I was recently retained by a young professional who had been charged with a third degree aggravated assault and was also facing a final restraining order after having a bad night with his wife. Like many domestic violence incidents – my client took the position that the allegations had been blown way out of proportion by his wife and that the police had taken her side.
I explained to him that defending these cases would be a marathon and not a race. First, we had to appear in the Superior Court on the restraining order to determine whether a final restraining order was necessary or whether the judge would dismiss the temporary restraining order that had been placed into effect the night of the alleged incident. The plaintiff, my client’s wife, had hired an attorney to try an make sure she could obtain a final restraining order against him. After spending some time speaking back and forth with her attorney and highlighting their weaknesses of the case, the plaintiff and her attorney agreed to dismiss the restraining order against my client in lieu of a consent agreement between both of them. This was a huge win for my client because he was able to avoid admittance into the Domestic Violence Registry and a forfeiture of gun ownership.
However, we still had the toughest part of the case in front of us – the criminal 3rd degree aggravated assault. If convicted, he would most likely lose his corporate job and he could clearly be incarcerated for up to 5 years in state prison, especially since this wasn’t the first time he had been arrested for an assault related crime. In order to get out my client out of this mess we had to challenge the state’s case against him. The reason the charge had been upgraded to an aggravated assault in the first place instead of a less serious simple assault was because his wife had alleged she suffered partial paralysis as a result of being hit in the face. The victim’s credibility was severely called into question when it came to light that her paralysis was a pre-existing condition and had not been caused by my client. Based on this and the victim’s unwillingness to testify in regards to such, I was able to successfully convince the County Prosecutor to dismiss the charges outright against my client.
State v. G.A.
Our office recently represented a client in Superior Court who had been indicted on six counts related to loan fraud scheme for $100,000. The indictment included two counts of 2nd degree Identity Theft under 2C:21-17a(1), one count of 2nd degree Theft by Deception under 2C:20-4a, 3rd degree Uttering False Documents (fake ID) under 2C:21-2.1c, 4th degree false documents under 2C:21-2.1d, and a 4th degree Hindering Apprehension under 2C:29-3b(4). The State’s allegations were that our client had entered various banks and attempted to take out a loan for $100,000 using someone else’s identity. The allegations further stated that he had presented a fake ID and other identifying information to bank personnel to prove he was in fact someone else. Shortly thereafter, he was arrested outside the bank and a fake ID was found in his possession. The evidence against him included video surveillance, numerous financial documents, the fake ID, and our client’s own admissions.
Our client had a prior criminal record and was facing a maximum of 38 years in state prison however the client was adamant that he could not serve any type of incarceration. Our criminal defense attorneys first started by challenging the prosecution’s case and examining the proofs against our client. Moreover, we provided additional information and exculpatory evidence for the State to consider that was not known at the time of grand jury presentation. In the end, we came to the conclusion that the State’s case was patently deficient because they were missing essential elements of discovery needed to prove that our client had actually taken the steps necessary to secure the fraudulent loan and that he actually possessed the criminal intent to defraud and steal from the banking institutions. The final result was that our client agreed to enter a plea to one count of 3rd degree charge of Uttering False Documents for presenting a fake ID to authorities in order to obtain some benefit. In consideration of the plea, the State moved to dismiss all remaining charges including all the three 2nd degree crimes which were the most serious, as each carried 5 – 10 years in state prison. Furthermore, at sentencing we were able to successfully argue to the judge that our client should receive only probation with no incarceration.
State v. C.K.