Terrapin running-back Wes Brown got some good news last week. The stand-out athlete was notified that charges against him for assaulting a police officer were dropped. Prince George's County prosecutors made the decision not to pursue a criminal charge after reviewing evidence in advance of a hearing last week.
Brown was arrested July 3rd after he allegedly assaulted an officer that tried to question him about a non-fatal shooting in Baltimore. The athlete's criminal defense strategy seemed to have worked, however, as prosecutors now believe Brown was resisting an unlawful arrest by fighting back.
The outcome is good for Brown. It is also a good reminder to Upper Marlboro residents about the criminal justice system. An arrest is not a conviction. Once the dust settles from an incident, prosecutors review evidence to decide if charges are warranted. During this process, it is important for the accused to have an attorney to assist them.
Plea negotiations are vital as defense attorneys can help prosecutors understand the accused's side of the story and how it may affect a criminal trial. This voice in the room often leads to lesser charges and possibly even charges being dropped altogether.
Experienced defense lawyers are experts in criminal law. They know what defenses are valid and under what circumstances they will be the most effective. Resisting an unlawful arrest, for example, is not an everyday argument. But, in this case, the facts warranted such a position. And, that position was able to get the charges dropped.
Depending upon the facts of any case, such strategies may be used to avoid meritless charges or reduce trumped up allegations. Either way, an experienced defense lawyer is the only way for the accused to ensure their rights are shielded from unwarranted prosecution.
Source: USA Today, "Prosecutors drop charges against Maryland player," July 29, 2013