How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 100531
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was charged touching in the state of DE I have

Customer Question

i was charged for offensive touching in the state of DE I have a business and am worried about going to jail it was a argument with my niece had 4 people screaming at me people throwing things at me and someone going in their pocket and taking out a knife and threating to cut me and I guess my ring scratched my nieces arm I am worried about going to jail or being put on probation or even a big fine
I am going to see a public defender in a couple of days
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:
(A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. This is repeated in numerous disclaimers throughout the site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my reply while I am typing out my answer.
I am sorry to hear about this situation.
What exactly are you asking here, i.e. what is your question here?
This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
should I be worried about gong to jail for this problem
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I really don't know what more you need I paid my money now im not getting any answers wow
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i gave you all the information before but i will tell you again i was charged with offensive touching by scratching someone on the arm by mistake with a ring on my finger i was arrested for it i am going to court on the 18th what could happen to me????
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Sorry, I was not online at the moment when you replied. I am typing out my answer now; my apologies in advance for the momentary wait of a few minutes while I do so.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
First of all, I am going to guess that this is your first criminal charge. Let me know if I am not correct otherwise.
1) At your first appearance, it is simply called an "arraignment." You are not going into "trial" on that date. You are afforded several resets wherein your defense attorney and the prosecutor can likely work out a deal or otherwise your attorney can try to defeat the charge on a technicality, or decide to go to trial, etc. In other words, it would not be your trial date immediately. In fact, the DA will likely not even want to talk to you without you being represented. If you are asked to make a plea, then one wants to plead "not guilty" and ask for a reset.
2) Your attorney will advise you whether it is best to (a) take a plea deal, or (b) go to trial.
3) A plea deal means pleading guilty, but, to a reduced charge and often with a pre-set sentence, as negotiated with the prosecutor. The Court then signs off on the agreement. A trial on the other hand is when this goes to a full trial and the prosecutor has to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
4) In order to prove someone as guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor has to prove that you
(1) Intentionally touched another person either with a member of his or her body or with any instrument, knowing that the person is thereby likely to cause offense or alarm to such other person; or
(2) Intentionally struck another person with saliva, urine, feces or any other bodily fluid, knowing that the person is thereby likely to cause offense or alarm to such other person.
(DE Statute, Title 11, Chapter 5)
5) Offensive touching is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,300. However, this is the worst case scenario. IF this goes to trial, and IF one is found guilty, imprisonment is generally reserved for serious actions akin to assault in such situations. A ring scratch is unlikely to have the Judge sentence someone to jail even if one is found guilty.
6) However, since again this is your first offense (I assume), it is much more likely that the prosecutor will offer a plea deal for a lower offense which may not even involve NO CONVICTION in exchange for a probation-type sentence. In addition, the attorney can also have the charges dropped on a technicality, or if one elects to go to trial, can have one found NOT GUILTY.
Best of luck.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please rate when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces/stars and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.