STATE v. E.C.
Charges: Criminal Threatening with a Deadly Weapon (class C felony); Reckless Conduct with a Deadly Weapon (class C felony)
Summary: Client, a convicted felon and a registered marijuana user / grower, was robbed. Client had no faith in the police and decided to take matters into his / her own hands. Client confronted the suspected group of robbers, all except one who were under the age of 18, and threatened to murder all of them and their families if they came near his / her property again. Client "allegedly" was holding a semi-automatic pistol when he / she threatened to murder them. Client was arrested after a long and drawn out confrontation with the police and charged with a felony reckless conduct with a firearm and felony criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.
Maximum Penalty: Each count was punishable by 5 years prison, 2 years probation; $5,000.00 fine
Result: The local police botched the investigation. The confrontation with the young kids took place at night and no one gave a description of the "semi-automatic pistol" until 5 months after my client was arrested. There was no doubt that the state could prove a misdemeanor charge of criminal threatening but we strongly believed the case would fall apart at trial. Ultimately, due to the serious nature of the charge, my client agreed to a plea deal involving 30 days in jail and one year of probation on a conviction for a misdemeanor criminal threatening. This ensured that my client's out-of-state parole wouldn't be revoked in the unlikely event he / she was convicted of the felony following a trial. The judge indicated that if we'd gone to trial and lost on the misdemeanor but prevailed on the felony charges that he would have sentenced my client to 6 - 12 months in jail due to his / her extensive prior criminal history and the serious nature of the charges involving a firearm.