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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 12366
Experience:  JD, MBA
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Had trouble with a neighbor who challenged me to a fight by

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Had trouble with a neighbor who challenged me to a fight by the front gate of my house. I asked him to leave and he refused and his wife began calling me a faggot from their yard. he was hanging over the front fence in my yard and threatening me. In fear I spit at him because I believed he was coming over the fence(I have video of his wife taunting and him standing at my front fence. I also have video of me requesting him to leave my property and he refuses. i spit at him the distance was about 5 feet and as my throat was dry from fear little to nothing came out. he is trying to press battery charges against me-I don't think his odds are good but with police nowadays you never know. It seems to me under Castle Law you can defend yourself on your own property if threatened. The investigating cop kept saying that even though he was hanging over the fence in my front yard and hurling threats since he wasn't actually in my yard i could be charged with battery.i think this is ridiculous! What is your expert opinion?
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

I do think that it's ridiculous, but the police officer is probably technically correct. Spitting on somebody can certainly be battery. On the other hand, you do have the right to stand your ground in Virginia and defend yourself. The issue here is whether spitting on the neighbor was defending yourself. I think that's probably a weak argument because spitting wouldn't have helped you if you had felt physically threatened. Of course, you can argue that it was a natural defensive move even if it wouldn't have helped. In any event, the botXXXXX XXXXXne is this: I don't think the prosecutor will attempt to prosecute you. It's a ridiculous case since the neighbor was clearly not injured, and since he was hanging over your fence and causing a problem. The prosecutor certainly has more important cases to deal with than an "iffy" case about spitting. If the prosecutor has time for that, then good grief ... he's got too much time on his hands! Moreover, since this is an "iffy" case, the prosecutor would certainly be embarrassed to lose such a silly case. I doubt anything will come of this.

Does that answer your question? Let me know if you need clarification, and please remember to rate me positively so that I receive credit for my efforts.

Thank you and good luck!
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you1 please,please,have another quick question-3 people in a car,they get stopped and searched,the cops find a small amt. of marijuana in the back seat,the person in the back seat confesses to possesion -can the other 2 occupants still be charged?i think the other 2 would have an excellent chance of beating the possession charge and have told them to plead not guilty-what do you think?

Yes, I would plead not guilty for sure. The driver and passenger in the front seat can claim total ignorance. I don't see how the prosecutor would prove possession beyond a reasonable doubt in that fact pattern, unless there is other evidence that refutes that the pot is only in the possession of the person in the back seat.

Hope that helps. Please leave positive feedback for me.