How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Nisha Jones, Esq. Your Own Question
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1082
Experience:  Managing Attorney at a Law Firm
93473422
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Nisha Jones, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My wife and I were victims of a violent attack. The attacker

This answer was rated:

My wife and I were victims of a violent attack. The attacker is a young, wealthy individual, who, prior to attacking us, had attacked another person, and resisted arrest. The police described him as “high as a kite on drugs”.
After being arrested, his family chose not to bail him out for two months, and not until the first preliminary hearing did they provide the defendant with top representation.
First, the defendant attacked our car, and with his bare hands caused $5,000 damage. Then he turned on us, and even though I’m disabled, I confronted the defendant as he threatened to kill me and my wife with a knife, which he never produced. But he still attacked me physically, causing injury to my hip and neck for which I’m still seeing an orthopedist three months later. My wife is terrified and deeply disturbed but refuses to see a therapist. The police described me as a hero.
Prior to attacking our car and subsequently my wife and me he had aggressively smashed another person’s windshield with a knife, which broke, and though he had something like the wooden handle in his pocket, the police didn’t find the broken blade.
TODAY, his high-powered defense attorney called me personally, and described himself as “I’m the attorney for the man who attacked you”, and asked “Can we talk?” I said I would call him back.
Can you please speculate WHY his attorney called me?
FYI: There are a total of 7 counts against the defendant: 2 cases of criminal threat, felony vandalism, and resisting arrest. He has no public prior criminal record; however, the police said he had a rap sheet in another state.

Good evening, I am a Criminal Defense attorney and former Prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office, and I'll be answering your questions today. Keep in mind this is for informational purposes only and we do not have an attorney-client relationship. Please allow me just a few minutes to review your question, thank you!

I'm very sorry to hear this happened to you and to your wife.

The only reason that a defense attorney reaches out to the victim in a crime is usually to try to request that a Non Prosecution Affidavit be signed.

As you can imagine from its title, a NPA is a form that, if signed by you or your wife, tells the state prosecution that you do not wish to testify in the case or proceed with the criminal charges.

I can't imagine you or your wife desiring to sign any such affidavit, especially after what you both experienced.

The only other possible reason he could be reaching out to you is to try to question you about what happened at the time of the incident (and potentially try to find some way to attack your testimony), however the defense attorney is not supposed to speak to you without the prosecutor present.

If he reaches out to you again, you would be well within your rights to refuse to speak with him, and to also notify the prosecutor assigned to the case that the defense attorney has been phoning you.

I hope that helps! Again, I'm so sorry you and your wife experienced this.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
are you there?

Yes, did you receive my prior response, sent 15 minutes ago?

I'll resend it.

I'm very sorry to hear this happened to you and to your wife.

The only reason that a defense attorney reaches out to the victim in a crime is usually to try to request that a Non Prosecution Affidavit be signed.

As you can imagine from its title, a NPA is a form that, if signed by you or your wife, tells the state prosecution that you do not wish to testify in the case or proceed with the criminal charges.

I can't imagine you or your wife desiring to sign any such affidavit, especially after what you both experienced.

The only other possible reason he could be reaching out to you is to try to question you about what happened at the time of the incident (and potentially try to find some way to attack your testimony), however the defense attorney is not supposed to speak to you without the prosecutor present.

If he reaches out to you again, you would be well within your rights to refuse to speak with him, and to also notify the prosecutor assigned to the case that the defense attorney has been phoning you.

I hope that helps! Again, I'm so sorry you and your wife experienced this.

Please let me know if you have any other questions. Also, please take a moment to rate me using the stars at the top of the page, as it's the only way experts are compensated for our time on the site. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating of 3 stars or more (5 stars are always appreciated). The question won't close after rating, so you can still ask follow-up questions after. Thanks, ***** ***** it!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
is it ethical and/or legal for him to offer money for restitution and pain and suffering at this point
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Are u there?

It's not ethical if he's offering it to you in exchange for you to not proceed with prosecuting the criminal case.

It is ethical if he goes through the state's attorney/prosecutor assigned to the case and offers it as part of a plea negotiation between him and the prosecutor. For example, 30 days jail, 3 years probation, x amount of dollars paid to the victims in restitution.

It would then be up to you and the prosecutor to come to an acceptable plea negotiation. Of course the prosecutor makes the final decision, but they will usually seek victims' approval.

I hope that helps! Please let me know if you still have any questions.

Please also take a moment to leave a positive rating for me, 5 stars are always appreciated, thanks!

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
could he be feeling us out at this point? And that may be the reason for the call?

Of course I can't answer that question for certain, as it would just be my speculation. However yes, that is a possibility.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Last question and then we'll go and give you five stars; thank you so much. One last question: If he offers just to pay us the restitution we would get in victim's Restitution Court now and we refused, would that delay any plea agreement or at the very least, keep the defendant, who is from out of state, here until the Restitution hearing?

The defendant must remain present/ available until his case is closed, whether through a conviction, dismissal, or plea agreement.

I can't say whether that would delay a plea agreement because there are other factors at play -- the prosecutor's decision, jail time, the defendant's right to accept a plea offer from the prosecutor, etc.

But in any event, the defendant needs to remain available until his case is concluded.

I hope that helps!

If you have any more questions in the future and would like my help, please feel free to reach out to me here at JustAnswer by posting a new question, and adding "For Nisha" to the first part of your question. Best of luck to you, take care!

Don't forget to leave that 5 star rating, thanks so much!

Nisha Jones, Esq. and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you