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Sam
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  20 years of experience practicing law.
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After leaving a party with some friends, the hosts (who happen

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After leaving a party with some friends, the hosts (who happen to be drug dealers) came outside and began to argue with us. Almost everyone got in the car (which was parked on the street in front of his house) they continued to threaten us saying "I have a gun" and they would "f us up." After more words were exchanged I shoved one away from me, the two hosts proceeded to advance and swing at me and before I knew it there was a 5 man brawl going on. My two friends and I did the majority of the damage, regretfully some teeth were knocked out and both of the hosts were concussed and hospitalized. We drove away quickly but one of my friends retainer cases was dropped and it contained his name. Am I guilty of assault, if so what is the punishment and does the victims family have the right to sue me for 15k as they are doing? Please keep in mind that we are all minors.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.
Hello

Welcome and thank you for your question I am an attorney with more than 25 years of experience and I look forward to providing you true and correct information in this regard.

Please remember, I can only answer what you ask and so if you have follow up questions, please post them here for full and accurate information before rating. If there are no other questions in this regard then I thank you in advance for your positive rating

I am sorry to hear of this matter.

What is your age?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.

17, I will be 18 in a week. My friends who were involved are both 16 and the two people who we fought are both 17.

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Hello

Ok. Thanks for that information.

The Virginia law, which can be read at this link states that an assault and battery is the unlawful touching of another "without Justification"

So if you can prove that they were threatening and you were in fear because they said they had a gun, etc then it may be difficult for the Prosecution to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt.

As to a lawsuit, in VA there is what is called Contributory Negligence state. That means that while you/your parents can be sued any damages awarded are offset by the fact that these guys contributed to their own injuries. And so while they may be entitled to medical expenses, there would not be any Punitive damages awared

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Would you say that an instagram picture that this drug dealer posted of his gun would be "proof"? And if I could not prove that I felt threatened, am I and my friends guilty of a felony?

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.

Hello

Well, if the guy is in possession of the gun in the photo or if he says My gun or something of that nature. But there would need to be more evidence that it is actually his

It appears by statute that it is a class 1 misdemeanor. But it could also be charged as a felony because of the injuries that occured. But again, the state would need to prove that the injuries were caused by you and when there is a melee as you describe it is difficult to prove who did what.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.

Ok thank you so much,


 


The last thing is you said I need to prove that he owns a gun and me saying that he simply told me that is not enough. Just as my recount of what happened is not enough, could I possibly deny being there?

Expert:  Sam replied 7 months ago.
Hello

You can plead not guilty and say you were not there. Remember, the burden is all on the state to prove you were, that you were involved and that you caused injury. And they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt

But of course, to say you were not there then you will need an alibi and there are others, who believe it not to save themselves will testify you were there.
Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20671
Experience: 20 years of experience practicing law.
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