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: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 86711
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello. I just received a "Summons for Summary Case Non-Traffic"

Resolved Question:

Hello. I just received a "Summons for Summary Case Non-Traffic" accusing me of harassment. Stating that I punhed an individual in the lip causing it to bleed. First of all I did not do any such thing, in fact on the date and time I was to have committed this crime I was at my office all day.

I spoke with a friend of mine who in a detective in PA and he told me that he spoke with the arresting officer and the officer told him that he got a licence plate number from tha vehicle that left in a hurry. This plate number was apparently mine. However, the vehicle was a Chrysler. I drive a 2012 Ford F150 pickup truck. I haven't owned a Chrysler product in at least 15 yrs. My friend proceeded to ask the arresting officer if he followed up and contacted me. He said that he didn't and the since the desription the officer was given was close enough to issue this summons.

PLease tell me how I should proceed. I feel this is unfair and that this officer was in the wrong. Help please!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. Note: there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. First of all, please let us discuss what this is.

HARASSMENT
Harassment in Pennsylvania is defined as:
A person commits the crime of
harassment when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another,
the person:
(1) strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the
other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to
do the same;
(2) follows the other person in or about a public place
or places;
(3) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits
acts which serve no legitimate purpose;
(4) communicates to or about such other person any lewd,
lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings
or caricatures;
(5) communicates repeatedly in an anonymous manner;
(6) communicates repeatedly at extremely inconvenient
hours; or
(7) communicates repeatedly in a manner other than
specified in paragraphs (4), (5) and (6).
18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2709.

This is a summary offense in this case, punishable by a fine. While not a criminal conviction per se, they do appear in a criminal background record, meaning that one may wish NOT to be convicted of it.

PROCEDURE
The summons is for a court date - it is one of several. The first setting is the arraignment where a plea is entered (NOT GUILTY). These hearings will reset several times to allow your attorney and the prosecutor (DA) to discuss a plea deal. Normally, the case is reset about 3-4 times before you have to make a choice:

1) plead guilty and simply have the Court sentence you (not recommended);
2) take the matter to trial and risk either being convicted, or, acquitted of charges (risky); or
3) make a plea deal with the DA.

If you do not have an attorney, one should be retained. May I recommend the PA Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I know you likely do not want to retain counsel. But, it may be wise to do so here, because the DA is not going to give you a "break" simply if you represent yourself. Also, the procedural aspects of the Court may be complex.

The Court is likely to reset in order for you to find counsel even before it asks one to enter an original plea (NOT GUILTY).

There is the possibility of a "deferment" program where if you take a class and stay out of trouble for a probationary period, the matter is dropped. While not a "right," this is often offered to non-violent first offenders. Do have your attorney check into this matter.

Alternatively, one can always take this to trial - the DA has to prove their case 'beyond a reasonable doubt,' which is not easy to do. However, this may be trying emotionally and is a risk. But considering the facts, this may be a good decision since the facts are in your favor here, arguably. DO discuss this option with counsel as well.

RELIEF
If the matter is dropped or you are acquitted, you may have a cause of action as relief for the false charge in malicious prosecution.

The basis of action of malicious prosecution is for the recovery of damages which have proximately resulted to the person, property or reputation from a previous unsuccessful civil or criminal proceeding which was prosecuted without probable cause and with malice. Johnson v. Land Title Bank and Trust Company et al., 329 Pa. 241, 198 A. 23.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

IMPORTANT: Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups for free after rating. My ultimate goal is your complete satisfaction.
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 86711
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Ely and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.