Felony Battery w/ Strike Allegation: NOT GUILTY
A Griffin Law Office client was entering her Army base in Washington state when she was pulled aside by Military Police and informed that she had a felony arrest warrant out of San Diego. The client had not been contacted by police and was understandably upset and scared that she faced such serious charges. She was not allowed on base, and her command notified her that she would likely be discharged from the Army. The client had a 6-month-old child and limited resources. After speaking with the client on the phone, Mr. Griffin understood the time-sensitive nature and was able to have the judge recall the arrest warrant the next day, without the client even having to appear in court.
The client was charged with a felony battery causing significant bodily injury. A conviction would have resulted in a strike, prison time, immediate dishonorable discharge from the Army, financial ruin, and a court order keeping her away from her new stepson indefinitely.
The client and her fiancé were in San Diego visiting her fiancé’s three-year-old son. After a day at Sea World and the beach, they had to drop her fiancé’s son off at his ex-wife’s house. The ex-wife was very bitter and threatened by the new woman in her son’s life. The client had never met the ex-wife before, and the ex-wife became very aggressive towards the client. The ex-wife shoved the client, and a struggle ensued. The ex-wife pulled the hair of the client, and during the struggle, the client’s engagement ring caused gruesome severe injury to the ex-wife’s eye. The client and her husband were not aware of the extent of the injury and left immediately after the altercation.
The detective assigned to the case filed a sworn arrest warrant affidavit stating that the client had purposefully been avoiding him when he attempted to get her side of the story. As support, he stated in the affidavit that he had left several messages. Unfortunately for the detective, he also wrote a police report and sent several emails stating that the client did not have her voicemail set up, and he could not leave her a voicemail. The emails and police report directly contradicted the statements in the sworn affidavit. It turned out that the client had no idea the police wanted to speak with her.
Although the ex-wife’s patterns of avoiding the truth were made known to the District Attorney’s office before trial, the decision was made to prosecute the case anyway. The ex-wife had a history of aggressive confrontation. During cross-examination, at the trial, Mr. Griffin was able to present the ex-wife’s vindictive and revengeful motivations for the charges levied against the client.
The jury deliberated for under an hour before returning a not guilty verdict to all charges. The day the not guilty verdict was read was the first birthday of his client’s daughter. As Mr. Griffin stated, “it was difficult to watch such a good person go through such a terrible experience. Her smile and relief when the verdict was read made all the long hours leading up to the trial worth it.”