i was in the passenger in a car when me and my GF were arguing, i wanted out of the situation, i asked to be let out of the car and she prevented me from leaving by grabbing on to me and holding me in the car. After the second time of trying to get out and her preventing me, i pushed back and grabbed her. When she stopped grabbing on to me and fighting back i let go and left the situation. I was arrested and charged with choking based on her statement. Will self defense or the fact that i was trying to leave before-hand be a good defense. will it help that she is not pressing charges. She has told me she didnt want me at home that night and first told the officers nothing happened, when they said thay would release me she says she felt pressured to say something.
she is now willing and waiting to sign an affidavit of non- prosecution, but is waiting to here from my attorney. My attorney think can get this dismissed, but says it will take several court visits, and possibly trial. Does this sound right??
Criminal Defense Attorney
If your attorney says that there is a good chance of getting the charges dismissed, he/she has a better idea than I do, because your attorney has access to all of the facts and evidence. In terms of self defense, I would need to know more facts to give you a better answer. Typically, force should only be used to prevent bodily harm to yourself. You need to speak with your attorney to answer these questions, because he/she has all of the information to give you adequate answers.
Federal Crime Lawyer
I'm not sure when this incident happened, so, assuming this happened recently (within approximately 30 days), the case is probably with the law enforcement agency and not yet formally indicted by the District Attorney's office. At the pre-indictment stage of a case, a detective with the police department is gathering all the evidence to include in his report (Prosecution Guide), for example, statements, photos, any and all police reports from that evening. Usually the detective can also have the complainant sign a waiver of prosecution. He will then later submit his detective's report to the District Attorney's Office for filing. Your girlfriend should try to get a hold of the detective in the early stages to tell him why she felt coerced into saying what she did, and that what she said was not true. If he does have her come in to sign an affidavit, it would weigh more when your attorney also submits the waiver (that he will prepare) to the State when you go to court for your first pre-indictment appearance. Your attorney is correct in saying that it usually takes a few court dates and even setting the case for trial before the State does their own evaluation of the case and decides to dismiss the case. If the State has a witness that is uncooperative, they may dismiss the case. However, if after evaluating the case, they find that this complainant is only now recanting and changing her story because you are in a relationship, which happens a lot too, they may proceed and decide not to dismiss. There are no guarantees that they will dismiss the case because in family violence cases involving individuals in a relationship, it is not unusual that the girlfriend or boyfriend change their story, so the State must make a careful evaluation. Also, most likely, the prosecutor will contact your girlfriend to discuss what is stated in the report and will question her reasons for wanting to waive prosecution. Either way, I would have to agree with your attorney that this doesn't happen overnight. From my experiece, the wait is worth the dismissal in the end. Good Luck! www.sylviacavazoslaw.com ~Sylvia
Criminal Defense Attorney
Listen to and cooperate with your attorney. Your attorney has the best idea whether or not the case might be dismissed. I will say that in Houston it is VERY difficult to get a case dismissed when there is an allegation of family violence. However, this does not mean it is impossible. Moreover, if the case is not dismissed, be ready to tee it up for trial. Just because the prosecutor (who believes every story they are told by the complainants) does not believe the truth does not mean that a jury will not find you not guilty.
It sounds like you have self defense as well as she was committing unlawful restraint against you. Listen to your lawyer and be ready for a trial.