Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Case Dismissed

I was looking forward to a trial today. I had several cases to deal with in the morning and then in the afternoon I had booked myself in to do a domestic violence trial.

I had seen the Client whom I was defending on a number of occasions and knew the case inside out. The allegation from the victim was that my Client had arrived at the victim's home uninvited, slapped her several times, dragged her out of bed, down the stairs and in to the street where it was alleged that she had been kicked repeatedly. The medical evidence suggested that she had tenderness to her head and a sore arm but nothing else. My Client's instructions were that he had argued with the victim and she had fallen over when she went to grab my Client when he was leaving. Even if my Client had not been telling the truth his instructions were more consistent with the medical evidence than the victim's.

I met my Client early and discussed his case, then the Officer in the Case arrived and I spoke with him. He said he had not spoken with the victim recently and believed that she had gone AWOL. Within minutes the case had been called on, the Prosecutor offered no evidence and the case was dismissed against my Client. In fact it happened so quickly that my Client was confused about what had happened.

I left Court rather disappointed that I had not had the chance to get stuck in to the case and some good cross examination. Recently my success rate with contested cases has gone through the roof, the only problem is the cases keep falling apart before the first prosecution witness is called.

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