My neighbor shot my dog on my property and has repeatedly harassed my mom and wife. The cops are worthless and told us to “shoot his dog back” and hung up. I’m thinking about retaliation with violence, what is the worst case scenario for punching my neighbor in the face?
I moved this question to the criminal defense category based on your desire to know the possible results for retaliating by punching your neighbor in the face. First, let me say I am so sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your dog.
Second, I am sure my colleagues will agree that punching your neighbor is not the best course of action in this situation, even though the police are being unhelpful. Your best course of action is to sue your neighbor for the loss of your dog and/or report this person for harassment to your mom and wife AND for the destruction of property of your dog (unfortunately, dogs are considered property in Colorado). If the police will not help with this complaint, you can go directly to your local district attorney's office and ask to file a "private criminal complaint." This is basically like a cop filing charges against someone, but instead, YOU do it yourself and then the district attorney reviews it to see if it is something the district attorney's office wants to pursue criminally. If they approve it, formal charges will be filed against your neighbor.
If you punch your neighbor in the face, your neighbor could (1) call the police and you could be charged with assault and battery and/or (2) your neighbor could sue in civil court for money damages caused by the punch. In other words, it would be in your best interest to not punch this person.
Bergsten Law Offices can be reached by phone, email, and social media. Each individual situation must be carefully reviewed in order to provide advice specifically tailored to that situation. The information provided here is meant to be general guidance, only, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
Worst case scenario is the punch kills him, and you go to jail for a long, long time.
Forget about the violence. Forget about the Police. Lawyer up and sue your neighbor in civil court. That is the civilized way to handle it.
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline