This past summer my brother (22 yo) was at a bar in New York City with his girlfriend and a bunch of his friends. One of his friends ended up getting tossed out by a bouncer and the friend and the bouncer began to fight. Everyone decided they were going to leave, but as they got outside the bouncers started attacking everyone (even girls). One of them threw my brother to the ground, got on top of him and started punching him repeatedly. My brother just curled up helplessly and held his hands over his face. His girlfriend tried to pull the bouncer off but he just grabbed her by her hair and forced her head towards the ground.
After they were finally able to free themselves, they crossed the street and my brother dialed 911. Meanwhile, one of the bouncers actually followed them across and kept going after them.
During all of this commotion one of the bouncers had supposedly been hit in the face with a bottle. When word spread that the police had been called some of the bouncers were ushered away from the scene in cabs by other people that worked there. My brother, his girlfriend and one of my brothers friends waited for the police to arrive while the rest of them had run away.
When the police arrived they talked to the bouncers briefly and then went over to my brother and his friend and told them they were being arrested. The police said that people were saying someone with a shaved head threw a bottle. Unfortunately, my brother and his friend have shaved heads.They asked the bouncer who got hit if he recognized them and the bouncer said 'he's not sure but he thinks it's one of them'. They tried to tell what happened and that they were the ones who called 911 but the superior officer on the scene didn't want to hear it. This was despite that a random witness said that the bouncers were in the wrong and that they didn't throw the bottle.
Anyway, they appeared on their scheduled court date in January but were given a new date because the bouncers pressing charges (felonious assault, not sure the exact class) did not show up.
My brother's and his friend's lawyers (2 different lawyers but from the same firm) are now telling them that the people representing the bouncers offered them a plea deal - Plead guilty to assault 3 which is supposedly a misdemeanor- and that they should consider taking it. It's either that or have it go to a grand jury which they estimate could cost from $10- 20,000 and the possibility of being found guilty of a felony.
The other side claims to also have witnesses. My brother is considering the plea deal in fear of being convicted of a felony- He owns a bagel store and would lose all his licenses, and is also trying to get into the Fire Department.
Do you think it is a smart move to take the deal, or should he go to court? Do you think his lawyer is looking out for his best interest? I just hate the fact that he would be pleading guilty to something he didn't do, especially when he actually called 911 and waited for them.
Any advice? Thanks in advance!