Can I get a citation issued for assault or should I have been arrested at the time of the alleged incident?

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Can I get a citation issued for assault or should I have been arrested at the time of the alleged incident?

I was assaulted by hospital staff and the nurse said that I assaulted her instead. I was a patient in the hospital at the time the police was called. I had no means of

contacting the police myself because I did not have a personal phone or a phone in my hospital room.The officer gave me a citation for assault 3 hours after

transferring me by ambulance from one hospital to another where I received medical attention as well. Can I fight this?

Asked on October 7, 2018 under Criminal Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you can get a citation after the fact: there is no legal requirement that you be arrested on the spot. The timing in no way invalidates the charge.
As to whether you can fight this...it depends on the facts, the evidence, and how believable witnesses (including yourself) are. If the prosecution can't convince the court "beyond a reasonable doubt" that you committed all the elements of assault, and/or if your evidence and/or testimony sufficiently undercuts the prosecution's case, you can defend yourself successfully.


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