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I was in court today as a witness/victim to a crime i am also accused of and am wondering if i will get the same sentence?

Mount Carmel, PA |

Today i was in court for the Comm.of Pa vs. my ex and the charge was simple assault and harassment. The D.A.and arresting officer questioned me about the events that took place on the day of the arrest.I was hospitalized for head and neck injuries and acquired a $6300 medical bill. My ex had thrown me through a second story window headfirst.The D.A. asked the officer why i was even arrested, and he said because my ex had a scratch on his neck and one on his chest (which i told the DA were defensive wounds because he was holding me down and his gun was within arms reach) and had claimed i punched him in the face, but the only redness on his face looked to be from him being pissed off. The DA saw no reason for me to be charged,and will be prosecuting me as well on the 10th. Should i worry?

I did apply for a public defender, but have yet to hear from their office. The DA asked me what i would like to see happen here, because my ex's lawyer wanted to plead down from a misdemeanor in the 2nd degree and harassment to a summary offense only. After talking with the DA and telling him i didn't want to go to trial, i have made plans to move and get away from this person before the end of the month we settled for misdemeanor in the 1st degree, 6 months probation, and anger management classes. The state will apparently fly me back as a witness of the state in 90 days to testify and decide whether or not he should stay on probation. The DA also told me to go file a PFA tomorrow. I am thinking based on the evidence the case against me will be thrown out. Could i still be charged? I am planning on pleading not guilty because all i did was defend myself.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    The prosecutor as the ability to drop your case. As a former Florida prosecutor, I can tell you that would be uncomfortable going forward against the victim in good faith considering that you were pushed out of a window.

    Call the Public Defender's Office, and insist on an appointment immediately.

    Tell your attorney the facts.

    Have the assistant public defender have a meeting with yourself, the prosecutor and your victim advocate. Let your feelings be known about the case against you, but let it also be known you will cooperate fully with the case against your ex.

    Don't expect and don't ask for any arrangements wherein you testify and your case gets dropped. It would be unethical and it would serve to undermine the criminal justice system.

    You and your ex cannot be tried together because of a 'Bruton' issue. If your ex goes to trial, you will be a necessary witness for the commonwealth, so you will be under subpoena.

    Ask your attorney what immunities that subpoena conveys in PA. (In Florida, your words could not be used against you in a subsequent trial against you.)

    If the prosecutor doesn't drop the case after your ex pleads or gets tried, insist on a trial. If everything you say is true, you may have a legal defense that your PA assistant public defender can identify for you.

    FInally, talk to your Victim Advocate about fre counseling and domestic violence services.

    http://www.defendme.net | The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Florida. Responses are based solely on Florida law unless stated otherwise.


  2. Permit me to address each point as presented by you with my commentary:
    "Today i was in court for the Comm.of Pa vs. my ex and the charge was simple assault and harassment. The D.A.and arresting officer questioned me about the events that took place on the day of the arrest."
    Prior to any investigatory requests from any law enforcement officers or District Attorneys in any given jurisdiction you must be fully apprised of your legal rights. The law enforcement officials do not represent you and cannot be your legal assistance.
    "I was hospitalized for head and neck injuries and acquired a $6300 medical bill. My ex had thrown me through a second story window headfirst. The D.A. asked the officer why i was even arrested, and he said because my ex had a scratch on his neck and one on his chest (which i told the DA were defensive wounds because he was holding me down and his gun was within arm’s reach) and had claimed i punched him in the face, but the only redness on his face looked to be from him being pissed off. The DA saw no reason for me to be charged, and will be prosecuting me as well on the 10th. Should i worry?"
    Again, the second passage has the same issue, you must be aware of ramifications, especially when you are charged, be advised by a professional criminal attorney of your options.
    Additionally, since you indicated that there were bodily injuries these factors may come under a certain compensatory relief if available to you. That also needs a review by a counsel.
    "I did apply for a public defender, but have yet to hear from their office. "
    You do not apply for a public defender, the court, upon reviewing your financial eligibility, appoints one to your case at no charge. However, be aware that you are entitled to a legal counsel at any state of the criminal process against you either appointed or retained at your volition.
    "The DA asked me what i would like to see happen here, because my ex's lawyer wanted to plead down from a misdemeanor in the 2nd degree and harassment to a summary offense only. After talking with the DA and telling him i didn't want to go to trial, i have made plans to move and get away from this person before the end of the month we settled for misdemeanor in the 1st degree, 6 months’ probation, and anger management classes. "
    Again, what you are doing may be a disservice to yourself and to the legal process. It is foolhardy to discuss any testimony that potentially may incriminate you or in exchange, reduce your charges, without a counsel.
    "The state will apparently fly me back as a witness of the state in 90 days to testify and decide whether or not he should stay on probation. The DA also told me to go file a PFA tomorrow. I am thinking based on the evidence the case against me will be thrown out. Could i still be charged? I am planning on pleading not guilty because all i did was defend myself."
    If you analyze your situation the only correct option is to retain a professional competent licensed attorney in Pennsylvania to defend your legal interests.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and a basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professional and competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide competent professional information, however, the law and its applications may change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and materials provided above are general in nature, and may not apply to specific factual and legal circumstances related to one’s personal legal issues. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice in your State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive a competent legal advice before making any important decisions about your particular legal issue. For further inquiries please contact: Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko 1021 West Adams, 102, Chicago, Illinois 60607 773-562-8602 http://alexanderivakhnenko.com


  3. These statements are very confusing and leave the facts pretty unclear, especially because what you have described seems more like an aggravated assault and seeing the DA ask if you were OK with him pleading to a summary just does not sound right.

    In terms of your case, I don't know how the DA will wish to proceed. The DA has the authority to drop the case. The fact that they have not chosen to do so yet makes me believe that their allegations are a little different from what you are saying here. I am not encouraging you to share more on here, but you need to be open with your defender.

    Also, let them know what, if any, questions the DA asked you regarding the events.

    Michael L. Doyle
    (215) 735-5900

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