Torrance, Child Abuse & Spousal Abuse, Defense Verdict
In a Nutshell: Torrance, defense verdict at jury trial, client faced charges of child abuse and spousal abuse.
When the Torrance Police arrived, the wife stated that her husband had kicked, hit, slapped, pushed and even pinched their son all over his body. The boy was asleep in just his diapers nearby, so police asked to look at the boy to see his injuries. They noticed he had no signs of any injury the wife claimed. Photographs taken at the home documented the lack of injuries.
The wife also told police that her husband had hit her on her left arm and punched her. Police also took pictures of her arm and face, which both showed no signs of any injury.
The wife also told police that her husband had physically abused both her and the young boy for a year and a half. Police apparently seemed skeptical.
Police then arrested our client and wrote up a lengthy police report.
The client first hired another attorney, but after three court appearances, fired him and hired Greg Hill & Associates instead. At this point in time, the client had moved out of state.
Greg Hill first got a promise from the City Prosecutor that if the client performed 30 hours of community service and attend 20 batterer’s program classes, she would consider dismissing the case due the client’s immigration concerns (he was not a U.S. citizen).
The client, however, due to his busy school schedule and work schedule, was unable to complete the hours or classes described. Greg Hill then wrote a lengthy defense position letter, including a discussion of the lack of evidence (the photographs showed nothing) and a description of the victims’ credibility issues (she had lied on numerous employment applications about a degree from a school which actually expelled her).
In response, the City Prosecutor did improve the plea bargain, but the client felt he must go to trial, as he knew his wife was lying. It turned out that she had used almost the same story to police against her first husband, who was convicted and went to prison.
A jury trial was thus demanded and Greg prepared several motions in limine, one being to ask that the judge issue an order preventing the prosecution from introducing any evidence of prior uncharged (alleged) acts of domestic violence. Such evidence in generally inadmissible under Evidence Code § 1109(b) to prove specific conduct on a future date, but can be introduced for the limited purpose to show that the defendant had an ability to act a certain way. However, if the prosecution wished to introduce such evidence, it was required to give the defense notice of this intention no later than 30 days prior to trial (Penal Code § 1054.7).
In this case, the prosecution failed to give such notice, so Greg filed a motion in limine to preclude the introduction of such evidence. The prosecutor read the motion, as well as one other important motion, and announced before a jury was summoned that it could not proceed.
The case was then dismissed and our client was very happy, as he no longer faced the consequences of having a conviction for child abuse, as well as spousal abuse, and all the immigration consequences, including removal, that might follow.
For more information about the issues involved in this case, click on the following articles:
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