The Wrong (Wo)Man

Sometimes when I defend a person accused of a crime, I discover the crime was indeed committed, but by someone else.

Of course, most people think that’s just a lawyer’s trick: OJ didn’t do it; the real killers are still out there.

This was no trick. An employer sent his employee out to do a job, knowing that what he was asking her to do was illegal, and knowing also that she would have no idea that it was illegal. The woman was arrested, charged with a crime, and suddenly faced with the loss of her livelihood.

My investigation included responding to an employment solicitation, as my client had; checking out their headquarters and training materials, as my client had; and being issued an identification card that would imply I was a state official, as my client was issued such ID.

At my first meeting with the prosecutor, he showed me the false identification card my client had been using. “Like this one?” I said, and handed him my new ID. “I can get you one just like it with your own name if you wish.”

The charge was dismissed.

My client wrote:

Thank you so very much for all your work on my case.

I was worried at first, but deep down inside, I knew I could trust you.

I realize it’s your job as an attorney to defend your clients. But my husband and I felt that you knew I was innocent and went and proved it to the DA and the DA dropped the charge.

I would recommend you to anyone, as a very dedicated and trustworthy attorney.

You saved my career, and with that there are really no words to say except “THANK YOU.”

Incidentally, the real criminal was never caught (except by me) nor charged. It’s my job to keep people out of jail, not put them there.