A New Hampshire woman recently made national news for her innovative solution to her legal problems: She found a way to access the court’s electronic document system and filed paperwork — allegedly from a prosecutor and a retired judge — that effectively dropped all the charges against her and halted other legal proceedings in which she was involved.
For a little while, it looked like her scheme worked. The scam came to light when a state forensic examiner who was scheduled to give her a competency evaluation prior to trial started asking questions. Now, in addition to the initial charges of drug possession and stalking, the 33-year-old woman is facing six charges of falsifying physical evidence and one charge of false personation.
While this may be one of the most creative ways a defendant has attempted to get charges dismissed, it’s not the first time someone has tried a “self-help” solution in a criminal case. Other examples include:
- Pressuring the victim in a domestic violence case to rescind their claims
- Sending friends or relatives to intimidate an assault and battery victim into recanting
- Threatening someone who has agreed to testify for the state in their drug case
- Asking a friend or relative to help them hide or destroy evidence
The list is almost endless — and it’s never a good idea to try any of these methods. When you’re facing serious criminal charges, you’re much more likely to have a positive outcome if you work with an experienced defense attorney. They can look for ways to challenge the basis of the charges against you, negotiate reductions in charges, look for diversion programs that will keep you out of jail and other options.