Can I get charges dropped if I was defending myself? 51 Answers as of June 29, 2011

I hit my ex after she put her hands on me several times. I finally was able to walk around her and I told her I am done. She threatened to kill herself, so I called 911. I told them about what happened, including the argument. I was just trying to be honest. I was arrested although there were witnesses who saw her hit me a few times before. I had no idea they were even considering arresting me. My rights weren't read to me either. Can I get the charges dropped?

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Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux
Law Offices of Scott Tibbedeaux | Scott Tibbedeaux
There are a lot of details missing from your question, but I will do the best I can. First, in regard to not being read your rights, the charges cannot be dropped on that account. If your rights were not read, then they cannot hold anything you have said after being put into custody against you. In dealing with your charge, which I am assuming is battery, or domestic violence, there are a lot of variables that factor in to a "self defense" argument. A person can only use reasonable or necessary force when they are protecting themselves. In your question you said that she had put her hands on you, your defense would depend on how and how hard your ex was hitting you. If she was attacking you in a way that made you afraid for your life, then it would be reasonable or necessary for you to use more force. If she was simply pushing you, then striking her might not be considered reasonable or necessary. If the force you used was reasonable and necessary, then you could do something about your charges.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/29/2011
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
Hello- Self defense is a complete defense to a domestic violence charge. This would be a defense that would have to be raised at a trial. You would need to file a notice of an affirmative defense, and it would be best to present your evidence of prior assault behavior of your wife through other witnesses in addition to yourself. It is generally difficult to have these matters dismissed before trial, because that lies within the discretion of the prosecution.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 6/27/2011
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
The short answer is that you should talk to your attorney who is representing you in your case. A battery is a harmful or offensive touching. Self defense is an assertion that can negate the charge of battery. Domestic violence is a form of battery, adding the element of tow persons who live or share a child together. Therefore, you seem to be charged with a harmful or offensive touching, and self defense can be a defense. If you go to far in your self defense, or if you could have simply walked away, then the self defense claim can fail.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/27/2011
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
The decision to file charges against a person is made by the District Attorney based upon the reports and investigation made by law enforcement officers. If the charges are excessive or improper, they may choose to reduce or dismiss the charges at any time. Usually if they choose to file charges, they believe the evidence is sufficient to secure a prosecution, so they don't drop charges easily. You should consult with an attorney regarding your specific case.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 6/24/2011
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones
The Law Office of B. Elaine Jones | B. Elaine Jones
If your ex is willing to drop the charges you can possibly get them dropped by her going to the Witness Advocacy Center and filing a Request to Waive Prosecution. However, the state attorney may still pursue the charges anyway. You would need your ex to go to Court and tell the Court she does not want to prosecute after she signs the Wavier of Prosecution affidavit. If your ex is not willing to do that and the witnesses you mentioned actually witnessed the incident you were arrested for, you will have to fight it by bringing those witnesses to your aid. The witnesses will have had to have witness the incident you were arrested for or they would not be relevant to your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/23/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I would recommend that you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, the court may appoint an attorney to represent you at the public's expense. If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, you will need to consult with a properly licensed attorney in your particular jurisdiction and state who has access to all your materials. Speaking in general terms, anyone charged with an offense is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecuting attorney has the burden of proof. There is always a mathematical possibility that a case will be dismissed; albeit, the odds of a case being dismissed depend on the unique particular circumstances involved. Speaking in general terms, yes, "self defense" may be raised as an "affirmative defense" to an assault charge. However, ultimately, questions of guilt or innocence are factual questions that are determined by either a judge or jury. Ultimately, a jury or judge would need to determine if the claims of "self-defense" are credible. If a "self-defense" affirmative defense is not viewed as credible by a judge or jury, a person may ultimately be convicted anyway. Simply claiming "self-defense" may not be enough. This particular affirmative defense is a potentially risky strategy and needs to be presented in a certain manner. Anyone who is contemplating that type of particular defense should only do so after a careful review of the applicable state laws and case law preferably with the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I've heard this story many times over the years in domestic violence cases - it's very unfair. But just because you were arrested does not mean you will be charged by the DA. They have until your court date to decide whether to issue the case or not. If they do issue it, then you plead not guilty and put forth the defense that you've detailed below. Miranda rights only come in to play if you were interrogated while in custody and those statements are being used against you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Your summary states that you hit your ex after she "put her hands on you" and then you called the police. She threatened to kill herself and had hit you several times before. You want to know if you can have the charges dropped. First of all, you should learn to be a better communicator and not hit women. If a woman puts her hands on you and threatens to kill herself she is probably not the person you want to be with. She sounds unstable, immature, and overly dramatic. You are not a very good decision maker since you hit her and then called the police. You are both guilty of a domestic violence case of either assault or battery and you both would benefit from counseling, anger management, and a course in communication skills. Sophisticated, educated, mature people debate issues in a calm, intelligent fashion and stick to the issues at hand. Immature, uneducated, violent people scream and shout, trade insults, and eventually resort to violence because they are not intelligent and sophisticated and do not care about the law and other people's safety. That's how people get injured and killed...violent people lose their temper and fight. I hope you now realize that you both acted badly and should get professional help or the pattern will repeat itself over and over again. Additionally, there is not reason to hit a woman if you can outrun her.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    I would need further details such as do either of you have an order of protection against the other, any prior incidents, any prior criminal record etc. You should hire an attorney to see if it is advisable to file a Motion to Dismiss the charges and to decide whether to plea bargain or go to trial using self defense as your defense to the charges.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You need to get an attorney to represent you in court on this serious charge. Self-defense is a valid defense, but you will have to bring the case to trial to get the case discharged. However, with counsel, he may be able to discuss all the facts with the prosecutor, who may decide to drop the case, after hearing whatever information you communicated to your attorney, regarding this matter. As for rights being read, if you confessed to committing the domestic battery, and did not inform the police that you were defending yourself, there is no reason to argue the point. Rights become important if you admit your guilt to the police, not when you are expressing your innocence.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First of all, a domestic assault can be very serious. It requires that you acted with an intent to harm someone or that the other person was in reasonable apprehension of physical harm from an act. A first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, the collateral consequences of a conviction are extremely significant and, arguably, more severe than the criminal penalties themselves. As a result, it is extremely important to protect your public and criminal record. First, if convicted of a fifth degree assault or any assault offense, employers who require a background check will not hire you. That is particularly true if you work closely with customers or in some other service oriented profession. Second, many landlords now perform background checks for applicants and, if you decide to rent, you may be denied an apartment with a crime of violence such as an assault on your record. Third, a conviction for assault may result in licensing problems for certain occupations or interfere with acceptance into some schools of higher learning. Finally, it is also compelling that a non-citizen may suffer deportation and, even a citizen would lose their right to possess a weapon ,even for hunting purposes, after a conviction. Often, the best defense is a good offense. In most instances, an argument for self defense may be made. However, that will not result in a dismissal of charges. Ultimately a jury weighs sch testimony and delivers a verdict based on who they believe to be more credible. Miranda warnings need not be read unless there is a custodial interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You are a defendant now in a criminal proceeding and you need to be represented by an attorney. Can the charges be dropped? Sure. It's possible. But you still need an attorney. Please note the following necessary legal disclaimer: I have not given legal advice. I only give advice to my clients. I am not acting as your attorney. I have not yet agreed to represent you. Anything I have said is based on limited information and may be subject to change as more facts become known. Attorneys express opinions. Attorneys often disagree. If you want further information or independent verification of anything I have said then you should immediately consult another attorney. Never sit on your rights! I am admitted to practice law in New York State only and cannot practice law in any other State.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    The justification defense is an affirmative defense whereby you are essentially admitting to the act but saying that you are not legally culpable because you were justified within the meaning of the law. You need to consult with your attorney on the facts and circumstances of the incident and make a decision on how to proceed with a defense strategy.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You likely will need an attorney. Anytime someone admits to hitting (assaulting) another they have to arrest. Prosecution is unlikely to even talk with you without a lawyer and they is likely a restraining order in effect keeping you from contact with your wife.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Subin
    Law Office of Andrew Subin | Andrew Subin
    Self defense is a defense to a charge of assault. However, this is an issue you may have to take to trial. It may not be so easy to have teh case dismissed without a trial.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    Defending yourself is a defense to an assault charge but not grounds for having the charges dismissed. The judge or jury has to conclude that you were justified in using force to defend yourself and that you did not use more force than was necessary. I would not defend myself in a matter such as this. Conviction of domestic violence is a permanent record and if convicted you could face jail time and will forever forfeit your gun rights.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    I would have no way of knowing from your description alone. You need to retain an good certified criminal law specialist to assess the evidence the police claim to have against you. If they believed your version they wouldn't have arrested you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but you need to hire an attorney right away and fight this properly. You apparently have not had any contact with the system. It doesn't operate the way you think it does. NO, they will not likely drop the charges based upon the fact that you're going to be in a Domestic Violence Court. It is often the worst Court in the system and it is heavily prejudiced against the "assaulter" even if he has been hit first. In other words, you need to have a strong attorney represent you or you could have a very bad outcome that you won't like. I don't know how to be anymore direct than that. The fact that you have witnesses will help of course, but make sure an investigator gets a sworn statement from them as soon as possible so they won't later change their testimony and if they do, you can impeach them with the prior sworn statement. This is an important case and you should hire a lawyer to represent your interests if you want the right outcome. Without one, you are a potential victim of the system and that's the last thing you want when you're innocent. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Not likely. Self defense stops when the threat stops. Your hitting her is a new act of battery. You need a lawyer on this matter ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    Does not sound like it. get a lawyer or be prepared for 26 weeks of anger management.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    It appears you clearly need to retain an experienced criminal lawyer in your area. No, the charges aren't likely to be dropped merely because a person is defending himself. Nor are the charges likely to be dropped simply because they did not read Miranda. Each case is different, but you definitely need a criminal lawyer. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    Self defense is a valid defense to any type of assault, battery, or domestic violence charge. However, you will have to be able to convince the judge or jury that you were truly defending yourself and that you were actually in danger and/or being aggressed upon. Do not plead guilty to anything or agree to anything without consulting with an attorney first. An experienced criminal attorney will be able to review the police report to determine if you have any defenses or if there are any weak spots or errors that could be used to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC
    Lisa Mulligan Law Offices, LLC | Lisa Mulligan
    You really need to talk to a lawyer who can review the State's evidence and give you a better idea of your options and the probability that the charges will get dismissed. These kinds of cases can be tough, and I would strongly advise against representing yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    Whether or not the charges may be dropped completely depends upon what is customary/average for where you live. You should call an attorney in your city with experience who can let you know what you can expect.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Yes, right after you hire a competent attorney. You tried to explain yourself to the police and failed. In fact, you didn't even know you were being arrested. That means when you appear pro se, you will enter a guilty plea and think that teh charges were dismissed. See my website on how to select a good attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You need to hire a good lawyer. I am familiar with defending these type of cases. It is a complicated defense when you claim self defense - but it is a darn good place to start.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    If the jury decides that you were acting reasonably in self-defense, you'll be acquitted. But if the jury doesn't believe you, or doesn't think your response was reasonable, you'll be convicted. Reading your rights to you is only important if you say something. If you don't make any statements to the police, it doesn't make any different, but if you did and if the judge believes you weren't read your rights, the evidence may be thrown out.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    DV cases are always difficult. Charges can always be dropped but it is hard for a prosecutor to do so bc of political pressures. Self defense and fight by mutual consent are valid defenses. A good criminal defense lawyer should be hired. Do not talk to police or anybody about case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    Self defense is one defense to A&B (Assault & Battery) charges. However, it is not a simple matter of telling a judge or a District Attorney your story, or your version of the story, and expecting them to simply drop the charges. Once you have been charged with a crime the only way for you to tell your version is through a trial. You should hire a Criminal Defense lawyer. Your lawyer will advise you on how to proceed and how to defend yourself. Your lawyer may advise you to seek criminal charges against your ex, or he may advise you to go to trial to assert the self-defense defense. An experienced attorney should be able to evaluate your situation and your facts, specific to your case, and advise you accordingly.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Jared Justice Attorney at Law
    Jared Justice Attorney at Law | Jared Justice
    It seems to me that the charges are unlikely to be just dropped. Self-defense is an argument that would likely be used at trial. Feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    First regarding your Miranda rights. The police are supposed to read you your rights if you are a suspect and under arrest but many times they do not. The only "punishment" to the cops or "compensation" to you is that any inclupatory (guilty) statements that you made to police can be suppressed. Any statements that you made while they were investigating - talking to everyone about what happened & before they decided to arrest you - are not subject to being suppressed because you were not in custody nor were you the focus of the investigation. Second - self defense. You have the right to use force to the extent necessary to defend yourself against another's unlawful used of force (at least in Texas.) So, if she is hitting you, you have the right to grab her, slap her hands away, hit her to throw her off from hitting you, etc. What you cannot do is once she has stopped hitting you, reflect on how that makes you angry, and walk over to her & hit her. You can't "restart" the physical altercation. (Obviously this is a very blurry line on whether a physical attack has stopped or not, etc.) That said, even if the police believed that the issue was over and then you went over to her and hit her without just cause, under the facts you have given she, too, should have been arrested for assault. Even if you assault her later, that did not justify her assault on you. So, I'm not sure why you were arrested except that either your friends didn't support your version; she told a completely different version and the cops chose to believe her; your friends supported you and your version but her version was different & the cops thought that your friends were your friends and were covering for her; or the cops felt that the physical part was over & you restarted it (and didn't arrest her because, as you put it, her "putting her hands on you" didn't rise to the level of what you did to her and they felt sorry for her; or some other reason that only the cops could dream up at that time. Can the case be dismissed? Yes. The prosecutor may believe you had the right to self defense; that the situation is such a mess that it should all just go away; that she started it even if you went too far; etc. However, you will need a lawyer to represent you. The lawyer will probably need to talk to all of your witnesses. The lawyer will have access to the offense report and can dissect what the cops have written. The lawyer can then artfully articulate to the prosecutor why the case should be dismissed - or set the case for trial to push the issue.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    A self-defense defense to a charge of assault depends on lots of facts. Did you have a chance to get away? Did you use more force than necessary . And other factors. If you are going to fight this on that grounds consult an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    CAN the case end up being reduced or dropped? Sure. Is that likely, just because you want it? NO. The police and DA don't spend time and money arresting, charging and prosecuting cases only to drop them without a fight. That's not how the system works. Domestic Violence crimes are vigorously prosecuted, even if the victim doesnt want them to. What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone except an attorney about the case. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Steven C. Bullock
    In all likelihood the charges will proceed to trial. I suggest you immediately contact an attorney to assist you in this matter.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of William S. Smith
    Law Office of William S. Smith | William S. Smith
    You may be able to get the charges dropped. First and foremost hire a qualified attorney immediately. There may well be an issue of self defense here. Typically, the states define that generally as the reasonable use of force to prevent the alleged victim from inflicting a battery and/or assault on the defendant. The force the defendant used must be only so much as is reasonably necessary under the circumstances. Moreover, most states require some measure of immediacy be present. So if your ex hit you, even repeatedly, and then your response in using force back at her was delayed, you may be found by a jury to have lost the right to self defense. As to the fact that your Miranda rights were not read, Miranda rights only apply when a suspect makes statements during what the law calls "custodial interrogation." These are the only circumstances under which the police must recite your Miranda rights to you. Your statements to the 911 dispatcher would therefore not be covered by Miranda (although there may be other legal grounds for your lawyer to seek to exclude those statements from your trial, depending on your state's laws and rules of evidence). On Jun 21, 2011, at 7:46 PM, "Question From LawQA" wrote: > A QUESTION HAS BEEN SENT TO YOU VIA A CRIMINAL DEFENSE WEBSITE ON THE LAW QA NETWORK > > ID:23754 > Question: Can I get charges dropped if I was defending myself? > Question Detail: I hit my ex after she put her hands on me several times. I finally was able to walk around her and I told her I am done. She threatened to kill herself, so I called 911. I told them about what happened, including the argument. I was just trying to be honest. I was arrested although there were witnesses who saw her hit me a few times before. I had no idea they were even considering arresting me. My rights weren't read to me either. Can I get the charges dropped? > > *********************************** > To answer this question, please just reply to this email. The original content and subject should not be modified, otherwise your answer will not be valid.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Nothing in the realm of Domestic Violence is that simple. You would be defending the charges under a theory of self-defense. To do that you would have the burden of proving the following by a preponderance of the evidence: 1. You were in fear of assault 2. Your fear was reasonable 3. That the threat of violence was imminent 4. You used no more force than was necessary to stop the assault When discussing reasonable fear, the court looks to the circumstances facing the defendant. For example, if your ex is 5'2 and 125 pounds and you are 5'9 and 200 pounds, your fear of your ex would be unreasonable. So you would need to articulate why you would fear injury from your ex. Her reputation of violent behavior may be used if a defined community is aware of her reputation. Now another issue is imminence. Were your wife to say from across the country, "I'm going to kick your ass when I get back" would not qualify as an imminent threat. When using force, one may not use any more force than is reasonable. That means you don't pull a gun in a fist fight unless the other guy does first. One real issue for you in this situation is that you arguably could have left. The other issue is largely misunderstood by the public. The mere fact that someone hits you does not necessarily give rise to the right to hit the person who hit you. In your situation, if your ex hit you and stopped, she would have broken off her attack and hitting her would have been illegal. At any rate you will need an attorney who is familiar with criminal law and self-defense. I'm a card-carrying life member in the NRA. I am also an NRA-certified pistol instructor. Suffice it to say I have the self-defense law down cold. I have 21 years of experience as an attorney. I would encourage you to contact me because you can lose a lot with a DV Assault conviction. Not only would you be subject to a no-contact order with your ex, you would lose your firearms rights and end up having to do domestic violence treatment. I know people who have been through DV treatment and most of them would rather have a cavity filled with no anesthetic.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre
    Law Office of Jonathan T. Sarre | Jonathan T. Sarre
    Domestic violence chargers often do end up getting dropped but this will depend on whether or not your ex is interested in seeing you prosecuted. DV cases have a high rate of dismissal (at least in Oregon where I practice), because the complainant often doesn't want to participate in the prosecution after it gets going. That would be the mist likely reason your charges get dismissed. Depending on what she and you said to the police, you may have a viable defense available to you. That (obviously) would be self-defense. If you had a reasonable belief that you were in danger, the law allows you to defend yourself, generally you are allowed to use force equal to the threat presented. I don't know how you and your ex stack up sizewise, that would be something I would want to know if I was contemplating filing a notice of self defense. For example if you're 6'7" and 300 pounds and she's 5'2" and 100 pounds, I doubt many jurors are going to find that you rationally felt like you were in danger, but give her a knife and that will change things. Finally, the Miranda issue (not being "read your rights") may come up, but only if you made incriminating statements while being held in custody or some other constitutionally "compelling" situation, but this only will make the statements you made to the cops inadmissible by the state if they were planning on offering them against you. A Miranda violation will not result in the charges being dismissed in most cases.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Possibly, but it won't happen without a lawyer. DV cases are usually very defensible, as they involve a lot of he said she said, but the prosecutor won't listen to what you have to say. They only negotiate in good faith with lawyers.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    The Chastaine Law Office
    The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
    Hitting your wife in anything aside from self defense is illegal. Most counties take "domestic violence" seriously. This is a case where having an attorney might make a big difference, especially when there is evidence that you might have hit her before. I strongly recommend you seek legal counsel.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    You may have to go to trial with your witnesses in order to be acquitted. Often police and prosecutors don't like to drop charges once issued.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    No sir, not likely. This is why it is always a bad idea to make any statements to the police. Typically, I would say that, if your ex were willing to sign an affidavit recanting and indicating that she was not going to cooperate, the prosecutor might drop the case. However, there are two problems with that. First, if your ex signed such a paper she would be lying, which is perjury in an affidavit. Second, it sounds as if there are other independent witnesses that the State can call to testify to the events. If those witnesses did not see this event they should not be allowed to testify, unless you put your "character" in issue at trial. I highly recommend you get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Since your question is very fact specific; it depends. If you were protecting yourself from her coming into an unwanted physical contact with your person, this may be considered a legitimate self defense.You have the right to defend yourself against unwanted physical contact as long as your physical response is not considerably greater than her initial physical contact against you. For example, if you are trying to block a punch to your body, you may not pull out a knife and stab that person. The exception to this rule would be if you thought your life was in danger. Now, if you hit your ex AFTER she hit you and you did not anticipate any more physical contact from her; the self defense issue may not apply. You can only claim self defense if you were really defending yourself; not merely reacting to her physical contact. As far as your rights not being read to you, this may or may not be important. Miranda rights are invoked only when 1) you are in custody and 2) if the police believe you are going to give an incriminating statement - like an interrogation. If you were in custody and the police were asking you questions to build a case against you (not just spontaneous statements from yourself) you have to have your Miranda rights read to you before those statements may be used against you in a criminal action. Cases are sometimes dismissed by a suppression motion because the statements made by the defendant were kept out of the case due to a failure of an effective Miranda waiver. If you have any further questions, please feel free to call my office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    You may not use more force than is necessary to defend yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi
    Law Offices of Elliott Zarabi | Elliott Zarabi
    It really depends on which jurisdiction you are in. But generally speaking, Self-Defense must be to defend yourself. From what you have told me, it sounds like you hit her because she was annoying, not to defend yourself, am I right?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    This isn't a do-it-yourself project, nor is this something you can talk your way out of. You need a criminal defense attorney that routinely practices in the court where your case will be heard. Will they drop the charges? That depends on all the facts in the police report, the physical evidence, statements and all circumstances of the case. It also depends on what your attorney can work out on your behalf. Do you have the right of self-defense, even in a domestic violence situation? Absolutely. But it is definitely time for you to consult a local attorney face to face.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC
    Fitzpatrick, Mariano, & Santos, PC | Raymond J. Savoy
    The police only need to read your rights is when they intend to ask incriminating questions. You can get the charges dropped if you defend yourself but it is always better to hire an attorney experienced in criminal law.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    If you believe you have a valid self defense claim, you need to hire an attorney now so that you can start to conduct your own investigation and prepare your case as best as you can. Hawaii is very unfriendly to self defense claims so hiring an attorney and getting your investigation jump started now is best.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 6/22/2011
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