Simple Assault: Dismissed.
A man was charged with Simple Assault for spitting in someone’s face. The man and a group of friends were partying one summer evening in Newport, RI. After patronizing a number of local drinking establishments, the men went for a walk. One of them crossed a street in front of a moving car.
The car stopped short to avoid striking the man. This prompted a verbal altercation. The vehicle was occupied by three people: driver, front seat passenger and rear seat passenger. The man who crossed the street was also with a small group of friends. The verbal argument initially started between the driver and pedestrian. It then involved the front seat passenger who happened to be the driver’s girlfriend.
She made some rude remarks to the pedestrian as he stood on a nearby sidewalk while she remained seated in the stopped car. In response, the man allegedly spat at the woman. This prompted her boyfriend to exit the car and punch the man in the face. Bystanders who witnessed the alleged events notified police. When police arrived on scene and questioned the parties involved, the pedestrian was arrested and charged with Simple Assault. The driver was not criminally charged for his conduct. The pedestrian hired Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni III to defend him in this matter.
Attorney Calcagni’s first task was to gather witness statements from the man’s friend who saw him get punched. He also obtained medical records to show that his client was treated for a concussion the day of his arrest, which he claimed was related to the punch. Attorney Calcagni then focused on gathering and presenting evidence on the man’s behalf such as his young age, lack of criminal history, recent college graduation and pending job offer with Google.
He also argued in his client’s favor first, that the spit was an inadvertent and accidental product of the shouting and yelling during the verbal altercation and second, to the extent intentional, the girl’s boyfriend exacted revenge with no legal consequences. Based on these collective circumstances, Attorney Calcagni successfully negotiated for dismissal of the charge against his client at a pretrial conference. The matter has since been sealed and erased from the man’s criminal background.