Getting railroaded on bogus charges...
I face two charges, both stemming from the same occasion: one charge of a threat and another of misdemeanor one (A and B). For the threat, I literally said "I will wrap a medal around your neck." That's where a medal goes, presumably. How this was construed as a threat, rather than meaning 'good on you, if you achieve your aforementioned feat of kicking my butt,' I'll never know. So that's one issue.
Next, the other fellow says I pushed him. I did. He was in a seated position. He did not hit the ground. That's probably immaterial, but it's worth mentioning. Also, he had repeatedly taunted me (yes, I should have left).
I'm a first offender, and not to mention a goody-two-shoes (serial volunteer, prospective doctoral candidate, run a decent business). What can I do about this? Thanks!
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ANSWER for "Getting railroaded on bogus charges...":
Virgil (Chesapeake, VA):
From the facts you present, you don't believe you committed either crime. The most important issue is to do whatever it takes to avoid having criminal convictions on your record - even misdemeanors. A conviction, especially one where the threat of violence was involved, can be quite harmful for future employment possibilities.
Because avoiding criminal convictions on your record is so important, you would be well advised to retain a criminal defense attorney. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.
An attorney can accomplish several things. He or she can tell the prosecutor you are not guilty, and unless the cases are dismissed he or she will set the cases for trial. If your attorney believes there is a good chance of prevailing, you might want to go to trial. The upside of going to trial is if you prevail, the charges will be entirely dismissed. If you lose, you will have permanent convictions on your record.
In the alternative, your attorney may be able to work out an agreement - a plea bargain - where you will agree to enter a plea of No Contest in return for a probationary period and subsequent dismissal of your case. It's difficult to do these things without an attorney.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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