Domestic Strangulation and Assault and Battery
Police charged a young man with strangling and assaulting his long-term girlfriend. The couple had a verbal altercation, which turned physical when the girl punched her boyfriend in the face. As she went to strike him a second time, he defended himself by striking back more quickly and powerfully. The speed and force of his blow neutralized the threat posed by his intoxicated and violent partner. She fell the floor and never raised another hand to him again. On the way down, however, her body stuck a piece of furniture causing further her injury. The boyfriend attempted to apologize and give his girlfriend a helping hand up off the floor, but she refused. She fled his apartment to her home where she told her parents he had both strangled and assaulted her.
The girl and her family then went to police to lodge a complaint. They brought with them photos of the girl’s injuries to include a black eye, bruising to her neck and further bruising caused by the fall. The boyfriend, who had only sought to defend himself, did not file a police report against his girlfriend. He intended to let the incident pass, give her time to sober up and reconcile with her on a later occasion. Unbeknownst to him, she secretly raced to the police station, filed a report and even sought a restraining order. The man, who was a public employee, retained Attorney John L. Calcagni III to represent him in connection with this matter. Attorney Calcagni knew from the very beginning of this case that his client could not incur a criminal conviction due to his employment. As a result, he developed a defense strategy and pretrial investigative plan to establish that the girlfriend was the aggressor in anticipation of a trial. Evidence he discovered revealed that the girlfriend had a track record that included a drinking problem and that once intoxicated, becoming both verbally and physically abusive.
Independent witnesses confirmed that the girl struck her man on multiple prior occasions and that he had never retaliated against her. The Defense argued that this time around, the man responded against his girlfriend with physical force in response to imminent fear, after being punched by her, that he was about to be punched again. Unfortunately, the man was taller and stronger than his girlfriend resulting in her being immediately subdued by his defensive strikes. Attorney Calcagni threatened taking his client’s case to trial if the prosecution did not budge from its position of demanding the man’s guilty plea and jail time for his actions and the girl’s resulting injuries. After extensive pretrial conferences, negotiations and other hearings, the prosecution ultimately agreed to continue this matter without a finding for one year. If the man is not charged with a new offense during this period, the matter will be dismissed and eligible to be sealed from his record.