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Posted: 12/18/2005 8:01:32 PM EDT
Okay this could be a very long post if I wanted it to be, but I will keep it as short as possible. I could really use some sound advice in this situation.

My roommate and I had not been getting along for some time now. I decided it would be best to not stay at our apartment since things were starting to get physical on his part. I was staying over at a friend’s house, but needed to return home to retrieve clothing every day. I went back to the apartment and no one was home but me. I took a shower and was putting on my clothes when my roommate entered the apartment. Immediately he was rude and childish. I ignored him. I entered into the bathroom where I was doing all the normal stuff...hair, teeth, deodorant...ect. He came into the bathroom to continue his childish ranting. I asked him to leave the bathroom for privacy and when I attempted to close the door he shoved me against it. Now I could have re-acted but I kept my cool and ignored him and continued getting ready. While looking for a shirt in my closet, I noticed that my AR-15 had been messed with. Turns out he had removed the ARMS #19S mount he had purchased for my birthday. In the process he damaged the mount screws. I was aggravated and said the following quote:

"If you continue to fuck my shit up I will use it against you."

Now by saying this, all I meant was to sue him in court. He didn't take it the same way. He called 911 and told them I had threatened him with a gun. Keep in mind; I had no gun in my hands or about my person.

I didn't want any of my other guns to be messed with so I packed them all up and put them in my car. I left the apartment and drove to my friend’s house that I was staying at. As soon as I arrived I received a phone call from my roommate asking me where I was at. I told him it was none of his business. He again asked the same question. I replied saying that I would not tell him because there were probably police officers in the room wanting to know my location. I also was sure to state that filing a false police report was illegal and that I never threatened him with a gun. As soon as I stated this, a police officer got on his phone and identified himself as such. He asked me where I was and I said that I was driving. The officer requested that I return to explain my side of the story. I asked if I could explain over the phone and he said no. I advised the officer that I would return shortly.

After arriving at the apartment, I parked the car and was surrounded by approx. 8 police officers at gunpoint. I kept my cool, exited the car...was instructed to get on the ground face down...I did so...and was then handcuffed. I told my side of the story but was still arrested. My charge was aggravated battery.

I won't go into the details of my 28 hour stay in prison and how bad it was...but needless to say...it was the worst day in my life. During my stay I had what was called "First Appearance" with a judge. My roommate was in the courtroom and dropped all the charges. Well that didn't matter. The state picked it up and said a court date would be set.

So I got out on a $1100 cash bond, all of my guns I had in my apartment and in my car were taken, and I have a felony on my record. Not the best of days.

Just some things to add:

1. I never ever threatened anyone at any time with a gun.
2. My roommate told the police I had the gun in my hands pointed at him and that I said I would fucking kill him.
3. My roommate dropped the charges and nothing was done.
4. They still have my guns. Approx. $10,000.00 worth plus all my ammo plus my spotting scope.
5. My roommate is trying to talk to me and I want nothing to do with him ever again...does he think I would forgive him?
6. I'm a pilot and cannot have anything on my record...I need the charges dropped and my record expunged.
7. I cannot leave the state of Florida until permission is granted by the judge.
8. I have to be nice to my roommate because my life is in his hands until the charges are dropped.
9. Why did they believe him over me? I was completely honest...respectful...the "perfect felon"
10. I don't know what to do about this situation...should I hire a lawyer and tell him I never did it and take the chance of my roommate protecting his own ass and saying that I did threaten him...or do I let him drop the charges on the day of court and see if the judge will kindly clear my record? I'm at a total loss here guys. This has got to be the worst possible situation to be in.

Please Help!
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 8:16:55 PM EDT
Dude, get a lawyer.

Should have gotten one immedietly.

Dont talk to your roommate until this is settled. You are not a felon yet, it's only a charge. Definately fight this, it's BS.

Dont lie and say you said nothing of the sort, explain what you meant (that it wasnt a threat). Have your lawyer explain that your friend knew you for awhile, and that what you said was being taken out of context of what you meant, he knows you and should have understood that you werent threatening his life. Explain what you really meant. Show that the charges are fraudulent, and just his way of getting you in trouble because your fighting. Sue him for recovery of damages spent on lawyer fees to take care of the fraud. charges, and money to fix the screws on your rifle, and return the stolen property he took off the gun in the first place. He had no right doing what he did.
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 8:39:06 PM EDT
I guess your thread in GD didn't garner enough attention.

I'll be the first to say it.........................DUPE!!!!

LAWYER UP, LIKE YESTERDAY!

HS1
Link Posted: 12/18/2005 9:20:20 PM EDT
are you in south florida I so why dont you buy some prepaid legal they can answer all kinds of ?'s for at a very minimal cost . the prepaid leagl is only $25 a month and is worth having for rainy days like this. and especialy for any one who is a responsible gun owner
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 4:01:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 4:04:18 AM EDT by Crisco]
Well to me it doesn't sound like aggrivated battery, sounds like the arresting officers didn't know the law. This is of coarse assuming this happened in Florida. In Florida if you verbaly threaten someone, whether you have a weapon or not, it is aggrivated assualt. You will probobly get off with no problems escpecially if the roommate doesnt bother to show to testify (since he's the "victum" and "witness")

Remember too, that you were arrested, not convicted. You stayed the night in jail, not prison. None of this will stay on "record" if you are not convicted. Or if you are convicted of a lesser charge or plea bargain out.

I would say let it run it's coarse if you know the roommate won't show, though he has obviously proven himself to be an asshat, so I doubt I would trust him.

If you do live in Florida, you should have just shot him when he became physical. Self Defence is an easy one around here. Look at Volusia county, even before the castle doctrine was rewritten a guy blasted his neighbor while he was on the door step. Tech I believe he should have tried to retreat at that time prior to shooting, and he still got let off. (I know the guy shot did deserve it)

I have to ask, why didn't you have your roommate arrested for battery? In domestic cases (cases involving people who reside together) both parties can go to jail during a dispute. If he was willing to screw your life up, then screw his up too. Misery loves company.

Just my opinion of coarse, and no disrespect intended. If you are unfamiliar with the law then you should get a private attorney, and not waste time with public pretenders (I mean defenders), as you need to do the leg work for them (pretenders).

Dave

ETA Wonder why the took the spotting scope, last I checked that wasn't a dangerous item. Wonder what they hope to prove with that evidence.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 7:49:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By killerone:
are you in south florida I so why dont you buy some prepaid legal they can answer all kinds of ?'s for at a very minimal cost . the prepaid leagl is only $25 a month and is worth having for rainy days like this. and especialy for any one who is a responsible gun owner


I had Pre-paid legal for a while. It sucks because the fine print says they don't handle "Felony Charges".

MEI2757935, GET A LAWYER!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 8:59:46 AM EDT
This is a lesson to all of you. Lawyer up.

Never talk to the police without a lawyer.

You tell the lawyer what happened then he decides what best to say for you.

Police officer says can you please come over and explain your side. No, you are under no obligation. Call your lawyer and he will decide.

Why did you drive over with your guns in the car?
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:25:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Crisco:
Well to me it doesn't sound like aggrivated battery, sounds like the arresting officers didn't know the law. This is of coarse assuming this happened in Florida. In Florida if you verbaly threaten someone, whether you have a weapon or not, it is aggrivated assualt. You will probobly get off with no problems escpecially if the roommate doesnt bother to show to testify (since he's the "victum" and "witness")

Remember too, that you were arrested, not convicted. You stayed the night in jail, not prison. None of this will stay on "record" if you are not convicted. Or if you are convicted of a lesser charge or plea bargain out.

I would say let it run it's coarse if you know the roommate won't show, though he has obviously proven himself to be an asshat, so I doubt I would trust him.

If you do live in Florida, you should have just shot him when he became physical. Self Defence is an easy one around here. Look at Volusia county, even before the castle doctrine was rewritten a guy blasted his neighbor while he was on the door step. Tech I believe he should have tried to retreat at that time prior to shooting, and he still got let off. (I know the guy shot did deserve it)

I have to ask, why didn't you have your roommate arrested for battery? In domestic cases (cases involving people who reside together) both parties can go to jail during a dispute. If he was willing to screw your life up, then screw his up too. Misery loves company.

Just my opinion of coarse, and no disrespect intended. If you are unfamiliar with the law then you should get a private attorney, and not waste time with public pretenders (I mean defenders), as you need to do the leg work for them (pretenders).

Dave

ETA Wonder why the took the spotting scope, last I checked that wasn't a dangerous item. Wonder what they hope to prove with that evidence.




I think they thought they would try and see what they could keep from me if I was actually guilty. Those bastards!
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:25:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1BMF:
Dude, get a lawyer.

Should have gotten one immedietly.

Dont talk to your roommate until this is settled. You are not a felon yet, it's only a charge. Definately fight this, it's BS.

Dont lie and say you said nothing of the sort, explain what you meant (that it wasnt a threat). Have your lawyer explain that your friend knew you for awhile, and that what you said was being taken out of context of what you meant, he knows you and should have understood that you werent threatening his life. Explain what you really meant. Show that the charges are fraudulent, and just his way of getting you in trouble because your fighting. Sue him for recovery of damages spent on lawyer fees to take care of the fraud. charges, and money to fix the screws on your rifle, and return the stolen property he took off the gun in the first place. He had no right doing what he did.



Good advice. Thanks
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:26:35 AM EDT
Just thought I would let everyone know...i'm in Ormond Beach, Florida.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 10:41:38 AM EDT
Call John Gutmacher at 407-896-7735 before you call ANY other attorney. He is a gun-friendly attorney. If he can't help you, you're pretty much screwed.

His website is www.floridafirearmslaw.com/index.shtml

Don't worry about the FAA yet, but you also need to get in touch with AOPA's legal staff. You are an AOPA member, right? As an MEI, you should be...
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 11:07:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/19/2005 1:05:03 PM EDT by M4]
Wow.

Moral to the story, stay the fuck away from cops. "Come here and explain yourself" actually means "Come here so we can treat you like a guilty violent, homicidal lunatic by forcing you out of your car at gun point, and slap felony charges on you and throw your ass in jail becasue some fuck-bag-Joe-random made a false statement about you".

Innocent until proven guilty is a fucking myth. That's NOT how cops, nor the courts handle such things. I've had a similar situation. Wonder how the actions of those cops were "protecting and serving" anyone.

It's all after the fact, I realize. Like everyone said, GET A LAWYER NOW.

P.S.- I was once arrested arrested for assault. The charges were ultimately dropped and there was no court case what so ever. Despite this, the arrest for assault stayed on my record for at least 4 years...only to be informed of this by the Canadians at the border between WA & BC when I was stopped going in to Canada. They asked me about "this assault" charge....and detailed what they were reading on the computer about me. I assumed that since there was no trial, charges were dropped, case closed, that there would be no lingering record of any sort following me, after all an arrest for assault wouldn't be a real positive thing for a potential employer to see. I was wrong.

Simply being arrested, regardless of guilt or innocence can follow you on your record, potentially causing problems down the road. Get a lawyer, get this behind you and make sure to expunge your record. Nobody's looking out for you, but you...trust me. The courts, the cops, the D.A. don't give a rats ass about your guilt or innocence....or whether your career as a pilot gets fucked up by this.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 2:15:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By M4:
Wow.

Moral to the story, stay the fuck away from cops. "Come here and explain yourself" actually means "Come here so we can treat you like a guilty violent, homicidal lunatic by forcing you out of your car at gun point, and slap felony charges on you and throw your ass in jail becasue some fuck-bag-Joe-random made a false statement about you". Sad, isnt it. Unfortunately, ive already learned this. Which means my respect for judges down to street cops is right at 0. I honestly wish it wasnt, but every cop i meet outside of a gunshow is a total asshole and abuse the system

Innocent until proven guilty is a fucking myth. That's NOT how cops, nor the courts handle such things. I've had a similar situation. Wonder how the actions of those cops were "protecting and serving" anyone.

It's all after the fact, I realize. Like everyone said, GET A LAWYER NOW.

P.S.- I was once arrested arrested for assault. The charges were ultimately dropped and there was no court case what so ever. Despite this, the arrest for assault stayed on my record for at least 4 years...only to be informed of this by the Canadians at the border between WA & BC when I was stopped going in to Canada. They asked me about "this assault" charge....and detailed what they were reading on the computer about me. I assumed that since there was no trial, charges were dropped, case closed, that there would be no lingering record of any sort following me, after all an arrest for assault wouldn't be a real positive thing for a potential employer to see. I was wrong.

Simply being arrested, regardless of guilt or innocence can follow you on your record, potentially causing problems down the road. Get a lawyer, get this behind you and make sure to expunge your record. BIG +1 there Nobody's looking out for you, but you...trust me. The courts, the cops, the D.A. don't give a rats ass about your guilt or innocence....or whether your career as a pilot gets fucked up by this. No matter what is going through your head now, this IS the lesson you will learn. You will no longer be have a positive view of the police unless you personally know a few, and will hesitate to get them involved in things in the future.

Link Posted: 12/19/2005 2:30:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FB41:
Call John Gutmacher at 407-896-7735 before you call ANY other attorney. He is a gun-friendly attorney. If he can't help you, you're pretty much screwed.

His website is www.floridafirearmslaw.com/index.shtml

Don't worry about the FAA yet, but you also need to get in touch with AOPA's legal staff. You are an AOPA member, right? As an MEI, you should be...



I called and talked to this guy. He wants $7500 plus expenses. I just can't afford this.
Link Posted: 12/19/2005 3:13:45 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:41:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By MEI2757935:


I called and talked to this guy. He wants $7500 plus expenses. I just can't afford this.



You can't NOT afford this.



If you don't have it...you just don't have it.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:42:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MEI2757935:
Just thought I would let everyone know...i'm in Ormond Beach, Florida.



hmm 10 mins from here,,,

which cops arrested you,, i know so folks up that way maybe i can ask how yer guns are doing this sat a stricklands when they show up to test them out

goodluck by the way. pony up fer the lawyer man,, our county has some stupid ass judges and such. So get a lawyer.

then go get shiftman and rosestine(sp) to sue him fo cost LOL.. best ambulance, car wreck chasers in 6 county's LMAO<,,,
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:05:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 3:05:38 AM EDT by FB41]

Originally Posted By MEI2757935:

Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By MEI2757935:


I called and talked to this guy. He wants $7500 plus expenses. I just can't afford this.



You can't NOT afford this.



If you don't have it...you just don't have it.



No lawyer (or a shitty one, same thing) will land you in jail. Full stop, end of flight. No airline job, no pilot license, no guns.
If you have to, sell your guns to make the money. You can always buy new ones.
Trust me when I say the experience you had during your arrest will seem like play time at Disney if you end up in the slam.

Do whatever it takes to hire Gutmacher or someone of his caliber.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:08:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 4:10:54 AM EDT by osprey21]

While looking for a shirt in my closet, I noticed that my AR-15 had been messed with.

You know what, sport...

Had you properly secured your gun(s), we wouldn't be having this disscussion, now would we?


Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 5:55:10 AM EDT
Here is the advice you so badly seek on this website.


GET AN ATTORNEY NOW!!!!



That comes from my wife the attorney in my family. I read her your post.

and,

no

she doesn't do free work or criminal defense.


Except this. She says STOP posting anything about this on this website, or anywhere else for that matter, the state could have a court order to monitor this site and your posts to hold this against you.


Goodluck!


Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:21:16 PM EDT
not to bash you or anything, but why'd you go back with the guns in your vehicle? Woulda atleast dropped'em off elsewhere safely first
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:41:02 PM EDT
My advice: Shut your mouth right now, and get a lawyer. Don't say anything to anybody except your lawyer about this incident. Delete this thread.

If you don't get this taken care of, your career is fucked. If you are convicted, you will be able to keep your certificates, but you may not ever be issued an ATP due to the "good moral character" clause. I do know one guy that was denied an ATP because he had a felony conviction.

All the airlines ask whether or not you have been convicted of a felony...and if so, they want to know what. This will cause you nothing but heartache in the future if you're convicted, and quite possibly force you to work for third rate freight carriers for the rest of your life.

GET A LAWYER AND TAKE CARE OF THIS NOW! IN THE MEANTIME, DON'T TALK TO ANYBODY BUT YOUR LAWYER ABOUT IT!!!
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:52:54 PM EDT


I called and talked to this guy. He wants $7500 plus expenses. I just can't afford this.

Beg and borrow. It will be cheaper now.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 9:18:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FB41:
Call John Gutmacher at 407-896-7735 before you call ANY other attorney. He is a gun-friendly attorney. If he can't help you, you're pretty much screwed.

His website is www.floridafirearmslaw.com/index.shtml

Don't worry about the FAA yet, but you also need to get in touch with AOPA's legal staff. You are an AOPA member, right? As an MEI, you should be...




+1
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:55:32 PM EDT
Just another thing to consider,I hope your friend didnt know you were a member of this forum cause you have just given him alot of ammo.

Remember on the internet nothing is really private.

I hate to say it but you need a soul sucking,pos lawyer.

Good luck !!!!!!!
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 2:27:40 AM EDT
Me thinks that you left out some details of your story, or you have mis quoted the charge. Florida statutes dictate that in order for them to correctly charge you with Aggravated Battery instead of Aggravated Assault, you would have had to have either shot him, hit him, or injured him in some way while armed with your firearm or other deadly weapon. The charge of Battery requires some sort of physical contact. If all you did was yell at him, or verbally threaten him, while armed, it would only qualify for Aggravated Assault.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:47:08 PM EDT
I predict you will be asked to plead no contest, adjudication will be with held, and the state will keep your firearms. I too, live in Ormond Beach. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. My charges were three misdemeanors involving improper display, discharge (into the air) while on the curtelege (sp?) of my own property while a convicted felon (then currently a fugitve) was attempting to steal my car. In my case I did the economics thing and it was cheaper to say goodbye to my Glock than to fight it in court. I know about depriving me of my property etc. but you pay the system and Ormond Beach has its own rules.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 6:03:30 PM EDT
Here is some free legal advice for everyone:

No one has ever talked themselves out of being arrested.

If the cops call you and want you to come down and talk and explain things, do not go, call a lawyer, and let the lawyer handle it.

I'll say it again. No one has ever talked themselves out of being arrested. Keep you mouth shut and get a lawyer.
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