Multiple counts of Armed Robbery and one count of Felony Firearm were dismissed against M.D., a client of criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel. It was alleged that our client, while armed with a pistol, approached two men and demanded their money and their vehicle. As the alleged robbery took place at night, the identification of the assailant would prove to be the main issue in the case.
At the preliminary exam, held in the 36th District Court, the prosecutor succeeded in having the complaining witness point to our client and identify him as the man who pointed the gun at him and demanded his belongings. While the man admitted that the assailant was wearing a hood and the area was “somewhat dark”, he still claimed that he could positively identify the man who robbed him. When asked to do so, he pointed at our client and claimed he was the man who robbed him. However, this positive identification would not last for long.
Upon cross-examination by defense attorney Chris Kessel, the complaining witness began to shy away from his identification of our client. He was forced to admit that because the robbery took place at night and because the only light source was across the street he was not actually able to get a good look at the assailant. The witness then admitted that he was more focused on the gun being pointed in his face than he was on the face of the person pointing the gun. Chris Kessel also got the witness to admit that the hood the robber was wearing covered a substantial portion of the upper half of the robber’s face. Finally, after going over line after line of his written description of the assailant, the witness agreed that our client did not match all portions of the description given only hours after the robbery. After approximately 30 minutes of cross-examination, the witness readily admitted that he was not sure if our client was actually the man who robbed him.
The prosecution argued vigorously that the complaining witness had already identified the defendant, thus the case should be bound over. However, Mr. Kessel pointed out that if the only thing that mattered was what a witness stated on direct examination, there would be no need for a Sixth Amendment right to confront one’s accuser. The judge agreed and the case was dismissed entirely.
The Nessel and Kessel Approach
At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have decades of experience dealing with assault charges. Because we are top criminal defense attorneys, when a client retains Nessel and Kessel Law we immediately begin to develop a comprehensive strategy for success. Sometimes success means convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges completely, or have them greatly reduced. Other times it means a motion to suppress evidence to have the case dismissed by a judge, or fully preparing for trial and securing a not guilty verdict. Robbery and Assault charges are often fueled by emotional and hostile witnesses. More often than not, a verdict will hang solely on the testimony of a complaining witness. The means that you need an attorney who is skilled in the art of cross examination, who can force a witness to admit things that may contradict earlier statements, police reports, hospital records, and other witnesses. Other times a case will turn on what the defendant’s intent was during the alleged assault. It can often times be difficult if not impossible to prove what someone’s intent was. At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have the experience needed to persuade a prosecutor, judge, or jury that you did not have the necessary intent to convict. If you or a family member has been changed with an assaultive, contact the defense lawyers at Nessel and Kessel Law today.