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Case Studies

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Abraham Lincoln


Alternate Ways of Defending Criminal Cases

Case Studies - Attorney Joel RosenthalThere are many ways to defend criminal cases. Several common alternatives can be seen from actual cases handled by Attorney Rosenthal

2) The defendant was charged with 3 counts with endangering safety while operating a motor vehicle. His actions allegedly caused serious injury to the driver and passengers of another vehicle. The police obtained a coerced confession and a state’s witness made an unexpected courthouse identification of the defendant. This case went to the WI Supreme Court and was tried upon its return to Circuit Court.

Outcome: The Defendant was acquitted of all charges. Hibl; Trial: Not guilty.

2) The defendant may have engaged in the criminal behavior but the police may have violated the defendant’s constitutional rights and evidence may not be admissible. This representation requires knowledge of the law and an analysis of the facts of the specific case.

Example: The defendant was charged with multiple counts of receiving stolen property as a repeat offender. The State’s evidence was obtained with two search warrants: one for the defendant’s car and the other for the defendant’s home. All but on the charges related to the latter. The Court granted the defendant’s Motion to Suppress the evidence obtained from the defendant’s residence which resulted in all but one count being dismissed.

Outcome: The defendant resolved the remaining count with a plea that was acceptable to him.

3) The Defendant may be guilty as charged or guilty of something less serious and desires to resolve the case by negotiating a plea.

Outcome: OWI (3rd). State’s inability to prove operating. Trial: Not guilty.

4) The defendant may have committed the alleged behavior but may have a legal defense such as self defense.

Example: The defendant, a young man with no criminal record, was married to a woman who had illegally entered the United States. Shortly after moving with her to Milwaukee, the marriage became problematic and she accused him of an act of domestic violence. At the jury trial, the defendant was able to show the jury that his wife’s motivation for the accusation was her desire to change her legal status by making false domestic violence accusation. The jury acquitted the defendant.

Outcome: Domestic violence. Lopez. Trial. Not guilty (wife’s motivation to fabricate allegation/basis for illegal immigration adjustment status).