Q: Two co-workers and myself are under criminal investigation. We work at the local county jail and are accused of purposely causing a laceration to an inmate’s head. We are unsure when the inmate cut his head during the escort. Nor was it on purpose. We are unsure if the inmate struggled with us during the escort or was tripping on his own feet. We went through seven doorways which are the width of a normal house door and with a bent over inmate and 3 CO’s trying to not let him fall and keep control. Local state police detective keeps calling to try and get the other two officers to turn on me but they tell them the same thing that it was an escort that turned bad because of the inmate. It’s all on camera and multiple people saw it and said they’re unsure of what we’re being accused of. The detective even tried making a deal with me saying take a summary harassment AG’s will take it and charge all of us. It’s been 4 months and just recently the police detective called again and told my coworker to turn on us or all three of us are going to get charges. Our union attorney said there’s nothing but we’re tired of the suspension and scare tactics and it’s harassing.
A: This could be a very serious situation, so you should cease discussing it on the internet. The answer from any criminal defense attorney would be standard at this point. Do not make any statements to anyone, police or civilian, and find yourself a criminal defense attorney. Share all the facts with your attorney and only speak with police or enter a deal under advice of counsel.
Q: If someone has past assault charges, both misdemeanors and felonies, and is now facing a charge of unlawful restraint and another simple assault charge what kind of prison time may they be facing? (Coraopolis, PA)
A: No one can answer this question without much more information. For example, first and foremost, the criminal history of the defendant and how the charges are graded (sentencing guidelines), the particular circumstances of this case, the position of the DA and the personality of the judge.
CRIMINAL LAW, ASSAULT, SENTENCE
Q: My ex-wife asked me to watch our daughter on one of her days. We have a custody agreement in place. I gladly watched my daughter. We had bad weather, so I took my daughter home, and asked my ex to meet us there. She said ok. About 20 min later she told me to meet her at a local establishment to drop my daughter off. I told her I wasn’t going out in that weather. She came by the house ranting and raving. She took my daughter out, and called me a “p_ _ _ y”. I went out after her and told my daughter to go back in the house. I sat down, and grabbed my remote control, when she barged into my house again. She again grabbed my daughter and left the house. I walked out after her, and took my daughter by the hand while I was holding the remote control. My ex grabbed my wrist and scratched me, and then pushed me. My daughter and I came into the house. The ex said she was calling the police, so I said ok. About 20 minutes later they pulled me out of my house, pepper-sprayed me, put me in cuffs saying that my wife accused me of pointing a gun at her. I was charged with interference of child custody, terroristic threats and simple assault. The supposed gun was a remote control.
A: Most assault cases are one person’s word versus the other person’s word. Welcome to the wrongfully accused club. To have any potential civil suit, you will need to beat the criminal case. My question is, did you own a gun at the time or have one in the house at the time? My experience has been that police would have either made you tell them where the gun was or ransacked your house looking for it. Assuming they did not find a gun, your case is much stronger. You can sue, but you need quantifiable damages such as calculated lost income or provable damage to your reputation. Also, your ex will need to be worth suing to gain interest from a plaintiff’s attorney. My thought is that it is not a great civil suit but please contact a personal injury attorney for another opinion.
Q: I was charged with simple assault misdemeanor 3 for someone trying to assault me at my home. I am a paralegal who worked for a attorney in my town until his passing. I have a question that will blow your mind. A man posted on face book pictures of my house, stating he was coming to my house to kick in my door and drag me outside and beat me. (Of course I have screen shots) Hours later this man came to my home. Upon opening the door I physically assaulted him with six full cans of pop wrapped in a pillow case, repeatedly. I did this immediately as he knocked aggressively and I opened the door. Now the police officer handling the case calls me today to give me a heads up that the D/A is charging me with M3 Simple assault. The man said I stabbed him. WRONG. I even let the police view my home that has small children inside at the time. How the hell is it possible I am charged with anything. YES I have a vast criminal record. YES I assaulted him on my porch. What is my next step? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Two people engaged in a fight can both be charged with Simple Assault by Mutual Combat which is an M3. You may even have a self defense argument. They key is not to talk to anyone, including the police, except an attorney. Save your screen shots and preserve all other evidence.
Q: Having trouble getting and job with a simple assault on my record, how do I get it off? I have a simple assault background and really need a job, this happened in the year 2009! Baldwin Borough, PA.
A: You should have an attorney get your criminal history from the PA state police to confirm you were convicted. If you were not convicted, for example if you were found not guilty or the charges were dropped, you can file to expunge, or destroy, all the related records that can still show up on a criminal history search. If you were convicted, you cannot expunge a misdemeanor.