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Domestic Battery in McHenry County-Not Guilty Verdict
Domestic Battery Charges in McHenry County. NOT GUILTY Verdict After Trial in McHenry County
People v. NG - McHenry County Domestic battery lawyer, James Dimeas, obtained a NOT GUILTY verdict for a client charged with a Domestic Battery against his sister at the McHenry County Courthouse in Woodstock, Illinois. The client had been convicted of a Domestic Battery in McHenry County against the same Complaining Witness four years earlier. Both the Complaining Witness and the defendant insisted that he was not guilty of Domestic Violence but the state took the matter to trial and the defendant won!
The client was charged with a Class A Misdemeanor for Domestic Battery in McHenry County. The client was facing a maximum punishment of up to one year in county jail and a fine up to $2,500. In pre-trial discussions with the prosecutor, the state indicated that if the client was convicted of the Domestic Battery, they would insist on a jail sentence because of the client’s criminal record. The client had plead guilty to a Domestic Battery in McHenry County in 2014. The 2014 Domestic Battery involved the same Complaining Witness, his sister. Since Court Supervision is not possible for a Domestic Battery, the 2014 guilty plea resulted in a sentence of Conditional Discharge which is a conviction that can never be expunged or sealed from a criminal record.
The client lived with his sister, and her infant son, in the family home in McHenry County. The Complaining Witness, the client's sister, was on Social Security Disability for several mental health and emotional issues. The client had been designated as the payee for his sister by the Social Security Administration. The client was in charge of the Complaining Witnesses finances. On the day in question, the defendant arrived home from work. His sister requested that he give her money to buy some food. The defendant refused to give her money because she was out of money for the month and they already had leftovers in the refrigerator. The Complaining Witness and the defendant got into a heated argument. The Complaining Witness began sending troubling text messages to her girlfriend. In those text messages, the Complaining Witness told her girlfriend that she had gotten into a heated argument with her brother and that her brother was beating her up. The Complaining Witness claimed, in the text messages, that her brother, the defendant, had pulled her hair and had punched her numerous times. The Complaining Witness sent her girlfriend one text message of a picture showing her bruised arm. In response to the text messages, the girlfriend messaged the Complaining Witness back advising her to leave the house and call the police. When the Complaining Witness told her girlfriend that she would not leave the house, her girlfriend went to the local police and reported the troubling text messages.
The police called the Complaining Witness and spoke to her about the text messages. The Complaining Witness insisted that she was lying in the text messages and that she sent them because she was angry at her brother and wanted her girlfriend to be on her side. The Complaining Witness insisted that her brother had not committed any acts of Domestic Violence and that she did not need any police assistance. In spite of that conversation, the police went to the Complaining Witnesses home and knocked on her door. The Complaining Witness exited the home and advise the police that her brother had left. This was not true. The Complaining Witness told her brother to stay inside and not talk to the police. The Complaining Witness insisted that the text messages were not true and that her brother had not punched her or hurt her in any way.
The police informed the Complaining Witness that they did not care what she had to say and that they were going to arrest her brother, the defendant, in spite of her insistence that nothing had happened. The Defendant heard the police officer tell the Complaining Witness that he was going to arrest the defendant in spite of what the Complaining Witness had told the police.
Two days later the police came back to the home and arrested the defendant and charged him with a Domestic Battery. When the police officer asked the Defendant to make a statement, the defendant refused and told the police officer that he heard the police officer tell his sister outside the home on the night of the incident that he didn't care what the defendant and the complaining witness had to say and that he was going to be arresting the defendant anyway.
Before trial, the state filed a motion asking that the court allow evidence of the 2014 Domestic Battery against the sister to be introduced into evidence in this case. The state claimed that the 2014 incident involved the same victim and started over an argument about money. The motion was fully briefed and argued before the Judge and the Court granted the state's motion and allowed evidence of the 2014 Domestic Battery to be introduced at trial.
At trial, the Complaining Witness testified that she had made up the text messages. She testified that her brother did not hit her and that the text messages were an attempt by her to get her girlfriend to support her. The Complaining Witness testified that she told the police that the text messages were false and called the prosecutor on two separate occasions to inform her that her brother had not committed a Domestic Battery and the Domestic Violence charges were unfounded.
The Complaining Witnesses girlfriend was called to testify. She testified that she believed the text messages were true and that she had received similar text messages from the Complaining Witness in the past. While she did not witness any crimes, she tried to make it seem like the defendant was a violent person and had been mistreating his sister for years.
The defendant testified that while he was arguing with his sister about money, he noticed that she was recording the argument with her cell phone. The defendant testified that he took his sister's cell phone from her and deleted all of the recordings. After he took her cell phone, he went into a small bathroom next to his bedroom and shut the door. The defendant testified that the Complaining Witness opened the bathroom door and battered him on his head. He testified that he grabbed her on both her upper arms, pushed her out the bathroom, and locked the bathroom door.
The state argued that the Complaining Witness was claiming that the text messages were false because she was afraid of her brother and scared to testify against him. The state pointed to the 2014 the McHenry County Domestic Battery case to argue that the defendant was a violent person and had been previously convicted of Domestic Violence against his sister. When I questioned the Complaining Witness and the defendant about the 2014 incident, I was able to show that in 2014, the Complaining Witness called the police. When the police arrived at the scene of the 2014 McHenry County Domestic Battery, the Complaining Witness cooperated with police and told them what happened. The Complaining Witness went to the police station in 2014 and gave a detailed written statement to the police. After the defendant was charged with the 2014 McHenry County Domestic Battery, the Complaining Witness obtained an Order of Protection. In 2014 the Complaining Witness went to court and followed through on the Domestic Battery prosecution of her brother. I argued that the 2014 Domestic Battery case showed that the state's theory that the Complaining Witness was lying to protect her brother or that she was scared of her brother was unfounded because the Complaining Witness had prosecuted her brother in the past.
After hearing all of the evidence and the arguments, the judge continued the case for a few weeks to consider what his decision would be. Eventually, the judge issued a written opinion finding the defendant NOT GUILTY of the domestic battery. I was able to take the previous Domestic Battery conviction and turn it around on the state and use it to weaken, and ultimately defeat their theory of the case. What the state thought would be a weapon to use against the defendant was used as a sword against them to win the case.
McHenry County Domestic Battery attorney, James Dimeas, has been handling Domestic Battery cases throughout Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, and Lake County for over-27 years. James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Domestic Battery lawyer and published author. The National Trial Lawyers named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." Recently, the American Society of Legal Advocates named James Dimeas a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer in the State of Illinois For the Year 2018, 2019, and 2020." Expertise name James Dimeas a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago." James Dimeas was named a "Best DUI Attorney." The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys have named James Dimeas a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction." AVVO rates James Dimeas as "Superb", 10 out of 10, the highest rating possible for any Domestic Battery lawyer in the United States.
If you are being charged with a Domestic Battery, you can contact James Dimeas anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk to James Dimeas personally by calling him at 847-807-7405. Help is just a phone call away!