Q: How should I plead on a disorderly conduct charge (PA 18 5503 A1)?I was at a bar and some friends and I were in the process of leaving. A guy that was outside getting into his friends car started heckling us. As they started to drive away the man rolled down the window and continued (he was clearly drunk). I yelled back which prompted him to jump out of the car and attack me. While I did throw the first punch, he came at me with what I assumed to be an intent to harm. He grabbed me by the collar and there was pushing back and forth before I hit him. His friend then got out of the car and joined in the fight as well. Cops showed up and saw them attacking me and arrested them. I explained it was self defense and they said I could go. About a week later I received a Summary charge for Disorderly Conduct. How should I plead? What can I expect in either case? I should also add I have no record or any prior convictions of anything besides traffic violations.
A:Plead not guilty and hire an attorney for the hearing. If you get convicted for a DC summary, it will stay on your record for 5 years assuming you get in no further trouble in that 5 year period. It sounds like you have enough for any experienced criminal defense attorney to employ self defense as a total defense . The police may have cited you as a way to get you to come to court to be there witness. An attorney can talk to them for you and figure this all out.