Why I am being charged with Assault when it was self-defense?
It was self-defense
This is a common question. The problem is that the other person is probably also claiming self-defense. There are two sides to every story. There often is not video proof as to who pushed first or who threw the first punch. In many cases, the person that calls the police first is labeled the “victim,” the victim’s story is accepted by the police, so the other person is charged with assault or disorderly conduct. Real life investigations are NOT like what you see on the show CSI. The police do not always have forensic evidence to review and find out the truth before filing charges. Instead, the police don’t know who is telling the truth, so they file charges. The police only need probable cause to file charges. The case may proceed to a trial, and it is at a trial that a jury would hear all the evidence. The jury determines which witnesses are being truthful, which witnesses are lying, and then determines whether or not a person acted in self-defense. Regrettably, self-defense is often a defense that must be presented at a trial.
While a trial is often needed to obtain a dismissal or not guilty, many cases can be resolved through an agreement with the prosecutor or through participation in the ARD program. Successful completion of ARD would allow for all charges to be dismissed and expunged. With plea agreements, felony charges may sometimes be reduced to misdemeanors, and misdemeanors offenses can sometimes be reduced to summary offenses.
If you are charged with Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Disorderly Conduct, or Harassment in State College, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact JD Law for a free case revew via email or call (814) 689-9139.