Gardner MA District Court – Assault and Battery and Immigration Status

Client a 37 year old woman from Gardner, MA was arrested on a charge of Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. The client became involved in an argument with her husband at their residence. During the argument the wife picked up a bottle off the counter and threw it, accidentally striking her husband in the eye. The husband suffered some fairly extensive damage to his eye.

The client had recently moved from China and married her husband, the alleged victim. The client was still in the process of working with Immigration and Naturalization Services or INS to obtain her citizenship. Therefore, it was critical that the case be disposed of properly. Any type of admission or conviction would have resulted in the client being deported.

Attorney Damian Riddle first sought to determine whether or not the alleged victim was interested in prosecuting his wife. After investigating the case further and through conversations with the client it was apparent that the alleged victim would assert his marital privilege and not testify against his wife. The Commonwealth cannot compel a spouse to testify against their spouse. Therefore the only issue was whether or not the Commonwealth could prove their case with other evidence such as other eye witness testimony or statements the client made to police. In this particular case the client did not make any especially damaging admissions to the police and there were no other witnesses to the incident.

After the husband asserted his marital privilege and after lengthy negotiations with the District Attorney’s office Attorney Damian Riddle was able to convince the Commonwealth to Dismiss the case against his client as they did not have enough evidence to proceed.

Case Dismissed

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