Click on any of the following to read a brief overview of the criminal defense case. The results obtained in the cases below were dependent on the facts of each case. Outcomes vary based on the particular circumstances of each case.
- Drug Smuggling
Client was stopped by police on the highway after an anonymous informant told the officers that he saw strange activity involving a cargo truck. The officer saw two identical cargo trucks and pulled one over. Other than the anonymous tip, the officer’s reason for stopping my client was that he slowed the speed of his vehicle, observed the officer through the truck’s side-view mirror, and refused to make eye contact with the officer.
A search of the truck turned up nearly two tons of marijuana and an illegal pistol.
On appeal we were able to successfully exclude all of the marijuana and the gun. The client’s conviction was overturned, he was freed from prison, and the case was dismissed.
- False Compartment for Smuggling Purposes
Client purchased a used car for his wife. While driving across the border, narcotics dogs alerted to his vehicle and he was directed to secondary inspection. The customs officers tore the car apart and found four hidden compartments built into the frame of the car.
My client’s previous attorney advised him to take a plea to a felony charge and serve 6 months in custody.
My client, a government contractor with special clearances, refused to put his freedom, career, and reputation at risk, declined the plea bargain and hired me.
Our investigation revealed that the prior owner had been arrested six times for drug offenses, and the most recent arrest was only 3 months prior to the sale of the car to my client. After presenting this information to the District Attorney the case was dismissed.
- Conspiracy, Drug Possession, and Drug Sales
Client, already on probation for a drug offense, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to sell drugs, sale of drugs, and possession of drugs, including more than 2000 Ecstasy (MDMA) pills and 2 kilos of methamphetamine. At the time of his arrest he also told the officers he had a small amount of methamphetamine in his apartment.
Client’s previous attorney told him there was nothing that could be done, and he advised the client to accept an 8 year prison sentence.
The client retained me, and at our first readiness conference I negotiated a 6 year sentence. At our second readiness conference I negotiated a 4 year sentence.
After the preliminary hearing we successfully argued to have the charges relating to the 2 kilos of methamphetamine and 2000 Ecstasy (MDMA) pills dismissed.
We offered a plea of simple possession of a controlled substance (for the small amount of methamphetamine found in my client’s apartment) and an admission of a probation violation, with a 1 year sentence to be served in local custody. My client served 8 months.
- Burglary and Receiving Stolen Property
Client was arrested on suspicion of stealing items worth more than $25,000.00. Client was charged with felony burglary and receiving stolen property, and was facing up to three years in prison. However, after extensive negotiation with the District Attorney, we were able to reach a resolution involving restitution, a felony reducible to a misdemeanor, community service, and no custody time whatsoever.
- Assault likely to Produce Great Bodily Injury
Juvenile client was charged with setting his girlfriend’s hair on fire, a potential strike felony. My client’s family was very proactive, and provided good structure and guidance at home. Client ultimately admitted an allegation of misdemeanor simple battery committed while on school grounds, and was placed on probation for 1 year.
- Identity Theft
Client, an undocumented immigrant who first arrived in this country as an infant with his mother, was charged with multiple counts of felony identity theft. Client had no prior criminal history and used the identity of a relative to work in the United States. After negotiation with the District Attorney, we were able to resolve the case for a non-deportable offense and minimal custody time.
- Possession of an Illegal Weapon
Client was stopped by security agents at the airport when his belt buckle set off the metal detector. The buckle was shaped like a set of brass knuckles, and airport security called the police. The police arrested my client and charged him with misdemeanor possession of an illegal weapon. My client retained me shortly after the incident, and I was able to discuss the case with the City Attorney before any charges were filed. As a result of those pre-charging discussions I was able to convince the City Attorney to not file charges against my client.
- DUI with Accident
Client was driving home and, while making an illegal u-turn, was involved in an accident with a taxi. The taxi driver called the police and client was arrested for DUI. Client’s breath and blood tests put his BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at 0.13 – nearly twice the legal limit. After extensive negotiations with the prosecution, we were able to resolve the case with a plea bargain for a wet reckless (reckless driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in the blood).
- Cockfighting/Possession of Roosters for Fighting Purposes
Client was charged with more than 50 counts of misdemeanor possession of roosters for fighting purposes. Animal Control went to the client’s home and asked to check on the welfare of his animals. He let Animal Control enter his property and examine his birds, all of which were in great health. Nonetheless, Animal Control returned a few hours later, with police officers, and conducted a warrantless entry and search of the property. They seized and euthanized all of the roosters.
We challenged the search and seizure as unconstitutional, and forced the prosecution to dismiss the case.
- DUI under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Client was stopped by sheriff deputies for failure to stop at a stop sign. He admitted to smoking marijuana and drinking beers an hour before driving. Client agreed to take a blood test, and based on the results of that test we were able to resolve the case with a plea bargain to simple reckless driving.
- DUI under the influence of alcohol
Client was stopped by a federal agent while driving on the highway. The agent then held my client for more than 30 minutes until police arrived. The client was eventually arrested for DUI. We argued that the seizure of my client was unconstitutional, and a judge agreed. The prosecution was forced to dismiss the case.
- DUI with Accident
Client lost control of his motorcycle and was involved in a single vehicle accident. He was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and officers ordered the attending doctors to draw my client’s blood for DUI testing purposes. Despite a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.12, we were able to negotiate the case with a plea bargain for a wet reckless (reckless driving with with a measurable amount of alcohol in the blood).
- Penal Code 290 Registration
Client was convicted in 1988 of having consensual sex with his 17 year-old girlfriend. In 2010 he was informed that he needed to register as a sex offender. If required to register, my client would not have been able to live at home with his own wife and children. We filed a Hofsheier writ of administrative mandamus and successfully established that it was unconstitutional to require him to register as a sex offender.
- Interfering with a Business and Refusal to Disperse
Client gathered with a group of friends at the San Diego County Administration Building to protest the county’s refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Client and eight others staged a peaceful protest (a sit-in) in the hallway outside the marriage license office. Sheriff’s deputies were called and ordered the protesters to leave. When the group members refused to leave the hallway, they were arrested. All nine were charged with interfering with a business and refusing to disperse after being order by officers.
We filed motions and argued that the clients were engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment (free speech). The matter was set for trial, and three weeks before trial was set to begin the prosecution dismissed the charges.
- Resisting Arrest and Threatening a Police Officer
Client’s son, a juvenile who had been through the juvenile justice system for several serious offenses, was on probation and living at home.
Eight officers arrived at my client’s home in the early morning hours and demanded entry for a probation search. My client recognized this as odd because his son’s probation officer was not with the other agents. In addition, client’s son was not at home at the time.
My client, his wife, and teenage daughter were handcuffed in their underwear and pajamas while the officers conducted their search.
For simply demanding to know why the officers were at his home, my client was arrested and charged with threatening a police officer and resisting arrest.
Though he had an old criminal record, we were able to present the District Attorney with documentation of my client’s good character, peaceful nature, and outstanding community service. Ultimately, we were able to convince the District Attorney to dismiss the case.
- Domestic Violence, Resisting Arrest, and Public Intoxication
Client was involved in an argument with his girlfriend while sitting in their car in a dark parking lot. The argument was observed from a distance by a witness who then called 911 and told the operator that the client had beaten the girlfriend. Police responded and stopped client and girlfriend on the highway. Client was removed from the car and became belligerent with the officers. He was then handcuffed and pepper sprayed.
Despite the girlfriend’s statement to officers that my client had not beaten her, and despite the fact that she had no marks on injuries on her body, the client was arrested for resisting an officer, public intoxication and felony domestic violence.
After negotiation with the District Attorney, my client accepted a resolution involving a plea to misdemeanor obstructing an officer, payment of a modest fine, and no custody time.
- False Impersonation and Use of False Documents to Conceal Citizenship
Client arrived at the border and presented a valid passport belonging to another person. The inspecting officer noticed that the photograph in the passport did not resemble the client and ordered the client to the secondary inspection area. At secondary, the client admitted to the officers that he was not the true owner of the passport. The client was arrested and charged with three felonies with a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
Through careful negotiation with the District Attorney we were able to resolve the case with a plea to misdemeanor false impersonation, thereby keeping the client within the “petty offense exception” for immigration purposes. As an added benefit, the client will be able to resolve his immigration case from within the United States.
- Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Resisting Arrest
Client was skateboarding with some friends near a small shopping mall when they were confronted by a mall security guard. The guard slaps my client on the head, then tries to snatch the skateboard from his hands. A struggle ensues, the guard ends up with a bloodied nose and some minor scratches, and both my client and the security guard call the police.
The police arrive, and after speaking with only the security guard decide to arrest my client on suspicion of assaulting the guard. Then, while walking my 5’4″, 105 pound client to the patrol car, the police officer thought he was trying to “resist.” The officer trips the client, causing him to fall to the ground, then jumps onto the client’s back.
The client was arrested and transported to juvenile hall, where he remained in custody for three days until his first court hearing. The juvenile wardship petition alleged offenses of assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest.
Our immediate investigation revealed that the security guard had a history of engaging in vigilante-type behavior, and the client was a straight-A student with no record of fighting at school and no criminal history. At the first court hearing we were able to get the client released from custody, and we were able to convince the Probation Department and the District Attorney that the charge for assault with a deadly weapon was unfounded.
The District Attorney was not willing to dismiss the charge of resisting arrest, but we successfully argued for the court to allow the client to participate in a 6-month program of informal supervision. As a result my client did not need to admit any wrongdoing, was not declared a ward of the court or a delinquent, and his case will be completely dismissed in just a few months.
- DUI with Accident
Client was involved in a single-vehicle roll-over accident after crashing through an entry gate on a military base. When military police arrived, they found my client in the car and numerous liquor bottles strewn about inside and around the car. Client was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries, and was subsequently charged with DUI and open container violations. After extensive discussions with the prosecutor, we were able to resolve the case with a plea bargain for a wet reckless (reckless driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in the blood).
- Alien Smuggling
Client was sent to secondary inspection at a local Border Patrol checkpoint, where a subsequent search revealed two undocumented immigrants hiding in the trunk of her car. Client was arrested and charged in federal court with alien smuggling. My client — an 18 year-old college student — was facing up to 10 years in federal prison, but after discussion with the US Attorney and Pretrial Services, we were able to resolve the case with pretrial diversion. As long as my client remains law-abiding and completes 200 hours of community service, the case will be completely dismissed in one year.
- Indecent Exposure
Client was arrested after he allegedly exposed himself to a person on the street, and if convicted of indecent exposure my client would have been required to register as a sex offender (Penal Code 290) for the rest of his life. Client had no prior criminal history, and suffered from mental health issues. We had a private doctor perform a psychological evaluation, the results of which were very favorable to my client. After lengthy negotiations with the District Attorney, we were able to resolve the case for a misdemeanor not requiring a single day of jail time or Penal Code 290 registration.
- Driving Under the Influence, High BAC
Fearing that he was going to drive off without paying his fare, a taxi driver called the police on my client and reported that my client had not paid his fare, was in his car about to leave a parking lot, and was grossly intoxicated. Police arrived and found my client in the driver’s seat of his car with the engine running. Though my client had not driven onto a public street, he had moved his car from its original parking space into the lanes of traffic within the parking lot. My client failed the field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a subsequent blood test revealed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.27 — more than 3 times the legal limit. After months of negotiation with the City Attorney, we were able to resolve the case for a wet reckless (Vehicle Code 23103 per 23103.5), with no probation imposed and credit for time served (the one night he spent in custody awaiting bail).