9/29/11 – A Berrien county charged with Probation Violation was acquitted after a one day hearing. The defendant had previously been sentenced to 20 years probation and ordered to pay over $15,000 in restitution. With a mere year left on probation, the prosecution sought to revoke the probation because of an alleged failure to make all of the court ordered monthly payments and still owing over $14,000. We showed that shortly after receiving the original sentence, the defendant had been arrested for a different crime, and spent the next 3 years in prison and parole. At the expiration of the parole, the parole officer gave the impression that the defendant was done with everything. The defendant did not realize that the original probation started after the parole, and it was nearly 10 years later before the probation office realized the defendant was not reporting or paying. The defendant started regularly reporting and paying what was possible over the next 10 years, which seemed fine to everyone. We argued that it would be unfair to penalize the defendant for something noone had complained about after all this time. The court agreed, and simply ordered the defendant to pay $125/mo for the remainder of the probation (less than a year), and that the rest would just be written off.
9/22/11 – An Early county case involving Failure to Register as a Sex Offender was dismissed after we refused to plead guilty. In reviewing the Indictment filed by the state, we discovered it did not actually charge the defendant with committing any acts which were against the law. The Indictment sought to charge the defendant with a variation of an existing law, but which was not a criminal act. We believed that this error would cause the state to lose at trial. Based on this and the merits of the factual information, we declined all plea offers. When it became clear to the state that we would not plead guilty, they decided to dismiss the case. We would like to note that the Sheriff’s Office agreed to the dismissal under these circumstances, indirectly aiding us in preventing a bad case from moving forward, and saving the county the expense of a needless trial.
4/29/11 – A Dooly county case involving Aggravated Battery was dismissed after we started working on the case, motivating the prosecution to file a dismissal.
3/31/11 – A Sumter county case involving Drugs was dismissed after we resolved the defendant’s companion case in another county.
3/16/11 – A Mitchell county case involving Drugs was dismissed after we suppressed the evidence from an illegal search. Investigation of the case revealed that the drugs were found due to an illegal search of the Defendant. We filed a Motion to Suppress the Evidence and a hearing was held. Although confronted with overwhelming evidence of the illegality of the search, the court ruled the against us and deemed the evidence admissible. We immediately applied for a Certificate of Immediate Review. The court took a second look at the search issue and reversed itself, declaring the search to be illegal and excluding all evidence from use at trial. Without any evidence, the state was compelled to dismiss the case, but refused to do so, harassing the Defendant. In response, we filed a Demand for a Speedy Trial which moved the case to number one on the trial calendar. When the trial calendar was published with the Defendant’s name on it, the state dismissed the case.