Can I be charged with assault too? 54 Answers as of July 03, 2013

My friends beat someone up and I was there. They are trying to charge me with assault too. Can they do that?

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Osterman Law LLC
Osterman Law LLC | Mark D. Osterman
I would be sure to tell them that you did nothing. The worse they can do is to try to charge you with conspiracy to a felony if you cheered your buddy on in the beating. But no citizen is obligated to come to the aid of another. I get the impressionit was a fight and I assume the other guy, by his conduct, decided to toss a few punches himself. I call that "consent" andI know of no law that says consenting adults have tobe stopped. Have a lawyer on tap when you go in for questioning. Remind them you have rights. Tell them you did nothing and then refuse to answer any other questions on the advice of counsel. If they as you to sign a waiver of your rights, tell them to sign t themselves acknowledging that they have to observe your rights. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 7/20/2011
Healan Law Offices
Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
They can charge you as a party to the crime if they can show that you helped your friends commit a crime.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 7/19/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, they can charge you as well if you played any role whatsoever or supported their assault in any fashion. Consult with a criminal lawyer right away. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/19/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
If there is evidence that you participated in any way, you could be charged as an accessory to the crime.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 7/18/2011
Law Office of Cotter C. Conway
Law Office of Cotter C. Conway | Cotter C. Conway
You can be charged with either assault or battery under a theory of accomplice liability. It could be argued that you aided or abetted your friends in the attack on the victim. As an accomplice, you could be charged even though you never laid a hand on the victim. Contact me for a free consultation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/18/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    It is a very low level of proof called "probable cause" by which the police are allowed to charge someone with a crime. The police must either have some evidence that you participated in this assault or that you were involved as a conspirator. If the police can not show some evidence of either of these two theories your lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed via a Motion to Dismiss. Even if the police have sufficient evidence to survive the probable cause stage, to convict you they must meet the much higher standard of "Proof Beyond A Reasonable Doubt." Unlike probable cause, this is a very high standard to meet. Furthermore, they must prove this to at least 6 members of a jury, who must be convinced unanimously beyond reasonable doubt. It is unwise to appear in court to face criminal charges without a good criminal defense lawyer. Any conviction on your CORI (Criminal Offenders Record of Information) may cause you difficulties throughout your life. Most employers today run background checks on any potential employee. You can lose your license for some offenses. You must submit a DNA sample for ant felony conviction, and many 1st offenses that carry minimal consequences, set you up for extremely harsh consequences for a 2nd offense. Without an attorney you may be vulnerable to all of this and more. You only have one chance to make the right decisions after being charged with a crime. Make sure that your decisions are informed decisions, made with full knowledge provided by a skilled Criminal Defense Attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    If you "aided and abetted" in some way (that means helped or encouraged) with the intent that your friends do what they did, you can be charged and convicted. That of course is a matter of proof for the district attorney but if you are charged you will need an attorney to figure it out.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    They can charge you with acting with another. That means that even if you didn't touch the guy, so long as one of your friends beat him up, then you can be charged too. Often times this can also be a tactic to get you to "roll" on the other people involved. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact my office. Lacy M. Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC 14 S. Central Ave, Suite 212 Clayton, MO 63105 (314) 862-7277 phone (314) 246-0529 cell LacyFieldsLaw.com The choice of an attorney is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If they think you helped your friends somehow thye can charge you with assault. That does not mean they can convict you of it. You need a lawyer
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/18/2011
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky
    Law Office of Michael Brodsky | Michael Brodsky
    If you were actively assisting such as acting as a look out, you can be charged as aiding and abetting. However, your mere presence at the scene is not enough. But, that doesn't mean you can't be charged. It just means that you have a good defense. You still need a good lawyer to present it. *Please note that this is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post represents only the posters opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    The "mere presence" defense involves legal issues specific to each scenario. You should contact an attorney immediately
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel
    Grantland, Blodgett, Shaw & Abel | Gregory M. Abel
    It depends. aiding and abetting or attempted assault or conspiracy to commit assault could be charged.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 7/16/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We are criminal lawyers in Augusta, Georgia. Yes, sometimes even innocent people get charged with crimes. So, we recommend you retain a criminal lawyer ASAP! Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. They can charge you but it may not stick. They may try to charge you also as an accomplice.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP
    A.L.A. Law Group, LLP | Lauren M. Mayfield
    Yes, the police and DA can charge you with assault. It may be unclear from the report who actually started the fight or caused the injuries to the other person and the report may implicate you for making threats of injury to the victim, that coupled with your friends actions or your acts as described by the victim may be enough for the DA to charge you with simple assault.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    You are an accomplice if you aided or helped or encouraged them in any way. This can be a complicated issue. You should speak with a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    The police can do anything they want. If you have been or are going to be arrested you need legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C.
    Gonzalez Law Associates P.C. | Carlos Gonzalez
    Yes, you can be charged as an accessory/ accomplice een though you didn't throw a single blow... I'd suggest getting yourself a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    If you did anything to aid or abet you are just as responsible for the act as the person who committed it and can receive the same punishment. If you are present when a crime is committed and you do nothing to stop it or report it you can be found guilty of complicity and sentenced accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    If you participated and did not divorce yourself from the proceedings.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    You can always be charged, but if you did not touch person then you should win at trial. It is best not to discuss case with anybody other than a criminal defense lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Ferguson & Ferguson
    Ferguson & Ferguson | Randy W. Ferguson
    Yes. It is another issue if they can convict you or not. The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Alabama. Responses are based solely on Alabama law unless stated otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Without more facts it is not possible to provide an answer. However, under the law, assault is the threat to harm someone. Battery is the actual physical attack. Whether you can be charged would depend on what you did.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If you participated in any way either by assisting your friend or even acting as a look out you can be charge. However, mere presence at the scene does not indicate guilt.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    Presence alone will not invite criminal culpability; collaborative action will. It all depends on the facts.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If you were there, and took any action in furtherance of the assault by your friends, you can be charged as an accomplice, even if it is alleged you were only a "look-out".
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be charged as an accomplice if you aided, encouraged, ordered, or helped to facilitate the assault. If you did nothing at all then you would be innocent and should win the trial. If you ran away with the person who committed the assault or helped him get away you would be an accessory after the fact and would be just as guilty as he was. Retain an attorney and do not talk to anyone about the matter and you will be better off if you are charged.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    Yes. You may be charged as an accessory or an accomplice. If you are being charged with this crime, then you need to hire the very best criminal defense attorney you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber
    Law Offices of Marshall Tauber | Marshall Tauber
    Yes, while you may be able to argue in defense at trial that "mere presesence" is not enough and you may even be able to win a motion to dismiss, chances are, unless you have serious connections with someone in law enforcement or the local prosecutor's office, you could very well be charged as an accessory under the law just because you did not leave the scene when the assault took place. You need a well qualified defense attorney to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    It depends on the facts of the case. If the prosecutor feels that you did something to assist your friends in the assault, then they could charge you as an accomplice. You should speak to an experience criminal defense attorney about the details in order to get a better idea of what you are facing.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Smith & John
    Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
    No unless you did something to cause a person to believe that you were about to commit a battery on that person.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Simple answer, Yes, even if you didn't do anything. Eventually the charges should be dismissed however, as you are not a party to the assault, and watching alone is not criminal.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Being charged and being convicted (found guilty) are two different things. Being charged does not dictate what the ultimate outcome will be. Consult an attorney in person.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law | Kevin Smith
    If you were there and someone reports having seen you involved in fighting, you could be charged either as a primary actor or as an accomplice. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney before you speak to anyone else about this.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    What do you mean "trying" to charge you with assault? Are you charged or not? If you somehow acted as an accomplice - stood lookout, held the person, encouraged the beater to beat the person, enticed the person to come where they got beat up, etc. - did more than just happen to see someone beat another person - then you can be charged. Whether they can get a guilty verdict depends on your purported involvement. Do not talk with investigators without a lawyer. They are not trying to "investigate" to clear you; they are trying to find a way to include you.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes. But proving that you are guilty is another issue. Hire a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    The police cannot charge you. They give the information to the DA and the DA decides to file charges or not. It depends on the facts of your action and if you had some involvement in the incident then you could be charged, send me the facts or contact me for a free consultation to explore this further.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Aaronson Law Firm
    Aaronson Law Firm | Michael Aaronson
    Yes they can do that even though you have no blame. unless u are charged w/ offense as a "party" .
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Nelson Law Offices
    Nelson Law Offices | Greg Nelson
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    being present is not enough. you must contribute to the assault in some way
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    You can always be charged. The real question is whether you can be convicted. If you didn't do anything, then likely no, but if you assisted in anyway then you would be technically guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes if you are part of a gang.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Can they charge you? Of course. They may think they can convict you. If and when arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone about the case except an attorney. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. While this isn't a 'capital case', you certainly face potential jail and fines, so handle it right. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. He will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    If you were assisting or aiding him in any way with the assault, even if you were just standing by shouting words of encouragement or approval, you could be charged as an accomplice. If this was something that was planned and you were in on the plan to attack this person and you helped to further that plan, you could be charged with conspiracy. Both conspiracy and accomplices are charged the same as if they committed the actual crime and you face the same punishment. If you just merely happened to be there when it occurred and you didn't help in any way, then they shouldn't have grounds to charge you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    They can charge you with aiding and abetting. Assuming from your question that you did not strike the complaining witness, if you did anything to assist your friend initiate or complete the assault you can be charged with aiding and abetting.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    No.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    The Grundy Law Firm, PLLC
    The Grundy Law Firm, PLLC | Elvin Grundy
    Unfortunately, you can be charged as an accomplice in the assault if there was any intent by you to promote or facilitate anothers commission of the assault (e.g. taunting, saying Get him!), or if you performed ANY act in furtherance of the assault (e.g. you drove to the victims house and sat in the car while the assault occurred) the law does not require the act to be substantial even these small acts will expose you to liability for assault. You will want to secure competent defense counsel to challenge the facts surrounding the assault and cloud any accomplice liability that may attach to you.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc.
    Bird & Van Dyke, Inc. | Mary Ann Bird
    Yes, as an aider and abettor.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Do you mean Assault 2 or Assault too as in "Assault as well"? Whether you can be charged for aiding and abetting in a crime takes more than your mere presence at the crime scene. To be guilty as an accessory, you must aid, command, facilitate or in some other way participate in the crime or facilitate or promote it. In other words, if you drove to the scene of the crime and transported the actual assaulters, with knowledge that they would assault the alleged victim, you can be found guilty of whatever degree if assault they committed. If you supplied weapons, ammunition or encouragement for your friends to assault the alleged victim, you can be found guilty of being an accessory. If you helped them plan, prepare or in other ways helped them or "egged them on" you can be found guilty. If you helped them after the fact, drove the get-away car or in other ways aided the aggressors in getting away or concealing the crime, you can be found guilty as an accessory after the fact. Your liability will hinge on whether you participated in the assault in any way.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Rothstein Law PLLC
    Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
    Can they? YES. Are you guilty? Need more facts. Mere presence at a crime does not make you guilty. DA may claim you blocked victim's escape or aided some other way. I suggest you retain counsel.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    Don't know enough from your question as to what your involvement was. If you were, in any way, a part of the assault, even threatening or encouraging your friends, there could be some liability or fault on your part. I need to know more of the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Apple Law Firm PLLC
    Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
    Yes. Charging and convicting you are two different things. More than one person can be charged with an assault of the same person.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/15/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, you were there, and you offerred no succor to the victim. So, from the victim's point of view you were involved. From the prosecutor's point of view you are a party to the crime of assault. Therefore, you need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/15/2011
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