Los Angeles, Criminal Threats Between Neighbors, Dismissed
Our client later found out that the neighbor indeed had an affair with his wife, as the neighbor continuously left messages for our client’s wife on her voice mail. Our client played them back and grew enraged.What One Should Learn from This Summary: Never forget about the office hearing as an option to resolve a difficult situation wherein a conviction of one party may only vindicate one party and make the situation more dangerous. The following case exemplifies the type of case where an office hearing is a wise choice to resolve a case.
Our client then approached his neighbor in person at his house a second time and again threatened him, saying, “your days are numbered,” but never placed one hand on him. The lack of physical contact was witnessed by our client’s friend, who was over at the house drinking beer and watching wrestling on TV.
Here, however, the threats were recorded on an answering machine in first instance and witnessed by a neighbor in the other instance.
Our client, however, was 35 years old with no prior criminal history of any sort. He was understandably upset because it was obvious that his wife really was cheating on him. Our client was also a Marine veteran and an upstanding member of society.
Most importantly, the so-called victim told police that he “was not really afraid” of our client, as he knew the threats would not be fulfilled. This admission was very important in showing that the victim was not put in a state of fear or anxiety of imminent harm, which is required for a conviction for criminal threats.
Surprisingly, the prosecutor agreed to an office hearing. A retired judge was then arranged to conduct a conference call with our client and the victim. Greg listened in on the call.
The retired judge discussed the facts and what he believed a jury and judge would find significant. He also discussed the wife’s infidelity and whether a jury would be able to consider this. The parties talked about the situation and agreed to conduct themselves differently in the future. The phone call lasted only about 20 minutes.
When the prosecutor received notice that the office hearing had been conducted, she dismissed the complaint against our client.
Our client was very happy with the outcome, as most attorneys are not aware of the office hearing procedure and would have instead proceeded to negotiate a plea bargain, which would have involved a conviction.
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