Tag Archives: SELF DEFENSE

If not arrested how can the police take my gun?

Q I was at a dollar store and another guy was very belligerent and racist and  got into my face. I ended up walking away after a small argument. I have a broken wrist and have a titanium plate in my head and have seizures. I was at my car putting groceries in with one hand he came out of the store and was more belligerent and continued to be belligerent. He walked up to my car as close as 5 feet. I put my firearm at my side and he still did not see it. I just put one hand out and told him to go ahead and go about his business. Once he seen my other arm stop moving he kind of looked down and I had it at my side just for my protection because he was at my car and he was a little irate a little out of his mind. He run away. Everything was on camera he chased my car I pulled over at another store and ask them to call the police which they told me I need a manager first. My PTSD was kicking in if I like fight or flight so I back my car back up to the store while I knew a manager and I called the police myself but when the police came they were more focused on me. They took my firearm and gave me no paperwork. (Shenandoah, PA)

A: The police may be assessing the entire situation to determine if you should be charged or looking into your background. Based on what you describe, you were defending yourself and the other guy was clearly the aggressor. However, you have no idea what the other person told the police. You stated that you suffer from seizures and have PTSD. If you have ever been adjudicated as an incompetent or have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution under the PA Mental Health Procedures Act, you may be prohibited from possessing a firearm in PA. I would wait a week or so then call the police and ask if they intend on charging you. If they are not going to file charges, ask for return of your firearm. If they will not do it, hire a lawyer to file a motion to return property with the Criminal Court Motions Judge in your county.

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.


Woman attacks women with knife in defending her home

Q: 5 women attack 1 woman at her home. She cuts one through fence with knife trying to scare them off. After a afternoon argument between husband and wife, 10:30 pm mother- in- law, sister- in- law , 3 other women go to daughter- in- laws house and try to kick in front door while she is sleeping with two children. She runs to back fence (side street) where they were trying to get in the yard. She pick up a small knife and waves the knife sideways to scare them while trying to hold the fence closed with her other arm. She cuts one of the women who goes to the hospital. She is charged with aggravated assault (Pennsylvania has no self defense ). Please could you tell me her outcome her trial is for one day coming soon.

A: PA does have self defense as a defense to the crimes of assault and homicide. It is a complete defense and can be raised at trial. If the jury believes that the defendant was justified in using force or deadly force in self defense to protect him or herself, he or she can be acquitted. It is not a defense to the police filing charges. Whether that works in this case depends on what the witnesses will say, what the physical evidence shows and how credible the defendant’s story is. All of these sources of evidence need to be reviewed by the defendant’s attorney with her, before any prediction about the case can be given. If she is defending her home as you say, that may work as a defense or work to get the DA to make a better offer. The facts as you present them, sound like self defense. If true and these facts are conveyed to the jury or judge, it may help things go in her favor. It reminds me of cases I handled on a weekly basis as a Public Defender and I always had favorable results with them.