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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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My son found out his wife was cheating and had lied about where

Customer Question

My son found out his wife was cheating and had lied about where she was. When he found out he went there to get his cell phone back that he had just gotten a few days earlier. she refused to give it to him and said she was going to call 911 as he grabbed it from her. she had plenty of access to phones as it was an apartment complex. She had been arrested and spent a night in jail for threatening to kill him and assaulting him in front of a police officer. She subsequently filed assault charges on him. T his was obvious retaliation, she had no marks or bruises and there were no witnesses. The detective asked that Ricky call him to give him a statement, and being the honest person he is, he called him. He thought it was to discuss the assault charge but as they talked, he focused on the cell phone being taken away and the converstation was recorded. As soon as my son admitted he took the phone out of her hand the detective changed direction and said he would charge him for that. No one I have asked knew it is illegal to take your own cell phone away unless there was an obvious emergency. The prosecutor wants to charge him with a Class A misdemenor and is only offering one year of probation, a fine, and a record that supposedly only police would have acesses to. He has never been arrested, he has worked for the same company since he was 19 and is now a store manager and has an attorney named one of the top 100 in Dallas. What would be the usual outcome of something like this. Oh and his now ex is letting him adopt her son she had before they married, so obviously safety is not an issue. He did not know it was illegal to take the phone. Why are they dragging this on, he has had to miss work 3 times only to find out they were rescheduled. What can he do?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello there

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I am sorry that this is such an unfortunate situation but it is not uncommon in a situation where a vindictive woman is hell bent on getting her former husband or lover in trouble. The police and the courts these days are on high tuning when it comes to any woman making a claim of abuse or assault because of many sad situations over the years where the courts have freed the man and then the man kills or badly injures the woman. So, when there are doubtful claims of abuse or assault, the courts and the cops have no choice but to throw the book at the man. My suggestion from this moment on is that your son stay away from her and file for divorce as soon as possible because if she knows how to play the system and shed crocodile tears on cue to make it look bad for him, then this situation will only get more volatile and he will find himself in jail for several months while she is outside running around with his friends. I know the type.

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It is probably sticking in his throat to have to take a plea in this matter but the problem is that the attorney you have hired for him is probably costing a small fortune and if your son takes the matter to trial, you can be prepared to pay upwards of 10K for the attorney to handle the trial. However, before he throws in the towel on this plea deal, you should speak with the attorney about how much it will cost to take it to trial and if you are comfortable with the amount then there may be a good chance that you son could beat the charges at trial once the lawyer starts questioning the woman's credibility on the witness stand and the jury hears that the cellphone was his in the first place. That is a decision only you can make.

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Regarding the plea deal -- the biggest things here are to make sure that it is a misdemeanor charge and to get some assurance in writing that the charges will be sealed. I know of no plea deal where a charge can be sealed immediately if he pleads guilty -- the end result must be a plea of pre-trial probation or a period of probation where your son is technically on probation and if there are no more problems in that time period then the charges will be dismissed at the end of that time period. Even with a misdemeanor charge there is a criminal record that shows up when searched in a background check or by an employer --- but with a misdemeanor the defendant can apply to have the record expunged a few years after the charges have been entered and the penalties served. So, if you can get some assurances in writing that this is a misdemeanor and will not be on a criminal record in the event of a background check (he wants to see the final paperwork from the court and get a copy of it), and you really cannot afford to take the matter to trial, then the deal is pretty good. It would be better if they would call it a misunderstanding and dismiss it, but that does not sound like it is going to happen.

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I wish I could tell you exactly what to do here but my assessment is limited by the fact that I am not involved in the case and have not seen the paperwork or spoken with the parties. I do suggest that from this point forward that he stays away from the estranged wife as much as possible (if she takes something that belongs to him then he should call the police and file a theft report - two can play her game) AND never, ever, ever speak to a police officer regarding anything to do with her again if he is called or approached about any accusations she made -- he needs to have a lawyer on retainer and say "please speak with my lawyer -- Attorney so and so "

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MARY

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Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14511
Experience: 15 years exp all aspects of general law
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was very pleased with the answer and actually since that time things are looking better. The ex wife went yesterday and signed papers to say it was an over emotional reaction and she does not want to testify. Now it's up to the prosecutor to drop the charges or go forward. Lesson learned - never give any statement to police without an attorney. It seems nowadays you are guilty until you spend thousands to prove you are innocent!! Thank you for your help.

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