Case Results

Felony Results

Client: Paramedic / Firefighter / Arson Investigator (Sworn Law Enforcement)

Original Charge: PC §30605 – Possession of Assault Weapons

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 3 Years State Prison

Outcome: NO JAIL. NO FELONY.

Law enforcement responded to defendant’s home regarding a disturbance. Unaware of any “criminal” disturbance, defendant had no objection to a search of the residence by police.

Officers located the closed and locked gun safe within the home. With nothing to hide, defendant consented to a search of the locked safe. The safe contained a number of legally acquired and possessed firearms, some newer some antiques; handguns, hunting rifles, a shotgun, and sporting rifles. His service weapon was also among those found in the locked safe.

All of the weapons, except for one hunting rifle, one shotgun, and his service weapons, had been in his family for generations. Most were handed down to him when his grandfather dies some years before. In reality, he had never even fired the other weapons and he only ever handled them to the extent necessary to place them in the locked safe.

Of course, two of the weapons met the definition [established AFTER acquisition] of “assault” weapons under California law.

Defendant was there and then arrested him and he was later charged with two felony counts, one for each weapon.

Our team conducted a lengthy investigation with tons of research into both the spirit and intent of the legislation making possession of such weapons a crime.

Thankfully, a very reasonable DA understood the “big picture” and the felony charges were dismissed.

Client entered a plea of No Contest to a single misdemeanor. There was NO JAIL; he kept his job as well as his status as a peace officer and all but the two guns.

Client: Working Professional

Original Charge: PC §288 – Lewd Act with a Minor

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 8 Years State Prison

Outcome: NO JAIL. NO FELONY.

Defendant was accused by his estranged stepdaughter of “inappropriately” touching her.

Our careful investigation established that the stepdaughter felt angry and displaced after her mother married defendant. We learned that the stepdaughter believed the marriage “ruined her family” and that she and her family would be happier if he was just gone.

There were glaring inconsistencies with her timeline of events, her story, and her overall credibility.

Fortunately, the very talented and reasonable Deputy DA spent the time to confirm our investigation findings and, in conjunction with the defendant not wanting to further traumatize the new and fragile family unit, but most of all not wanting to see his stepdaughter humiliated in open court, he entered a plea of No Contest to a single misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace, which was later reduced to an infraction.**

**Please note that the result in this case is very unusual and came about because of a very specific set of circumstances.

** It should be noted that the result in the previous case is very unusual and came about because of a very specific set of circumstances

Client: Working Professional

Original Charge: HS §11350 – Possession of a Controlled Substance

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 3 Years State Prison

Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

Defendant was driving home from work. He was stopped and detained by Sheriff’s deputies because, they say, his tires spun-out when he was turning right turn through a rain-soaked intersection.

Without warning or probable cause, defendant was almost immediately exited from the vehicle by deputies, who then searched the vehicle without consent and without a warrant.

In the center console, deputies located an “over-the-counter” pain reliever bottle containing Tylenol, some allergy medicine, and defendant’s legally acquired prescription pain medication. Defendant explained that he kept his medications as he did for convenience and he furnished the deputies with the phone number to the pharmacy where they could confirm that he was telling the truth.

With no further investigation, deputies arrested him and charged him with felony possession of a controlled substance. Defendant paid the excessive bail and hired us for the defense.

Within 24-hours of defendant contacting us, we made sure that a copy of the prescription was delivered to the office of the District Attorney.

In court, we explained the outrageous conduct of the deputies, and reaffirming the validity of the prescription, the charges were dropped entirely and the case dismissed before arraignment.

Client: Student

Original Charge: Multiple Felony Charges

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 10+ Years State Prison

Outcome: PROBATION ONLY. NO JAIL.

Defendant, a full time student, was arrested and accused by police of multiple felony criminal offenses, including receiving stolen property, computer hacking, theft, assault, domestic violence, and possession of a weapon on school property.

The arrest report was thick and loaded with conjecture, unsupported theories, and irrelevant statements from non-witnesses.

After very careful review and detailed investigation, we learned that defendant had been in possession of property that had been reported stolen, but there was no evidence that he knew or should have known.

The accusations of computer hacking, theft, assault, domestic violence, and possession of a weapon on school property were all summarily dropped by prosecutors for lack of evidence.

On the receiving stolen property charge, defendant accepted probation and an opportunity to earn a dismissal in lieu of a long and stressful trial.

Client: Firefighter/Paramedic

Original Charge: HS §11350 & PC §487

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 6 Years State Prison

Outcome: MISDEMEANOR DIVERSION/CASE DISMISSED.

Defendant was a Firefighter/Paramedic who, after an off-the-job injury, developed an addiction to prescription pain medication.

Some time, after his return to full duty, he was on the scene of a 911 call where the patient had several bottles of prescription pain medication. He secreted away several of the pills.

After the patient had been transported from the scene by ambulance, he considered his actions and realized that it was time for help. While nobody had seen him take the pills, his conscience and sense of integrity after 20 years of exemplary service led him to tell his captain what he had just done and ask for help dealing with his addiction.

The captain, reported the theft to police and the defendant reiterated the confession with great humility and remorse. He was subsequently forced to resign his position at the fire department and he was forced to surrender the paramedic license he had held for over 20 years.

He was charged in criminal court with two felonies.

After hours and hours of very careful review of all of the evidence and researching options, and with no cooperation from the prosecutors in the court, I sought out and met with the supervising deputy prosecutor and discussed the case in great detail.

I was able to help the supervising deputy prosecutor see the human side of this case and we worked together reach an appropriate solution.

In the end, the theft charge was dismissed, the felony was amended to a misdemeanor, and the client was permitted to participate in a deferred entry of judgment drug program. Upon successful completion of the program and informal probation, the entire case was dismissed.

Client: Working Professional

Original Charge: HS §11350 (prior to Prop 47)

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 3 Years State Prison

Outcome: PROBATION ONLY. NO FELONY. NO JAIL. CASE DISMISSED.

Defendant was stopped for an alleged traffic violation.

She was searched and police found less than a gram of powder cocaine. Prior to the passage of Proposition 47, Cocaine possession was a felony with no clear alternative.

To make matters worse, the arrest came just 3 weeks before defendant was to move out of state for work.

After a very careful and detailed review of the evidence, Mr. Givot met with both prosecutors and the judge, in chambers, to discuss the minimal nature of the offense, the defendant’s lack of criminal history, and the detrimental impact of a felony on her future.

After much deliberation, the cocaine felony was amended to a non-specific possession misdemeanor. The defendant was able to relocate for work and complete informal probation on the East Coast. The case has since been dismissed.

Client: Paramedic

Original Charge: PC §243 – Battery

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 4 Years State Prison

Outcome: NO CHARGES FILED.

The defendant was involved in a loud and contentious argument with his wife. This argument was just one of several caused by financial problems. Both he and his wife walked away from the argument in separate directions. However, before they did, each had called police; each had said the other had assaulted them. The wife went so far as to scratch her own arms in order to support the accusations against defendant.

Upon arrival, the wife, who had returned home, showed the police officers the “scratches” and blamed defendant for causing them. He was subsequently taken into custody and booked on suspicion of felony battery.

Mr. Givot met with the defendant and was aware of the alleged scratches. He quickly noticed that the defendant’s finger tips had literally begun to grow over the nails from years of aggressive nail biting. It would have been impossible for his nubby fingers to have scratched anything.

On the morning of the arraignment, Mr. Givot visited both the prosecutor’s office and the arresting Police agency to point out the facts prior to any charges being officially filed in criminal court.

After showing the fatal flaw in the evidence, no criminal charges were filed.

Client: Student

Original Charge: HS §11351 – Possession of Controlled Substance for Sales

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 4 Years State Prison

Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

Driver was stopped by police because the vehicle had a broken tail light. The arrest report said that the officer immediately smelled, what he believed to be, marijuana coming from inside the car.

Our defendant was exited from the car and detained. While the officer was talking to our defendant, the passenger, stashed a backpack containing a large quantity of ecstasy pills behind the driver’s seat.

Our defendant, completely unaware that the passenger had stashed pills in the car, consented to a search of the car by police. Naturally, they found the backpack and all of the ecstasy pills.

When questioned about the pills, the passenger denied any knowledge of them. The driver, our defendant, was arrested and released.

Nearly a year later, our defendant received a letter notifying him that felony charges had been filed against him. That is when we quickly jumped into action. We did our own complete investigation and learned that just six weeks after that traffic stop, the passenger had been arrested by an undercover police officer for selling the identical pills at a rave in another county.

We subpoenaed police records from the other county, conducted persistent negotiation, and a lot of legwork, and finally got all of the felony charges dismissed. The entire case has since been dismissed and the arrest record destroyed.

Client: Restaurant Worker

Original Charge: PC §245 – Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Original Charge Level: FELONY

Maximum Exposure: 4 Years State Prison

Outcome: CASE DISMISSED

Defendant was working as a dish washer in a restaurant when he was attacked by a co-worker. In self-defense, the defendant struck his attacker in the head with a drinking glass he was washing. The attacker was transported in critical condition by ambulance to the hospital with a severed temporal artery.

Within hours of receiving the call, Mr. Givot interviewed the defendant at the jail where he was being held. He then visited the scene of the crime and spoke with the manager, who showed him surveillance video footage – before any law enforcement officials had seen it.

The footage clearly showed that defendant acted in self-defense. Mr. Givot went directly to the office of the District Attorney, where he spoke with a supervising prosecutor who reviewed the video – again, BEFORE law enforcement bothered to review it.

The case was rejected when detectives tried to file it. The case was dismissed before it was filed and the defendant was released.

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