It’s August 2008, in Prince George County, Virginia. Dispatch has sent an officer to a residence in search for a fugitive male. The Officer knocks on the door of the residence, and after a few minutes, my client opens the door. The Officer, at first, begins to question my client suspecting that he is the fugitive male; however, in reality the Officer is looking for my client’s brother. After a few minutes of questioning, the Officer realizes my client is not the man he is looking for. Now the Officer suspects that perhaps the fugitive is in the house, and requests to come in the residence.
My client, who is a primary caretaker of his elderly frail mother, asks the Officer for just a minute so that he can make sure his mother is properly covered because it is hot in the house and she is not dressed for company. The Officer now extremely suspicious begins to force his way into the residence, but my client will not move aside. The Officer looses his balance stumbles backwards off of the small two step landing leading into the house. Now infuriated, the Officer grabs my client and yanks him out of the house and puts him in cuffs. Once my client is cuffed, the Officer charges into the house suspecting to find the fugitive in question, yet there is no one to be found, but a scantly clad elderly woman and her adult daughter. My client is eventually charged with Felony Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer and taken to jail, where the Magistrate grants him bond, due to the fact that my client has no criminal record.
It took roughly seven months for his case to go to trial, and during this time, we spoke with his witnesses on numerous occasions and visited the residence where the events took place on at least two different occasions. We created drawings of the landscape, the layout of the house, and took measurements of the door frame and the landing that the Officer stood on. We prepared the client for trial and potential questioning to the point that he was as comfortable as he was going to get. My client stressed over the events and his potential jail time to the point of health problems and extreme weight loss.
The day of trial we had all our ducks in a row and was prepared for almost anything they would throw at us. The Officer was a big man, who told a story that was somewhat hard to believe while testifying. Then it was our turn to present the case. We began bringing forth witnesses that testified that my client was not trying to preclude the Officer from his duty and that he was only trying to protect the virtue and dignity of his frail mother that he cared greatly for. We presented the fact that my client never lied to the Officer because the fugitive brother was not in the residence, and if the Officer would have just been a little understanding and not so presumptive, then these events never would have occurred.
The Judge examined all the facts presented by both sides, and he agreed with the fact that my client was not trying to be obstinate, but was merely trying to protect the dignity of his elderly mother. The Judge’s statements began to snowball into our favor until finally, those long awaited words where formed… Not Guilty…
Life is a Gamble, But Don’t Leave Legal Issues to Chance!