The Wellesley Police received a telephone report of a possible assault in a moving car last Friday just before 4p.m. According to an article in the Wellesley Townsman, the caller "said he believed he had seen the operator of the car strike a woman in the back seat." Wellesley Police Officers pulled the car over on Route 9 to investigate.
A man, Jamal Abdulla Jaylani of Somerville, was behind the wheel and there was a woman in the back seat that appeared to have been crying. She did not have any facial injuries, but her face was "very red." The police arrested Mr. Jaylani and charged him with domestic assault and battery.
The Dedham District Court has jurisdiction over criminal cases occurring in Wellesley. The Dedham Court, like other Massachusetts District Courts, closes at 4:30 p.m. This is significant because this incident occurred so close to closing time, that it would be unlikely for the police to have booked and processed Jaylani in time for his arraignment in the Dedham Court on that same day. Since the article says that he made bail, and the court was likely closed, he must have been bailed out of the police station. If he had not, he would have had to wait in a cell for the entire weekend before being brought to court for an opportunity to ask the judge for a lower bail.
Based upon the article, the charge is assault and battery. Prosecutors call this a "domestic" assault and battery even though no such a charge actually exists in the criminal statutes. They designate the case "domestic" simply because the case involves an allegation that a man assaulted a woman with whom he was acquainted. Prosecutors give special attention to these matters because of their concerns about a possibility of future violence or abuse between the parties, as well as the need to notify the alleged victim of the court proceedings. On many occasions, however, the couple reconciles and the victim is not only well aware of the proceedings, but is more sympathetic to the defendant than she (or he) is to the prosecution.
One indicator that this may be the case for Mr. Jaylani's is the absence of any indication that the victim requested an emergency restraining order against him that afternoon. There can be no doubt that the Wellesley Police satisfied their obligation to notify her of her right to request such an order. Because she did not, it would not be surprising to find that it was actually she who paid the bail to secure Jaylani's release from the police station.
If the victim fails to testify against Mr. Jaylani at trial, the only other person that could assist the prosecution would be the man that initially called the police. Whether the person identified himself or not will be a significant consideration for the defense. Even if the man appeared at trial, however, he may not be much help to the prosecution. After all, he told the police that he "believed he had seen the operator of the car strike a woman in the back seat." This type of statement would not be enough for proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Jaylani actually made contact with her, especially, where she had no injuries. An experienced Dedham Criminal Lawyer will surely emphasize all of these points.
These are potentially volatile situations with prosecutors sometimes faced with what seems like the task of protecting a victim in spite of her own wishes. For the defense, it is a matter of sizing up the potential evidence and using every legal tool available to aggressively protect the rights of an innocent client.