How can I fight incorrect statements taken by police? 5 Answers as of July 21, 2010

I was involved in an altercation over the weekend. The guy took a swing at me and I defended myself. Police arrived and were interviewing onlookers but only seemed to take statements from people that knew the other guy. While we were both charged with aggravated battery, will these statements hurt me? Also, what kind of penalties should I expect?

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
You have no control over what police statements say, or who they interview. Your attorney can object to their use in court, and to the officer’s statements, as appropriate under the Evidence Code. If you are charged with a felony, as is possible on those facts, you face prison time if convicted. If charged as a misdemeanor, then up to a year in jail is possible. Your attorney’s job is to avoid that happening, through plea bargain negotiations, or motions or defense at trial. If serious about hiring counsel, feel free to contact me.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
For the statements to be used in a trial the person making them has to be on the stand. Assuming you are in CA, the statements can be used in the preliminary hearing without the witness being in court. How much they will hurt you depends on your attorney's skill in cross examination and the weight the jury gives them. This type of case normally does not go to trial and if a first time you can look at fines, summary probation and community service. This will depend on the facts of the case and your attorney. Contact me any time for more information.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Hale Law Group
Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
Most of the time these "bar fights" shake out as "mutual combat" and neither party is charged nor convicted of a crime. In this instance, you may be looking at issues since you are already charged.

In order to best tell you what you are looking at I would need to see your police report. Anything I say now would at best be a guess. If you would like me to obtain your report, please give me a call at your earliest convenience.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
The California Penal Code 243(d), aka aggravated battery, is a wobbler. "Wobblers" may be filed by the district attorney as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on (1) the facts of the case, and (2) your criminal history. A misdemeanor would subject you to a maximum of one year in county jail. If a significant injury occurs the prosecutor might charge you with Penal Code 243(d) battery causing serious bodily injury. If the case is charged as a felony because of the severity of the injury, it will be considered a violent felony. A violent felony will subject you to a "strike" under California's Three Strikes Law, and subject you to 2, 3, or 4 years in state prison. This is a case you should handle with an attorney.

All evidence should be gathered from any witness that was at the scene. If the police did not do this, your attorney should attempt to do so before the trail is cold. Whether it is charged as a misdemeanor or felony, it is a bad charge to be convicted of. If you would like free consultation, feel free to telephone or send your phone number. Best Regards.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
You always have the right to self-defense. The prosecution must prove that any criminal assault they charge you with was done unlawfully - that means they have to prove you did not have legal justification such as self-defense.

Keep in mind that what the police "charge" you with only means what they arrested or cited you with. Ultimately, the reports will be forwarded to the prosecuting agency (the Orange County, California DA unless it is a misdemeanor that happened in one of the cities that has their own city attorney that handles misdemeanor cases) for their review. They'll look at all the statements and reports and make a charging decision.

If charged, depending on what gets filed, you could be looking at simple misdemeanor battery (max 6 months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000) up to felony battery with serious bodily injury - a felony with potential state prison.

It all really depends on the facts of the case and what you get charged with. Until you consult with an attorney face-to-face to discuss the particulars, don't say anything to anyone about this. You don't want any statements you make to be used against you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/21/2010
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