Cause and Consequences of the Crime Research
Apparently, Mr. Dempsey, the owner of the Medieval Motors had sold a vehicle to Michael on 2ndFebruary 2010. The vehicle was a Volvo in model and the cost of the vehicle was $ 80,000. Mr. Dempsey was supposed to pay a quarter of the whole amount for car to own it and then pay the balance in five equal monthly installments. The deal was done and Michael took the car home. Michael paid the first three installments without trouble but he was unable to pay the fourth installment in time because a technical problem with his accounts. He requested Mr. Dempsey to allow him to pay the installment late by ten days but he would hear none of that. Two days after the deadline had elapsed; Mr. Dempsey stormed into Michaels premises demanding to be paid the money. Michael pleaded with him but he did not cooperate. The vehicle that Michael had bought from Dempsey was not in the compound as his wife had used it to travel to Los Angeles. Dempsey left Michaelss premises and came back with his three bodyguards. Under the watch of the three bodyguards, Dempsey beat up Michael, injuring his left leg and bruising his left arm. He then forcefully took the keys to his Volkswagen Passat valued at $ 95,000 and drove away with it. Mr. Dempsey refused to hand over the Passat even when Michael was stable enough to pay the remaining installments saying that the contract had been breached. That is why Dempsey was arraigned in court charged with a criminal offense of stealing a Volkswagen Passat valued at 95,000 US dollars from Michael and causing serious bodily harm to the plaintiff. According to US law, robbery with violence is punishable by a sentence of not less than five years in prison depending on the gravity of the crime (Gerven, 2001). That is why the defendants attorneys have been pleading with the prosecution to treat this case as one misdemeanor and not a felony.
After reading out the charges, the prosecution called the plaintiffs attorney to cross-examine the defendant. The defendant has been denying the charges all along and it was time for the attorney to make the final cross-examination. During the cross-examination, the court found out that there was no agreement between Dempsey and Michael on the action that the defendant would take if the installments were late. The only agreement that was there was that if the plaintiff was unable to pay the installments, the defendant would repossess the car, sell it and then pay back the plaintiff 50 percent of the amount that had been already paid for the car. The plaintiffs attorney stated that his client was not in any way unable to pay the installments and he had requested additionally to sort the technical hitches that had delayed his money. The defendant defended himself by saying that the policies of his that a vehicle is supposed to be repossessed if the customer is late in paying the installments by more than two days (Michel, 1995). The attorney told him to show the court whether that policy was written anywhere in the agreement but he was unable to. The attorney then faulted the defendant for the action he took because what he did was not repossessing but stealing. This is because when you repossess, according to the attorney, you take back what you had sold but in this case, Mr. Dempsey took a Volkswagen Passat whose value was higher than the Volvo that he had sold to Michael.. This, according to the attorney, is prohibited by the law because any repossession must be authorized by a court law (Lunney, 2003The attorney finished by saying that there is no difference between the defendant and the highway robber who waylays a motorist and robs him of his car at gunpoint because violence was involved when Dempsey forcefully took the keys to the Passat and drove off (Garner, 1997). After the cross-examination of the defendant, the prosecution called upon the defendants attorney to cross-examine the plaintiff. In the cross-examination, the plaintiffs attorney, after asking questions made some generalizations that would have turned the case around in favor of the defendant. The attorney argued that the plaintiff was out to swindle his client and that is why he had taken the Volvo that he was unable to pay for into hiding so that his client could not repossess the car). He defended his client saying that he was justified in taking the Volkswagen Passat because the car that was in contention was not around and he was not sure whether the car was still inexistent. He also defended the companys policy of repossessing cars after two days of installments deadline saying that though the clause was not in the hire purchase agreement, Michael was aware of the existent of the clause and that is why he had paid his previous two installments in time and that is also why he requested for a deadline extension. According to US laws, one is not supposed to make assumptions; everything should be written down in an agreement (Noyes, 2007).
After the cross-examination of the plaintiff and the defendant, the prosecution called in two witnesses who were there when Dempsey attacked Michael as he took the keys to the Volkswagen Passat. The first Witness was a guard at Michaels premises called Walter Smith. He was cross-examined by both attorneys and he said that Dempsey had forced his way into Michaels compound, and he became violent when he was informed that he had trespassed into a private compound. The witness said that the injuries that Michael suffered would have been worse had some guards in a neighboring school and he had not intervened. The witness said that Dempsey removed the car keys forcefully from Michaelss suitcase which he tore apart before driving off with the highly valued car together with his three bodyguards.
The second witness that was called by the prosecution to give evidence to the court was one of Dempseys bodyguards. He claimed that his boss did not have the intention of taking the car or causing bodily harm to the plaintiff and that he was forced to act the way he acted by the arrogance of the plaintiff. He claimed that his boss had requested the plaintiff to keep one of his cars until the installment was paid because the vehicle in question was not around. At this juncture, the plaintiff became very arrogant and abusive and threatened to kick them out of his compound. This is what provoked the defendant leading to the violence that caused bodily harm to the defendant and the forceful taking away of the Volkswagen Passat.
After listening to the prosecution and the witnesses, the time came for the judge to deliver her five-page judgment. The judge noted that Dempsey had acted illegally by forcefully taking the vehicle belonging to Michael and storming into his compound without permission. This is in contravention of the occupier liability laws on trespass (Gagarin 1999). This, she equated to an ordinary robbery where a thug breaks into a compound and steals property. However, the judge in her review found out that there were valid reasons as to why the defendant acted the way he acted and there is no way he could be charged with robbery with violence. This is because he was acting to protect his financial interests and this could not be taken as a criminal case (Michel, 1995). The judge threw out the criminal charges leveled against the defendant and charged him with three counts of a misdemeanor. The judge ordered the defendant to pay the plaintiff 3000 US dollars in compensation for the injuries he suffered during the altercation. After the ruling, there were sighs of relief from the defendants side as the plaintiffs family walked out very dissatisfied with the courts ruling.