Can I be charged with assault/battery for accidentally hitting a coworker with a shopping cart?

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Can I be charged with assault/battery for accidentally hitting a coworker with a shopping cart?

I work in a retail grocery store. After
work the other day, I was grocery
shopping while talking to my mother on
the phone. I went to turn into an aisle
and two of my coworkers were
standing there, talking. I tried to
maneuver around them, didnt think I
made contact with either person. Now,
one of the two is claiming I hit her with
my cart. Telling management she will
press charges on me and possibly sue
them if they dont discipline me. Today,
I was given a three-day suspension
and told if any incident like this ever
occurs again I will be terminated. I
work for a union company. I have
asked for video footage of me allegedly
making contact with her, which they
have not provided. They have shown
me footage of myself shopping around
the time of the alleged incident. I have
repeatedly explained if any contact did
occur, it was accidental. I am 100
sure if I did make contact with her
person, it did not cause any injury.
I am shocked that not only is the
coworker claiming assault, but also that
my company is taking any action
against me.
I wasnt sure if I should contact a
lawyer myself. Ive never been charged
with any crimes in my life so Im not
sure how to proceed.
Thank you for any and all advice given.

Asked on January 27, 2018 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged if the authorities (e.g. the prosecutor or police) believe that you did this intentionally: it is intention that transforms hitting another person in some way from an accident into a crime. To charge you, they must essentially believe that it is more likely than not that you did this on purpose, based on witness testimony, the video, and any other relevant evidence, though to ultimately convict you requires a much higher standard of proof: beyond a reasonable doubt. If not actually charged, you don't need an attorney; but if yo do receive a summons for assault, hire a lawyer.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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