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Self-defense...against a child?

The East Providence police received a phone call from an angry mom, who reported that her teenaged son was assaulted by a neighbor.  A bloody nose and a bruised eye was all the evidence that the police needed to charge J.P. with simple assault.  The offer was for a jail sentence, even though the charges were misdemeanors, because of the allegations: an unprovoked attack on a teenager by a grown man.  The teenager testified at the trial and had quite an attitude... he was happy to repeat his allegations about being assaulted, but he really did not want to answer any questions by Kara Hoopis Manosh.  Attorney Manosh insisted on getting the answers, and the answers did not add up.  When J.P. took the stand, the first question that Kara Hoopis Manosh asked was, "Did you hit that kid?" J.P. answered confidently, "Yes, I did." Manosh then asked the question that nobody had bothered to ask... "Why?" And J.P. had his chance to tell the Judge about how that teenager and his friends had been harassing him that day, throwing objects at him while he worked in the yard, while making threats to hurt him.  The teenager had thrown down his bike and charged at J.P., so J.P. did what the law allows him to do - he defended himself from an imminent risk of harm.  Self-defense is an absolute defense to assault, if used within the parameters of the law, so Kara Hoopis Manosh established all of the necessary elements for a successful defense.  The Judge believed J.P. - explicitly saying that she did not believe the teenager - and she entered a verdict of Not Guilty on all charges.  

Practice area(s): Criminal Defense

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