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Domestic violence conviction overturned, retrial begins

The reliability of any witness in a courtroom is crucial to the outcome of a case. This is especially true when it comes to domestic violence cases. There are typically no eyewitnesses in domestic problems that involve physical abuse and/or emotional abuse. Rather, the testimony comes down to a “he said, she said” situation.

The jury has been selected for the retrial of a New York politician who appealed a 2010 conviction for attempted assault and harassment of his wife on the grounds that the defense was not able to call witnesses to discredit the reliability of his accuser and her testimony. Last year, he won his appeal. The conviction was overturned and he was granted a new trial. Despite his victory in appeals court, however, his lost a promising political career in light of the conviction, resigning from his elected office in 2011.

This case illustrates the importance of having an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for the rights of the accused. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial, no matter what type of charges they are faced with. Accusations of domestic abuse can be especially problematic because of the emotions involved in such cases and the incentives for not being entirely truthful. In the midst of a divorce, for instance, a spouse could make false accusations in an effort to gain sole custody of children. Or they could simply be made out of spite in order to ruin a reputation. Whatever the circumstances, the long-term consequences of domestic violence accusations are serious. Those who are accused with such crimes may want to consult with an attorney to determine the best course of action.

Source: New Jersey Herald, “Domestic violence retrial on for ex-mayor in NY,” Associated Press, June 11, 2013

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