* Disclaimer: These case results do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.*
BATTERY - DISMISSAL
Fight at your local pizza parlor. My client was charged with battery and drunk in public. The alleged victim was hurt in the fight. He suffered a fractured middle finger. The alleged victim's pre-surgery medical bills totaled over $2,800. In order to fully repair the fractured finger - surgery to the tune of $15,000 was allegedly required. So, obviously, restitution was a huge issue. My client could not afford to pay $15,000 to the alleged victim in medical bills. We set the case for trial. End result? Case dismissed.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - DISMISSAL
Domestic disturbance. Slamming doors. And, a compound fracture to the alleged victim's finger. Outcome? Case dismissed.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - REDUCED TO DISTURBING THE PEACE
Repeated punches to the face. A machete. And, some anger gets taken out in the garage. Victim injuries photographed. Audio recorded victim statement. Case reduced to a misdemeanor disturbing the peace, Penal Code section 415, subdivision (2). No jail. No domestic violence classes. No anger management classes. 1 year court probation and a fine.
17(B) MOTION + EXPUNGEMENT - AUTO THEFT
My client's felony auto-theft conviction under Vehicle Code section 10851(a) was reduced by the court from a felony to a misdemeanor. The court then granted my client's request to set aside the conviction and enter a not guilty plea under Penal Code section 1203.4.
RETURN OF FIREARMS - GRANTED
The City of San Jose takes my client's firearms after a 911 call reporting that she is suicidal. The City dutifully files a Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102(c) petition to permanently deprive my client of the confiscated firearms. Nonetheless, these firearms have significant sentimental value to my client. She tells me that we have to win. Ok. So, we follow a carefully crafted strategy and hold our breath. Outcome? We win. Firearms ordered to be returned!
RETURN OF FIREARMS - GRANTED
The City of San Mateo took my client's firearms. His house was burglarized by someone who was 5150'd. And, you won't believe it, but the City says that my client's guns should be taken away! What? Anyway, we won the Welfare & Institutions Code § 8102(c) opposition. My client gets his guns back.
EMBEZZLEMENT - DISMISSAL
My client was accused of embezzling over $15,000 from her employer. Needless to say, this case was charged as a felony. Three felony counts in fact. Embezzlement, forgery and identity theft. The District Attorney told my client to plead to two felonies. The magistrate told my client to eat 8 months in the county jail. My client told everyone to think again. Guess what? My client knew best. Case dismissed.
RESTRAINING ORDER - VICTORY
My client's former neighbors filed a civil harassment restraining order against him. In fact, he was arrested for allegedly making death threats against them. The neighbors alleged that my client also threatened to burn their house down. So, we go to court to vindicate my client who doesn't want to be subjected to a restraining order when he has been falsely accused of these atrocities. Outcome? My client wins. The judge denied the neighbor's request for a restraining order.
PETITION FOR FACTUAL INNOCENCE - GRANTED
My client was arrested for battery. Client doesn't want any arrest record because he holds a professional license. We file a petition for factual innocence. We get our day in court. Now, we are like the second case that gets called. This is a packed courtroom. I am out of county (Solano) and the judge doesn't know me. The judge, a scholarly type, asks me about 3 minutes (felt like 5 minutes) of legal questions about why he should grant the petition. A new question followed each satiating response. Finally, the judge pauses, grants the petition, and I feel like we won the Super Bowl.
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR SALE - DISMISSED
My client was charged with possessing 18 grams of marijuana for sale. He has approximately $3,000 in cash on his person. He has a scale, mildly incriminating text messages and got caught lying to the cops about the amount of marijuana in his car. Outcome? Case dismissed. Did I get lucky? Partially!
AUTO THEFT - DISMISSAL
My client was charged with auto-theft in violation of Vehicle Code section 10851. He got caught in San Francisco. Plain as day. He is charged in San Mateo County. No defense to the crime charged. Except, he has "technical" defense. My client is charged in the wrong county. Court agreed. Case dismissed.
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR SALE - HUNG JURY & DISMISSAL
In San Mateo County my client was charged with possession of marijuana for sale (Health and Safety Code section 11359, a felony). After running two stop signs at 15 and 20 miles per hour a Brisbane officer attempts to pull my client over. My client allegedly doesn't pull over for one block after the officer activates his emergency lighting equipment. My client then cuts across traffic, pulls over on the wrong side of the road and jumps out of his car. The officer immediately orders him back into the car. The officer smells marijuana and asks my client about it. My client denies possessing marijuana. The officer finds 1 pound of marijuana on the front passenger floor board of my client's car. The marijuana is separated into 4 bags of approximately equal weight. There are 4 different strains of marijuana. My client denies possessing a medical marijuana card. Additionally, my client asks the officer who he has to give up to get out of this. After the officer reads my client his Miranda rights, my client again asks to make a deal. Looking good for the defense, right? So we go to trial. Initially, 9 jurors believe that my client is not guilty. Eventually, the jurors split 6/6 on the issue of guilt. Hung jury!
POSSESSION OF A METH PIPE - HUNG JURY & DISMISSAL
My client was charged in San Mateo County with possession of paraphernalia under Health and Safety Code § 11364 for allegedly possessing a methamphetamine pipe. My client was stopped by a Daly City Police Officer while she was walking on Geneva Avenue around 10:00 p.m. The officer stopped her and asked her if she had anything illegal on her. My client responded that she had a meth pipe. The officer asked for consent to search the jacket. She reportedly provided consent to search. The cop finds a meth pipe in a jacket that she is carrying. My client admits that the pipe is a meth pipe. [We lost the motion to suppress evidence prior to trial which challenged the lawfulness of the encounter here]. Anyway, my client wants her trial because she doesn't want to do 15 days jail. At trial, she explains to the jury that the jacket was her friend's and that she was returning the jacket to her. Also, she did not know the pipe was in the jacket and denied admitting to the officer that she had a pipe on her. Three jurors believed that my client wasn't guilty. Hung jury. The D.A. dismissed the case!
POSSESSION OF CLONAZEPAM - NOT GUILTY VERDICT
In San Mateo County my client was charged with possession of Clonazepam (Health and Safety Code section 11375(b), a misdemeanor). My client was on probation with search and seizure as a condition of probation. Two detectives that know my client go to his home to search his room. Inside of his room is a dresser. Inside the top dresser drawer are four pills of Clonazepam. When the detectives discovered the pills they questioned my client about them. My client told them that he didn't have a prescription for them and that an "unknown friend" left them in the drawer. Well, my client wanted a trial because he didn't want a jail sentence. At trial, my client testified that he didn't know the pills were in his drawer and that his ex-girlfriend must have left them there. Outcome? You guessed it. Not guilty!
THREE STRIKES TRIAL - HUNG JURY
In Santa Clara County my client was charged with transporting methamphetamine (Health and Safety Code section 11379) and possessing methamphetamine for sale (Health and Safety Code section 11378). The District Attorney also alleged that my client suffered two prior convictions for selling methamphetamine, as well as, PCP. Additionally, the District Attorney alleged that my client did not remain free from prison custody within 5 years of committing the current offense (Penal Code section 667.5(b) - 1 year consecutive prison enhancement). More importantly, the District Attorney alleged that my client suffered three prior strike convictions (note - the law only requires that an individual suffer two prior strike convictions before he/she will face a minimum of 25 years to life in prison if convicted of a new felony offense). In this case we pulled the records from the alleged prior strike convictions and we learned that one of the alleged strike convictions was not in fact a strike conviction. After presenting this fact to the District Attorney, the District Attorney did the right thing and struck the prior strike allegation prior to trial. But, despite this big win, my client was still facing two prior strike convictions which meant that he would still face 25 years to life in prison if he was convicted in this new case. So, my client had a choice, did he want to take his chance at trial or take his chance at pleading guilty or no contest and asking the trial court judge to strike one or more of his prior strike convictions so that he could avoid 25 to life. Of course, my client was going to trial. And, what was the outcome at trial? Hung jury. No conviction. No prison.
CARRY CONCEALED WEAPON IN CAR & ON PERSON + LOADED FIREARM IN PUBLIC = 3 NOT GUILTY VERDICTS
It feels so good just writing that. What an awesome case in the county of San Francisco. This was one of those cases that can just wear you down. You know, we had about 4 or 5 different Deputy District Attorney's on the case while we were trying to resolve the case. The D.A.'s offer was plead guilty on two of the three counts and a 90 day minimum jail sentence. And, oh by the way, you have to serve actual jail time. Ok. Well, when I get an offer like that, I explain to the client that since you are getting the shaft anyway, might as well go down swinging. Fortunately, my client agreed. In a crazy move to an outsider we go for a trial by judge. We had some not so obvious and awesome defense issues in this case. And guess what. The trial judge agreed. Not guilty on all counts! Seriously, this wasn't easy.
POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY DISMISSAL
I love search and seizure issues. The law is so intricate, vast and ever changing in this area. And my research skills, writing ability and persistence paid big dividends in this case. My client was charged with possessing child pornography and over an ounce of marijuana in Santa Clara County. The District Attorney was not budging in offering a non-registrable sex offense. And by the way, I was the second retained lawyer in this case. Fortunately, I spotted a search and seizure issue in this case and clung onto it like a rabid dog - because it was our only chance in defending this case. After about eight court appearances, we finally won our renewed motion to suppress evidence under Penal Code section 1538.5(i). The D.A.'s case was dismissed. My client was happy not to go to jail and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISMISSAL
In San Mateo County my client was charged with domestic violence causing a corporal injury (Penal Code section 273.5, as a misdemeanor) and domestic violence (Penal Code section 243(e)(1)) committed against her girlfriend. My client's ex-girlfriend was no ordinary citizen. In fact, she was an ex-cop! The ex-girlfriend called the police and reported that my client had punched her in the head multiple times and scratched her. The San Mateo Police Department responded and determined that my client was the primary aggressor in the altercation (wherein the ex-girlfriend landed no punches or other strikes). My client was arrested and eventually charged. The District Attorney felt confident about their case - especially because the ex-girlfriend reported that she had previously been battered by my client on at least 10 separate occasions. A police report was made in a prior incident. At the pre-trial conference I tried to resolve the case but didn't get a great offer. Confident that we had defense issues I confirmed the case for trial. Outcome? Dismissed prior to trial.
SECOND (2nd) DUI OUTCOME
My client was charged in San Mateo County with her second DUI within a five year time period. Normally, these cases resolve for 30 to 60 days in the county jail depending upon the client's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and other factors. In this case, we were able to resolve my client's case for two 8 hour days of community service through the Sheriff's Work Program, two years court probation and a fine.
In San Mateo County my client was charged with a DUI. His blood alcohol concentration (BAC) revealed that he had a .12 BAC pursuant to the implied consent test, here a blood draw. We had defense issues that my client's BAC may have been rising at the time of driving. We were ready to go to trial in this case, but the District Attorney offered my client a wet-reckless and he took the deal. Too bad. This would have been a fun case to try.
DUI DRUGS - DISMISSAL
My client was charged with Vehicle Code section 23152(a) in San Mateo County due to driving while under the influence of marijuana, i.e., DUI marijuana. She was also charged with driving on a suspended license under Vehicle Code section 14601.1(a). In this case my client was stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer after she was observed speeding on Highway 101 (78 MPH) and crossing over the lane divider multiple times. After the CHP officer informs her that he smells marijuana, my client told the officer that she just finished a blunt - which she just threw out of the window! A search of my client's purse reveals marijuana and a pipe. We retain a defense expert to testify about the effects of marijuana on an individual's motor functions and ability to operate a motor vehicle. Guess what happened prior to trial. Dismissed.
FELONY POSSESSION OF ASSAULT RIFLESIn San Mateo County my client was charged with felony possession of two assault rifles. Aside from the lawfulness or unlawfulness of the San Bruno Police Officer's entry into my client's home and bedroom, the cops found two alleged assault rifles in my client's room. They also found ammunition, Samurai swords, knives and other cool stuff. So, believe this or not, my client gets offered 60 days and a felony to resolve the case. Ok?! That wasn't going to resolve anything. So we confirm for preliminary hearing. We also retain a firearms expert to testify about whether or not the firearms are assault rifles. Well, turns out that one firearm is not an assault rifle. Four cops, including their range master couldn't figure that out before arresting my client for this as a felony! So, anyway, the D.A. dismisses one assault rifle charge right before the preliminary hearing starts. The District Attorney proceeds on the other count. Fortunately, we get a great judge who sees that the possession here is not felonious and he reduces the felony to a misdemeanor pursuant to Penal Code § 17(b). Eventually, my client pleads to a misdemeanor, 10 days on the Sheriff's Work Program and probation. He saved his union job by avoiding the felony. Good for him.
NOT GUILTY VERDICTS - BURGLARY AND PETTY THEFT
My client was charged in San Mateo County with entering Rite Aid with the intent to a commit a larceny therein. Additionally, she was charged with petty theft from Rite Aid. My client was a United States resident and a conviction in this case could have led to negative immigration consequences for her. At trial, the District Attorney was allowed to present evidence that prior to entering Rite Aid in Pacifica that my client's sister and father had stored stolen items from Lucky's in my client's vehicle. Additionally, the District Attorney was able to show that my client, her sister and father were at the Lucky's together at the same time and exited almost contemporaneously. The Lucky's and Rite Aid adjoined each other in the shopping complex. While in Rite Aid, my client was accused of taking approximately $270 worth of make-up and other cosmetic products. My client maintained her innocence throughout trial. Fortunately, all twelve jurors felt the same way after the conclusion of evidence and argument. My client was acquitted on all counts!
GANG RELATED STABBING - ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (KNIFE)
My client was a juvenile charged as an adult in Santa Clara County Superior Court with assault with a deadly weapon, Penal Code § 245(a)(1) and a gang related enhancement under Penal Code § 186.22(b)(1)(B), which subjected him to up to nine years in the state prison. Additionally, my client was facing an affidavit of probation violation for multiple grants of probation in juvenile court. My client's maximum exposure in juvenile court was approximately 9 years as well. My client was facing an assault with a deadly weapon charge for being the stabber in a gang related stabbing. Police found my client in the same park that the stabbing occurred in just minutes before, and with a bloody knife. It was subsequently determined by DNA testing that the blood on the knife was the victim's blood. Moreover, the victim identified my client as the stabber. The result of the case was that my client never left juvenile hall after his arrest in this case. He never set foot in county jail or prison. He was released in just 8 months on both cases after the incident and rejoined his family. Huge win!
HIT AND RUN DISMISSAL - PALO ALTO
My client was a professional with no criminal record. One night while driving home he ran a red light and was accused of colliding with another vehicle in a Palo Alto intersection. Police responded to my client's home after one a passenger in the victim's vehicle obtained my client's license plate information. My client's vehicle was photographed by police with damage from the accident. We tried to resolve the case pursuant to a civil comprise (which if accepted by the court would have led to a dismissal of the criminal case). However, the victim and his family refused to cooperate. The victim wanted my client to be prosecuted for his "near death" experience. However, this case did not end with my client being convicted of a criminal hit and run under Vehicle Code § 20002(a) - which could have subjected him to up to six months in the county jail. Instead, you guessed it, my client pled no contest to a non-point traffic infraction. His insurance rates won't even go up because of this incident. Nice!
INFORMAL PROBATION - JUVENILE DELINQUENCY
A petition in Alameda County was filed against my client for possessing more than one ounce of marijuana at school, Health and Safety Code § 11357(c). A sustained petition would have meant that my client would have had a juvenile record for this offense. However, we were able to successfully convince the court to grant my client informal probation under Welfare and Institutions code § 654.2. This meant that my client would be given an initial 6 month period to participate in supervision by the court and his probation officer. If my client completed the informal probation and followed all rules therein, his petition would be dismissed by the court at the conclusion of his initial 6 month grant of informal probation.
ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON DISMISSAL
My client was charged with a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence causing a corporal injury to his spouse. My client was not a US citizen and he faced deportation if he was convicted of both of these charges. Due to intensive pretrial investigation of the case, we believed that it would be in my client's best interest to proceed to trial on a time not waived basis, i.e., insisting upon a speedy trial. Despite the fact that my client's wife was cooperative with the prosecution and her son corroborated his mother's version of events, we were still able to get a complete dismissal of the assault with a deadly weapon charge as well as the domestic violence charge. My client was eventually offered an infraction disturbing the peace charge which he accepted because it would not have any negative immigration consequences for him, and it would not lead to him losing his job. This was a huge win for my client.
THIRD DUI - NO JAIL & NO COMMUNITY SERVICE
My client was charged with his third DUI in four years. After completing probation for his second DUI, he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol based upon a call from another driver reporting my client as a possible drunk driver. When CHP observed my client passing their location a different vehicle was following behind my client and consistently flashing their headlights at my client's vehicle. The CHP officers then saw my client weaving across two lanes of highway 101 while activating both his left and right turn signals. Thereafter, CHP pulled my client over. Following a roadside breath test where my client blew a .22 % BAC my client threw up and was assisted to the ground by the CHP because he was about to fall over. The CHP couldn't administer a second breath test. After transporting my client to the hospital, my client's blood was drawn and it revealed that he had a .23 % BAC. The outcome? No jail time! No community service. No fines upon successful completion of an outpatient treatment program. A multiple offender program. And, just 120 days of electronic monitoring that my client can complete from the comfort of his own home.
FELONY PERJURY CHARGES DISMISSED
Due to my duty of loyalty and the protection of client confidences I will have to redact this one quite a bit. However, in essence, my client was charged with perjury as a felony in connection with several applications that she had filled out in San Mateo County. The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office alleged that my client intentionally withheld information in one application that was material to the determination as to whether or not the permit would be issued. However, from the outset I believed that we had a defensible case. But, if things got ugly, I feared that my client's one felony perjury charge could have easily turned into three after the preliminary hearing. Additionally, due to the fact that my client was not a United States Citizen we had to avoid a felony moral turpitude conviction so that my client would not suffer any adverse immigration consequences. After intensive preparation we were able to get my client's felony perjury charge dismissed in exchange for her plea to a misdemeanor violation of a city's municipal code. Although I believed that we could have gotten the entire case dismissed without any convictions if we went to trial, my Client was interested in resolving her case as fast as possible and without the risk of being convicted of a felony. In the end, my client's permit was issued and she was very happy.
FELONY POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR SALE
Needless to say, this was my client's third time being arrested for possessing marijuana for sale in two years. Prior to meeting my client, he had been convicted of possessing for marijuana for sale in one of his previous two arrests. The other case hadn't been charged yet due to the fact that the arresting officer was temporarily off duty due to a medical leave. When I met my client he was represented by the Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office in his most recent case, as well as, the violation of probation that he was facing for his previous conviction. My client was in custody and neither he nor his parents were satisfied with where his defense was going. My client was facing six years in state prison on his two cases. At first blush things weren't looking too hot for my client. He was caught by the police with three-quarters of a pound of marijuana (3/4 lb.) in his closet, scales, a whiteboard that had names and dollar amounts by the names, as well as, text messages reflecting requests for marijuana and prices.
However, this case reflects the importance of having an attorney who is a Constitutional Law Junkie like me. Based upon case law, I felt like the search was unlawful here because the police had an arrest warrant for an individual who used to live in the house, but they did nothing to verify that the person to be arrested still lived there. In fact, the police were informed by the residents upon breaking down the door that the subject they were looking for had left over two weeks prior. Thereafter, the police discovered that my client was on search and seizure as a condition of probation and headed to his room where they found the above-mentioned evidence. I argued to the D.A. and the judge that the police lacked the requisite probable cause that they needed to enter the home under a California Supreme Court case called People v. Jacobs, (1987) 43 Cal.3d 472. Without saying that I was right, the D.A. agreed that if I didn't file a motion to suppress evidence that he would strike my client's allegation of suffering a prior sales conviction (i.e., Health and Safety Code § 11370; probation ineligible) and agree not ask for state prison, as well as, never to file charges on my client's case where the officer was on medical leave. Given the exposure he was facing, my client was thrilled and he was out of jail in just four months.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DISMISSAL
A citizen outside the Serramonte shopping mall called the police after observing my client arguing with his girlfriend and throwing her to the ground. The citizen called the police who were right around the corner and my client was arrested. My client was in the United States Army and if he suffered a conviction for a domestic violence, he would have a lifetime federal ban on his right to own, purchase or possess firearms. Additionally, he would have had a 10 year ban in California on his firearms rights as well. My client couldn't get convicted of domestic violence otherwise he believed that his career in the Army would have been over. After doing everything we could, my client's domestic violence charged was dismissed by the prosecutor. My client pled nolo contendre to a misdemeanor violation of disturbing the peace by loud and unreasonable noise (Penal Code § 415(2)) and received no jail time or community service or domestic violence classes as a condition of probation. My client was able to retain his firearms rights and keep his career.
FELONY POSSESSION OF ECSTASY FOR SALE - DEJ
My juvenile client was charged with possessing ecstasy for sale at Homestead High School in Cupertino. School authorities had suspected that he had been selling both ecstasy and marijuana. One day in class my client's math teacher said that he saw a pill bottle in my client's unzipped backpack. He retrieved the pill bottle (after a brief struggle with my client), sent my client to the Principal's Office, and the police were called. It turns out that there were four pills of ecstasy, six plastic bags, text messages regarding sales, and three students who came forward alleging that my client had sold them ecstasy in the past. Yet, despite this information, my client was still a first time offender and a very good young man. He presented well and was admitted to the Deferred Entry of Judgment program. He recently completed the DEJ program and therefore this juvenile case against him will be completely destroyed. He can truthfully tell any employer that he has never been arrested or adjudged a ward of the court for possessing ecstasy for sale.
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA FOR SALE - DEJ
My juvenile client was charged with possessing marijuana for sale after he and his buddies were caught in his truck smoking marijuana in his truck at the lunch hour of a Palo Alto high school. When the police arrived my client had an ounce of marijuana in his possession. Unfortunately, my client admitted to selling marijuana to his friends and having $60 in cash on his possession from his previous sales. Additionally, my client admitted to the police how much he purchased the ounce for and that he was planning on selling some marijuana and smoking the rest. Moreover, the cops found a scale, and searched my client's cell phone which had text messages indicating sales of marijuana. Tough case to defend. However, my client was offered a Deferred Entry of Judgment program. DEJ means that if successful, the case will be dismissed, destroyed, sealed, and cannot be used by a prosecutor in the future as a predicate offense, in any manner.
RESISTING ARREST DISMISSAL
Resisting arrest does not have to just be actual physical resistance with the officer. These cases are charged all the time when all the defendant has done is run away from the officer. Here, I had a client who ran away from an officer after the officer tried to stop him because he didn't use the crosswalk. Come on! My client fled on foot, caught a bus, and almost got away. Except, the officer quickly got into his car, followed the bus, boarded it, and arrested my client who was sitting in the back of the bus. The end result here was that my client was offered a misdemeanor disturbing the peace by loud and unreasonable noise (Penal Code section 415(2)) and no jail time.
My client was charged in San Mateo County with a DUI after an officer pulled him over for driving at nighttime on the freeway with his headlights off. Following the stop, the officer alleged that my client performed poorly on all of his field sobriety tests. At the roadside my client's BAC was measured as 083% and a .086% twenty-five minutes after the observed driving. An hour and a half after my client was given the roadside breath tests the officer had my client's blood drawn. My client's blood test returned at a .07% BAC. Normally, the District Attorney would take a case like this out to trial and simply argue that based upon the roadside breath tests, as well as, retrograde extrapolation that my client was a .08% or greater at the time of driving. But, here they didn't do that. They dismissed the case completely. My client did not suffer any penalties in this case from the DUI charges that the District Attorney had filed against him. Good for my client - he didn't have to go to trial to get exonerated in this case.
DUI DISMISSAL ON A MULTI-CAR ACCIDENT
My client was involved in a multi-car accident on the 380 interchange in San Mateo County and admitted to the officers and emergency personnel that he had been drinking. Not surprisingly, two people were injured and my client was charged with DUI causing injury, with a special allegation that he proximately caused bodily injury to more than one victim. The two injured parties were taken to the hospital. In the end, my client pled nolo contendre to a misdemeanor "wet-reckless!" His insurance company took care of the restitution to the victims and he may be one of the luckiest guys around. Wow!
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER DISMISSAL
My client's accuser filed a petition for a domestic violence restraining order against my client. Based upon discussions with my client, the accuser's petition seemed to be vague and inflammatory. So, we did some investigating and discovered that my client's accuser had legal troubles herself. My client's accuser was facing criminal charges in the same county that she filed her petition for a domestic violence restraining order in. We pointed this out in our response to the petition that we filed with the court. After reading our response to her petition, my client's accuser agreed to withdraw her petition instead of going before a judge. Big victory for my client who didn't want this case to be used against him in any custody disputes with his accuser.
NO STRIKE CONVICTION - MULTIPLE STRIKE CHARGES
My client was charged with 11 counts of violating the California Penal Code and Health and Safety Code. Amongst other things, he was charged with four strike offenses for violating Penal Code section 148.10 [Death or Serious Bodily Injury of Peace Officer Caused by Willful Resistance to Discharge of their Duties]; Penal Code section 69 [Resisting Executive Officers] along with a Penal Code section 12022.7(a) enhancement [Great Bodily Injury]; Penal Code section 243(d), [Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury]; and Penal Code section 243(c)(2) [Battery on a Police Officer Causing Injury] along with a Penal Code section 12022.7(a) enhancement [Great Bodily Injury].
My client had also been convicted of three prior felonies and five misdemeanor offenses. He was on two current active grants of probation when he picked up this multiple strike case. In total my client was easily facing over a decade in state prison. After the preliminary hearing, my client's court appointed lawyer told him that he was getting a minimum of 6 years in the state prison guaranteed. Not happy with this news, my client's family hired me expecting a miracle.
However, my client didn't plan on making matters easier because while in custody he picked up a new case for violating Penal Code section 241.1 [Assault against Custodial Officer]. According to the Sherriff the only reason my client didn't hit the officer was because he was tackled by other officers before he could have completed the act. In the end, the new assault case was dismissed, my client pled to only one non-strike felony, and probation was terminated on his misdemeanor cases with credits for time served. My client never went to prison. And, he was released from county jail in less than 8 ½ months. Miracle delivered.
STRIKE PRIOR DISMISSED - SECOND STRIKE CASE
My client had a strike prior for assault with a deadly weapon due to a gang related stabbing. Less than two months after being released from prison he was arrested for a DUI. Incident to a parole search of his vehicle the officer discovered a bat in my client's trunk. Apparently, the bat had the defendant's gang name etched into it. My client was charged with violating Penal Code section 12020(a), Felony Possession of a Billy (i.e,. bat), as well as a DUI. The District Attorney also alleged a prison prior under Penal Code section 667.5(b). In total my client was facing 7 years in state prison following a maximum of 6 months in county jail for the DUI. Adding insult to injury, my client's public defender vociferously asked the judge for an order that my client pay attorney's fees for the services of the public defender. After a motion and hearing, my client was not ordered to pay the public defender one penny (1¢). Additionally, the judge struck my client's strike. My client would be going back home to his family in just another 6 ½ months.
POSSESSION FOR SALES & TRANSPORTATION OF METHAMPHETAMINE + FELON IN POSSESSION OF A FIREARM
My client was stopped by members of the Mobile Emergency Response Group and Equipment (MERGE aka SWAT team) at gun point and forcibly removed from his vehicle. The officers alleged that my client reached for a gun in his waistband while they attempted to arrest him - a fact that he denied since the officers already had their rifles pointed at his head. My client was a fourth term prisoner and was alleged to have been under the influence of methamphetamine when arrested. In his pockets were what the officers described as individually packaged methamphetamine which the officers claimed were possessed for sales.
My client was charged with six counts: Health & Safety Code section 11378 [Possession of Methamphetamine for Sale] with a Penal Code section 12022(c) allegation [Personally Armed with a Firearm in the Commission of section 11378]; Health & Safety Code section 11379 [Transportation of Methamphetamine] with a Penal Code section 12022(c) allegation [Personally Armed with a Firearm in the Commission of section 11379]; Health and Safety Code section 11550(e) [Possession of a Firearm while Under the Influence]; Penal Code section 12031(a)(1) [Carrying a Loaded Firearm in a Vehicle] - with a prior conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm within the meaning of Penal Code section 12021(a)(1); Penal Code section 12316(b) [Felon in Possession of Ammunition] (i.e., ammo); Penal Code section 12021(a)(1) [Felon in Possession of a Firearm]; and four prison priors within the meaning of Penal Code section 667.5(b).
Based upon these charges my client was facing over 18 years in the state prison. The Santa Clara County District Attorney wanted to send my client away for a long time based upon the allegation that he reached for his weapon while being arrested. After I took his case over from the public defender my client was offered one year less in state prison than he was with the public defender. My client jumped on the plea deal and was looking forward to being eligible to go back home in just another 3 years.
DAY OF TRIAL DISMISSAL - MINI ARSENAL OF FIREARMS - PROHIBITION ON POSSESSION
The California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms went to my client's home and discovered: two .45 caliber semi-automatic Glocks; one .40 caliber Glock; two .223 caliber Colt semi-automatic rifles; one Remington Arms Co. bolt action rifle with a bipod and Leupold scope; and, two Mossberg 12 gauge pump action shotguns. Based upon my client's possession of these firearms and a recent trip to the hospital on a Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 hold, my client was charged by the San Mateo County District Attorney with violating Welfare and Institutions Code section 8103(f)(1) [Prohibition of Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons]. This was a highly complicated and defensible case - except the District Attorney and the judge disagreed. This was also one of the most emotionally charged cases that I have ever been a part of. My client didn't even have a pre-trial conference offer.
On the day of trial my client was offered 30 days in the county jail, search and seizure and supervised probation. Extremely unhappy and undaunted we proceeded forward. I appeared at trial assignment (jury not present) without my client present. My client was at work and couldn't let his employer know about this case without losing his job. At around 4:40 p.m. on the first day of trial the District Attorney's Office folded and dismissed my client's case. We were also able to have the judge order that my client's firearms be sold with my client to receive the proceeds. My client received Blue Book value for his firearms and has been happily working ever since.
NO SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION - INDECENT EXPOSURE
My juvenile client was about to graduate and go to a reputable 4 year college. However, in his senior year at high school he decided to let a counselor know that he had a crush on her by exposing his erect penis while he sat across her desk in a counseling session on college scholarships. The counselor was not flattered and immediately summoned the vice principal who summoned the police. It appeared as if mandatory lifetime sex offender registration lay in my client's future. Additionally my client was now facing three cases: (1) a civil harassment restraining order; (2) school expulsion hearing; and (3) juvenile court petition.
In the end we won two out of three even though I think that we could have won all three. My client received a suspended expulsion from his high school and graduated with his class. Additionally, we met with my client's probation officer and were successful in not having her forward the report to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. My client never had to go to juvenile court for this offense and would never have to register as a sex offender. Lastly however, I believe that the judge who issued the restraining order against my client abused her discretion and misapplied the law. My client's only remedy was to appeal and he was content not to do so given that he would be able to move forward substantially unscathed by the experience.
DEFERRED ENTRY OF JUDGMENT - FELONY SALES OF PRESCRIPTION PILLS
My client was observed by a school administrator selling his A.D.D. medications (Bupropion and Nethylphenidate), controlled substances, at school in violation of Health and Safety Code section 11351 [Unlawful Possession for Sale]. My client admitted to this school administrator and to the police that he had been selling his A.D.D. medications at school to other students on the day that he was caught. The student whom my client had been observed selling the A.D.D. medications to also confirmed to police that my client had sold to her his prescription pills. In court my client was fortunate enough to be placed on a Deferred Entry of Judgment (D.E.J.) and avoid the petition being sustained for this offense. The court's grant of D.E.J. saved my client from having to serve time in Juvenile Hall or the Department of Juvenile Justice where he faced up to four years if the court sustained the petition. Additionally, by receiving D.E.J., my client was given the opportunity to have the petition dismissed upon his successful completion of his D.E.J.
FINE ONLY - POSSESSION OF AN AK-47
My client's wife was mad at him for playing too much Play Station 3. So she smashed up his PS3 when he wasn't home. In return, he cut up her favorite dress when she wasn't home. Bad idea. She called the cops, pressed charges, and told them about his AK-47 under his bed. Unfortunately, my client admits everything. No problem. No jail time. Misdemeanor fines and fees of less than $600.
WET RECKLESS ON A .11 B.A.C.
Generally, in San Mateo County a wet-reckless is offered instead of a DUI if the defendant's blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) was at or near a .08% at the time of driving. In my client's case my client had a .11 % B.A.C. at or near the time of driving. Through extensive defense preparation of the case we were able to convince the District Attorney to offer my client a wet-reckless at the pre-trial conference. Big win in San Mateo County.
WET RECKLESS ON A DUI ACCIDENT
My client was involved in a solo occupant crash on highway 280 in San Mateo County. A concerned onlooker observed my client attempt to drive his nearly totaled car on the shoulder for about 10 minutes before the California Highway Patrol was called to the scene. The CHP officer stopped my client who didn't remember the crash. My client smelled of alcohol, had a .10 B.A.C. and told the officer that he fell asleep behind the wheel in the middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. Result - wet reckless. Another big win in San Mateo County.
DENIAL OF C.L.E.T.S. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER
My client was accused of domestic violence by his daughter in law. My client's daughter in law was seeking a full California Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (C.L.E.T.S.) no contact order. The significance of a C.L.E.T.S. restraining order is that all law-enforcement officers across the state have immediate access to who are the protected and restrained parties in the restraining order. Additionally, this restraining order would have shown up on a background search. However, what was worse was that if the order was issued, it would have prevented my client from seeing his beloved granddaughter. After filing our response to the petition and a hearing on the petitioner's claims of domestic violence, the court denied issuing petitioner a no contact domestic violence restraining order. My client was free to see his granddaughter, not in the C.L.E.T.S. database and not subject to the embarrassment of this restraining order popping up on a background search.
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE - OUT OF STATE RESIDENT
The last time my client had a public defender in Marin County, California (2001) for driving on a suspended license for failing to pay his fines he was ordered by the court to serve 40 days in the county jail! Well since 2001 my client still had not received his California Drivers License and was driving in California when he was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol. Fearful of being remanded my client did not want to set foot in court. Since my client was now living in Washington State where he owned and operated his own business it would cause him insurmountable financial hardship if he had to serve any jail time in California. After multiple court appearances and motions the court permitted my client to serve his 15 day sentence on a roadside work crew in Clark's County. Washington. Additionally, my client was given 6 months to fit the 15 days into his work schedule and to show proof of completion to the court.
INTERNET CYBERSTALKING AND HARASSMENT
My client was carrying on a long distance internet dating relationship through Skype® with a rock musician from Los Angeles. The rock musician alleged that he ended the relationship when he found out that his current girlfriend was pregnant. Furthermore, he claimed that my client refused to take the hint. He asserted that my client sent him threatening and racially charged messages through internet social media, e-mail, and phone calls. He claimed that he feared for his life and the safety of his girlfriend and unborn child. He filed a police report and a petition for a domestic violence restraining order. At the hearing on the domestic violence restraining order he was accompanied by a victim's advocate from the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.
My client did not want to appear at the hearing on the restraining order because she claimed that she feared her accuser. We prepared a thorough response to the rock musician's petition for a restraining order. Following the hearing the court denied his request for a C.L.E.T.S. restraining order. Instead he issued a non C.L.E.T.S. restraining order against the rock musician and in favor of my client.
DISMISSAL OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RESTRAINING ORDER
My client's ex-girlfriend had accused him of some pretty nasty physical abuse that spanned the course of two years. Interestingly though, despite police responding to the scene over the course of these two years, my client was never arrested or prosecuted. Determining the reason why my client wasn't arrested depends upon who you ask - a defense attorney or a plaintiff's attorney. A defense attorney like myself would tell you it's because the officers' didn't have probable cause to believe that my client had committed acts of domestic violence. A plaintiff's attorney would tell you that it is very common for an officer not to make an arrest regardless of whether the officer thinks that the crime occurred or not. In any event, I am a defense attorney, and in this case we filed my client's response to the accuser's claims of domestic violence. When my client's accuser was confronted with my client's coherent and exculpatory response my client's accuser dismissed her petition in open court. My client was able to save his job, the risk of future prosecution for violating the court's order, and from being labeled as a "woman beater."
DISMISSAL - UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
My client was charged in San Mateo County with being under the influence of a controlled substance, specifically cocaine. My client was hanging out in the driver's seat of his vehicle talking to his cousin while parked on a San Mateo street well after all businesses had closed for the night. My client had returned from San Francisco from a night of clubbing and wanted to talk to his cousin about "girls." However, a San Mateo Police Officer thought it was "strange" for my client to be parked where he was. The officer approached my client's driver's side door, knocked on his window and observed that my client was fidgety, appeared nervous, and was speaking rapidly. The officer then asked my client for his driver's license and whether he was on probation. My client admitted that he was on felony drug probation out of San Francisco with a 4-way search clause. The officer asked my client to step out of his car and to submit to tests to determine whether he was under the influence of a controlled substance. Of course the officer determined that my client was under the influence. Later my client's urine sample confirmed the presence of cocaine in his system. In court we challenged the legality of the detention. However, before we spoke one word the District Attorney conceded the motion. Wow! That was nice. Although I thought we could have won this one - this one would have been tough! Good result for my client who was now safe from prosecutions in both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.
TRIAL DISMISSAL - RESISTING ARREST & FALSELY REPRESENTING SELF AS ANOTHER PERSON TO A POLICE OFFICER
My client was charged in San Mateo County with resisting arrest and falsely representing himself as another person to a San Bruno Police Officer. My client was at a house party in San Bruno when a fight broke out in the street. Given the alleged nature of violent crimes associated with this particular residence in the past a majority of the San Bruno Police Department responded to the home. The San Bruno Police Officers didn't locate the persons who were involved in the suspected gang fight. However, they barged into the house that my client was at and found him minding his own business in the backyard. After, detaining my client with no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, a San Bruno Police Officer asked my client to provide his name. The officer claimed that my client gave her a false name and date of birth. The officer who took my client's name told him to wait in the backyard while she went to her car to run him through dispatch. She told him that if he was lying to her that she was going to arrest him when she came back. When she returned my client was gone. One of my client's alleged friend's told the officer that he had escaped by jumping over the backyard fence. Given these facts, the District Attorney was determined to convict my client who was an alleged "gang-banger" of these crimes. However, my client and I were confident that in order to convict my client that the District Attorney would have to argue inconsistent legal theories. We convinced the District Attorney of this and the District Attorney finally realized that it was better to give up before trial than it was to suffer defeat at trial!
DAY OF TRIAL DISMISSAL - CRIMINAL AND/OR TERRORISTIC THREATS
The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office charged my client with nine (9) counts of Penal Code section 422, Criminal or Terroristic Threats. The alleged victim in this case was very upset at my client and tried everything possible to ruin him. This alleged victim caused my client to be fired from his job, a civil harassment restraining order to be placed against him, and a criminal case to be filed. This criminal case was really insidious because it alleged nine (9) crimes of moral turpitude on separate dates. If convicted of these crimes my client would have almost assuredly been deported from the United States. The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office insisted at arraignment, prior to the pre-trial conference, and over two separate pre-trial conferences that they were going to trial on this case. However, all along, I assured my client that despite the District Attorney's tough talk that I believed they would likely dismiss this case on the day of trial. On the day of trial the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office acted as we suspected and dismissed the case against my client. My client gets to stay in the United States and close the chapter of meritless charges that were filed against him by the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
TRIAL VICTORY - POSSESSION OF PARAPHERNALIA
My client was charged with possession of paraphernalia, i.e., two meth pipes. The evidence that the District Attorney planned on using against my client were two digital scales, a video of her using two meth pipes, the two meth pipes and her incriminating statements to South San Francisco Police officers. All of the evidence that the South San Francisco Police Department obtained in this case was based upon a search of my client's motel room in South San Francisco. Prior to trial we brought a motion to suppress evidence of the South San Francisco Police Department's discovery of the video of my client smoking from the meth pipes. We won the motion and the judge excluded the video evidence of my client's drug usage. However, the District Attorney still insisted on going forward with the trial. During the in limine motions phase of the trial, we brought a motion to exclude my client's statements to the South San Francisco Police Department officers as being taken in violation of her Miranda rights. This time, the trial judge and second judge in our case agreed with us and granted our motion to exclude my client's incriminatory statements. Faced with two consecutive losses and a substantial withering of their evidence against my client, the District Attorney's folded and dismissed their case against my client. The trial was over and my client didn't have to spend more than two days in court.
DAY OF TRIAL DISMISSAL - SUSPENDED LICSENSE
My client was charged in Santa Clara County with having driven a motor vehicle on a suspended license after his license was suspended for being a negligent operator. [Vehicle Code section 14601(a)]. This charge carried a five day mandatory minimum in the county jail if convicted for this offense. Initially, my client asked the judge to represent himself. However, the court advised him that he needed a lawyer. My client contacted me. Through an intensive discovery process we determined that the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office could not easily prove that my client had a suspended license on the date and time of his stop. At the pre-trial conference the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office insisted that they would not reduce the charge against my client to an infraction. Believing that we could convince twelve Santa Clara County jurors that my client did not know that his license was suspended on the date and time of the stop, we confirmed his case for jury trial. On the day of trial we were prepared to proceed to trial armed with our Department of Motor Vehicle Expert Witness and the evidence we gathered from my client's insurance application and policy. Facing a superbly prepared defense, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office quickly changed their tune. They dismissed my client's case in its entirety. My client saved two points on his license, increased insurance rates, five (5) days in the county, two (2) years of court probation, and fines and assessments nearing $1500.
RESISTING ARREST REDUCED TO AN INFRACTION
My client was charged in Santa Clara County with resisting, obstructing, or delaying Mountain View Police officers in the course and performance of their duties. My client was returning home from a night out at the bars. One of her friends was chased down by cops after he was alleged to have vandalized a store front window. When my client caught up with her friend and the Mountain View Police she was accused of trying to prevent his arrest. My client was accused of violently resisting the Mountain View Police Officers from placing her into handcuffs. When the Mountain View Police Officers finally placed her in handcuffs she was further accused of trying to kick her arresting officer in the groin. At a hearing the judge agreed to provide my client Pitchess Materials, (i.e., negative officer history) against some of the officers involved in her arrest. We set my client's case for trial. However, prior to trial the District Attorney backed down and offered my client a Penal Code section 415 "Disturbing the Peace" infraction. This meant that my client would not have to serve a single day in jail, perform community service or have any criminal record that would negatively impact her for employment purposes.
SCHOOL EXPULSION DISMISSAL
My client was accused of using his position as a teacher's assistant to change his grades and the grades of other students. My client was in his senior year of high school and a school expulsion would have seriously jeopardized his acceptance into several Ivy League Universities and UC's. We had to be very careful navigating the school expulsion process because the Santa Clara County District Attorney could have used the evidence presented at the school expulsion hearing against my client in a juvenile petition for felony identity theft (Penal Code section 530.5) and computer crimes (Penal Code section 502). Through successful negotiations we were able to get the high school to agree to drop the school expulsion altogether.
FELONY BURGLARY DISMISSAL
My client was charged in a juvenile petition in San Mateo County with felony burglary. She was allegedly recorded on Macy's video surveillance with removing sensor tags from several clothing items, concealing them in her bag and walking out of the store without paying for them. After being confronted outside of the store by Loss Prevention Officers my client admitted to entering the store with intent to steal, removing the sensor tags from the clothing items and walking out of the store with them. Our result - the District Attorney dismissed the case for "insufficiency of the evidence."
JUVENILE FELONY IDENTITY THEFT DIVERSION
My client was charged in a juvenile petition in San Mateo County with felony identity theft. She was accused of hacking into another minor's email account and obtaining that minor's social security number. With the other minor's social security number she was alleged to have attempted to obtain credit with the other minor's information. If my minor client was convicted of the felony identity theft charge she faced up to 3 years in therapeutic detention (i.e., Juvenile Hall). Following a contested Deferred Entry of Judgment ("DEJ") hearing the judge agreed to grant to my client DEJ. This meant that my client would not have to serve anytime in Juvenile Hall. Additionally, this meant that if my client was successful in avoiding any juvenile or criminal convictions for 18 months that she would have her felony petition dismissed completely.
My client was charged with a DUI in San Mateo County. She was stopped by the officer after she crossed the lane divider. The officer said that his suspicions were aroused due to the fact that my client kept looking back at him from her side and rear view mirrors. My client had just got off work as a bartender but she hadn't been consuming alcoholic beverages. However, the officer believed that my client was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant after he had her perform field sobriety tests. When the officer arrested my client and informed her that she had to submit to blood or urine test to detect the presence of drugs, my client refused. After working with my client's doctor to present a defense to the DUI charge we were ready for trial. But, on the day of trial, the District Attorney's Office backed down and dismissed the case.
NO JAIL TIME ON A THIRD DUI
My client received her third DUI in San Mateo County. This meant that at a minimum that she would have to serve 120 days in county jail. Generally on a third DUI in San Mateo County my client would be facing a jail sentence of 9 months. My client absolutely did not want to go to jail. However, she wasn't making it easy for us to keep her out of jail because she yelled at her probation officer outside of the judge's courtroom - which the judge found out about. After we worked extensively with my client's probation officer and different residential treatment programs, my client's probation officer recommended that her entire jail sentence be modified to a residential treatment program. The judge agreed to follow the probation officer's recommendation and my client did not have to serve a single day in jail.
WET RECKLESS ON A DUI WITH INJURY
My client was charged with a misdemeanor DUI causing injury in San Mateo County. My client was witnessed by several motorists whom he passed on the roadway to be nodding or dozing off while he accelerated past them at a high rate of speed in the oncoming traffic lane. My client drove his vehicle off an embankment and in the process clipped an elderly woman on her elbow with his side mirror. My client admitted to officers that he was taking at least 8 different prescription medicines, many of which would cause drowsiness. However, the officers also suspected that my client was under the influence of a central nervous system stimulant. My client submitted to a blood test for the detection of drugs and alcohol. Despite the prosecution's strong case for a DUI we were able to get my client a wet reckless and no jail time.
WET RECKELSS ON A SECOND DUI
My client was charged with his second DUI in San Mateo County. At his pre-trial conference the judge indicated that my client's sentence if he pled guilty or no contest to the DUI would require amongst other things that he serve 60 days in the county jail. Because my client had a felony record that made him ineligible for the San Mateo County Sheriff Work Program he would be forced to serve his 60 day sentence in county jail if he pled guilty or no contest. But, neither my client nor I felt that he should "plead out" because of some weaknesses in the prosecution's case that we felt that we could exploit at trial. So, we chose to set his case for trial. On the day of trial the District Attorney backed down and offered my client a "wet reckless" charge. This offer was a major win for my client because by accepting the reduced charge he wouldn't have to serve any jail time or community service whatsoever.
FELONY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
My client was charged with 4 felony strikes and two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence. Amongst other things, my client was charged with domestic violence causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and grossly negligent discharge of a firearm. My client's actions caused his girlfriend to spend three weeks in the hospital for suffering a broken nose, broken left wrist, and a fracture to her forehead. My client's girlfriend needed to have a titanium plate to be surgically placed into her wrist and stitches to close the four inch gash across her forehead. For his actions my client was facing a total of 12 years in state prison. Remarkably, through skillful defense work my client was able to successfully resolve his case for no state prison time. In fact, my client only had to serve 60 days in the county jail with the remainder of his nine month sentence to be served in either a residential treatment program or Work Furlough.
SCHOOL EXPULSION DISMISSAL
My client, a freshman at high school appeared to be successfully attending classes under her Individualized Assessment Plan (IEP) for almost the full school year. However, before the year's end she was accused by school administration officials and the police of hacking into her teacher's computer over 60 times in order to change her grades and the grades of other students as well. My client was not only facing expulsion, but she was also notified by the Probation Office that she was potentially facing charges in a juvenile petition by the District Attorney. Fortunately for my student client, she was represented by counsel that was thoroughly familiar with both the school expulsion process and the juvenile court system. Before my client had two full weeks to panic about the looming expulsion and having to repeat half of her freshman year at school we were able to have the school administration dismiss the expulsion process against my client. My client was immediately transferred to another high school within the school district, her school record remains unblemished and the District Attorney has not filed charges.
CHILD ENDANGERMENT ACQUITTAL
My client was charged with two counts of child endangerment. If my client was convicted of this charge, he was facing jail time, fines, four years of probation, and a year of child abuse classes. Most alarming, if my client was convicted he faced losing the custody of his children. At trial, the prosecution presented photographs, video footage and expert testimony from a CPS worker and an Environmental Health inspector. The prosecution played recorded interview statements between the investigating police officer and my client’s children. School officials also testified for the prosecution. After putting up a vigorous fight through cross examination, presenting our own evidence and witnesses, all twelve jurors voted NOT GUILTY and my client was acquitted of both counts of child endangerment.
FELONY VANDALISM DISMISSAL
My client was charged with felony vandalism. The prosecution and the investigating officers had video, eyewitness identifications, photographs, shoeprints and finger/hand print evidence. The prosecution believed it had an iron clad case and refused to dismiss or reduce the charges for my client. After months of preparation for trial, my investigator obtained conflicting testimony from the eyewitness victim. We obtained the shoe and hand print evidence from the police department and sent it to a forensic analyst. The forensic analyst determined that the fingerprint evidence was not a conclusive match. After months of intensive work on this case, the prosecution continued the case on the day set for trial and dismissed the case shortly after.
FELONY BURGLARY ACQUITTAL
My client was charged with a felony burglary. My client had been detained following an arrest for the charges and pending trial. At trial, witnesses testified for the prosecution, including a witness who identified my client as the perpetrator. After the prosecution’s case in chief, I brought a motion to dismiss the felony burglary charge. The judge agreed that the prosecution had not met its burden in proving beyond a reasonable doubt that my client committed a felony burglary and my client was acquitted of the felony charges.
My client was charged with his second DUI just two weeks before his first DUI would have not been priorable. At trial the police officer testified that he first observed my client fail to use his turn signal before executing a U-turn on El Camino in Millbrae around midnight. The officer testified that his attention remained focused on my client who then peeled out and sped off at a high rate speed after leaving behind a cloud of smoke. The officer pursued my client for a mile to a mile and a half and testified that my client drifted in his lane during this time period. After pulling my client over for a DUI stop the officer stated that he observed my client had blood shot and watery eyes, the odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech, and an open bottle of Jack Daniels behind the driver's seat. He testified that my client failed all of his field sobriety tests and then refused to submit to a blood breath or urine test pursuant to the Implied Consent Law. A second officer also testified while serving as a cover officer that my client failed all of his field sobriety tests. However, after the jury heard the cross-examination of the officer concerning his training in the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration's ("NHSTA") Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, as well as, testimony from my client and his physical therapist, they found my client not guilty of all charges, including the special allegation of having refused the blood, breath or urine test pursuant to the Implied Consent Law. My client was not sent to jail. Instead he walked out of the courtroom after the jury verdict as a free man!
ASSAULT & BATTERY ACQUITTAL
My client, a taxicab driver, was charged with committing a battery against another taxicab driver at the Millbrae BART Station. The District Attorney's theory at trial was that my client hit the alleged victim due to his anger at the victim for cutting in front of him in the taxicab line to pick up fares. The charge was very serious to my client because if he was convicted he would lose his permit from the city of Millbrae to pick up fares within their city. This would have meant that he could not operate his taxi within the city of Millbrae where he had developed his client base. At trial, the District Attorney's case consisted of three witnesses, including the victim, the arresting officer and a minister who all testified that my client punched the victim in the face two times without provocation. The District Attorney also presented photographs depicting significant black eyes of the alleged victim that they purported were taken at a hospital following the alleged incident. On cross-examination we exposed that the alleged victim had lied on a previous welfare application and was actually the initial aggressor in the altercation. On cross-examination we presented photographs of the scene to the jury and the eyewitness. After carefully weighing the evidence the jury found my client not guilty of all charges, including the lesser included offense of assault. In speaking to some of the members of the jury after trial I learned that they jury acquitted my client because they believed that my client was acting in self-defense and that the District Attorney's star eyewitness could not have witnessed the incident from where he testified that he was standing at the time of the alleged battery. Therefore, after my client's acquittal my client was able to keep his taxicab permit with the city of Millbrae and his only source of revenue.
SOLICITATION OF PROSTITUTION ACQUITTAL
My client was charged with solicitation of prostitution. She had over 40 officer related detentions for prior allegations of prostitution and well over a dozen prior convictions for prostitution. Due to this fact, if my client was convicted of this charge, she was facing substantial jail time, fines and restrictive conditions of supervised probation. Therefore, my client took her case to trial. At trial the undercover detective who was investigating my client testified that she posted sexually explicit advertisements on Craigslist.orgTM for her prostitution services. The detective testified that after calling my client in response to her multiple postings on Craigslist.orgTM that he arranged a "date" with her at a South San Francisco motel. At the motel the officer met my client and searched her and her motel room pursuant to the search and seizure condition of her probation from Los Angeles. From that search the detective located condoms, KY, the cell phone that was identified by number in the advertisements, the laptop computer from which my client was said to have posted her advertisements, and other indicia of prostitution activity. At trial, and after the prosecution's case-in-chief we brought a written motion to dismiss the charges against my client. Our motion was carefully researched and the judge agreed with us that my client was not guilty of the charged offense. The judge granted the motion and my client was acquitted.
DUI OF .08 OR GREATER ACQUITTAL
It is not impossible to secure a defense verdict for the charge of driving with a .08 or greater blood alcohol concentration ("BAC"). My client was charged with his third DUI in a ten year time period. He was represented by another highly experienced DUI lawyer through his pre-trial conference. At the pre-trial conference, the pre-trial judge offered my client 9 months in the county jail instead of the full year in order to entice my client to plead guilty. After the pre-trial conference my client asked me to take his case to trial. His BAC about one hour after he was observed driving up to the front entrance of the Marriot in Burlingame was alleged to have been a .19/.20. After asking the valet attendant to park his truck, several Marriot employees heard my client talking incoherently. They also witnessed him remove an open bottle of Jack Daniels from the cab of his truck and throw it into his truck bed. Due to my client's increasingly belligerently behavior and the fact that he didn't have a room or a reservation at the Marriot, one of the Marriot staff members called the police. Before Burlingame police could arrive my client fled on foot to a nearby hotel where he hid out on the 4th floor while observing the officers across the street. Eventually however, my client was located and arrested by police. Based upon my client's BAC and using retrograde extrapolation, the District Attorney argued that my client was approximately two and one half times over the .08 legal limit at the time he arrived at the Marriot. Using careful investigation of the crime scene we discovered that there would have been video surveillance of the location where my client drove up to the Marriot. Our investigation also revealed that the arresting officer was the former head of security at the Marriot and he knew almost everything about its video surveillance system. At trial we were successful in having the officer admit that he failed to obtain the surveillance video of the front entrance of the Marriot which would have proved that my client didn't consume the Jack Daniel's until after he arrived at the hotel. After carefully weighing the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses, the jury found my client not guilty of driving with a BAC over a .08. Oddly enough however the jury convicted my client of drunk driving without having heard testimony of any bad driving. Yet despite the jury's inconsistent verdict my client achieved a significant victory because the judge sentenced my client to the statutory minimum of 4 months in the county jail instead of the pre-trial conference offer of 9 months or the maximum of one year. Although not a complete acquittal, my client saved 5 months of his life from the county jail.
RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATION DISMISSAL
My client was waiting for his girlfriend while seated in the front passenger seat of her car. The car was parked on the street outside of her house in what the police described as a "high crime" area of San Bruno. Both my client and his girlfriend were planning a night out on the town. While my client was waiting for his girlfriend two officers drove past him and shined their spotlight on him because he was slouching in his seat. Believing this behavior to be suspicious, the officers made a U-turn, drove their marked patrol within twenty feet of my client, parked and exited to speak to him. One officer asked my client for his identification while the other officer stood cover. After obtaining my client's driver's license the officer ran him through their wants and warrants system and discovered that his girlfriend had a no contact and 100 yard stay order protecting her from him. After discovering this information my client's girlfriend walked out of her house and toward her car. The officers confirmed her identity and arrested my client. I filed a motion to suppress evidence which argued that my client was unlawfully detained and that the officers' claim of a consensual encounter was unfounded given the nature of their contact, including: the officers' use of their spotlight and headlights to shine on my client; one officer standing cover; the other officer asking for identification without an explanation as to why he wanted it; running my client in their wants and warrants system over his radio and in my client's presence; and, failing to advise my client that he was free to leave. The judge nobly took the case under the submission to perform essential research to come to the correct decision. After taking the case under submission, the judge wrote a two page written decision granting my client's motion to suppress evidence of the officers' discovery of the restraining order and their subsequent observations of its violation. Without this crucial evidence against my client, the District Attorney eventually dismissed the case against my client.
POSSESSION OF A METH PIPE DISMISSAL
My client was standing under a street light in the Rollingwood area of San Bruno hills. The officer who was responsible for patrolling this area testified in court that it is a "high crime" area. He testified that he was particularly alert on the night in question because of a recent rash of auto burglaries. My client was approximately 20 feet from the nearest car when the officer drove up with his headlights off. The officer was immediately suspicious of my client because it was almost 3 a.m. and my client was wearing a back pack and a dark trench coat in the summertime. Upon seeing my client the officer immediately turned his headlights on and shone his spotlight on my client. After greeting my client "good morning" the officer asked my client for his identification. My client did not have any identification on him and the officer asked him to verbally identify himself. My client did and the officer ran his name through the wants and warrants system over his radio and in his presence without finding any outstanding warrants. This wants and warrants check may have taken anywhere between 2 minutes to up to 10 minutes. My Client remained in the spotlight with the officer "likely" by him throughout the duration of their contact. At some point while waiting for the results of the wants and warrants check the officer asked my client for consent to search him. My client agreed. The officer discovered a methamphetamine pipe in his backpack. At the hearing on the motion to suppress that I filed, the District Attorney argued that the officer's discovery of the methamphetamine pipe was the product of a consensual encounter and consent to search given by my client. However, the judge agreed with the defense position that my client was ambushed and in the judge's own words "froze him like a deer in the headlights." The judge found that my client's consent to search was the product of an unlawful detention and therefore granted the defense motion to suppress the officer's discovery of my client's meth pipe. The District Attorney dismissed the case against my client after the court's ruling.
RETURN OF CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMIT
My client was on a night out on the town with his friends in San Francisco. Needless to say he had consumed way too much alcohol and may have been belligerent with everyone and anyone he encountered, including San Francisco Police Officers patrolling the night scene that he was leaving. These officers detained my client for a drunk in public investigation. My client doesn't remember the drunk in public investigation very much, but he certainly remembers what happened next. Instead of waking up in the county jail to sober up, my client woke up strapped down to a gurney undergoing a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code § 5150. It turned out that before sending my client off for this psychiatric evaluation the officer(s) unlawfully went through my client's wallet and unlawfully took his permit to carry a concealed weapon ("CCW Permit"). Prior to contacting me my client had been stonewalled by the San Francisco Police Department ("SFPD") for several weeks in his efforts to get his CCW Permit back. All he knew was that SFPD had his CCW Permit and they weren't going to give it back to him. My client contacted me for help. In a little over a week we were successful in getting my client his CCW Permit without the significant expense of a law suit or other court appearances.
UNPRECEDENTED VICTORY AT WESTERN CAREER COLLEGE
My client was accused of plotting with several other nursing students at Western Career College to place Visine into one of her teacher's drinks. In case one thinks that placing Visine into a drink is a harmless prank that will merely cause diarrhea - think again! The active ingredient in Visine is Tetrahydrozoline HCL 0.05%. If swallowed, the substance can result in any number of life threatening side-effects, including: respiratory failure, dangerously low body temperatures and causing the injester to fall into a coma. Western Career College instigated an impromptu investigation of my client after another Western Career College student was overheard bragging about her role in placing Visine into her teacher's drink. Following their investigation, and without any substantial evidence to support their allegation(s), Western Career College permanently expelled my client from their school. Western Career College expelled my client despite the fact that she was almost half way complete with her program at Western Career College and had already expended almost $20,000 in tuition fees and other expenses. After my client contacted me with this issue, we determined that Western Career College had materially breached the terms of their contract with my client by wrongfully expelling her. Their actions were causing my client to suffer significant foreseeable damages that we prepared to recover in contractual arbitration with the American Arbitration Association, in San Francisco. Yet, in order to exhaust my client's contractual remedies for the purpose of this arbitration, we appealed the Executive Director's decision to expel my client to the Western Career College Board of Appeals. Although the Western Career College Board of Appeals upheld the Executive Director's decision to expel my client we refused to give up. We appealed the Board of Appeals' decision to uphold the expulsion to the Western Career College President. Due to this appeal, the Western Career College President met with us personally, set aside the Board of Appeals' decision to uphold the expulsion and offered to re-enroll my client into their school. The Western Career College President also went so far as to tell us that this was the first time in the history of Western Career College that a Western Career College President was overturning its Board of Appeals' decision to expel a student! Therefore, my client was successful all around. Her name was cleared, she was offered a spot back in school and she saved significant money by avoiding the cost of litigation.
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