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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 32330
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I have a assault charge against me 2 degree. assaulting

Customer Question

I have a assault charge against me 2 degree. For supposed assaulting my ex and she also has the same charges against her. I'm thinking we should pleaded the 5th .If we testify against each other we incriminate ourselves.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Is there a specific question with which I could assist?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have a 2nd degree assault charge against me & against my ex she also has the same charges . Should we plead the 5th due to the fact that we will incriminate ourselves testify against each other. We don't want to testify against one another.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
No one but your own lawyer can advise you on whether to plead the 5th or not. There are a lot of different potential implications.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have court tomorrow and no lawyer
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Is this your first appearance in court?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is our trial date .
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Did you decide to go to trial without a lawyer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Neither one of us want to testify against each other.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Here is the issue. Neither one of you can be called to testify in your own trial so if you are being taken to trial together neither one of you will be called as a witness.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are being tried separately
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You are both going to trial tomorrow, in separate cases, and neither of you has a lawyer? were you ever offered a lawyer and refused?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We didn't press charges against each other. The state picked up charges against each of us.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I still need you to explain why neither of you has a lawyer and you are facing felony charges.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We were offered a public defender but we didn't think we needed one since we were not pressing charges
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
How long ago was that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
2nd degree assault is a felony charge?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
What state are you in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maryland
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
A person who is convicted of second degree assault is subject to imprisonment of up 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law I § 3-203 (2012). That makes it a felony.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Look I'm asking for advice not a lecture on y I don't have a lawyer.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I'm not trying to lecture you, I'm just trying to understand. However, I'll just answer your question that you certainly can take the 5th but what usually happens is the prosecutor offers "use immunity" for the testimony and the court then instructs you to answer or go to jail for contempt. Use immunity means that if you testify then that testimony can't be used for any purpose against you. If you refuse to answer then the judge can put you in jail for up to 6 months at a time, then bring you back out and see if you are ready to answer yet. The judge can basically keep doing this forever.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No way to not testify against each other then
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Not if the prosecutor does what they usually do. You can take the 5th and then see what the prosecutor does but the scenario I laid out is the way any halfway decent prosecutor will handle it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I guess
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
They may not call either one of you to the witness stand, although that is usually why they want to separate the trials rather than doing them together.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was no assaults at the most a photo got grabbed . The charges r bs so I guys we plead guilty see what happens
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Felony convictions can have a lot of consequences. Do you think the judge would still allow you to get a lawyer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maybe
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
You probably want to explore that option before just pleading guilty. Being found guilty of a felony can result in loss of federal benefits, prevent you from jobs, etc.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
Did you have additional questions?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.
I am posting this to change this from the chat format to a Q and A. Please ask any follow up questions you have in this thread.