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Mhg5921's avatar

How bad is a harassment citation?

Asked by Mhg5921 (16 points ) March 25th, 2011

I was at a party a few weeks ago and one of my friends was threatened by someone. Standing up for my friend, I confronted the person which led to an altercation and I flashed a pocket knife. The person backed down and I left but the police were called. I didn’t touch the person in any way but I may be charged with a harassment citation. Neither of us are minors. How severe could this potentially be and what would the worst case scenario be? What does this mean for me as far as a career goes, wanting to work in nursing one day?

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14 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

Where do you live?
Was a restraining order issued?
No matter, some states can impose penalties and jail term. Eitherway, If it is on the record, then this will be an issue no matter what job you are looking for.
Most any profession and company (especially medical) will run all background checks prior to hiring.
I suggest getting a good lawyer if it goes to court.

Mhg5921's avatar

PA – and no, not to my knowledge.

marinelife's avatar

I would also recommend a lawyer. Since this is your first offense, he can plea bargain it down to something lesser.

Please do not draw a weapon on someone ever.

Mhg5921's avatar

I won’t ever be going to those kinds of parties anymore in the first place. I could understand if I got in the person’s face or grabbed him, but literally all I did was flash a weapon after being provoked.

What chance does their testimony stand in court, being this was at a party, everyone was drunk and it’s basically one side’s word versus the other?

blueiiznh's avatar

The party or “parties of its kind” did not pull the knife.
The problem is YOU DID DO THIS. I would suggest to not even ponder a “he said-she said” defense. The last thing you want is to take an approach of one word versus the other and then have witness testimony discredit you.
Own up to your mistake. Learn by it.
Get a Lawyer.

BarnacleBill's avatar

The altercation was between your friend and this guy, and you stepped into a fight not yours and acted like a bully. Man up, and admit it was not your finest decision. As far as your record goes and employment, it will make you seem like you have anger management issues, which perhaps you do?

bkcunningham's avatar

@Mhg5921 what do you mean “but I may be charged with a harassment citation.” Were you charged?

Mhg5921's avatar

blueiiznh, if someone disrespects or threatens one of my friends or someone I love while I’m around and they’re going to get what’s coming to them. I’m not going to wait for the police to come to pick us up off the floor, I was threatened and I reacted. I’ll admit I reacted poorly but I’m tired of letting people push me or any of my friends around, it’s gone on for too many years of my life.

BarnacleBill, my friend is a smaller guy and I’ve been friends with him for years. I’ve also been bullied for years, that’s part of the reason why I carry a weapon in the first place.

Whether I have anger management issues or not, I do not have a record and I’ve never been involved in a situation like this before. The people at these parties are the type of douche bags that know just how to push my buttons and get me to do something stupid. The only thing I regret is putting myself in that kind of environment in the first place.

No, I have not been charged (yet), it’s a pending decision of the police department.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Mhg5921 can you explain how the friend was threatened? maybe that might tell a more complete picture than the original post.
I believe a knife it’s still considered a weapon of deadly force in most states.

Mhg5921's avatar

My friend was pushed/shoved and the person stood right in front of him after. I confronted him about this and just told him to back away – he refused and got angry with me/cursed me and stood up in my face. That’s when I pulled the knife – then he backed away.

blueiiznh's avatar

@Mhg5921 thanks for the added detail. So do you think you were justified to show deadly force?

Mhg5921's avatar

Obviously, if what I did has landed me in this kind of trouble I wouldn’t say that I’ve acted correctly. That doesn’t mean that I feel that I was completely in the wrong. If what I’m supposed to do is just walk away whenever someone threatens me or one of my friends at a party, then I’d rather not even be at that kind of a “party” to begin with.

It seems that they are letting me go with a disorderly conduct, the police officer said it would be like a traffic ticket and wouldn’t show up on my record. I’m still finding that it would be a summary criminal offense; does that just mean it’s a lesser offense?

By the way, while I dont exactly see eye-to-eye with some of you, I thank you for your responses.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Mhg5921 my understanding of a summary criminal offense in PA is that it is somewhat like a petty offense which carries a lessor penalty. A summary criminal offense carries no more than 90 days in jail in PA. Not necessarily that it is a definite 90 days, just that 90 days is the most you could get. The maximum.

In PA, an harassment charge and a disorderly conduct charge can be either a summary offense or a misdeameanor in the third degree. A 3rd degree misdemeanor carries a maximum, note maximum – the most you could get, of a year in jail.

The summary offense with no jail time is what you would want. You should really talk to an attorney and they will let you know what is going on and if you need to be worried. You could have to do community service or perhaps nothing. An attorney would let you know though. Good luck. Sticking up for your friends is really good. But brandishing a weapon can get you in trouble. I understand what you did, but keep a cool head next time and don’t flash a knife in public..

http://www.pennsylvania-criminal-defense.com/disorderly-conduct.htm

blueiiznh's avatar

@Mhg5921 I am happy that you have moved through the process in court and with yourself.
The biggest part of this is figuring out what was wrong, what was right and learning by it all.

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