On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, the San Diego City Attorney’s office declared that Los Angeles Laker player Kobe Bryant would not be charged with assault arising from an incident that occurred last August.
Alleged victim, Thomas Hagos, 20, asserted that Bryant assaulted him while both were attending church in the upscale neighborhood of Carmel Valley. California Penal Code §240 makes it unlawful for any person to make an unlawful attempt, couple with present ability, to commit violent injury to another.
Hagos claimed that Bryant had aggressively grabbed his arm accusing the 20 year old of having tried to take his picture. Hagos was taken to the hospital with a minor wrist sprain.
It is important to remember that with an assault charge, no actual harm or injury needs to occur for a person to be found guilty. However, in order for a person to be convicted, the government must prove that there is evidence that proves he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor must demonstrate that the evidence presented in court leads the jury to believe that there is no other explanation, but that the defendant committed assault.
In many situations, there is not enough evidence for a conviction. It is difficult to prove an assault case, because it is hard to determine the person’s intent to harm, especially when it results in no injury. In an assault case, the prosecution will interview witnesses, medical reports, and other evidence that may exist at the scene. In the case against the basketball star, the strongest evidence would be that of witnesses who saw the altercation take place.
Due to the fact that no injury is required, there is a lot of room for false allegations in a San Diego Assault case. In situations with celebrities, the government has to be very careful in what charges they bring. They must make sure that there are actual facts and evidence to support the charge, and not just an overzealous fan who wants their moment in the limelight.
In the assault case that was dismissed today, the prosecutor, Jan Goldsmith, did her job diligently. Stating that “as prosecutors we cannot ethically file a criminal case when we lack sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt”.
When it seems that there is sufficient evidence to bring charges forward, it is the job of the San Diego Criminal Defense attorney to cast doubt on the evidence presented. They must weaken the supporting evidence so that the jury cannot reach the conclusion that the evidence proves the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The argument presented can make or break the case. That is why it is important to consult with a knowledgeable professional so discuss the strength of the evidence and possible defenses. The most favorable outcome is what your attorney will fight for so that you can get your case dismissed like Kobe Bryant’s.