H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
Published on:

False Allegations in California Case Illustrate Danger of Untested Domestic Violence “Allegations”

On the heels of a young man’s challenge to the custody of his child, a young woman in California complained – and the District Attorney’s office charged – a felony domestic violence assault for allegedly smashing the victims head into a wall several times and threatening to kill she and her child.

As often happens in these cases, neither the prosecutor nor the police truly ‘tested” or “grilled” the victim about her story before taking the case to trial. On the witness stand, the “victim” changed her story several times. The District Attorney, embarrassed at the false charges and the woman’s complete lack of credibility, dismissed the charges two weeks into the trial.

It was too late, the accused, a 24 year old kitchen manager – already had lost everything -his job and his reputation. He demanded a trial – even though he was facing 5 years in prison – yes he was vindicated by a jury that actually clapped when the case was dismissed by the DA.

It is unknown in this recent case – February 2011 – whether the young lady was charged with making false charges. She should face the kind of fear and anxiety the Defendant felt.

H. Michael’s Take:

The kind of travesty of justice that this case represents barely touches the surface of the problem of the overreaction of law enforcement to uncorroborated allegations of sex assault or domestic violence by an individual without “testing” the truth of the story – well before the case goes to trial.