Thomas G. WitkopLaw Offices

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Preparing for an Assault Case

My client was terrified.  He was accused of grabbing a woman by the hands and puckering up to kiss her.  He denied any involvement.  I could not figure out a motive why the woman would accuse my client of this.  They did not know each other and had only met for a few minutes in a work environment.

There were no other witnesses to the event so I needed to develop reasonable doubt with other evidence.  It was basically a she said he said type of situation.  The courts are often likely to believe the "victim" because there is no obvious reason for the victim to make this up and there are strong reasons for the defendant to lie, the defendant's liberty is at stake.

I researched whether the area had security cameras.  Apparently it did have security cameras but it was a business establishment and it had changed owners.  Nonetheless, I pushed on the first donors to give me the name of the former owners and followed up the former owners.  Unfortunately not only were the cameras pointed in the wrong direction but any recording had long since been erased.  Nonetheless, at least I made the effort.

I pushed my client as to why the "victim" would make this up but he had no idea.

I listened to my client's side of the story and not only did the facts seem logical, his presentation seemed believable, he was not defensive or exaggerating in his presentation, it was matter of fact and straightforward.  I thought that a trier of fact would believe his side of the story even if it believed the "victim's" side of the story.

Finally, I brought in character witnesses who knew my client well and could testify that in their opinion and by reputation in the community he was an honest and law-abiding citizen.

I was as ready as I could be for trial.

On the trial date the "victim" did not show up.  The prosecutor argued for a postponement and I made it clear to the judge that the prosecution did not have good cause to seek a postponement.  They could not tell the court why the "victim" wasn't in court and they could not tell the court when the "victim" might be available next.  The court denied the postponement request and the prosecution was compelled to enter the case nolle prosequi.

My client was very relieved and I believe justice was served.
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