I was laid off at work and my boss mistreated me so spontaneously when my boss told me I was laid off I spitted on the back of his head. At the time I had no clue that spitting was an assault and if I knew it was an assault I wouldn't have spitted on him at all. My court date is coming very soon and I am planning on pleading not guilty and explain myself to the judge that I regret my action and that I had no clue it was an assault. This is my very first offense, and I have a clean record. Do you think I would get a criminal record and would the case be handled by the first court day?
I can't afford a lawyer or a attorney, I would have the option to get a public defense correct? If so when can I? I know it is after pleading not guilty.
If you are going to court you need an attorney. However serious or not serious the matter is, you will have a better chance if your attorney speaks with assistant DA, or if that doesn't work, presents you case to the judge.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Class Action Attorney
I agree with the above answer - you need an attorney to look out for your best interests.
And in many cases, your knowledge or belief that something is or isn't a crime doesn't have anything to do with whether or not you are guilty of that crime. Many crimes are so called "strict liability" offenses - meaning that the prosecutor does not have to show or prove that you had the mental intent to commit a crime.
Criminal Defense Attorney
It does matter that you did not think spitting was an assault. Anyone should know that spitting is an extremely unwelcome conduct. If you admit that conduct, you will have just confessed. You need a criminal defense attorney in Orange County who can negotiate with the prosecutor and try to get you a good deal.
We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.
This is a criminal matter, not an employment one. As my colleagues indicated, you need to speak with an experience criminal defense attorney who knows the court where your case is being handled. If your case is in Orange or LA County, the attorneys at my firm have much experience to share. If you would like a free consultation (and I recommend you meet with a few attorneys for free consultations to see which you prefer) feel free to contact me via e-mail or phone.
Michel & Associates, PC
All my comments here are intended for general legal purposes. None of my comments here establish an attorney-client relationship with anyone. None of my comments should be relied on in taking legal action without first consulting an attorney.
The arraignment judge (the first on your case will be in front of) will accept two basic pleas - not guilty or guilty. A guilty plea will guarantee a criminal record. The judge won't listen to your explanation - that isn't their role. They may make you an offer if you were to plead guilty, but they will not engage in discussions at that time.
Instead, your attorney will engage in discussions with the DA and/or the judge if there is a resolution to be had... Or to fight on your behalf.
Before just taking the quick "wrap it up in one appearance" approach, an assault or battery conviction can impact you more than you know.
Discuss this with your lawyer. Yes, you need one.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You go to court and you don't enter any plea and you don't say a word to the judge except that you can't afford a lawyer and want one appointed. Then, you discuss your case with the lawyer that the court appoints. Secondly, you don't admit to doing crimes online. What happens if you decide to go to trial and your lawyer wants to argue that you never actually spit on anyone? Then the prosecutor says, well then who posted this question on avvo, admitting to spitting on their boss? You see? You have a right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. So, you don't talk about your possibly criminal actions to anyone but your attorney. Good luck to you.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Unfortunately ignorance of the law isn't a defense. You should speak to an attorney and try to have the charge negotiated down to a simple disturbing the peace. You don't want an assault charge on your record.
Any answer to questions is not meant to be con screwed as legal advise and no attorney client relationship has formed. In order for an attorney to give legal advise, The attorney would need to have an opportunity to ask specific questions from a full and complete disclosure of the underlying facts involved in the question asked.