My question involves criminal law for the state of: Massachusetts
Hello all - I am in need of advice.
I've combed over these forums, but I just can't seem to find what I'm looking for...
Short story: Last weekend a girl came over to my house and wouldn't leave. I called the police to have her escorted out (or asked to leave, or whatever they might do) - and when she came to the realization that I wasn't bluffing, and that I was actually speaking to 911 dispatch, she attacked me with kicks, knees and was swing at me wildly. During the attack the phone was knocked from my hand. She was backing me up against the wall kicking and trying to punch, while I pleaded with her to stop. When my back was at the wall, and the phone had been knocked to the ground, I was able to restrain her by use of a reverse leg trip, and pinned her to the ground. I have had some training in restraint and martial arts such as judo and jiu-jitsu. Not to mention that I am a man, and much stronger than her. I've always been opposed to any sort of violence towards women.
I never struck her - not even in "self defense" - my only goal was to restrain her until the police showed up.
Police show up - get both sides of the story, and arrest her for assault & battery, and assault & battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot). They advise me of my rights as a victim, etc. etc. I decline the emergency restraining order and state that I am fine, and un-injured.
2 days go by and she speaks with a defense attorney. He advises her to file counter charges against me for A&B. He says that if she charges me, and the state charges her, and we both refuse to testify citing 5th amendment rights, then both cases will be dropped.
The problem with that is:
a) I have a clean record. I'd like to keep it that way. I'd resent even the implication that I have ever been involved in hitting a woman.
b) I honestly feel that I haven't done anything wrong. I restrained her. Her attack on me (recorded on the 911 call) was what got her arrested.
c) I know nothing of the legal system, but I'm extremely hesitant to go along with whatever her defense attorney suggests.
I haven't gotten any paperwork from the court relating to charges against me (or her) yet. I'm sure they will come in the mail next week by mail or via sheriff.
My question is what should I do? - I know I'll probably need a lawyer, but I honestly can't afford one. If this goes to court I'll need a public defender.
Also, can she and her lawyer file charges against me and realistically get a conviction? - The police report would seem to lean in my favor, even stating that she changed her story once they brought her into jail. (she was mad)
I once wanted to help her with this, and see what I could do about getting charges dropped and/or reduced. I was choosing to believe that this was an isolated incident - but now that she and her lawyer are on the warpath, and are seemingly going on the offensive, I feel that I must do whatever I need to in order to protect myself. The restraining order sounds like a great idea in retrospect. Oh, for the record, she's over 25 y/o and I am over 30. We are both adults and I can't believe I'm here asking advice on something like this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.