Covington, Washington (July 3, 2014) – Noted Tacoma criminal lawyer Kim Hunter recently represented a client (Mr. X), a husband charged with two counts of domestic violence assault. She successfully got the case dismissed by contending that the prosecution committed a procedural defect that violated her client’s constitutional rights.
In a petition during the motions, the defense claimed that the plaintiff did not include witness (Ms. Y), who must participate during the proceedings in order to reach a fair decision. The defense also asserted that witness Y’s refusal to cooperate in testifying in court disregards the defendant’s rights as stipulated in the Confrontation Clause.
Atty. Hunter referred to ruling, Crawford v. Washington (2004), where the Supreme Court ruled that testimonial out-of-court statements are inadmissible as valid evidence if the defense does not have the opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution. This mandate can aid the judge in forming an impartial verdict by hearing out witnesses offering essential testimonial evidence through cross-examination during the trials.
The plaintiff argued about the validity of the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing, where the accused automatically forfeits the right to the Confrontation Clause. Moreover, the plaintiff also claimed that Mr. X’s alleged action instigated witness Y’s refusal to involve herself in the case. However, Atty. Hunter challenged that it is not appropriate to apply the doctrine when the defendant does not prevent testimony from being given, and when it revokes an essential constitutional right. The circumstances also seem to show that the absence of the witness is likely motivated by her own feelings about the defendant, especially because she is carrying his child.
Ultimately, the Court ruled that it is improper to consent to the introduction of testimonial evidence when there is proof that the constitutional right of the defendant was violated. The prosecution permitted the submission of the witness’ testimonial statement despite the fact that defense had no opportunity to cross-examine her. Because of this, the case was dismissed in favor of Mr. X.
Aside from a special interest in domestic violence, Atty. Kim Hunter also accepts several cases that involve DUI, assault and theft. For more information about her services, visit www.KHunterLaw.com.
About the Law Offices of Kim E. Hunter, PLLC
Atty. Kim E. Hunter is an experienced Tacoma criminal defense attorney who believes that everyone is entitled to competent and effective representation. She provides her clients with dedicated legal assistance and supports them in every step of the proceedings as an ally and advocate.