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Being charged with 120.00 and 240.26 however, I acted in self defense! Need help understanding my rights!

Astoria, NY |

I was treated with excessive force at an establishment by an employee . I was punched , wrestled & thrown onto the ground for just trying to walk into the place after hours ( didn't know and wasn't notified I couldn't walk back in ) . It was horrific and embarrassing . I couldn't physically escape and therefore bit the assaulter . A bunch of witnesses had to peel him off me after trying for several moments . I stood there expecting the police to help but I was a customer and presumed drunk ( didn't even have a drink ) and I had no marks at that point in time on my body , I was arrested and booked . I had a swollen eye days later and went to doc . Never pressed charges even though charges were made against me . Wanted this to go away . Was at court once , have to go back . Why & how to prove self defense

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

Bar room cases are hard to prosecute, but less so if the other party is an employee of the bar. You should assist your attorney by trying to obtain proof you were not drunk (e.g. witnesses unless you had the foresight to get a blood test for BAC level or the officer may agree you did not appear intoxicated), and assemble any evidence to show that there was excessive force. Also, there are probably security tapes which need to be preserved, as bar owners like to have them erased very soon after if there is any risk of a lawsuit, which there might be in this case if you get an acquittal oroutright dismissal. So get a good defense attorney.

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.



Thank you for an informative answer!


Speak to your attorney or hire one. It is defensible but obviously not an easy one. Self-defense has to be disproven by the DA which is not easy for the DA to do.

Joseph A. Lo Piccolo, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Criminal Courts Bar Association 11'-12'
Hession Bekoff & Lo Piccolo
1103 Stewart Ave, Suite 200
Garden City, NY 11530
516-408-3666 (o) / 516-408-3833 (f)

I am a criminal defense attorney practicing in Nassau, Suffolk and New York City. The above information is not a substitution for a meeting whereas all potential legal issues can be discussed.


I won a self-defense case last year. You need to retain a good criminal defense lawyer. Will the witnesses testify for you?

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.



I don't know if the witnesses were accounted for once the police came. But I do have one person who was there with me who can witness. I cannot afford a lawyer

Daniel DeMaria

Daniel DeMaria


Lawyers, including myself, usually do cases for free (i.e. pro bono) from time to time. You're welcome to contact me for a free consultation, and based on the strength of your case I may be willing to do it pro bono. Alternatively, you can try to find another pro bono lawyer.


You have the right to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to assist you.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


You should retain a good criminal lawyer to investigate the matter. It sounds like you were thrown out and then returned and the bouncer tried to remove you and a fight started. Your lawyer needs to know the facts, interview witnesses, subpoena the security tapes, hire a private investigator to talk to the bartender, bouncer, and patrons that might have witnessed the event. The motive for the assault and whether you were trespassing are not clear. You may have a defense of justification, commonly known as self-defense, but that depends on the facts and circumstances. If you were not asked to leave and it was simply past closing time I cannot see why the bouncer would attack you. You need witnesses to prove the justification, your word alone against the bouncer's is not strong enough as you are the one he poilce decided to charge. Please choose "best answer" if this was helpful.


Hire a lawyer IMMEDIATELY. You will not be able to prove self defense in a criminal court on your own.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I am providing educational instruction only--not legal advice. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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