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question for law people about 1st degree misdemeanor

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posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 07:36 PM
I am so confused. I need to make sure I handle this right. I received my first ever criminal charge. I was arrested for domestic violence. It's a first degree misdemeanor. I went to court after being held after the arrest. During that, the judge said it can be punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $2,000 fine. Before I went in to see the judge, someone was explaining to me about Family Intervention Court and that it can help the sentencing and have the charge be sealed after a year. They didn't ask or confirm if I wanted that. They just said look it over, I think. The judge said she put down non-guilty but I didn't plead guilty or not-guilty because I wasn't asked. So that confused me. Then, said my court date with her is on Sept 14th. I think this happened with others that day. We were all in line to see the judge and she put out a signature bond then gave the court date. I will plead guilty. They also said something about talking to the attorney.

Here are my questions:

I want to do the Family Intervention Court/anger management thing. Was I supposed to tell someone then or do I tell my attorney? Am I appointed an attorney or am I supposed to find one? If I was appointed one, will I see them like right before court that day? If I don't tell my attorney; who do I tell I want to enroll in the Family Intervention Court? I was so scared that day that I didn't retain or understand much.

Like I said, I have no other prior charges and I'm 29. What I did was throw a lantern at my boyfriend and it cut his ear. He said that the Dr wanted him to get stitches but he didn't. So what do you think is going to happen? I'm so afraid of doing jail time! I was in there about a day and a half and it was not fun (as expected). I don't want to lose my job either.

For background: The man I threw a lantern at (boyfriend) never fails at wanting to fight when he's had too much liquor. He has destroyed parts of my home and hit me before during these drunken incidents. I didn't hit him back or call the cops. So, this day that I threw something went like this: he started with his being rude and wanting to argue. I knew what was starting and was immediately angry at him. I grabbed him trying to hurt him and then it turned into a push and shove type thing. I was yelling for him to leave the entire time. I threw a lantern at him and it cut his ear. He apparently called the cops when he left and they came and left. He came back during the middle of the night being a butthead and so I called the cops to come because I was afraid of another incident. They came out and arrested me. I do realize that when I knew he had turned into mean Matt, I should have left. I should have gone away, not grab him. It sounds bad but I didn't think he'd really call the cops and press charges because he's done so much to me while I just took it. Then I physically hurt him and I go to jail. Do none of the precious experiences that I had with him have an impact on how the judge will feel about what I did? Because it didn't occur that very day? Should I even mention it? I posted a lot of this in another thread but I wanted to give a background in case it matters.

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 07:46 PM
a reply to: paperdoll

Lawyer. Ask for counsel. Its free if you tell them you cannot afford one. Tell them what you told us here. I do know your crime if convicted can be expunged from your record. I know no more.

Lawyer. Call the court. Court appointed lawyer.

Good luck

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:02 PM

originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: paperdoll

Lawyer. Ask for counsel. Its free if you tell them you cannot afford one. Tell them what you told us here. I do know your crime if convicted can be expunged from your record. I know no more.

Lawyer. Call the court. Court appointed lawyer.

Good luck

Thank you. I'll call in the morning.

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:04 PM
a reply to: paperdoll

First of all, the law and processes for avoiding maximum penalties differ state-by-state. I will also tell you that it's good your bf (hopefully EX at this point?) refused medical treatment, because otherwise it would look worse for your side of the story, and you could have to be responsible for paying for those and additional damages. As a first offense, and under the circumstances, I think you are in ok shape but it depends on how the judge sees it and how things go in court. To maximize your chances of success lawyer up ASAP (public defender might be best for financial reasons) and make sure you gather up any evidence/documentation you can to show you are a productive member of society (volunteer work? paystubs? anything might help), and any documentation of his abuse he's done to you.

Best of luck to you

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:07 PM
a reply to: paperdoll

Your intention was to hurt him, so i would convict you. The excuse for violence is never an option.

Your story means zero, since its subjective.

However looking at your past, counseling and a fine.

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:21 PM
I'm not a lawyer, nor am I a family court expert, but in my experience family court (and housing court) and other courts of this type, have a lot of safeguards set up to protect the individual.

There's usually a floating attorney who works for the court. He/she will ensure that you understand what's going on, if you don't have representation, and point you in the direction of how to get it if you need it.

It sounds like you were speaking to such a person during your court appearance.

Although you could get a public defender, or even handle this matter yourself, I recommend finding a lawyer. Just look up family court lawyers in your area, and keep calling till you find one you like. Also seek out one who just charges flat fees for court appearances and preparing briefs/motions. It won't break the bank. And you'll get a better outcome.

It sounds like you'll get out of this with court mandated anger management. Had you gotten a lawyer involved from the jump you probably could have avoided even that. You still may.

And whatever agreement you come to. Follow through with it to the letter. Dot all the "i's" cross all the "t's".

Finally, this "boyfriend" who had you arrested, get them out of your life immediately. No confrontations, no discussions, no explanations. Just pretend they don't exist. People who bring the law into a personal relationship will do it again. And it will get worse.

This person is a threat to your personal liberty. They are like a raging fire or an open manhole cover. Something that cannot be reasoned with. Something you just avoid.
edit on 7-9-2016 by Moresby because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 08:26 PM
First, I'll start with a caveat...

Laws differ from state to state and how courts are run do too.

That being said, family violence is one of the more serious misdemeanors as it is treated almost like a felony in that you lose your rights to bear arms (even so much as you cannot be in the military).

Second, ALWAYS always always report to the cops. You would have at least had incident reports on your side at court. And yes by all means get a lawyer immediately. He/she will help you get leniency (especially with first time offender status). Like other poster stated, violence is never the answer but at the same time sometimes you just lose it. The sad thing is, had the guy not been your boyfriend but just a friend (that did not live with you), it would have simply been assault (or possibly battery depending on the state). In fact; talk to your lawyer, because pleading down to a lessor charge may be your best bet depending on the judge.

And, yes I've known a couple of judges that ran their courts (misdemeanors only) that way. There will be several court dates per month, some of which is simply the judge telling you when to come back and that you might want a lawyer.

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 09:40 PM
If i were you, i would go to the court house in the morning and talk with a court appointed lawyer. In canada they are called Duty counsel. That person will represent you in court. You can take it upon yourself by enrolling in anger management before the judge suggests it. That way it will show the judge that you recognize what you did was wrong. (Even if justified) also you most likely dont need anger management to begin with, but as i mentioned, it will look good in court. Since this is your first charge, The judge will most likely consider your anger management sessions as your sentance and that will be it.

- i have been charged with assault 4 times. All due to alcohol. I have spent less than 48 hours in jail. The only time i did spend there was when i was first booked. But always released in the morning when i sobered up.

Needless to say I do not drink anymore. Nor have been in trouble since i was 20 ( im 34 now)

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 10:44 PM
You need to secure a attorney asap.

They work deals before court appearance dates. Sounds like you had your initial appearance and will be going back for sentencing on the 14th.

That is not very long for an attorney to prepare your defense. You want them to work a deal with the prosecutor BEFORE for the best chance of a good outcome.

IF the lawyer says the evidence is good enough to convict AND he (BF) will show up to court to testify, then plea to a non domestic.

Your lawyer can sopena him under oath and you guys can chat about his prior behavior. IF he looks really bad prosecutor will probably not fight for it very hard.

And most importantly stop drinking to the point of fn stupidity.

Oh, avoid the count appointed attorney public pretender at all costs.

Beg and borrow to pay for an attorney, this charge will follow you for the rest of your life, it will have a bigger effect on your job prospects, some charges can be found even after the "expungement", if you even get that deal.

The reprocussions could cost you millions, pay 1500 or whatever to have it handled before it snowballs.

edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: (no reason given)

edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: adddddded to

edit on 9 by Mandroid7 because: spc

posted on Sep, 7 2016 @ 11:24 PM
Get an attorney immediately...tell them the whole court also has abuse counsellors . Got to family court and ask for the contact informatio. , and speak to one of those counsellors too.

(post by AndyBailey removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

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