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Not Guilty in a Felony Gun Case

Posted on: November 5th, 2015 by Judge Shapiro

In October, 2015, James Shapiro obtained a not guilty verdict in a trial involving a gun on his client’s property. The gun was in a bag hanging from a fence on the property. The police officer who found the gun testified that the client told him the bag was his, and that there was no ammunition in it. After the judge denied our motion for directed finding at the close of the prosecution’s case in chief, a decision had to be made whether to put the client on the stand or not. In light of the judge’s ruling and the police officer’s arguably credible testimony, Mr. Shapiro advised his client to take the stand and conducted his direct examination. Although the judge found the police officer credible and said he would have convicted had the burden of proof been lower, he also found the client reasonably credible and acquitted him based on the beyond a reasonable doubt burden of proof. The client had no criminal history and had he been convicted of a felony would almost certainly have faced dismissal from a good job he held for over a decade.




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