“The principle that there is a presumption of innocence in favor of the accused is the undoubted law, axiomatic and elementary, and its enforcement lies at the foundation of the administration of our criminal law.” - Coffin v. United States, 156 U.S. 432, 453 (1895)
There are few things more serious than being charged with a crime. It subjects you to arrest, which, in and of itself, is a traumatizing experience. You must then return to court repeatedly and, if a plea agreement is not reached or the prosecution has not dismissed the case, stand trial. The accusations – often times based solely upon the unquestioned word of a police officer – can sully your reputation in the community. More importantly, you could end up in prison, deprived for years of your freedom. At times, the collateral consequences of arrest can be as serious as the criminal ones: You can lose your job, get a criminal record, and lose your rights in a variety of ways. When you are innocent, there is no greater injustice. In the end, if you’re vindicated, there are no parades celebrating it. Upon being found not guilty in a baseless and unjust fraud prosecution, former Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan summed up this frustration when he famously remarked, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?”
This is why you need an attorney who understands that the presumption of innocence is not merely an evidentiary standard. It is the moral and legal foundation that informs Mr. Trainor’s representation of those charged with committing a crime. As a defense attorney and a former prosecutor, Mr. Trainor has seen first-hand how prosecutors and police rush to judgment, lose perspective, and process and prosecute bad arrests as crimes. Some cops make arrests on less than probable cause. Some prosecutors fundamentally misunderstand that their obligation is to do justice rather than obtain convictions. Through our representation, we force them to confront their proper roles in a free society that safe-guards the rights of the accused and takes seriously the presumption of innocence. And we will do our best to make them act accordingly.
As a former prosecutor, Mr. Trainor knows how the District Attorney’s Office makes charging decisions and how it proceeds with its cases. He will draw on this knowledge to mount a vigorous defense of your case. He will use every available method to get you the best possible result, whether that is an outright dismissal or an acceptable plea agreement. If you are innocent, we will go to trial. Where a plea agreement is unacceptable, because you are not interested in a plea bargain or the prosecutor refuses to make a serious offer, we will go to trial. And with the same vigor and strategy employed during pretrial discussions, we will defend your constitutional rights and fight the prosecution’s case.
If the court grants a pretrial evidentiary hearing, Mr. Trainor will forcefully cross-examine the police officer witnesses against you and, where there is a basis to do so, challenge the legality of the police action that led to your arrest. At trial, he will continue the cross-examination of these witnesses. On too many occasions, Mr. Trainor has seen police officers, in hearings and in trials, testify with shameful exaggeration and distortion in order to defend their bad arrests. Indeed, as the wave of recent reporting on the NYPD “Tix-Fix” scandal has shown, a police officer’s word can be irreparably compromised and untrustworthy. Famed investigative reporter Murray Weiss recently reported in DNAinfo.com that untold numbers of police officers were involved in taking money to fix tickets, “tinker[ing] with records,” and when appearing in court, offering junk testimony and “pretending that their memories were faulty in order for tickets to go away.” This is the kind of mendacity you are up against.
It’s not only the police. Mr. Trainor has seen eyewitnesses change their stories. He has seen victims tell stories on the stand drastically different than the ones they provided to the police. In many cases, your fate will depend on how a jury views your accuser. As a result, Mr. Trainor will investigate and cross-examine your accusers in an effort to get at the truth. Always remember, the prosecution has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Although you are on trial as a defendant, your accuser’s credibility is always on trial. We will make every effort to show reasonable doubt exists in your case; and, in many cases, it does.
Please call us if you have been charged with committing a crime (misdemeanor or felony) or violation, including assault, menacing, domestic violence, aggravated harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, gun possession, drug selling and/or possession (marijuana and narcotics), criminal mischief, shoplifting (petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property), criminal contempt, driving with a suspended license, burglary, robbery, larceny, fraud, money laundering, extortion, identity theft, false personation, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, trespassing, disorderly conduct, drinking in public, traffic tickets, or making graffiti. We can help.