaving and forcefully remve a wedding ring from her finger


 


In that said date did attempt to cause or did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to _______ that is to say the defendant did case marks to the victims wrist by holding her down and refusing to leave and sprayed her with lysol causing her to be in fear


 


(it was in response to her spraying me with the lysol)


 


in that or n about said date the defendant did attempt by physical menace to put _____ in fear of imminet serious bodily injury that is to say the defendant did break her phone s that she could not call police (it was so she couldn't continue speaking with the guy she was cheating on me with) broke her laptop and hold her down refusing to let her leave (I was asking her to leave I was stopping the scratching and trying to get the ring) and sprayed her with lysol


 


in that on or abut said date did knowngly unlawfully restrain another ______ so as to interfere substantially with their liberty


 


She stated that she tried to leave but that he held her dwn for an extended period of time which she described as thirty minutes (far exaggerated and it was to get her to calm down from trying to scratch me) she stated that he was hurting her in his attempt at frcefully removing her wedding ring frm her finger she stated that when she got free and was abut to flee (she walked out of the house hardly fleeing) he sprayed her with lysol I observed red marks to her wrist where she described he was hlding her. He was visibly intoxicated and admitted to having an alterccation

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You have a defense if you were holding her wrists in "self defense".

You are unlikely to go to jail under these facts. Did you hire a lawyer yet?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I wondered if a public defender would be enough? Being that she told the officers that she did not want me arrested. Even if you didn't know both sides of the story and just heard her side what would the court rule in your opinion?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Courts are inclined to rule against the husbands in these case (unfortunately). However, you have enough in your favor where your lawyer can probably get a deal that you can't pass up.

A court appointed lawyer should be able to handle it although if you can afford to hire your own you usually will do a little better.

What you want to do is avoid a conviction if at all possible. This can mean that your lawyer works out a deal where you get a pretrial diversion or a deferred adjudication. Those just mean you do probation and then if you don't have any more problems the case just goes away. it's harder to get that for domestic violence cases but still possible and your facts are about as inoffensive as you can get.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Someone had advised me that there is a probability that she would drop the charges but I'm confused by that as it says the officer is charging me with such. If my wife called the magistrate and said she didn't want to pursue the charges would this all go away? Although I am court ordered to have zero communication with her. Does her telling the officers that she did not want me arrested do anything for me? Also if she doesn't show up for the hearing does that help or hurt me?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
No, people assume that if the "victim" decides to drop the charges then they go away. That's incorrect because the charges can only be dropped by the District Attorney and they usually don't just drop these because there are so many cases where one side or the other constantly reports and then tries to drop the case when they make up.

If she doesn't show up for the hearing and you have a lawyer it helps but usually what happens is the DA asks for a delay and the judge grants it and then they subpoena her.

The wife shouldn't call the magistrate and try to drop it. The lawyer will probably ask her to sign something saying she wants to drop it but wait until you get your lawyer to do anything like that.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So in reality is my worry about jail time justified or not?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Not really. It is always a possibility but a very, very low chance. Probably less than 5% if even that much.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I Play video games where 5 percent happens a lot if my lawyer did get her to sign said paper would that be considered myself trying to indirectly contact her as that was a part of my unsecured bail to not enter the residence contact nor indirectly contact also what good would it do if she did sign if you said she cant drop the charges

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It is never guaranteed but this is as close as you can get. Like I said, 5% is probably on the high side. People who actually hit their wives rarely get jail on the first offense.

No, the lawyer contacting her is not the same as you contacting her so it wouldn't violate the order.

Getting her to sign that doesn't mean they will drop the charges but it is something the DA considers in determining how hard they want to push the case.

It is really unlikely you're going to get sent to jail on this but get a lawyer (even a court appointed one) and let them handle it and you may not even get a conviction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX been able to eat since I was jailed on the 30th. Not saying this will bring back my appetite but I can probably sleep some now. Someone was saying I had a high probability for 10 years and 25,000 in fines so you can see my issue here. Would my telling the lawyer where she most probably is to get her signature be viewed badly by the court? I was told that because we are in a commonwealth state that I was going to need the best of the best lawyers, are you saying that is untrue in your opinion?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I think someone is yanking your chain. While the better the lawyer you have, the better of a deal you get, this is a pretty simple case.

You aren't likely to get any jail time if you don't have a history of this and a ten year sentence is ridiculous.

Don't mention anything to the court about getting her signature and no one knows what you and the lawyer talk about. It is pretty standard for the lawyer to try and get the victim to sign something saying they don't want to prosecute so the court won't think anything is unusual about it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

when you say deal what do you mean

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
The DA is going to offer a plea bargain. If you have a lawyer that goes to trial a lot and wins a lot then the DA is going to offer you a better plea bargain deal than if you don't have a lawyer or have one who is not any good.

In addition, the DA looks at the facts of the case. In this instance you didn't really hurt her so that makes it a case where the DA isn't as likely to take a hard stance on it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well the guy who arraigned me seemed plenty mean about the whole thing.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Probably just grumpy. Also, he doesn't know the facts of your case, just the charge. and you have to remember many/most domestic violence cases involve women who are actually hurt.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the 95% I suppose lol I have signed up for the monthly service and will continue using this website until my hearing is over, what would be the best way to contact you again if I have more questions? Also does preliminary hearing mean this is the first of a few? Or will more than likely this be resolved at the hearing? I would really like to get back into my house seeing that my mother went to the house to get me some stuff and saw a guy taking my television out.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
There will be more hearings but there is no way to know for sure how many.

To ask for me in the future just start your question with "FOR JD 1992" as the first words and I will pick up as soon as I see it. I am online for at least a few minutes almost every day for at least a few minutes.

Please ask any follow up questions in this thread. When all of your questions have been answered, then I would ask that you give a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) since that is the only way I get credit for my work and also please consider clicking "BONUS" as a nice way of saying "thanks" for a job well done, although this is neither required nor expected.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So no chance this will go away within the first hearing even if my lawyer gets a plea bargain?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
There's a chance. It usually takes at least two because the lawyer is going to want to review all the evidence before he tell you to take a deal but occasionally the DA makes such a good deal that you can't turn it down.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX in touch, usually when I'm freaking out lol It just kills me she cheats 7 times and I break a phone and a laptop after 7 times and I lose my job and pretty much everything I own.

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
The justice system isn't fair without a doubt.

Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I get credit for my work and good luck with this.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27201
Experience: Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
Dwayne B. and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My mother has issues with the fact that I am Hispanic and live in a predominantly white area as my wife is white as well. Is this a legitimate worry?


 


Also if she doesn't sign a paper saying she wants to drop the charges where am I at with it really?


 


A friend said that if she does sign the paper that I should plead not guilty, from my understanding plea bargains mean you are admitting guilt in exchange for a lighter sentencing. Should I just follow my lawyer's lead on this one?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It is something to be aware of but it really shouldn't be a concern. Your lawyer will know how to address it.

If she doesn't sign a paper then they probably won't lower the charge but it also is very unlikely to mean jail due to the fact that it is a first offense and little injury,

Don't listen to friends, listen to your attorney. They will tell you what to do and chances are very good that your friend really doesn't understand the nuances of the law.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i have a consultation on the 11th, hopefully all goes well im still dreadfully terrified

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Let me know what happens. I can understand you being worried but you're going to be okay.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This morning my wife showed up where I was staying, I did not say a word to her. I immediately got my mother to answer the door. My wife requested to speak with me and my mother declined but didn't explain why. What does this do for me, and I worry that the chances of her signing anything are dramatically reduced because of her being upset thinking I was just avoiding her on my own. By any chance would the court have sent her anything in the mail or contacted her telling her that I'm unable to speak with her and the charges pressed on me?

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, it is likely that she knows of any order issued in the case. Most of the time the DA or the court will send her a letter to tell her to report to the DA if you break the terms of the order.

You did the absolutely correct thing.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

does this help me in any way the fact that she attempted to contact me

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Not in any large amount. It shows she isn't afraid of you but that is about it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

everyone kept telling me to notify the police that she violated the pfa, is there any merit in doing so

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You can tell them that if you think she is going to get mad and accuse you of doing it but usually the orders aren't mutual and she didn't actually violate it. Tell your lawyer of course and you can tell the police but there is no real reason to do so without talking to your lawyer first.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i guess there is no actual way to tell her that i am not able to speak with her not on my own accord but by the courts ruling

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Correct. Your lawyer can send a letter to her or contact her but you can't ask anyone else to do so.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ugh this is taking so long the lawyer cant work me in until the 11th, also what are the chances that the magistrate has my hearing date wrong the judge who initially told me said the 11th i then called the magistrate they said the 22nd and my wife just brought mail for me stating the 22nd of august

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
It's unlikely the magistrate has the hearing date wrong. You may want to call again or go by and get something in writing confirming it is the 22nd but the magistrate's office controls their calendar so they should know the correct date.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i have the date in writing by mail i was just wondering forgive my writing as im on my phone. my sister in law still speaks with her and she sent me screen shots of my wife saying she didnt want me aressted nor vharges pressed am i able to use this in any way

Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Sure, your lawyer can use that to show it was a mistake.

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