I am writing again on the topic of domestic violence cases because we have recently seen in our office and in the news a rash of very weak charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office – based upon complaints clearly designed to manipulate or punish the accused. Arrests were made by law enforcement without even the most cursory attempt to learn the truth behind the allegations. After just a few weeks following the arrest – to allow for a defense investigation and/or presentation to prosecutors – most of the charges were either dismissed or severely lowered. Had the investigations occurred before the arrest and not afterward, the defendants would have been spared significant time, expense, damage to career and personal humiliation. Moral to the story: when charged in a New York domestic violence case, hire the best New York domestic violence attorney you can so that he can immediately expose false allegations and allow you to get your life back as quickly as possible. Without a strong and experienced attorney with a history of success, prosecutors are more likely to simply allow the case to fester which will only cause continued damage to the defendant’s life and career.
The Manhattan D.A.’s Office is Arresting First, Investigating Second in Domestic Violence Cases
As noted in a blog entry just two weeks ago, domestic violence cases are often inherently suspect due to the fact that many cases are initiated by biased complainants in the midst of divorces or other emotionally charged domestic episodes. In addition, the cases are often he said/she said affairs and difficult to prove without the benefit of corroborating evidence. Considering how weak such cases are often at the start – combined with the potential disaster a false complaint can have on the accused’s life and career – it is incumbent upon law enforcement and prosecutors to hesitate and perhaps perform at least a cursory investigation into the emotionally-charged allegations of violence often directed at professionals with no prior contacts with the criminal justice system. Alas, this nearly never occurs. In just the past few months we have represented defendants in the following cases who have had their cases either outright dismissed or had charges reduced from felonies to non-criminal charges: a doctor charged with stabbing his wife (Assault in the Second Degree, NYPL § 120.05) and threatening his wife’s friend (Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, NYPL § 240.30), another doctor charged with choking his girlfriend (also Assault in the Second Degree, NYPL § 120.05) and a nurse charged with destroying her husband’s property (Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, NYPL § 155.35). In each case, a conviction could have spelled the end of these professionals’ careers. And in each of these cases, the most cursory of investigations revealed that the complainants were either obviously lying as proven by clear evidence (garage security video revealed the truth), or the accuser was deranged (sending hundreds of texts including fake suicide attempts, fake ultrasounds, etc. to the defendant following his arrest) or dishonest (at the time of the “crime” the complainant was in the process of defrauding the defendant).
Incredibly, despite clear evidence that the complainant was lying at the time he or she swore out the above complaints, in none of the cases – not a single one – was the complainant charged with filing a false complaint. So while the District Attorney’s office has no problem immediately charging a professional with a potentially career-destroying crime, they will not punish the real wrongdoer who triggered the entire mess.
The Manhattan DA’s Office Is Used as a Vehicle of Revenge for a Very Suspect “Victim”
In another case recently in the news, a woman with apparently five aliases who has allegedly made a living defrauding vulnerable older men out of money, was sued by her latest victim for $10 million for breach of contract, conspiracy to commit fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. When the film producer/sugar daddy realized he had been duped out of $1.2 million, he attempted to evict the woman out of his apartment he had purchased for her – and in turn she: a) had him arrested for assault; and b) filed a $25 million lawsuit against him for assault and battery. Of course, this was two years after the purported gold digger had another elderly filmmaker arrested for assault, forcible touching, sex abuse and harassment. In that case, the woman was arrested as well and charged with assault. All of these cases were prosecuted by – you guessed it – the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. A simple cursory review of the complainant when she made her most recent allegations would have turned up her sordid history. Instead, the alleged grifter was allowed to cause another man to be arrested as revenge, causing a public spectacle – and the Manhattan DA’s office is again the all too willing vehicle for that revenge.
Call A Top New York Domestic Violence Attorney If You Need to Get Rid of Your Case
In conclusion, my experience has been that many New York domestic violence cases are utterly baseless and should never have been brought. However, just about all of them are charged despite the paucity of evidence supporting the allegations. While many of these cases will eventually be dismissed, the prosecutors are often loathe to do so quickly unless forced, which means these cases can linger for months and months, causing embarrassment and potentially great harm to one’s career along the way. To get rid of these cases expeditiously instead requires the best New York criminal defense attorney one can hire, one with great experience in handling domestic violence charges. Call the domestic violence attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman at (212) 581-1001 to discuss your case today.