“Only the guilty hire defense attorneys.”
“If he was arrested, he clearly did something wrong.”
“Innocent people aren’t accused of crimes. Clearly, she’s guilty.”
Somewhat common refrains by those who have never had the misfortune of being accused of wrongdoing, whether fair or not, until you find yourself in handcuffs or before a judge it is quite easy to sit in judgment. However, when it is your name that is replaced by a docket number, the misconceptions you may have held will likely give way quite quickly. How are you going to get yourself out of this conundrum and who is the best attorney to protect your rights and bring your nightmare to a swift end? For a recent Saland Law PC client who found himself the subject of a wrongful arrest and prosecution, he took the right steps and debunked the myth as to why innocent people – or any accused for that matter – hire criminal defense lawyers.
Charged with Menacing in the Third Degree and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, New York Penal Law sections 120.15 and 260.10 respectively, our client, a father to a young child and partner to a challenging co-parent, faced allegations that he became violent before threatening the child’s mother and throwing items in the home at her and against a bedroom wall. The complainant further alleged that in the presence of the child, our client threw a metal object at her before slapping a lit candle that splattered across the wall. As evidence of the purported abuse and to corroborate the same, the “victim” mother recorded our client without his knowledge during the supposed altercations as well as other times our client had “outbursts.” While New York is a one-party consent state and the eventual admissibility of the recordings would not have been an issue on this legal ground (speak to your own attorney for advice on this – don’t rely on my rambling blog), the complainant used our client’s iPad and email to record and forward the interactions. As such, she left us with a more accurate reflection as to what did and did not occur. Despite the complainant’s courtroom theatrics that bordered on panic when she saw our client, the recordings told quite a different story of her fear or lack thereof. In fact, after we pressed the prosecutor to meet with our client and confront the complainant to ascertain which party was credible and whether or not, even if true, the allegations made out criminal conduct, the Assistant District Attorney dove further into the allegations. Simply, we argued, without details provided here, the accusations were nothing but a sham.
While your excitement is likely palpable as you read through this criminal justice tale, know that the prosecution of a client concluded quite favorably. After repeated communication between Saland Law PC and the District Attorney’s Office, and the sharing of evidence in our possession, the People dismissed the charges against our client not due to some procedural defense or an uncooperative witness, but because the matter had no business in a criminal courtroom and was worthy of an exoneration on the merits.
Make no mistake. As light and easy as this blog entry may read, the above arrest and prosecution was anything but. There is no dispute that incidents and allegations of domestic violence must always be taken seriously, but an accusation by no means is proof of guilt or any wrongdoing. No matter the context, there are times when false allegations are made for nefarious purposes or to manipulate other potential or future legal proceedings. Simply, they are blatant lies or exaggerations. If or until you find yourself on the receiving end of such a claim you may not comprehend the importance of an experienced advocate, but rest assured, you will be grateful you retained the right attorney when you do so.
To learn more about the above crimes and Saland Law PC, follow the provided links. Saland Law PC is a criminal defense firm founded by former Manhattan prosecutors.