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.