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Farrelly PC Blog & Case Results

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Farrelly PC Obtains Acquittal for Client Accused of Simple Assault

By: Sean Farrelly

I recently represented an individual in DC Superior Court accused of simple assault in a domestic violence context.  Withouth delving into too much detail, the government alleged that my client had been engaged in a verbal altercation with the mother of his child.  The government then alleged that the verbal altercation became physical when my client struck the alleged victim in the face with a closed fist.

At trial, the government presented evidence from the alleged victim as well as a police officer who responded to scene.  The witness told her version of events and the officer mostly testified about the demeanor of both the alleged victim and my client at the time he responded, as well as the injuries suffered to both individuals.  My cross examination of the alleged victim identified some holes in her version of events.  Further, while being cross examined, the police officer testified that the alleged victim's injuries were not consistent with her version of events.  In addition, both witnesses confirmed the fact that my client had suffered injuries comparable in severity, if not worse, than the alleged victim.

After delivering a very thorough and thoughtful findings of fact, the judge presiding over the case found my cliend not guilty. Her ruling basically hinged on the fact that the alleged victim's testimony was questionable and without any further corroboration of the facts she could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that my client had not acted in self defense.

The judge's verdict was absolutely the correct one under the law and in accordance with the time honored premise of our criminal justice system that an individual is innocent until proven guilty.  Plain and simple, it is the government's burden to prove someone is guilty and in this case they simply were not able to overcome that burden.

Whether its the influence of politicians, law enforcement, main stream media, or otherwise, people often assume an individual is guilty of crime merely because they are arrested.  Although many people who are arrested turn out to be guilty there is a huge portion who are not guilty.  Law enforcement officers are not perfect, they often arrest innocent people.  That is why it is so important to have fair and objective people as judges and jurors in order to protect an individuals rights when they stand trial accused of a crime.  

It is verdicts like the one I obtained the other day that allow me to put so much faith into the criminal justice system.  Sometimes things don't work out the way I want or think they should, but nothing and no one is perfect.  I will keep believing that overall the system works and if one day that opinion changes, I will be looking for a new way to make a living.

*Disclaimer: This blog entry is not intended to serve as an advertisement or to guarantee future similar results in other cases.  This blog is intended for anecdotal purposes only.


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