Charged with a crime?
Know your rights!
Criminal Law keeps up with the rapid advances in technology. The latest development, body cameras worn by the police, are nearly universal. They began as an aid for the police, but Kirk McAllister calls them “Tools for the Truth.” In a recent manslaughter case the main prosecution witness tried to present herself as the sympathetic, blameless widow of the “victim.” McAllister made a film clip from the body camera showing her the night of the incident: she was obviously heavily intoxicated, repeatedly saying things like “F… You, Buddy” to the police officer trying to interview her. The jury didn’t buy her act and found the client Not Guilty.
Often a criminal case is less a matter of what happened than why it happened. Recognizing the mental aspect of a case is a strong point in McAllister and McAllister’s defense strategy. Spotting and developing defenses highlighting a client’s dementia, traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress syndrome (P.T.S.D.), for example, may result ultimately in treatment rather than long years of incarceration.
Kirk McAllister strongly believes in conducting his own investigation: “The police generally quit investigating when an arrest is made—that is when the real investigation should start.” For example, when a businessman was charged with kidnapping a 14 -year old girl, Mr. McAllister immediately had his investigator canvas the area for surveillance cameras. Unknown to the police, surveillance video from a nearby church showed the client drive by the girl without ever stopping. Confronted with the video, she admitted that she made up the whole story. The judge dismissed the case and made a finding that the client was factually innocent.
In this era when it is easy and risk-free to make false accusations of a crime, such reports frequently begin in the workplace. Unless aggressively attacked, these allegations can be career-ending and life-altering. Teachers are particularly vulnerable to false accusations. In the case of one of the many teachers Kirk McAllister has defended, the unruly student’s claim that the well-respected teacher had broken a bone in the child’s hand by grabbing him didn’t stand up against the weight of the defense investigation. The prosecutor dismissed the case the day before trial.
Erasing the past
An old incident with the police—even one that did not result in a conviction—can cause you to lose a job opportunity or get denied citizenship. McAllister and McAllister is constantly expunging or sealing old criminal records, thereby helping people make sure that a youthful indiscretion does not taint their entire lives. In one of his most challenging cases, Kirk McAllister was able to vacate two felony drug convictions which had resulted in the client being deported to Costa Rica 9 years before! The client, long-since drug free, is back in the United States, at long last reunited with family.
Kirk McAllister also defends criminal cases in the federal courts.
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