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Charged With ABH. Need advice!

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
As im writing this with serious regret in my voice, i apologise in advance if this is a long read. All i ask is if you can take the time to read this post and hopefully help me out...

A few notes you should know about me and my friends;
We are all around 19/20 years of age.
None of my friends have any cautions or previous convictions related to this kind of matter or any other.
I have a previous convicition of a motoring offence, which is drink-driving and im banned until September this year.
Everything i state in this post is exactly what i told the Police Officers when i was undergoing a interview, i'm being completely honest and telling everything about the story, in's and outs.

On the 14th of January this year, me and a couple of friends went to a nightclub. We all had a few drinks, as everyone does, and overall had a pretty good night. On the way out with my friends, i noticed a bloke and another bloke having a bit of a rant on the street. I turned to my friends and told them to hold up because there might of been something kicking off here. A few moments later, i remember one of the guys involved staring at me and saying something (from the anger and 'drunkeness' in his voice and face, i could tell it wasn't a happy kind of way), I can't really remember what he said, but the next thing i knew he was up in my face, squaring up to me and shouting abuse. At this time, the argument between him and the other bloke had ended and it seemed he had turned himself around to me and my mates, he was with another bloke (freind)

At the time of him squaring up to me, a friend of mine got involved with shouting abuse at him, which caused his mate to get involved with a cheeky 'Don't say that to him!'. At this time, we was all walking down the road away from the club, shoving and pushing was exchanged from my mate and the guy to who squared up to me. The next thing i knew, another one of my mates flew out from no-where and punched him. Knocking him out and causing him to faceplant the floor. At this time, i punched the other guy who was with him, and caused him to stubble to the floor in a seating position, to which i regretably hit him one more time (In the CCTV this was all shown as i was being interviewed on a tape recorder, from what i see in the CCTV, i punched him once to the seating position, then punched him twice more -to which i only recall punching him twice - then got pushed off by a bouncer, BUT the police lady next to me said, 'Yeah, he punched him twice' To which i agreed. This was all recordered on a tape recorder') At this time, another one of my mates kicked the guy who had been KO'd in the chest or arm when he was on the floor. At this time, we was all walking away to try and get home.

We all went to get some food but realised everything was closed. On our way back through the street, there was police at the end of the road. The two of my mates who where involved continued to walk past them in hope that they didn't reconize them. Me and another mate (who wasn't involved) continued to walk in the opposite way to avoid the police. As we got away, we waited in the car park for my sister to pick me up. My mate ended up getting paranoid and wanted to join a main road in hope my sister would pick us up quicker (I didn't question him).

On the way up to the main road, police stopped and questioned us with, was you involved in a fight to which we both promptly said 'No'. They let us go after saying there is not enough evidence to arrest you.

Continuing our walk down the road to meet my sister, the same police pulled over and arrested me for assault, to which one policeman said 'Why didn't you just be honest in the first place?'

At the police station i was put in a cell overnight and seen one of my other friends at the police station (The one that knocked the guy out). I gave fingerprints which i had done before due to the drink driving offence.

In the morning i was interviewed. In the interview they asked me to point everyone in the CCTV with names and why i punched that guy, i said 'I thought/looked like he was going to punch my mate' to which it did.

In the interview they showed me a picture of the guy who was knocked out. He had bruises and a graze on his chin. But, i wasn't involved with that guy at all. The guy i punched they stated they didn't take any pictures of him. They both went to hospital and where released in the morning. Just aside from talking about my story, i really don't understand why the guy i punched went to hospital, he seemed fine and seating up when we was walking away.

I was granted bail with the Alleged Offence of 'Assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH)' and to surrender to the police station in which they stated they need to anaylise the extent of injuriues, if any. Me and my 2 friends need to go there in March, 1 friend at 9am, me at 10am and my other friend at 11am.

I was just wondering what happens now and what do you people think will happen? I understand this story might seem a bit extreme to some of you people but all i ask is for a little help. Im not a voilent kind of the guy, this really isn't like me at all but i think the alchohol and the rush got the better of me :banghead: I currently have just left college (last september), im not on the dole, and im currently waiting for my mum and dad to buy a buisness in which i will work at (a pub)

Thanks for reading people (if readed anyway) and i hope you can shed some light on this matter. If you need any more information provided by me please do not hesitate to ask.

Tommy

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The best advice anyone can give you hear is to speak to a fully qualified criminal defence solicitor. When you were arrested you would have been offered the chance to have a consultation with a solicitor. Did you speak to one nad had one present when you were being interviewed? If so, the contact them and they will explain everything to you. If not then have a look through your phone book and find a criminal lawyer.

    I know that this is probably nto what you were after, but it really is the best advice anyone on here can give you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Avizandum wrote: »
    The best advice anyone can give you hear is to speak to a fully qualified criminal defence solicitor. When you were arrested you would have been offered the chance to have a consultation with a solicitor. Did you speak to one nad had one present when you were being interviewed? If so, the contact them and they will explain everything to you. If not then have a look through your phone book and find a criminal lawyer.

    I know that this is probably nto what you were after, but it really is the best advice anyone on here can give you.

    I made a mistake in the thread title btw. It's supposed to be ABH, not GBH.

    I didn't speak to a solicitor when i was being interviewed, they offered me but i refused, i just wanted to get out of there.

    Ok, i guess that's another £400 i'll have to fork out! Thanks anyway!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Never talk to the police without a solicitor. Even if you're being 100% honest and truthful, have a solicitor.

    From what you've said, I don't think you'd be going to jail, you may get a fine. But I don't know. Your friend however, was the person actually knocked unconscious? If so he needs to prepare himself. Aggravated attacks that cause someone to lose conciseness can land you up to 5 years, or a "petty crime" conviction of no more than 6 months, or a fine (£5,000) or both.

    Do as was said, talk to a solicitor to get the facts.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Your first mistake was not speaking to a solicitor about this. At the police station the duty solicitor is free to use and they can advise you on what to say and when to say it. It does leave you sitting around in the cells a bit longer, but it is worth it in the long run.

    Make sure you have a solicitor arranged when you return. Given that ABH attracts a potential custodial sentence, you should not have problems with Legal Aid, unless you are extremely wealthy. If you get Legal Aid, you don't have to pay the solicitor.

    What happens next will depend on the extent of the other person's injuries, and what the CCTV shows. The police will discuss with the Crown Prosecution Service what to charge you with, if anything, and then will either charge you, give you a caution or let you go without charge.

    If you are charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), a date will be set for you to appear at the Magistrates Court. ABH is triable each way, which means that the Magistrates can choose to hold the trial in their court or they can decide to move the matter to the Crown Court. Generally they will only move the more serious cases to the Crown Court, as the Crown Court can issue a higher sentence than the Magistrates Court.

    Before a trial date is set, you'll have a plea hearing, regardless of the court. If you plead guilty then you usually get a 30% discount on the sentence you would get if you are found guilty after trial, if you plead guilty on the prosecution's case not your own. If you plead not guilty then it goes to trial. If you plead guilty, but on different facts to those raised by the prosecution, a "Newton hearing" (basically a trial) will be held to determine the facts.

    Generally what happens is that the CPS and police charge high and will negotiate downwards before a trial. If they charge at ABH they may accept a guilty plea to a lesser offence, such as affray. However it is important for you to seek specialist legal advice before you agree to accept anything. Remember even a caution is an admission of criminal guilt and will show up on an enhanced CRB check.

    I think if you are charged with ABH, tried and found guilty of ABH, you can be expecting community service rather than a custodial sentence, but it depends on any aggravating factors and whether a defence of self-defence is accepted. I think JavaKrypt's advice is wrong- if you are found guilty of ABH I would be astounded if you only received a fine.

    Which town do you live in?

    You can find a solicitor here: http://asp.clsa.co.uk/CLSA_members/clsa_findsolicitor_county.asp
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I made a mistake in the thread title btw. It's supposed to be ABH, not GBH.

    I've amended the title for you :)

    Plenty of great advice here, just wanted to add in a link to our info on court procedures: http://www.thesite.org/homelawandmoney/law/introuble/courtprocedure

    The Community Legal Advice website also offers free, confidential and independent legal advice: http://www.communitylegaladvice.org.uk/

    Let us know how you're getting on :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you havent already been officialy charged then you will probably be charged when you go to the police station, this will have given the police time to review the evidence further and analyse the extent of the man's injuries.

    After being charged there should be a hearing explaining the charges. You will have to decide wether to plead guilty or not guilty. In this situation a defence of Self-defence could be used, as he actually assaulted you by threatening you in the first place. In any case you must consult legal advice to find out the implications of any plea you make.

    As you have no history of violent offences, you should be given a leniant sentence; though the fact that this is your second alcohol related offence could have an impact. you may be reffered to an alcohol therapy or something but this really depends on how you plead.

    best advice is to consult a legal professional. you can get free and confidential legal advice by ringing this number 0845 345 4 345 if you are in the UK..if not then im sure there is an equivalent..

    :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey there suffocation_within,

    This thread was started in January and while this was only a few weeks ago, the Original Poster (OP) may not want to be reminded of this incident.

    So I am going to close this thread and if anyone has any further questions about this matter, then please start a new thread.

    Thanks.
This discussion has been closed.