Case Summary:
The defendant was charged with a single count of Criminal Mischief. The alleged victim had claimed that the defendant had slashed the tires on his vehicle. However, there were no actual witnesses to who had slashed the tires. After the alleged victim made a report to law enforcement accusing the defendant of the crime the defendant was cited for the previously mentioned charge. The case was dismissed after the defendant indicated an unwillingness to plead guilty and was intending on setting the case for trial.

Attorney Comment:
Most people simply cannot understand how innocent people get accused of crimes, but it happens frequently. This was one such case. The alleged victim had a long standing issue with my client. After the alleged victim discovered his tires were slashed he viewed security video footage taken by a nearby business. The alleged victim filed a report accusing my client of the crime and told the police that he was positive my client was the person who had slashed his tires. He was certain of this because he had seen the video and he could identify my client in the video.

The officer, simply taking the alleged victim's word, made contact with my client and inquired why my client would have done that to the alleged victim's car. My client denied the allegation but the officer evidently did not believe him. The officer completed his report, collected the video footage that was provided to him by the alleged victim, and submitted the materials to the prosecutor. The prosecutor, presumably without reviewing the evidence, filed a case against my client. Had either the prosecutor or the officer bothered to review the video footage of the alleged crime, they would have seen that absolutely nothing could be identified on the video. The security camera was many yards from where the alleged incident took place. Further, it was done at night and the quality of the image was terrible. It would have been impossible for anyone to identify anyone from this video. Additionally, there was nothing on the tape that appeared to show the tires being slashed at all.

After I had reviewed the tape I requested that the case be dismissed, as it was clear to me that neither the officer nor the prosecutor had actually examined the evidence in the case prior to proceeding with it. This case should never have been brought against my client and had the government engaged in an even marginally competent investigation, they would have seen that. Definitely one of the most poorly investigated cases I've seen.

Jackson County, Oregon

Actual Case Summaries

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