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Class C misdemeanor, assault family violence

Texas |

Me and my sister had gotten into a fight cause she had broken my $1300 laptop on purpose. I was clearly upset and we starting fighting physically. I then threw a curling iron at her. She called the cops and told them I was "trying to kill her". The police had come over and tried to resolve the conflict and my sister had told them that I had thrown the curling iron and that it had not hurt or left a mark. I'm 18 and she is 16. This fight was not at all 1 sided. I now have to go to court and I am desperately trying to get this dismissed because I can lose my scholarships and I cannot afford a lawyer. Any advice?

she is also not showing up the court date and wants nothing to do with the situation. is it wise for me to just plead not guilty or am I going to have it on my record and is it going to affect future jobs/ scholarships since I am paying my way through college

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Attorney answers 1


It is not wise to just plead guilty to this kind of offense. Even though a Class C is a fine-only offense, it is an assault conviction that will stay on your record for the rest of your life.

However, you should also be aware that even if your sister does not show up at court, the State still may be able to prove that you committed this offense through other types of evidence. Specifically, they may be able to admit the 911 tape as well as any statements that you or your sister made to the police when they arrived at the scene, as well as anything the officers personally observed. A lawyer might be able to keep some of these things out of evidence which could very well prevent you from being convicted.

(The other option is to get the prosecutor to give you what is called a deferred disposition. Basically, you plead no contest and as long you do some community service and stay out trouble, the case is dismissed after 3-6 months. Some courts don't offer them on this kind of Class C, but it won't hurt to ask.)

I would recommend at least speaking to a local criminal defense attorney to see what advice they would give you and what kind of fee they would charge you on this case. You are not entitled to a court appointed attorney because this charge carries no jail time, but you might wan to make special arrangements to hire a lawyer to protect yourself.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided as a public service and as a general response to a general question, it is not meant, and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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