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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 111652
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I have a trial battery tomorrow and want to know

Customer Question

I have a trial for simple battery tomorrow and want to know what to expect as I do not have representation. The result of the charge occurred during a domestic dispute when a third party interfered and began arguing with me. I did not touch her, or threaten her but she told officers that I did. What do I expect at this point will happen. I have no criminal history, this was my first arrest.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
First, you are entitled to an attorney if you cannot afford one and nobody should go to trial on any criminal charge without one, first arrest or not. In the trial, the prosecutor is going to put on his witnesses and then question them. You will have a chance to cross examine them as well. Once the prosecutor is done, then you can put your own witnesses on the stand and question them and the prosecutor will cross examine them about the events. You do not have to testify and if you choose to not testify they cannot hold your failure to testify against you, but can weigh only the evidence presented.
Bot***** *****ne is you have to raise reasonable doubt as to whether or not you actually committed the battery (unauthorized touching of another). I would still strongly suggest you get a local attorney to represent you or request a public defender. On a first offense the prosecutor is going to try to offer you a deal to plead guilty and avoid jail as well and it is up to you to take it or not (typically jail is not given in a first offense if there is no injury in the offense, only probation).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So I attended a pretrial I assume, sorry for not knowing the technical term. We were given the option to obtain a lawyer, but since I don't have one and this trial is more formal, how do I request a continuance in order to obtain representation. I don't believe the only witness will be attending because I have spoken to them and several other people who have advised me that they did not receive notice to appear.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
If you refused to get an attorney at pre trial, you need to go to court and ask the judge for an attorney now and tell him you have thought about it and believe you would be in over your head trying to represent yourself without an attorney.
Wait and see what happens if no witness shows up. If no witness shows up, you need to ask the court to dismiss the case for lack of witnesses. If the court agrees then it is over. If not they will have to continue it if no witnesses appear and then you have time to get a lawyer.