You need to not post about your on going criminal case on the internet and discuss this only with your attorney...State: Wisconsin
Firstly, I'd like to apologize for this long-winded post. Simply trying to be detailed as possible.
Event: After a long day of verbal abuse from a roommate, I suggested it was time to move out but that I'd need at least a month to save up for it. Roommate stated in that case, that they wanted me to leave in that moment. I said it didn't work like that as we were both currently on the lease. They said they would Make Sure I was off the lease. Flustered as to exactly what they meant, I chose to step out side to clear my head. On my way out, their dog jumped up on me as it always did thinking if I moved towards the door that they were going outside. Like I always had done when it was decided the dog wouldn't come with, I brushed the dog off me. Suddenly, roommate screams "Don't hit my dog!", lunges over the couch, couch crashes into to my legs to where I'm supporting their's and the couches' weight. This person is easily twice my weight. Roommate proceeds to rip my shirt down to about 3 inches from the bottom and holds it behind their person with their right hand. This pulls the couch off my legs to the normal position, crashing my mid section against the back of the couch. Roommate begins hitting and scratching me with their left hand. As a result, dog being on the backside of the couch with me, begins biting my ankles. Braced my self with both hands pushing against the back end of the couch, I attempted to remove myself from the situation. Due to my shirt still being held, I could not. As the couch was between us, and my shirt was being held behind their person, I could not reach to remove the shirt from their hand. Still bracing myself with my left hand, I attempted to wait it out by blocking and attempting to grab their arm, but to no avail. My balance was off, hits were getting through, and I was failing to stop the attack. I was scared, felt threatened, and was enduring physical pain. The only part of them that was flailing that I could actually barely reach was their head. So as a last resort, I (for lack of better words) palm fisted their forehead. By that I mean, I didn't hit/punch them like a fighter/boxer would. It was like a slap with a loosely closed hand. Anyways, despite that, they didn't stop. Still scared, I did it once more. They then let go, I backed away, and they stated they were calling cops while proceeding to do so. While on the phone, they stated that I had "Beat the shit out of them" and walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind them.
When the police arrived, they asked me to step out of the apartment for questioning. I was still very shaken and not thinking entirely straight. I explained a summarized version of what happened, stating that we were arguing, I went to go outside, and they attacked me apparently because they thought I hit their dog. And that as a result, I hit them twice and that I felt really bad about it. It didn't occur to me to say the words, "It was self defense". They asked me if I hit them open handed or closed fist. I didn't have the words to describe it then either other than saying "a hybrid of both". Ultimately, I was charged with Battery-Misd. A, and Disorderly-Misd. B, both with Domestic Abuse Assessments modifiers. The roommate was charged with nothing.
The Report states that the Victim says they pushed me in response to me hitting their dog and I proceeded to hit them a couple dozen times. The report says that I say those hits were a mixture of open and closed fist punches. Very over embellished and my words about the two hits were clearly taken out of context. It was only months after that I was made aware that apparently sometime after the "victim" entered the bathroom, a small lesion on their hairline that I had not seen prior to them entering the bathroom, presumably caused by me, began to bleed. This caused a small bead of blood to run down the Victims face, which was of course photographed. This lead to "no contact", which forced me to move out of city to where I could stay with a friend and as such, lose my job as my vehicle was recently hit by a deer.
To this day, almost 6 months after the fact, my former roommate still has and is using all of my furniture and things which is valued at roughly 5-6k. I've yet to be able to get a job since and I have a sneaking suspicion it has everything to do with my pending charges. Not having a job means I'm left with a public defender.
-The "victim" has a history of panic attacks.
-The "victim" has a history of altercations that start with them "pushing" someone else and then getting "the shit beat out of them".
-The "victim" had previously attacked me, however in that situation, I was able to turtle up and remove myself from the situation without touching them. My son witnessed that one, however, I regrettably never reported it.
-I had taken pictures of all my bruises when I got out of jail 4 days later.
-The "victim" has contacted me via text apologizing and supposedly the prosecutors office stating the report was incorrect and expressed desire to drop the charges.
-This is my "first offense" (because at 34 I would suddenly decide to fire up a criminal history.)
1. Best plea-deal I've gotten offered is they'll drop the battery immediately, if I plead guilty to the disorderly conduct, which after classes, that'll go off my record too due to the first offenders program. However, I'm struggling to get a job and don't have a car so I'm really worried that I'll end up missing or being unable to pay for classes, thus taking full convictions anyways.
2. My public defender says that dropping the battery immediately, and pleading guilty to the disorderly having time served due to the 4-5 days I was in jail is also a possibility. However, that leaves a DC with a Domestic Abuse modifier on my record that EVERYONE can see and assume the worst thanks to Wisconsin Circuit Court Access.
3. Take it to jury trial. I've read that regardless of truth, self-defense is hard to prove. I can't afford an attorney I know will truly fight for me. The "victim" is a female and I'm a male. In today's current social environment (eg. #metoo, feminism, assuming males are violent by nature, etc.) I fear the jury will assume the worst of me regardless of my defense. To be clear, I'm very on-board with there never being a reason to hit a woman. There's never a reason to hit anyone. However, I strongly believe there is a reason to enact one's right to self-defense when reasonably necessary. I did not use excessive force. I believe if this were a male on male situation, if even charged, that I'd be fine. However, that same faith does not hold true in my situation. I genuinely fear the trial would not be "Just" at all.
I'm feeling like there's no "good" option here. I've been leaning towards option 2 as it feels like a good balance between taking the least punishment while also taking the least risk in having to face heavier punishments for charges that, regardless of opinion, I know I'm not guilty of.
I believe I literally have to decide by tomorrow as it's the last date prior to jury trial. My public defender doesn't respond to anything I say outside of seeing her at court. My anxiety is maxed. Question is, which option do you all feel would be best to take in my shoes? Also, are there potential options I may be unaware of?
No one here can tell you which “option” is best for you to take. Your attorney is the only one who should be advising you as your attorney knows the facts and is likely to know the prosecutor, the judge, and be aware of the population that would be judging you should you take the matter to trial.State: Wisconsin
... Question is, which option do you all feel would be best to take in my shoes? Also, are there potential options I may be unaware of?
Before posting your criminal case on an advice site you should have read the ToS of the site. Most everyone who volunteers here are educated laypersons. There are a few attorneys that volunteer but most of the members are not attorneys.I feel like neither of you actually read the question.
I'm not admitting any crime. I definitely exercised my right to self-defense. This is why the jury trial worries me. People are quick to assume guilt whilst ignoring the facts.
As explained in the post, I cannot afford an attorney. I can't hire a new one. I have a public defender. I'm only seeking second opinion/perspective from other legal professionals. I was under the impression that this is what the forums for. Guess I was incorrect to reach out for legal advice here. I'll take it down.
You actually did admit to a crime. You have a defense to the crime, but that needs to be proven in court.
You're welcome. Most newbies don't read the ToS...hence my signature line.