Even if it appears that the prosecutors’ case is all wrapped up before criminal charges have been filed, it’s a mistake to jump to conclusions about a person’s guilt. Everyone is entitled to a presumption of innocence. It doesn’t matter whether a case seems straightforward or not.
Atlanta residents may have read of a recent incident in which a man was accused of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault for allegedly trying to rob a fast food restaurant where he worked. A co-worker allegedly recognized the man when the defendant raised his mask as he was leaving the restaurant. When officials got the man in custody, they claim he helped them recover the mask, gun and money from the alleged heist.
From the point of view of police, the case seems rather straightforward. However, there is always another side of the story, and this man’s story hasn’t been fully told. What is being reported by police is that he likely is feeling a sense of desperation. According to officials, the man says he is two months behind on rent, utilities have started to be cut off and his wife is in a nursing home with multiple sclerosis.
Assuming these mitigating circumstances are true, they could and should be taken into consideration in any decision regarding charges and eventual penalties if a conviction is obtained. Obtaining the most positive outcome of the matter is something that may require skilled negotiation handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If the evidence is such that conviction is likely, then it may be that a plea agreement could be reached that would serve the interests of justice and at the same time provide this man some hope for the future.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Police: Man robbed Douglasville Wendy’s where he worked,” David Ibata, Oct. 2, 2012