In 2007, I had a false allegation made against me and I was immediately jailed. I was very frightened - this allegation was going to be serious. I could face possibly five years in prison and deportation. I'm a Turkish citizen who is a Green Card holder. This was perhaps the scariest moment of my life. All of this was connected to a child custody battle with ex-wife. In addition to being deported, I was worried about losing contact with my 12 year-old son. Bail was very high, $50K. Catherine McDonald was my new attorney. I didn't know her, and had little confidence that a Public Defender could get me out of this. But she talked to me for a while and reviewed my history, and said "I'll see you at the court." I saw Catherine stand up with confidence, telling my story correctly, with all the important details, so well spoken. I was stunned. I just stood there watching her take on my case, telling my entire life in five minutes in an amazing and extraordinary way. Time seemed frozen. Before the Judge even said anything, I knew I was going to be released. Even the Prosecutor was speechless.
I was charged with felony threats to kill - pulling and showing a knife and threatening to kill my former mother-in-law. Catherine McDonald was right on the case, helping to show that this case was a complete fabrication. It was rough going, as the Prosecutor wanted to see me punished for something I didn't do. I was terrified, because anything short of complete dismissal meant that I was facing immediate deportation back to Turkey, where I would likely never see my son again. I was so nervous. However Catherine was so fierce in court, the moment she took over, I became relaxed. She had seemed so calm when I first met her, but in court she was clearly in control. All my worries were gone knowing she was on my side.
Ultimately, this case was dismissed when it became clear that my former mother-in-law had lied to the police in order to help her daughter get custody of my son. I am still fighting for custody of my son, but I am now able to do this through the family court, rather than the criminal court.
It was a gift from God that Catherine was assigned to my case. I will be forever grateful for her help, and I will never be able to repay her. I honestly believe if it wasn't for her, I'd be in Turkey right now. Please feel free to call Catherine for my phone number or case number for verification if you want me to talk to you about my experience. I will be happy to talk to you!
-Sadettin (Sado) Alkan