Should I plead to Disorderly Conduct charges when I was attacked?

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.


If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.