Queens County Bar Association
Martindale Hubbell - Distinguished 2023

Timeframe of Resolution for an Assault Case in New York

Interviewer: How long can an assault case last? Could they be pretty long and lengthy?

Martin Kane: It can be. It generally is not because, we can get these cases worked out but like any other case, it can take a considerable period of time. The thing to realize is that the attorney is trying to get the best disposition that he possibly can in a case. He’s not as interested in doing it quickly, at least if he’s doing his job properly. For instance, if I have a case and I’ve gotten a district attorney to make a specific offer that I’m not entirely happy with, I’m going to keep adjourning the case and trying to get a better disposition. That’s a serious part of my job and I take that very seriously.

It Can Be Beneficial For The Defense If An Assault Case Is Lengthier Than Usual

Interviewer: In other words, sometimes it helps when a case is actually a little bit more lengthy?

Martin Kane: Absolutely, yes. Generally, time is much more beneficial to the defendant than to the prosecutor. Again, I’m not saying that we’re adjourning cases simply to delay them; what I’m saying is that very often, as the case goes on, we find we can work out a better disposition just because it is taking so much longer. Of course, the whole point is to get the very best that you can for the client.

It is Possible That An Alleged Victim May Exaggerate Claims Of Assault Regarding A Defendant?

Interviewer: Are there cases where the alleged victim admits to exaggerating a claim and decides that they want to drop the charges?

Martin Kane: Once again, generally when it reaches that point, the complainant, if he has not already said he wants to drop the charges, it’s unlikely that he’s going to want to at a later time. One of the somewhat uncomfortable parts of representing somebody in a criminal charge of assault is trying to work it out where if you’ve really caused somebody great injury and they have sustained great expense, sometimes as a part of a disposition we may offer to pay medical expenses or other expenses that our client is responsible for. You have to be extremely careful about that because you’re not doing it to buy a complainant’s willingness to drop or reduce a charge. That would actually be criminal behavior in itself. But sometimes, as part of a disposition of the criminal case, where a defendant is entering a plea, it’s beneficial to offer a fair financial recompense as part of the agreement.

Notable Case Studies Of Cases Involving Instances Of Assault In New York

Interviewer: Are there any particular cases that you can think of, maybe in recent years, or some that stick out in your head that involve an assault charge that you helped defend?

Martin Kane: There are all kinds of issues but the issues are different in every case. I just recently tried a case which looked on its face like an impossible case where a rather rough looking man was accused of assaulting his former girlfriend’s new boyfriend who happened to be a very respectable looking school teacher. It looked very bad for my client except we were able to get his cellphone records and, using expert testimony, we were able to show that when the alleged assault supposedly happened, he was nowhere near the incident and he couldn’t have been at the scene or at least his telephone could not have been at the scene. When the district attorney called a telephone company expert witness to refute my expert, she wound up actually agreeing with my expert. Instead of my client being convicted, the jury acquitted him in less than an hour. Is that a typical case? No, because there really is no such thing as a typical case.

In another more serious case, my client was accused of assaulting and blinding a victim. He was picked out of a lineup by witnesses. This young man, an extraordinarily talented college student, was actually in a college dormitory at the time of the crime, according to several witnesses. More important, his Metrocard confirmed that he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. In short order, the district attorney agreed to dismiss the case and my client was allowed to return to class and continue his path to success.

Find out more by contacting The Law Office of Martin D. Kane at (718) 793-5700.

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