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Wrongly Accused in Sex / Murder Case
Many innocent persons are wrongly charged victims as a result of police suspecting them of a crime based upon a wrong tip or bad evidence. Their lives are affected when their homes, businesses and personal property are searched, their names are put in the newspaper and their reputations are tarnished with being accused of a crime. Even after they are acquitted or charges are dropped, their lives can continue to be disrupted under the cloud of suspicion initially raised against them.
Matthew Hurayt Case
Take for instance the Matthew Hurayt Case. In 2006, Matthew Hurayt and his roommate John McDonough were arrested because a tipster told police that Hurayt had raped and killed De Jesus and buried her body under his new garage. Police searched Hurayt ’s house, dug up his yard and under his garage looking for De Jesus’ remains, which were not found. After spending a weekend in jail for suspicion of aggravated murder of De Jesus, who vanished mysteriously in 2004, Hurayt, a convicted sex offender, and his roommate were ordered released by a Judge on September 25, 2006, who rejected the assistant county prosecutor’s request to increase the bond on an unrelated assault case.
Hurayt subsequently filed a claim for compensation for $20,000 in damages to his property with the city’s Moral Claims Commission, but the claim was rejected. In 2006, he was convicted on an assault case and released in 2010. For the past three years, he has been harassed by people who broke his windows, set fire to his garage and harassed him with telephone calls thinking he was still connected to Gena De Jesus’ case.
Gena De Jesus along with victims Amanda Berry and Michele Knight were found alive on Monday May 6, 2013, after a 911 call led police to a house in Cleveland, Ohio where the three young women had been held in captivity for approximately 10 years. In a press conference, De Jesus’ mother called upon the community not to retaliate against the family of the three suspects arrested in the girls’ kidnapping case, referring to the Castro brothers.
Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Wrongfully Accused
If you have been wrongfully accused of a crime, an Ohio criminal defense attorney can help you fight the charges and clear your good name and reputation to get the charges acquitted or the case dismissed. Your Ohio criminal defense attorney can also determine if your records can be sealed and help you with the process so that your life is not further disrupted, making it more difficult to find a place to live or a job. In the circumstance above, Hurayt was convicted of another case and had to register as a sex offender regardless of the false accusations surrounding the De Jesus case. Our legal system has a basic footing in which “the law presumes that persons charged with a crime are innocent until they are proven by competent evidence to be guilty.” This quote is found in the comments on Supreme Court case Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432 (1895).
California Penal Code Sections 240 and 241 define an assault as “an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” You can be charged with assault even if there are no injuries to the victim. A simple assault under California Penal Code Sections 240-241 is considered a misdemeanor and carries a fine up to $1,000 and jail time up to six months. A simple battery is defined under California Penal Code Sections 242-243 as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person.” It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony with a jail sentence of up to 6 months and a fine up to $2,000.
A more serious crime of assault with a deadly weapon (not a firearm) under Penal Code Section 245 is considered a felony. You can be charged with this crime if the police believe you assaulted someone with the intent to commit bodily harm with a deadly weapon other than a firearm. If convicted, you can face up to four years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000. If you possess a firearm even if you did not use it to cause bodily harm, you can be charged with an assault with a firearm, which is also a felony. This also carries up to a four year state prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000 under California Penal Code Section 244. If the crime took place on a school ground, or the victim was a public transportation driver, or the crime was gang related, the sentencing can be elevated. If you are convicted of a felony assault, you also face a strike under the California three strikes law.
Documents filed on Friday September 9, 2011, by attorneys for the Los Angeles Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow in Los Angeles Superior Court estimating their client’s medical costs to be more than $50 million as a result of the beating of Stow at the Dodger Stadium parking lot after the home game victory against the San Francisco Giants on March 31, 2011. The lawsuit was filed by plaintiff Stow and his children against Dodger’s owner Frank McCourt and 13 team entities on May 24, 2011 alleging assault, battery, negligence, premises liability, negligent hiring, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Police say that Stow was beaten because he was a Giant’s fan that had on Giant’s gear at the game. Two suspects who have been arrested and are in custody. Stow remains in a coma in a San Francisco hospital. The trial is estimated to take a week.
Defense attorneys have filed papers challenging some of the claims and requesting that the punitive damages be dismissed because the complaint does not state which 14 named defendants actions account for punitive damages. Other issues defense attorneys are challenging are the sale of alcohol at the stadium, cancellation of the half-off bear promotion after the beating, financial mismanagement by McCourt and alleged gang presence at the stadium. A hearing on the Dodger Team’s motions are set for September 30, 2011, before Judge Khan, who replaced Judge Recana as a result of the attorneys for the Dodgers request.
If you are charged with an assault and/or battery in California, you should not attempt to deal with the police directly. It is recommended that you hire a California criminal defense attorney to defend you immediately. The attorney can use defenses such as your charge does not fall within the three strikes law if you are charged with a felony assault, also argue self-defense or defense of others to get your charges reduced, obtain probation, community service or attendance of a drug or alcohol treatment program or get your case dismissed.
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