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xavierjd
xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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I have a group of friends that has recently had falling out

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I have a group of friends that has recently had falling out with JOE and his girlfriend SALLY. JOE has been our friend for over 10 years and he called a meeting at a local restaurant to discuss the issues. After about an hour or two of no progress I left the table mad. One of my other friends waved me over to the table from across the restaurant to rejoin them. I rejoined them assuming something had been resolved. Once I got to the table it was obvious tension was high and I raised my voice telling SALLY to be quiet so that I could speak with JOE. SALLY then took four or five steps in my direction and once she reached me punched me closed fist in the throat, she continued to punch and land four or five blows before I was able to push her back. JOE has attempted to break it up causing JOE and SALLY to fall to the ground. Once SALLY stood back up she ran out the front door. Police were called and witnesses in the restaurant told the police I had been attacked. The restaurant manager did not ask my party to leave. One of the officers talked to me and asked me what I want to happen. I asked him what would happen if I chose to proceed legally and he said that SALLY would get a ticket, and I told him that is what I wanted. I followed up the next day with the police officer to see that he did indeed issue a citation and he told me that he did not because he would have had to give us both tickets for fighting because I "yelled" at her in the restaurant. I never made any threatening statements or gestures. Now SALLY and JOE are telling people in our community that she was forced to protect herself and that's why she punched me. I have multiple witnesses that support my story. I hold a professional position within the state and am worried about the rumors that could possibly be going around. I did not attack or even touch SALLY. One other notable is that the senior officer on the call was a very good friend of JOE. I've had mutual friends of JOE and myself tell me that SALLY did get a ticket. SALLY being issued a ticket is the only proof I have of my total innocence and evidence that their story is inaccurate. PLEASE HELP!!! This incident was in Wyoming. The statute that I think they are using is W.S.6-6-101 and 102. I have multiple scratches/cuts on my neck and cheek that I have documented.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  xavierjd replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for using JustAnswer.com It will be my pleasure to assist you.

Have you spoken to the police since you have heard the "rumors" that she received a ticket?

Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, yesterday morning is when a buddy NEIL text me saying she didn't get a ticket. I called dispatch to see if they would tell me if she did or not and they told me I had to wait for the officer who I spoke with to go on duty. I called him last night and he told me that he didn't cite her. If this means anything...NEIL's brother BRETT is a officer here, and was also a very good friend of mine and JOE and SALLY. This is me being suspicious but I think BRETT or the other officer on the scene made this go away. THAT is purely suspicion on my part.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 2 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay. I was just about to hit "answer" when somehow, I lost all the information. I'm going to answer it again. It will take just a few minutes.

Thanks for your patience.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 2 years ago.
You are correct in trying to pursue the matter. You DEFINITELY need to speak to the officer's supervisor. If you get nowhere with him/her, then you need to speak to that person's supervisor and go all the way up the line--even if it's to the chief-- until you get relief. Also, you need to take pictures of your injuries and date them.

The statute that you cite in your post doesn't appear to be the appropriate statute for the assault and battery that occurred upon you by Sally. That statute states as follows:

6-6-101. Fighting in public; penalties.

A person commits a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both, if, by agreement, he fights with one (1) or more persons in public.

As you can see, if BY AGREEMENT the person fights with another in public.


The proper statute(s) based on your post, may be 6-2-501 as follows:

Wyoming Simple Assault Laws

You could be facing this charge if the prosecution has evidence that you unlawfully attempted injury on another person. Yes, you don’t even have to make physical contact to be found guilty of this offense; the intention to cause harm is enough.

Simple assault is a misdemeanor which carries a fine of $750.

Simple Battery Laws

Battery is different from assault in that it does require some kind of contact. You could be found guilty of this offense if you intentionally, knowingly or even recklessly cause bodily injury to another with physical force.

Battery is a misdemeanor as well, though you can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail along with the $750 fine.

Ref: WY 6-2-501

Unlawful contact

Unlawful contact is defined as touching another person in a way that is considered rude, insolent, or angry without intentionally using enough force to cause injury, or recklessly causing injury to another. This is another misdemeanor offense and like simple battery, you can face 6 months in jail and a $750 fine for it.

 

Also, there is another statute that may apply:

 

6-6-102. Breach of the peace; penalties.

(a) A person commits breach of the peace if he disturbs the peace of a community or its inhabitants by unreasonably loud noise or music or by using threatening, abusive or obscene language or violent actions with knowledge or probable cause to believe he will disturb the peace.

(b) Breach of the peace is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.

Depending upon the circumstances, you could both be charged with that crime. That would be within the discretion of the prosecuting attorney.

Good luck. At least you now know the proper statutes that may be applicable. Also, keep going up the ladder until you get a satisfactory outcome.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have follow up questions, please ask. If you are satisfied with the answer, PLEASE PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that the thread can be closed and I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
"the discretion of the prosecuting attorney," I would assume from that statement that if this ended up in court that the prosecution would use that charge against me to urge me to stop? But I also take from that that she could potentially be charged with two violations, disturbing the peace and fighting? My goal is to have proof of my innocence, which I believe is going to be gained through the issuance of a ticket. However, I do not want something to go on my record as well.
Expert:  xavierjd replied 2 years ago.
You DO NOT have to prove your innocence.

Yes, she could be potentially be charged with battery AND breach of the peace.

Given the facts in your post, it is unlikely that you would be charged. Words are NOT enough to give the person a right to hit you. But.....I just put in the POSSIBLE outcome. It is POSSIBLE that you could both be charged with breach of the peace (because of your yelling at her in the restaurant), but that would be up to the prosecutor. The prosecutor has to be able to prove that a crime occurred "BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT." You (or Sally) doesn't have to prove your innocence. The prosecutor has to prove its case. It is possible that Sally may be charged with "battery" and not breach of the peace. It is possible that she is charged with both. It is possible that you COULD be charged with breach of the peace. But....it all depends upon the facts and whether the prosecutor can prove their case BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

It is most important that you keep pressing on to make sure that Sally is charged. As the facts come to light during a "proper investigation", it may become clear that Sally was the aggressor and the cause of the entire problem. If so, you won't be charged.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have follow up questions, please ask. If you are satisfied with the answer, PLEASE PRESS THE GREEN ACCEPT BUTTON so that the thread can be closed and I can get credit for answering the question. Thank you.

xavierjd, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3384
Experience: 20+ yrs in criminal, landlord/tenant, family, & small claims
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