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Assault charge dropped against Flint man after more investigation

Michigan police must have probable cause that a person committed a crime before they can arrest him or her. Even then, “probable cause” is not the same thing as proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, the accused person’s defense attorney will conduct an independent investigation, and find evidence that the authorities missed that disproves the defendant’s guilt.

Criminal charges against a Michigan man in relation to a bar fight were expected to be dropped. MLive.com reports that new information has emerged that suggests the defendant was only defending himself against the alleged victim.

The assault charge against the defendant stems from an incident outside a Flint bar in October 2013. It appears there was an altercation between the defendant, who plays in a local rock band, and another man who was in critical condition afterward. The man apparently survived, though his current condition is not mentioned in the article.

Police arrested the defendant, along with the lead singer of his band, as they were at the airport, on their way to a U.K. music festival in June. However, the county prosecutor recently acknowledged that witness statements were contradictory, and that he could not say with confidence what really happened.

The defense attorney said that he was told that some of the witnesses told investigators that the more injured man started the fight. Charges have already been dismissed against the lead singer.

The standard of proof at trial is beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution does not believe it has sufficient evidence, it may choose to reduce or drop the charges.

Source: MLive.com, “Assault charge dismissed against Flint’s King 810 bass player,” Gary Ridley, Oct. 10, 2014

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