After deliberating for nearly three hours on Thursday, a jury found that Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Craig Richman acted in self-defense when he pushed Connie Romero following a dispute over dog poop near Richman’s property.
Richman was charged with misdemeanor battery last year. Romero accused Richman of pushing her in the back after she allegedly placed a bag of dog poop in the passenger seat of Richman’s car. After the altercation, Romero was left with a cut over her left eye, swelling of her left wrist and an abrasion on her left shoulder.
According to Richman’s attorney James E. Blatt however, Romero allegedly followed Richman to his home after the poop incident occurred and they exchanged a few words. She then proceeded to push Richman in his driveway and he pushed her back. Richman claimed that his behavior was an act of self-defense in order to construct a “safety-zone” between himself and Romero and that she struck him first.
Self-Defense Under California Law
Under the California self-defense law, whether Richman touched Romero first was insignificant. The law says that if an individual feels as if he or she is in immediate danger, that individual is lawfully able to “protect” him or herself by using “reasonable force.”
Based on the fact that the jury felt that Richman’s safety was being threatened by Romero, the act of pushing her in the back was viewed as self-defense and the jury found Richman not guilty of misdemeanor battery.
Battery Charges in Southern California – (PC 242)
Richman was not convicted of misdemeanor battery. The prosecution was unable to prove that he had wilfully pushed Romero in an attempt to cause her harm. If he had been convicted, Richman could have been sentenced to up to six months in county jail, $2,000 in fines, or both.
Judge Richman’s Future
Since Richman’s not guilty verdict, he has returned to work once again overseeing his felony trial court.
This particular case was unique because it was between a ‘regular’ civilian and a person in a position of power. It is very likely that in this case, the jurors gave greater weight to Richman’s credibility versus that of Romero’s.
When Things Get Messy, Wallin & Klarich Will be There to Clean It Up
Although Judge Richman was not convicted of battery, his reputation as a judge and a citizen may be tarnished forever. Not everyone has the luxury of being a judge and the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are aware of this.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been accused of battery, you should contact the experienced attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending clients facing the serious consequences of battery such as jail time and or fines.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, our criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich will protect your constitutional rights and make certain you are treated fairly through every step of your criminal proceedings. We will aggressively pursue every defense available to help you win your case.
Call us today at (888) 280-6839 for a free telephone consultation. We will get through this together.