Dismissed… that’s a sweet word for many of my clients. It’s an end to a nightmare, to being arrested, held in jail, charged with a crime. It’s an end to having to go to court a dizzying number of times. It’s an end to the worry (“will this end up on my record forever?…”).
Today I got a very serious felony case dismissed for a client. This client is a good kid. He got caught up in something teenagers do – acting dumb. Some kid threw a rock at my client’s friend’s car. A couple of kids (my client included) responded by throwing rocks at the other kid’s car. That kid went home and told his mother and she called the police. The police filed an AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPONcharge against my client. For throwing a rock at a car. Sure, it’s not good to throw rocks at cars, but it’s a classic dumb kid thing to do. Barring some serious injury or some pretty heinous facts, it certainly shouldn’t be a felony!
The court appointed me to represent the kid. As my colleagues and clients know, I treat my court-appointed clients with the same zeal as my retained clients. The way I see it, a client is a client, no matter who is paying or how much. When I am entrusted to represent someone, they’re going to get my best effort every time.
Through investigation and due diligence, the grand jury reduced the charge to a criminal mischief (so it went from being a second degree felony – carrying up to 20 years in prison – to being a state jail felony – carrying up to a max of 2 years in the state jail facility). After a few months of working it out with the prosecutor, I was able to get the case dismissed outright. My client was very happy, and if the client is happy, I’m happy!