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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience:  Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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Im 22, male and live in Southern California. My friend "who

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I'm 22, male and live in Southern California. My friend "who is a male" and is 18 has accused me of stalking which I was arrested for. In the police report and restraining order, nether say anything about me putting him in danger or intend to hurt him. All it says is that he was scared and worried. The big picture is that his parents don't really like me just because of rumors. We are pretty close almost like brothers even though the age difference and this is nothing sexual. Basically we would just meet up and hang out or go get lunch but now he has turned it around saying all that has never happened and he hasn't talked to me in two years! He doesn't have a phone anymore because his parents took it away so that's why we would meet up. I think what happened is that his parents found out and since he's off to college I think they used that as some type of leverage so he's protecting himself which is pretty sad. Now I have a lawyer defending me but I just wanted someone elses opinion, recently I have given my lawyer 5 copies of hand written letters by my friend that he wrote me. It shows our friendship was real and how much he loved me and respected me for everything I've done for him. I kept them because I thought it was really cool that someone would go out of their way to do that and it also shows that he lied on the police report about not knowing me and not contacting me. I found out that is against the law to lie to police. The problem now that has come up is that they have my phone records from almost a year ago between me and my friend further showing proof that we communicated and showing he lied. The problem is that some of the texts were guy talk... like jokes about girls or sexual joking. Now for guys thats normal but what is stressing me out is at the time of those certain texts my friend wasn't 18 yet so now you can only imagine what the DA doing my case thinks. My friend and his family has since moved clear across the country and never in his report said anything about any type of sexual stuff, only stalking. The stalking he claims took place from mid May 2013 to the first week of June 2013. Basically my question is that I have researched and been told that if you lie to cops or lie on a police report it is against the law and that cases might even be dismissed or dropped because of it? Also am I in trouble for these new texts or is that seperate and really isn't a issue since he never reported that? The last thing to add is I also tried getting a restraining order against him but lagged but when he got one against me, during the hearing I agreed to extend it the max of 3 years, I don't know if that helps. Anyways I would REALLY like to hear outside opinions!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 1 year ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Hi, are you able to see this and respond?

Customer:

yes

Brandon M. :

Great. Thank you for your questions. I can understand why you're worried.

Customer:

thank you!!!!

Brandon M. :

Let's address your questions one at a time.

Customer:

ok

Brandon M. :

You first asked about whether a case might be dismissed or dropped when it can be demonstrated that the alleged vicXXXXX XXXXXed to the police.

Customer:

yes that is correct and we have the proof and one witness

Brandon M. :

The answer is that it doesn't automatically happen. Regardless of whether the alleged vicXXXXX XXXXXes to police, the question for law enforcement is whether the alleged criminal act occurred. Someone could lie and you could still be guilty--those are two separate things. However, if the alleged vicXXXXX XXXXXes in a material way, it can seriously undermine the prosecution's case. The prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and when the victim is lying or even exaggerating about the criminal act, it can be devastating to the prosecution's case. It really has to be examined on a case-by-case basis, but it can very easily result in either an acquittal or a dismissal due to a lack of evidence.

Brandon M. :

It basically comes down to whether the victim's credibility undermines the prosecution's ability to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, that will happen, but it isn't automatic in every case.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

ya i get it, I mean he says i was stalking but we were just meeting up until he changed his story, then he said he hasn't contacted me in two years or talked which we clearly show he is lying

Customer:

but yes i get it

Brandon M. :

Ok, great.

Brandon M. :

With regard to your second question about texting things of a sexual nature to a minor, the most important consideration is the actual content. It's not necessarily criminal to have conversation of a sexual nature with someone simply because they're a minor. Is there anything specific that you said that you are concerned might be considered criminal?

Customer:

when it comes to joking or "guy talk" we talked about body parts and I think actually there might be 1-2 pics of girls body parts or something but it doesn't say anything like we "together" were going to do something in a homosexual way.

Customer:

hes 18 now and didn't even mention anything like that in his police report

Brandon M. :

That's a bit vague so it's difficult to answer with specificity. Normally, the main concerns would be if the adult was soliciting the minor to engage in sexual acts, or encouraging the minor to commit a crime. As I mentioned, just saying things of a sexual nature isn't automatically illegal--if it was, most every actor in a PG-13 movie would be in jail.

Brandon M. :

Does your attorney have any concerns about specific things that you said in the messages?

Customer:

yes just the sexual content but he believes that it wont have to much against me since we are now proving his lies and the fact that he never once mentioned that in his police report. It doesn't say that I asked him to engage in a act with me and he didn't ask me that either but we did ask about our own selves and just jokes a lot

Customer:

just that during the time he was 17 and during the stalking he was already 18

Brandon M. :

The specific language in the text and its context would be essential to making a reliable estimate of whether a crime was committed, but I would typically agree with your attorney's assessment--if you can prove the alleged victim is lying, the prosecution isn't likely to have much against you in any give case, especially if it wasn't mentioned in the police report.

Customer:

He makes it sound like I'm only in this situation because his parents might of put him up to this and because of his lies on the police report that are clear as day, thats why we turned down the DA's first offer

Brandon M. :

Nothing you have said would suggest to me that your attorney is mishandling the case.

Brandon M. :

There may be nuances of which I am unaware, but what you have described would normally be consistent with competent representation.

Customer:

thanks thats what I thought too!!! So if anything they would just try to add it to my case to build it I guess

Brandon M. :

That's possible, if they thought they had a chance of proving guilt. Sometimes, they'll just take the buck-shot method---shoot everything out and hope that they make a hit somewhere.

Brandon M. :

or, hope that they hit something, I mean.

Customer:

It sounds like the big thing in our corner is the fact that we have solid proof of the lies?

Brandon M. :

It certainly can't hurt!

Customer:

we also have one witness on our side to show proof of one of his lies

Customer:

Now if my case is dimissed can my friend have charges against him for lying if thats the reason my case is dropped?

Brandon M. :

Your friend can be charged regardless of whether your case is dropped.

Brandon M. :

If he lied to the police about something material, he can be charged regardless of the outcome of your case.

Customer:

well I hope thats what happens because thats when I'll sue! When he made the police report is that like swearing like in court or no?

Brandon M. :

Not exactly.

Customer:

oh

Brandon M. :

They're both crimes. But not the same crime.

Brandon M. :

Making a material misrepresentation of fact under oath is perjury. That's slightly different.

Brandon M. :

(but still a crime).

Customer:

No I mean when you make a police report is it like the same purpose? So a lied police report is perjury then?

Customer:

sorry i was confused

Brandon M. :

Not exactly.

Brandon M. :

The difference is kind of academic... I'm not sure that it really serves any meaningful purpose to discuss the distinction. Nonetheless, lying about something important to the police is a criminal act--it is a crime of dishonesty. If your friend lied to the police in a way that would lead them to charge you with a crime, that is itself a crime. For your purposes, that's what's important to know--if you can show that he lied to the police, it's possible that they would charge him criminally.

Customer:

well my last thing I guess is the part about him not even living here, hes across the country with his family now and I agreed to the max on the restraining order. My lawyer said no one in the court will really care about me agreeing to it but he does think its huge that this person and family has moved and wont be coming back?

Customer:

good well we have the proof and I just hope it helps my case by being dropped

Brandon M. :

The restraining order isn't relevant to the charges, so I wouldn't expect it to have much impact one way or the other for any given case.

Brandon M. :

As for the significance of him moving across the country, to me the most significant part of that is that it would make the prosecution's job very difficult logistically. If you pressed for trial, they would need him back in California as a witness.

Customer:

oh ok, I was just hopping it would show my proactive approach of staing away from him

Brandon M. :

It's definitely not going to help you that you agreed to the restraining order, but it isn't likely to hurt either.

Customer:

yes exactly what my lawyer said! We don't want this to go to trail and the DA doesn't either for some reason plus our jails are spilling over with people, we just keep pushing the dates

Customer:

trial haha sorry

Brandon M. :

That makes sense. I can understand why your attorney might take that position.

Customer:

well I thank you very much for you time! In your "opinion" with everything that I have told you, what do you think of my case or where this might go?

Customer:

I'm just glad you and my lawyer seem on the same paage

Brandon M. :

Without having viewed any of the evidence, there is no way I can make a responsible estimate of the outcome of your case. That said, it sounds like the prosecution could have a very difficult time proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but I would defer to your attorney about the likely outcome.

Customer:

I mean I can't deny the meeting up and i admitted to it, but he just turned it around and said it was stalking which sucks!

Brandon M. :

It does suck, but this is the hand that you have been dealt, so you just have to do what you can to get the best outcome possible under the circumstances. The justice system is designed to protect the innocent, so the prosecution has a difficult job. If a reasonable person could doubt your guilt based on the evidence, you have to be acquitted.

Customer:

i understand, I know that from what my lawyer said about what stalking is that there has to be certain things to make it actually stalking and there isn't anything in his report besides me be around where he lives. Theres no hitting, danger, stopping his movement or anything. Just he said he was scared which i guess is the key word

Brandon M. :

Well, I'm glad that I could help. Did you have any other question this evening?

Customer:

my lawyer agrees with me that there is something bigger to this and I really think its my friends parents, i think they just found out we were still friends and threatened his college and i think he had to turn on me. He a great friend and i couldn't say anything bad about him but this thing just sucks!!!

Customer:

no thank you very much

Customer:

i'm giving you good service, thank you. bye

Brandon M., Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12237
Experience: Attorney experienced in numerous areas of law.
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