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Category Archives: 800 Miscellaneous Crime Victories

(40 COUNTS) FELONY COMPUTER TAMPERING, TAMPERING with PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, ACQUISITION of a NARCOTIC DRUG, THEFT and FRAUD SCHEMES REDUCED to 3.75 YEARS in PRISON – State v. Mr. M (DMC No. 12321) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2012-007417): Our office was retained after Mr.  M, a former Phoenix Police Detective, was arrested and extradited to Arizona. Initially, we were retained for just the Initial Appearance which involved a 40 count indictment for Computer Tampering per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2316, Tampering with Physical Evidence per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2809, Acquisition of Narcotic Drugs per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3408, Theft per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1802, and Fraudulent Schemes per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2310. Subsequent to this, the client retained us for the entire case.

At the not guilty Arraignment, a brief discussion was had with  the  assigned  prosecutor, who  advised  that  there  was  over  5000  pages  of discovery. He advised he would be filing a motion to designate the case “complex.” After this hearing, which was attended by my partner, Certified Criminal Law Specialist Christine Whalin, she and I met to discuss the motion to modify release conditions that had been filed and the anticipated voluminous discovery that was forthcoming.

In Court, co-counsel and I appeared to address the bond on the matter. We ascertained a $50,000 secured bond, which the client’s family subsequently posted. At the initial pretrial conference the, Commissioner granted the State’s motion to designate the case “complex” and reset the last day. An additional motion to modify release conditions had been filed at this time and a hearing was set to address that two weeks after the IPTC date. Subsequent to this court hearing co-counsel and I met with Mr. M to discuss his options in this case and the strategy that would be taken. During this meeting, we determined the best strategy would be for us to try to negotiate the best plea offer possible and  potentially  have  our  client  speak  with  the  Prosecutor  and/or  Detective.  Soon after this meeting, we received our first offer from the Prosecutor, which was five years in the Department of Corrections with a probation tail.  On Two weeks later, myself and co-counsel appeared to address our additional motion to modify release conditions – specifically requesting that Mr. M be able to reside in Pennsylvania while the case was ongoing. This motion was granted by the court.

After having received the voluminous discovery on this case, both co-counsel and I spent hours reviewing and summarizing the accusations being made by the State. We also spoke with our client about sending information to provide in a deviation letter to the Prosecutor.

A deviation letter was prepared and submitted to the Prosecutor for review. Although the deviation was denied, the Prosecutor indicated he was open to reconsideration with additional information. Subsequently, interviews began to commence. Soon after this, the Prosecutor approached us regarding a potential “free-talk” with our client. A free-talk occurred another free-talk occurred shortly thereafter. After the second free-talk, a modified offer was extended to either five years in the Department of Corrections or a range of three to seven years. After conveying this new offer to Mr. M, he requested we counter with a request for intensive probation for a stipulated term of seven years with counseling, community service and a fine of $10,000. This counter-offer was requested and staffed by the Prosecutor and ultimately we were successful in getting a meeting scheduled with the elected Maricopa County Attorney and the Prosecutor. We met at the County Attorney’s Office in an effort to have a probation offer extended. Unfortunately, there was no agreement on that, however, the State advised that we could pick a judge for change of plea and sentencing and they would not oppose whoever we chose.

Eventually a settlement conference occurred before a settlement Judge. At this time, Mr. M entered the plea agreement that allowed for a range in the Department of Corrections of anywhere between three to seven years. The plea was not accepted at the time that it was entered, in order to allow Mr. M to remain out of custody pending sentencing. I appeared for the sentencing and argued mitigating factors. Mr. M was sentenced to the low end of the range at 3.75 years in the Department of Corrections, and given credit for 53 days of presentence incarceration. He was placed on probation for 3 years following that term in the Department of Corrections.

FELONY TAMPERING with PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, FELONY CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT PERJURY, FELONY OBSTRUCTION of a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION and FELONY FRAUDULENT SCHEMES REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAYS in JAIL – State v. Mr. A (DMC No. 11855) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2013-000547):

Mr. A was cited with a Misdemeanor DUI in the City of Gilbert. He then retained the services of Mr. K (a high profile defense attorney in the Phoenix area) in order to defend him. He provided Mr. K with a cell phone video purporting to be video taken from the front of his vehicle as a “dash cam” at the time of the stop. On the video, it showed him properly exiting a bar parking lot and driving correctly without any traffic violations. He was also narrating while he was driving, and claimed that an Officer was pulling up behind him and stopping him. He then stopped the cell phone video.

Unbeknownst to Mr. K, Mr. A falsified the video. He then had a co-worker alter the date time stamped on the video. It was of such quality that Mr. K’s forensic expert analyzed the video and wrote a report finding the video was accurate and untampered with. All of that information was then submitted to the Gilbert City Prosecutor and the DUI charge was dismissed against Mr. A.

The co-worker who had altered the video for Mr. A subsequently had a falling out with him. He then contacted Police and reported Mr. A. Mr. A was subsequently charged with Fraudulent Schemes, Tampering with Evidence, Obstructing a Criminal Investigation and Conspiracy to Commit Perjury. We were then retained by Mr. A. Myself and my partner, Christine Whalin met and formulated the strategy to (1) legally attack some of the charges as not  being  factually  sufficient  as  to  the crime  actually  committed,  (2)  gather  all  mitigating evidence regarding Mr. A, (3) agree to full restitution as to the Gilbert Police Department’s estimation  (which  was  in  the thousands  of dollars),  and  (4) meet  with  the Prosecutor and Prosecutor’s Supervisor to try and achieve an offer which would not result in any prison or jail time.

As the case progressed, my partner, Certified Criminal Law Specialist Christine Whalin and myself met at the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office with the Prosecutor and her Supervisor. Although we could not secure an offer which would allow for only a Class 6 Open/Misdemeanor, we did secure an offer which resulted in the dismissal of the Class 2 Fraudulent Schemes per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2310. Mr. A pled to Obstructing a Criminal Investigation per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2409, (a Class 5 Felony), an amended charge of Tampering with Physical Evidence per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2809, and Solicitation to Commit Perjury per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2704 and 13-1002,  (both Class 6 Open Felonies). There was also no agreement as to sentencing. After I conducted the mitigation hearing, the Judge sentenced Mr. A to supervised probation with no jail time. This was a very high profile case that was covered by the press throughout each and every step of the proceedings.

FELONY IMPERSONATING a POLICE OFFICER DISMISSED – State v. Mr. H (DMC No. 7872) (Gila County Superior Court CR2007-713) Mr. H and a White Mountain Police Department Sergeant owned a dog breeding business together. At the behest of the Sergeant, Mr. H attempted to sell trained K-9’s to the White Mountain Police Department. He had identified himself in the paperwork he filled out that he was a Police Officer with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. In reality, he was only a Volunteer Posse Member. His partner, the Sergeant, was subsequently terminated from the White Mountain Police Department. Mr. H was charged with felony Impersonating a Police Officer per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2411(A).

We were able to convince the Prosecutor that this was really his partner’s idea. The paperwork was also filled out by the former Sergeant. The Sergeant had convinced Mr. P that his Posse status was the same as being a POST Certified Police Officer. Eventually, the Prosecutor dismissed all charged against Mr. H.

FELONY IMPERSONATING a DOCTOR REDUCED to Class 6 Open/ MISDEMEANOR with PROBATION and ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. C (DMC No. 5633) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005117450): Mr. C had been walking around the Thunderbird Samaritan Hospital pretending to be a medical student. Glendale Police were called out, and they made contact with Mr. C. He was wearing scrubs, a lab coat and had a stethoscope around his neck. He admitted to being in the hospital approximately 7 times prior in the doctor’s lounge and the baby nursery area because he was trying to get a feel for what it was like to be a doctor. He was subsequently arrested for Criminal Impersonating pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2406. We were able to convince the Prosecutor to offer him probation without jail, and eventually the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. Mr. C has no felony convictions on his record.

(2 Counts) CHILD NEGLECT DISMISSED – State v. Ms. T (DMC No. 5000) (Peoria City Court CR2004-000920): Ms. T was in a custody battle with her ex husband, and she was the primary care giver of her 10 year old, 4 year old, and 2 year old. She had to leave at 6:00 PM to go to a work function, and when she called in at 6:40 PM to see how the children were doing, the Police were present. Her ex-husband had spoken to the 10 year old son and called the Police claiming that Ms. T was neglectful for leaving the kids home alone. When Ms. T arrived at the household, the Police cited her with (2 Counts) of Child Neglect per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-3619. We were able to explain to the Prosecutor that leaving a 2 year old and 4 year old in a 10 year old’s care for 40 minutes should not rise to the level of Child Neglect. The Prosecutor agreed to Dismiss All Charges if Ms. T remained law abiding for 6 months and attended a Parenting Class. She complied, and she has no conviction on her record.

NOT GUILTY/ COMPLETE ACQUITTAL at BENCH TRIAL| CONTRACTING WITHOUT a LICENSE (with a PRIOR CONVICTION) – State v. Mr. R (DMC No. 8395) (Phoenix City Court No. 3821911): Mr. R had previously been convicted of Contracting Without a License. He began dating a married woman who lent him money to pay off his previous fines and fees for that case. She asked if he would do her a favor and do some handyman work around her house since she had loaned him the money to pay off his previous fines and fees. He agreed to do so, even though he was going to pay back the loan. When the husband found out about the affair, he turned in Mr. R and Mr. R was charged with Contracting Without a License under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 32-1151.

At Bench Trial, we were able to show the Judge that the work he was performing on the house was of a handyman nature. We also showed that he was not paid for that work. Lastly, we showed that the woman’s husband was upset about the affair, and that’s why these claims were made in the first place. The Judge did not believe the State’s evidence, and Mr. R was found Not Guilty of all charges.

(5 Counts) UNLAWFUL POSSESSION of RESTRICTED WILDLIFE; (5 Counts) UNLAWFUL PURCHASE of RESTRICTED WILDLIFE, (1 COUNT) TAKING WILDLIFE WITHOUT a LICENSE and (1 COUNT) POSESSION of UNLAWFULLY TAKEN WILDLIFE REDUCED to PROBATION with ZERO DAYS in Jail and a $500 FINE – State v. Mr. W (DMC No. 10325) (McDowell Mountain Justice Court JC2011-137943): Mr. W had been buying and collecting Diamondback Rattlesnakes and Sidewinder Rattlesnakes. He was also trading and selling them on the internet. Officers conducted a “sting” operating in which they posed as buyers and sellers. They then contacted Mr. W and “set him up”. He was ultimately charged with Unlawful Possession of Restricted Wildlife per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 17-309(A)(1), and Purchase of Restricted Wildlife under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 17-309(A)(2). 2 other Counts of Taking Wild Life without a License per ARS17-331(A) and Possession of Unlawfully Taken Wildlife under Arizona Revised Statute ARS 17-309(A)(17) were also charged. We were able to have all 12 charges reduced to a single count of taking Wildlife Without a License, which included a $500 fine and zero days in jail.

FELONY ANIMAL CRUELTY DISMISSED – State v. Mr. W and Ms. B (DMC No. 10935; 10941) (Arrowhead Justice Court JC2011-146451; JC2011-146451): Mr. W and Ms. B were husband and wife who volunteered to foster sick animals for the Arizona Humane Society. These were animals that were too weak or sick to be kept on the Humane Society’s floor. Three puppies were brought to their house and were cared for for 6 days. Ms. B heard one of the dogs whimpering, and she came into her kitchen to find one puppy near death, and another one severely injured. She assumed her own German Sheppard got into the kitchen and attacked the puppies.

Subsequently, both husband and wife were interrogated by Maricopa County Sheriffs Officers and they were arrested and charged with Felony Animal Cruelty per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2910. We were able to show that Ms. B had called the Humane Society’s hotline 8 separate times (without success) in order to get help and instructions prior to taking the animals into the 24 hour Emergency Animal Hospital. The Prosecutor agreed that the charges were excessive, and they were ultimately dismissed.

FELONY COCKFIGHTING REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR SOLICITATION with ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. P (DMC No. 5624) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2005-008753): Maricopa County Sheriffs Officers received a call of a residence holding cockfights in Phoenix, Arizona. When they arrived, they pulled over a vehicle that was leaving and noticed that the people inside had blood on their clothes and several injured roosters in the back of their vehicle. Those people pointed to the house and informed them that Mr. P was running a cockfighting ring. When Mr. P was contacted, he allowed the Officers to search the house. They found over 90 roosters, with some of them being injured. Mr. P did admit that he was holding cockfights at his house. He was charged with Felony Cockfighting per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2910.03. Because of his cooperation, we convinced the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to reduce his charge to a Misdemeanor “Solicitation” with probation and zero days in Jail.

FELONY ESCAPE, FELONY AGGRAVATED ASSAULT on a POLICE OFFICER and FELONY RESISTING ARREST REDUCED to MISDEMEANOR with ZERO DAYS in Jail – State v. Mr. D (DMC No. 7700) (Maricopa County Superior Court CR2007-158714): Mr. D was a student at ASU and was tailgating in an ASU parking lot prior to a football game. He was seen carrying a closed beer, and an Officer asked him his age. He put the beer in his pocket and then the Officer spun him around, cuffed him and threw him to the ground. Mr. D then got up and ran a short distance before he was tackled and held by Police. He was subsequently charged with Felony Escape per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2503, Felony Aggravated Assault on a cop per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1204(8)(A), and Felony Resisting Arrest per Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-2508. We were able to show the Prosecutor that he never actually “resisted arrest” or fought with the Officer, and that he was only scared when he got up and ran. They agreed to reduce his charge to simple Misdemeanors with no days in Jail. Because he had no felonies on his record, he was allowed to remain at ASU.

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