2 Counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault
Client was barely 18 (just over the age for criminal liability in New Hampshire) when he and a younger friend (under 18 and considered a juvenile) were invited to get together with a young lady who was just under the age of legal consent (16 in New Hampshire). Marijuana and alcohol were consumed and sexual activity occurred. The lady later claimed that it was forced or involuntary. Client made a voluntary statement to police without asking for a lawyer (reminder/warning: do not do this: ask for an attorney and tell them you do not wish to make a statement) The interview was recorded on video. He agreed that sex had occurred. The video was played at trial, so there was little chance of a straight acquittal on all charges. The argument for the defendant in trial was that the jury could find him guilty of the misdemeanor, but that he was not guilty of the felonies. The judge conducted a required discussion with the client to make sure that he was in agreement with this argument since it was a concession on the misdemeanor charge. He confirmed that it was his choice. The jury agreed and the client was saved from the possibility of up to 40 years in prison and a lifetime reporting requirement.
Jury Verdict - Not Guilty
Felony Accomplice to Possession of Fentanyl
Defendant was driving and pulled over by a State Trooper. Her boyfriend was in the passenger seat. He had scored and used a short time earlier and still had syringes and additional doses in his sock. He was arrested, she was allowed to drive away. Months later, she was indicted as an accomplice for allegedly aiding her boyfriend's possession by driving him to where he obtained the fentanyl.
Jury Verdict - Not Guilty
Felony Criminal Threatening with a Firearm
A Directed Verdict is the Holy Grail of jury trial defense. Judges are almost always asked by competent defense counsel to give directed verdicts at the end of the prosecution's case and then again at the end of all evidence. Good lawyers make the motions, despite the very low chance of success, because appellate courts will say the issue of insufficient evidence was waived for appeal, if the motions are not made at the trial level. Trial judges almost never grant such motions, especially not at the end of the government's case (where the judge has to look at the evidence which has been presented "in the light most favorable to the State" and "granting all reasonable inferences in favor the of State)." Judges do not like to take the case away from a jury and usually deny such motions saying, "it's a question of fact for the jury to decide." In some cases, this is like Pilate washing his hands and allowing the crucifixion (letting someone else take responsibility for the outcome). As Shaggy raps, "It wasn't me!"
Jury Trial With Directed Verdicts of Not Guilty
Felony Domestic Violence
Client had a causal, non-romantic relationship with the accuser and she had been to his house several times (described as "hooking up"). On the last visit, he was offended by her statement and behavior and told her to leave. She refused. He attempted, with minimal force, to get her to leave. She still refused but eventually left. She later went to the police department and reported that he had attacked her and choked her. This "strangulation" offense (with a potential penalty of up to 7 years in prison) was only recently created and added to the Assault section of the New Hampshire Criminal Code: RSA 631:2 Second Degree Assault.