There is no better feeling than vindicating or exonerating a client who comes to you passionately asserting that the crime he or she is accused of is a crime that he or she did not commit. Yes, a complainant can make an allegation, but as we all know assertions made by one party are not always true. In most cases, because the police were not at the scene of an incident when you committed an alleged crime, the police officer or detective has to make a decision as to whether or not there is probable cause to make an arrest. Sometimes right in their determination and sometimes wrong, unfortunately for those who fall into the latter category of arrests, a pending criminal case can, and often does, disrupt your life as the matter winds through the New York City or other courts from arraignment to resolution. For a recent client defended by the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC, what started off as a horrific evening in jail in Manhattan’s infamous “Tombs” waiting to see a judge, ended in the best possible manner. The District Attorney rightfully dismissed the crimes of Third Degree Assault, New York Penal Law 120.00, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing Circulation, New York Penal Law 121.11, Third Degree Menacing, New York Penal Law 120.15, and other offenses.
Our client, a highly educated and experienced financial services professional, was accused by a taxi driver of repeatedly striking the driver with fists and kicking the driver in the body. As a result, the taxi driver claimed that he suffered bruising, redness and substantial pain to his stomach, neck and face. After signing the supporting deposition to proceed against our client, the “story” changed. Instead of our client allegedly striking the cab driver with his hands and feet, the cab driver now alleged that our client grabbed him by his neck with both hands, applied pressure and choked him our client stated that our client would kill the driver. Make no mistake. The allegations against our client were quite serious and jeopardized his career and future.
Despite the contentions of the cab driver, and the assertion that our client grabbed him by the collar of the shirt outside of the vehicle, punched him multiple times and repeatedly kicked him once he was on the ground, our attorneys secured a surveillance video with the assistance of our client that recorded the incident, or more precisely, lack of incident. Instead of our client assaulting and attacking the cab driver, the video recorded quite a different scene. Simply, the complainant “victim” was not a victim at all, but the aggressor who was observed chasing our client around the vehicle after our client exited.
One can always speculate why a person would lie, make a complaint to the police and then follow up with the District Attorney in pushing the case forward. While our criminal lawyers cannot vouch for or explain why a particular person acts in a particular way, merely because a complaint is made by an alleged crime victim who is vocal in his or her complaint does not mean the person is being truthful or accurate. Sometimes a video recording can be the damaging evidence needed to secure a conviction by prosecutors, but at the same time independent evidence such as an audio or video recording can also be the evidence that exonerates the accused. Whatever that evidence may ultimately be, it is incumbent that counsel do his or her homework to ensure that it is preserved for a defendant’s benefit to confront any accusation of criminal wrongdoing. Very simply, this is exactly what our criminal defense attorney at Crotty Saland PC did for our client to ensure an ultimate dismissal.
To learn more about the crimes and degrees of Assault, Strangulation and related offenses, and Menacing, you can follow the links contained herein. More information on these crimes as well as other criminal offenses, procedures, and legal decisions are available on this blog and the websites and blogs below.
Crotty Saland PC is a New York criminal defense law firm representing clients in New York City and in many municipalities throughout the Hudson Valley. Both founding NYC criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.