Wente Cases

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Actual Case Summaries (con't)

Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome. Details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results either.

Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with one count of Tampering with Physical Evidence. The charged arose out of an incident wherein Defendant was alleged to have picked up ammunition shells and discarded them after a friend of his discharged a firearm within city limits. Ultimately the case was resolved by a plea to a violation and payment of a fine.

Attorney Comments:

"This is one of those cases where it just didn't make sense to go to trial. When the State offers to reduce a criminal offense to a civil offense (where only a fine is due) it is difficult to pass up. I contend my client did nothing wrong. My client's friend had discharged a gun in a downtown area. This friend had absolutely violated the law. After the friend fired the gun my client picked up the shell casings and disposed of them. A required element that State must prove for a tampering with physical evidence charge is that my client, at the time he disposed of the shells, that he knew an official proceeding was going to take place. This element was not likely going to be proved. At the time my client picked up the shell casings he had no knowledge the police had been called. Unless he knew the police had been called and they were responding he could not have known an official proceeding had begun. Without that knowledge the shell casings were just "litter." A good analogy is that if you were walking down the street and picked up trash to throw it away, are you tampering with physical evidence if an officer happens to be investigating a person for littering with that item of trash? Of course not - UNLESS you knew that particular piece of trash was going to be used in an official proceeding. Although my client had a perfectly defensible case the State was willing to reduce the case to a non-criminal charge and my client did not want to risk the outcome of a jury trial. Ultimately my client pled to a non-criminal charge and had to pay a fine."


Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with a count of Menacing, a count of Reckless Endangering, and a count of Pointing a Firearm at Another. The charges arose out of an incident wherein Defendant and the alleged victim had gotten in an argument about a building job and money owed. The alleged victim accused Defendant of pointing a firearm at him and threatening him with it. The case was resolved with a deferred sentencing on the single count of menacing.

Attorney Comments:

"A deferred sentencing agreement (DSA) required my client to plead guilty to a count of menacing. However, if he successfully completes the terms of the agreement the charge gets dismissed at the end of 12 months. This was a reasonable outcome considering the state of the evidence in this case. My client was given the opportunity to keep his record clean if he was compliant with his DSA, which is a great option for people whose cases pose challenges at jury trials. This would have been a tough case to convince a jury that my client should be entitled to not guilty verdicts on all 3 counts. So, my client was pleased with the DSA outcome."


Case Summary:

Defendant was charged with Harassment and Disorderly Conduct in the second degree. The charges resulted after Defendant was attending court and he had an emotion outburst. Defendant's wife had been a victim in an unrelated case. Defendant was in court that day watching the sentencing for the person who had previously attacked his wife. Defendant was disgusted at the perceived lenient sentence his wife's attacker had just received and he is alleged to have been hostile to the guy and his attorney. Defendant was convicted of a violation and ordered to pay a fine.

Attorney Comments:

"My client pled to disorderly conduct as a violation. A violation is a non-criminal offense that is punishable only by a fine. Considering the facts and the uncertainty of a jury trial in this case my client opted to accept the negotiated plea bargain and resolve his case. It was a good outcome that allowed my client to keep his criminal history clear."


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