Disorderly Conduct & Domestic Abuse Another charge. Another real RESULT.
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A Recent Jury Trial in Milwaukee
Recently, I had a client facing a disorderly conduct domestic abuse charge in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. My client was accused of going over to his girlfriend’s house, getting into an argument, becoming violent and leaving. Subsequently, he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct domestic abuse in Wisconsin. He had previously been out on probation for a Criminal Trespass out of Racine, so a probation hold was placed on him, meaning he would not be released from custody until his Racine case was disposed of. I advised my client that we had a strong case to take to trial and that was the route we pursued.
Before trial, there was a revocation hearing on his probation status from the case in Racine County. This is a process that is very difficult to win, however, the hearing gave us a chance before the trial to hear his girlfriend's story and find any weakness in it, and that is exactly what happened. The trial followed the revocation hearing and, depending on the outcome of the trial, it would mean release from custody on the Racine case or it would mean additional jail time for my client.
You are only guilty if you are convicted™
There were three main focal points during the trial. First was the fact that my client did not have a vehicle and the victim reported that he showed up at her house upset after she posted something on social media. Our contention was that without a car or a ride the amount of time it would have taken him to get there, as she alleged, would have been 3 to 4 times as long as she stated. I was able to cross examine her and she admitted that to walk the distance would take much longer than she had said it would. She also admitted he did not have a car and she usually picked him up, and that she didn't see or hear a car coming or going. This was an important piece of our defense. She had stated his motive for the crime was that he was responding to a social media response, but now her timeline for the motive did not make sense.
The second major blow to the State’s case, regarding her testimony, came down to the plausibility of what she was saying. This is where the previous revocation hearing really became a factor. She had alleged that he was not allowed at the residence per her landlord’s rules and that she had not been expecting him, nor did she want him there. The problem with this was that there were items at the residence that were my clients. It was undisputed he had a backpack, a gaming system, and a bunch of games, which he collected prior to leaving the residence. We argued that if this stuff was already at her house then it sounds like he was welcome there, at least as far as she was concerned. Both his testimony and his grandfather’s was that he would not leave behind his gaming system, as it was important to him. Therefore, if he had not left the system there from a previous visit, he either had to bring it with him at the time of the altercation or, as he testified, he was already there and had been there all day. During the revocation hearing, his girlfriend testified that his stuff was already at the house, which raised the question: if he was not welcome there and she did not want him there, then why was his stuff at her house? She realized her mistake for the trial and changed her testimony; indicating instead that he brought the gaming system and games with him on that night. Now this was odd testimony given the fact that she said he was not invited to come over, that he only came over as a response to something she had posted on social media that upset him, and that she did not want him there. I emphasized how odd it would be for someone who is angry to bring games to play when he comes over to confront her.
Lastly, the State tried to indicate that it all started off with my client coming over in the belief he was going to have a fun night, but on the way over the post happened and his stuff was already with him. The problem with this line of thought was that it directly contradicted the testimony of his girlfriend. This moving target that the State was trying to present to the jury is what I focused on in my closing statement. At first, the story was one thing, then the "victim" changed her story and it was something else, and then finally the State attempted to fabricate an entirely different story as to motive and what took place.
Following all testimony, the jury found my client NOT GUILTY and only deliberated the case for 30 minutes. If you are facing charges and want an attorney to fight for you, call the award-winning attorneys at Grieve Law for a free consultation.