People v. J.M.

A 15 year-old client was accused of raping his underage girlfriend during a party. If convicted of the charge, he would face prolonged detention and worse — lifetime registration as a sex offender. First order of business was to get the client out of juvenile detention during the pendency of the case. And following a Denis H. and William M. hearing, where we aggressively cross-examined the investigating detective, we secured his conditional release. We then immediately went to work on the case, retaining an investigator, interviewing percipient witnesses and character witnesses, issuing subpoenas for phone records, etc. Soon, the case was ready for trial and we were confident we would prevail. At the 11th hour, the prosecution offered to drop the rape in exchange for a simple misdemeanor battery. This meant that there would be no sex offender registration and the records would be sealed. Although we remain confident that we would have prevailed at trial, we understand the client’s ultimate decision to play it safe and plead to the misdemeanor battery.

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