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Felony DV Case Dropped, Dane County

Our client was arrested and charged with a felony for false imprisonment of his live-in girlfriend.  The client originally hired a different attorney, but unsatisfied, turned to Chirafisi & Verhoff for help.  Attorney Verhoff had the case scheduled for a preliminary hearing.  Prior to the hearing, Attorney Verhoff obtained the police reports and met with the prosecutor.  He pointed out various difficulties the prosecutor would have proving the case if it went to trial, including the fact that no physical force was used and that a neighbor contacted the police about a loud argument, not the complaining witness.  Attorney Verhoff also argued the client was 32 years old with no record and a conviction, or even a plea to a criminal charge, could have a catastrophic impact on his life because he was in the process of applying for an extended student visa to complete his post-graduate studies at UW-Madison.  In short, Attorney Verhoff argued that this case amounted to an argument, not a criminal offense.  The prosecutor, recognizing the weakness in the case after listening to our attorney amended the case from a felony charge to a non-criminal, ordinance violation that carries the same legal weight as a parking ticket.  Needless to say, the client was quite relieved.  And the judge's clerk was a bit shocked at the outcome when told the case was being amended from a felony to a non-criminal forfeiture violation.  "You don't usually see that happen at a preliminary hearing," she commented.