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When Prosecution Witnesses Have Ulterior Motives, The Truth Will Prevail


Perjury is a crime, so why would someone lie on the witness stand?  It turns out that there are lots of reasons a witness might make false statements to make a defendant appear guilty.  Perhaps the witness is trying to conceal his or her own criminal activity by pinning the crime on the defendant.  Maybe the witness is a cooperating witness, meaning that the prosecution bribed him or her with a plea deal in exchange for testifying against you.  Then there is the possibility that the witness has a financial incentive to tell tall tales about your alleged crimes.  Making accusations against wealthy or famous people in the media is a lucrative business, whether or not the accusations are true.  Even if you are not wealthy or famous, your accuser can easily get 15 minutes of fame by telling a juicy enough story, at which point you will go down in history as “the guy who claims that he didn’t hit his wife at the Talk Like a Pirate Day parade after party at Krispy Kreme” or similar.  In domestic violence cases arising from a fight between a couple, there are often no other witnesses to the incident, so it is one person’s word against another’s, and the outcome of the case often hinges on the alleged victim’s testimony.  If your estranged spouse is accusing you of domestic violence, contact a West Palm Beach domestic battery lawyer.

The Proof Is in the Prenup

When Abe Haruvi and Giovana Stephenson married in 2008, he was the owner of a real estate empire in Manhattan.  The couple signed a prenuptial agreement saying that, if the marriage ended in divorce, the division of property would depend on whether Haruvi had been convicted of domestic violence, defined as a domestic violence crime classified as a felony or a first-degree misdemeanor.  If there was no domestic violence, Stephenson would waive her right to spousal support and to the couple’s marital home in Palm Beach County.  If there was domestic violence, then Stephenson would get the marital home plus $8 million in alimony if the marriage ended before 2025 and the marital home plus $16 million in alimony if the marriage ended during or after 2025.

In December 2021, Stephenson called the police during an argument with Haruvi and accused him of domestic battery.  Haruvi pleaded not guilty to the domestic battery charge, and the case went to trial.  In July 2022, the jury acquitted Haruvi of misdemeanor battery.  Stephenson’s testimony was inconsistent, and Haruvi persuaded the jury that Stephenson’s ulterior motives detracted from the credibility of her testimony.  He said that she had “60 million reasons to lie,” and the jury agreed with him.

Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County.  Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.




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