A woman came into my office distraught at criminal charges which were filed against her by a local law enforcement agency. She was accused of third-degree assault, a very serious crime, which carries up to eighteen months in jail and a fine of up to five thousand dollars.
The charge was based on an unsubstantiated allegation made by a co-worker that Sarah had hit him. It seems like a simple case, right?
Law enforcement showed up on the scene and interviewed everyone involved. What came out during the Officer’s investigation is that during a conversation Sarah slapped the alleged victim on the arm in a joking manner.
Several hours later, the alleged victim called the police and said that Sarah had assaulted him. The truth was that Sarah had only been teasing him and had no intention of harming him.
Furthermore, he wasn’t hurt at all. In fact, he had been exercising at a gym after the supposed assault. It should be noted that Sarah is small and petite and the alleged victim is much larger than her.
Did the police officer listen to the witnesses and decide that of course there was no crime committed. No, he charged Sarah with a class one misdemeanor and sent her to Court.
Sarah made the smart decision and hired a Colorado Springs Criminal Defense attorney who quickly recognized that she was innocent of any wrong-doing.
After numerous calls to the Colorado Springs District Attorney’s office and two Court dates, the District Attorney finally agreed to dismiss the case in its entirety.
My client was overjoyed. Finally, all of the pressure and anxiety that had built up over the last few months was gone.
This case underlines the fact that just because a person is innocent does not mean that charges will not be filed against that person. People assume that just because they are innocent they can tell the District Attorney and the case will instantly be dismissed. People assume that if they simply explain their side of the story everything will magically disappear.
The problem with that idea is that the District Attorney rarely sees the case in the same way as the defendant and will often ignore the defendant’s side. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can make sure that your side of the case is heard and that you are not ignored.
If you are charged with a crime, whether you are innocent or not, it is a good practice to have a defense lawyer on your side from the very beginning. Do not take a chance when the stakes are so high and try to overcome these obstacles on your own.