Today I can announce a tremendous victory achieved for a Wirth Law Office client last Thursday. Our client was facing the possibility of life behind bars after being charged with felony child abuse by injury. He had been held in jail unable to make a six figure bond since June. Then last Wednesday (September 5, 2012) we put on the preliminary hearing.
At the preliminary hearing, the State is required to prove by probable cause that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed the crime. Because the probable cause standard is the same standard that was required to have the defendant arrested in the first place, it is unusual for the court to dismiss case at prelim. With tough cross-examination of the State’s witnesses and a few missteps by the prosecutor, I strongly argued that the State did not meet its burden. The hearing went to 7:20 p.m. at which point the judge reset us for the following afternoon for arguments. The judge found probable cause that child abuse occurred, but after arguments the judge agreed with my position and specifically held that the State presented insufficient evidence that our client was responsible for any abuse. All charges dismissed.
The prosecutor vowed to appeal and the case was reset to yesterday (Wednesday, September 12, 2012) to give the State time to appeal. However, the prosecutor either forgot or changed her mind, because when I appeared for court yesterday, the district attorney’s office announced that they had not perfected appeal. The case was formally and irrevocably dismissed.