On Thursday, November 6, New Zealand authorities dropped a charge of attempting to procure murder against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd due to insufficient evidence. He remains charged with threatening to kill plus two drug charges his lawyer described as “minor”—possession of marijuana and methamphetamine. The names of the intended hit man and the intended victims were withheld from the public by court order. The charges stemmed from an investigation prompting the execution of a search warrant at Rudd’s home last week.
The handling of these charges illustrates three major truths of the justice system:
- No one is immune from facing unjustified criminal charges made despite a lack of evidence. Rudd’s fame as a member of one of the most heralded heavy metal bands in the world did nothing to protect him from police making this jaw-dropping charge against him without sufficient evidence to support it.
- The combination of severe charges and widespread media attention generated by them can be powerfully destructive to the lives of innocent people. Rudd’s lawyer said it best: “Mr. Rudd has suffered unnecessary and extremely damaging publicity as a result of widespread and sensational reporting of a very serious allegation, which on any basis was never justified.”
- The system works best when both sides work together to help officials do the right thing. Here, Rudd’s lawyer met with New Zealand officials, who quickly concluded the charges should be dropped. The trouble with most of us who are not famous is that when the charges get dropped or you get found not guilty at trial, no one’s around to report it. All the world is left with is a copy of your mug shot on the Internet. (We do add that our victorious clients generally seem unbothered by the lack of media attention their victory gets. They’re just glad we won their case and that it’s over).
At Holland & Usry, we understand innocent people can be charged with crimes due to a tragic rush to judgment. That’s why we work so hard to help our folks fight for their innocence. And sometimes folks get overcharged for crimes they did commit. In those cases, we work to get charges reduced or dismissed that don’t accurately reflect what the State can prove, dramatically reducing your exposure to long prison sentences with the goal of preventing you from ever going.
If you’ve been charged with a crime in Spartanburg, Greenville, Gaffney, or nearby, call us at 864.582.0416 or toll-free at 877.230.1841 for a free meeting to discuss your charges, defenses, and how we can help protect your freedom.