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Do I need an attorney for a misdemeanor assault and battery charge?

Hubbardston, MA |

My 17-yr old stepdaughter (who lived with us until this incident) raised her hand to me during an argument. I thought she was going to strike me, so I slapped her once across the face. Her and her mother are now bringing charges, even though she has since moved out and there is no danger of this happening again. I have no criminal history at all. I can't really afford a lawyer, but I don't know what the consequences will be if I don't have one on the day I'm scheduled to go to court. I don't even know what's going to happen at this court date - I've never done this before.

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Attorney answers 4


You most certainly need an attorney.

My standard disclaimer: I am not offering legal advice, assume I do
not know the law in your state or at all for that matter and that I am
just making suggestions for starting points for when you do speak with
an attorney. Do NOT rely on anything I write and contact a lawyer in
your area immediately after reading my posting.


I agree.

If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one.


Do not be mislead that because Assault & Batery is a misdemeanor, that it is an insifnificant charge. I would seriously consider seeking the funds for a good private criminal attorney. You will not be allowed to simply go into the court and tell them your story. You really only get to tell your story if you go to trial. If you make any statements in open court to the judge or to the DA, you can easily say something that can work against you. If you can not afford a private attorney, at least ask for a court appointed attorney. If you get lucky you may get a good one. If not, do whatever you have to do to hire one. If yo have no previous criminal record, it would be ashame to blemish your clean history with this type of charge. You will regret it I assure you, if you do not do everything in your power to get the best representation available and to do everything that can be done to exhonorate yourself from this charge. If you would like to discuss this in more detail you can contact me at the telephone numbers available through my web site.

A criminal record that you were convicted for striking your step-daughter i


I would suggest you do need a lawyer. This sounds like it could get messy. If you can't afford a lawyer, and qualify, they will appoint counsel for you at court. Otherwise, you should hire your own.

A lawyer can guide you through the system. You wouldn't remove your own tonsil so why represent yourself in court and risk a criminal record and possible incarceration?