Client Wrongfully Arrested for Fourth Degree Criminal Mischief Acquitted After Criminal Court Trial

The overwhelming number of criminal cases in New York never reach the point of trial. Whether the arrest is in New York City or the Hudson Valley, as cases wind their respective way through the criminal justice system, the District Attorney, judges and criminal defense lawyers address issues ranging from the legality of the original search and the strength of evidence to sufficiency of complaints and mitigating factors. Those criminal cases that are not resolved by a plea, reduction of charges or dismissal ultimately find themselves before a judge or jury for trial. For a recent client of Crotty Saland PC’s criminal lawyers, our client found herself charged with Fourth Degree Criminal Mischief, New York Penal Law 145.00. The allegations stemmed from a fictitious claim by our client’s ex-husband and his current girlfriend, with whom he had an ongoing affair, that our client approached the girlfriend’s home and smashed a window in the center of a door.

Commentary aside as to whether such a case had prosecutorial merit and if the “concubine” got what she deserved for sleeping with our client’s husband (technically, the glass in the door was an innocent victim of shenanigans) this District Attorney’s Office failed to parse fact from fiction and see the “forest from the trees.” Although the prosecution offered a non-criminal violation, our client rejected the offer as we argued that the soon-to-be ex was using the criminal justice system as a sword to manipulate the marital proceedings. Compounding matters, from a legal perspective, despite what without question was a valid motion to dismiss the case against our client for speedy trial violations, the a judge denied our application without making an inquiry as to our corroborated assertions of illusory statements of readiness by the People. In fact, the court refused to make such an inquiry even after the People emailed that depending on the stage of the proceeding there were “different expectations of readiness” while also refusing to answer whether they were ready when they claimed as much. But I digress…

Fortunately, while a frightful injustice occurred along with a failure of checks and balances, our client’s horrifying legal experience came to a screeching halt when a second judge presiding over the trial returned a not guilty verdict. Certainly not happy that she found herself immersed in the criminal courts for nearly a year, truth and honesty ruled the day (along with the advocacy of Crotty Saland PC’s criminal lawyers, of course!).

One cannot truly understand the fight for justice until one is wrongfully accused of a crime. When those who are tasked with enforcing the laws and ensuring process is followed appear to fail in their responsibilities, it is emotionally debilitating. Yet, despite all of this adversity, when left at the edge of the precipice, Crotty Saland PC pulled our client back from the cliff’s edge with one hand and an acquittal in the other.

The New York criminal defense and trial attorneys at Crotty Saland PC represent clients throughout the New York City boroughs and counties of the Hudson Valley. The New York criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC served as Manhattan prosecutors prior to establishing the law practice.

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