I am not a free lawyer, but that does not mean I do not handle pro bono work or represent individuals who do not have the means to retain an experienced New York criminal lawyer. Simply, everyone needs and should be entitled to quality representation by an attorney especially in the context of a life altering arrest. After meeting with a woman who was unquestionably the victim of domestic violence in both criminal and “merely” mentally abusive form, Saland Law PC took her case in New York City Criminal Court. Despite the public lawyer assigned to her case advising that she had a difficult path ahead, our client maintained her innocence in the face of charges including Third Degree Assault (NY PL 120.00) and Second Degree Aggravated Harassment (NY PL 240.30). While it was unlikely she would see any jail time even though the law allows up to one year in prison, any finding of wrongdoing or assertion that she assaulted and harassed her partner was unacceptable. Fortunately, through diligence, time and effort, Saland Law PC secured a complete dismissal of all charges.
What made this case so rewarding was not only the exoneration of a completely innocent person, but the result demonstrated that if you collect the necessary evidence, present those materials to the District Attorney’s Office, and, where reasonable or necessary, take the time to proffer your client with prosecutors, the proper resolution can be achieved. The effort of Saland Law PC was further fueled by the fact that this young woman personified how a person born into a hard life with many things stacked against her can achieve an education, success and a bright future for her family. Simply, how could we not assist her?
Remember, while every case of Third Degree Assault or Second Degree Aggravated Harassment mandate the prosecution prove the elements of each of those crimes beyond a reasonable doubt, the circumstances and evidence can vary widely from case to case. Moreover, the veracity and credibility of witnesses, defendants and victims is uniquely specific to those people involved. Sometimes they may be honest, but mistaken, and other times they may blatantly lie. In this particular case, beyond the compelling sincerity of the complainant, securing independent corroboration of the truth for the prosecution enabled the District Attorney to do the right thing.
As much as I would like to state as a criminal defense attorney that any person accused of a crime is innocent, that is clearly not the reality. However, there are people wrongfully arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to some form of incarceration. Many have access to competent and skilled representation. Some do not. On the occasion where that person needs counsel, it is incumbent upon our profession to assist them directly or to put them in the right place secure the right attorney or lawyer.
To read more about some of Saland Law PC’s successes or about the crimes of PL 120.00 and PL 240.30, search this blog and the websites below or click through the links above where you will find significant and easily readable materials on these offenses.
Saland Law PC is a New York criminal defense law firm located in lower Manhattan that serves the greater New York City area in criminal investigations, arrests and trials. Saland Law PC’s two founding criminal lawyers served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.