Neil Rockind pulled off another fantastic result today.
Our client was charged with Resisting/Obstructing a Police Officer – a 2-year felony – after he ran from police while they were trying to arrest him.
Admittedly, these scant facts sound terrible. However, the real story is much more troubling. Here is what actually happened: Our client was at a nightclub and was competing in a contest. He managed to win that contest and was awarded $500.00 dollars. He and two of his friends were walking out of the nightclub later that night and were jumped by a group of 6-10 guys. The group that jumped him and his friends wanted the cash and when our client refused to turn it over, a brawl ensued. Our client and his two friends were beat repeatedly by this group until the police showed up in the middle of the brawl.
If you can image getting the crap beat out of you by a bunch of guys and fighting back as best you can, only to be interrupted by someone who claims they are a police officer, then you can imagine how confusing the entire situation would be.
At some point, one of our client’s friends hit one of the officers and when the officer turned around he believed that it was our client that had just hit him. Needless to say, our client, as soon as he got the chance, fled from the brawl. The police chased him and ultimately tased him twice before arresting him. He was later charged with Resisting/Obstructing Police and his friend was charged with Assaulting a Police Office. Meanwhile, not a single one of the guys who had jumped them was arrested or charged.
During the course of the case, there were many obstacles. First, our client outright refused to plead to any felony – which was completely understandable. Then, his co-defendant friend pled guilty to Attempted Assault of a Police Office, which meant that the prosecutor’s office would be looking for our client to plead to something similar. Next, just as we suspected, the prosecutor’s office came to us and asked our client to plead to Attempted Resisting/Obstructing. We promptly turned that offer down.
Eventually we talked the prosecutor’s office into reducing the charge to a disorderly person. However, on the date of the preliminary examination, Neil Rockind went to court and informed the prosecutor that we were going to reject the Disorderly Person charge because our client did not want to lose his Concealed Pistol License. The prosecutor was not happy – but we persisted. Ultimately the prosecutor agreed to reduce the charge to Disturbing the Peace – a 93 day misdemeanor.
However, there were still more obstacles. Not only did the client want to be able to keep his CPL, he also wanted the ability to sue the police department for wrongful arrest. Initially the police officers were adamant that any plea had to include a stipulation that he give up his right to file a lawsuit. Neil convinced the prosecutor to disregard the officer’s wishes and allow him to plea without such a stipulation.
Finally, our client did not want to be on probation. After a discussion with the Judge, Neil Rockind convinced the court to forgo any probation and instead to allow him to simply pay fines and costs.
In sum, our client went from looking at a 2 year-felony, to getting a 93-day misdemeanor (Disturbing the Peace), with no jail time, no probation, no loss of his Concealed Pistol License, and the ability to sue the police department if he so wishes. Talk about a fantastic result!