Kenny Rogers preaches “you have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them…”. Well, many defense attorneys don’t do enough “holding” and pushing for trial. Instead, they “fold” by pleading their clients out to some “dumbed down” sentence. I was in court today and witnessed every other attorney cut bargains with the prosecutor. I, however, insisted on a jury trial.
My client was charged with Domestic Assault (beating up his wife). A thorough review of the evidence and 911 tape assured me pretty well that this was one case the State (prosecutor/DA) could not prove. There were NO independent witnesses except young children. I knew the prosecutor would not call a 6 and 3 year old to testify. I doubt any judge would allow it due to competency requirements to be a witness.
Next, I had it on reliable authority the alleged victim (wife) was not coming into court to testify against her husband – even though the prosecutor told me he had the wife under subpoena. Finally, my guy made one heck of a good witness. Clean cut, articulate, educated, good job, etc. He never admitted to committing any crimes. Thus, all he told the police was that he was the innocent victim and his wife was setting him up. In deed, the wife admitted (per police report) that she hit my client first! This opens up the entire self-defense thing, as well.
So, to make a long story short, after demanding a jury trial and rejecting “sweet” offers from the prosecutor, the prosecutor “folded” and said he was dismissing the case – which is what he did. Remember, the prosecutor must prove a crime by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor needs witnesses and evidence. Here, it was all lacking. The prosecutor was not happy. He scolded my client and told him that if the police are ever called to his home again, everyone is going to be taken into custody and arrested. I did recommend my client seek couples counseling and told the prosecutor I made this recommendation (off the record, of course).
The moral of this story is that you need to chose an attorney who is willing to take a case to trial. An attorney who knows what is winnable and what needs to be plea bargained down. If you have any questions, Call attorney Richard W. Hechter at 952-920-0840. Your Minneapolis Criminal Defense Attorney.