9/23/10 – A Miller county defendant was charged with Sale of Cocaine. An undercover informant for the drug task force video taped two drug transactions in which the police claimed it was the Defendant who was selling cocaine. Because of the Defendant’s extensive prior history, the State was seeking recidivist treatment which would require the judge to sentence the Defendant to Life Without Parole if he were convicted at trial. The best plea offer the Defendant’s original attorney could get was Life with the possibility of parole, if the Defendant pled guilty. The Defendant’s family hired us to try and get the Defendant something less than Life in prison. After many months of negotiations and showing the State that we were willing to go to trial if necessary, the State finally agreed to 30 years with the possibility of parole. The Defendant declined the offer and so we went to trial. The State’s second witness placed the Defendant’s character at issue and the defense moved for a mistrial and suceeded. Following the grant of the mistrial, the State lowered the offer to 30 serve 20. The Defendant again declined and a week later, the case went back to trial. This time the entire trial was completed. At trial, the state brought in a photo taken from the video that purported to show the Defendant as the one selling the cocaine. The defense argued that the photo actually looked more like Cuba Gooding, Jr. than the Defendant and that the informant not only had a reason to lie (she knew the State was targeting the Defendant and she had been arrested herself and was helping the State to get a better deal) but had set up previous people just to get herself out of simple charges like Driving on a Suspended License. Therefore she could not be trusted in her identification of the seller. The jury could not reach a decision and the judge declared a second mistrial. The State once again lowered its offer, this time to 30 serve 10. The Defendant once again declined. Months passed before the case came back up on the calendar, but this time the state was getting tired of fighting against us over and over, so we were able to negotiate a sentence of time served and probation. The Defendant accepted that plea and was released the same day!
7/13/10 – A Dougherty county defendant was charged with Possession of Cocaine and Obstruction of an Officer. The obstruction charge stemmed from his running from the police when they approached him. After they caught him, the police claimed they found drugs in a nearby sewer that they assumed belonged to the Defendant. He was facing up to 15 years on the drug charge and an additional 12 months on the obstruction charge. In addition, he was already on probation and the probation officer sought to revoke his probation for three years. We were able to get the Possession of Cocaine dropped and resolved the remaining charges and probation revocation with only a sentence of time served. The defendant was released the day of the plea.
7/6/10 – A Sumter county defendant was charged in three separate cases with Aggravated Battery, Trafficking in Cocaine, Aggravated Battery, Kidnapping, Aggravated Assault, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony. After months of investigation and research, and a lot of communications with the prosecutor, we were able to consolidate all the cases into a single plea for only 5 years to serve and 15 years on probation, with parole eligibility and no mandatory minimums. As the Defendant had already served one year in jail prior to the plea, there was a good chance that there would not actually end up being much prison time.
4/30/10 – A Dougherty county defendant was accused of stealing merchandise from a local retail establishment. The defendant hired us prior to arrest, and through good advice and counseling, we were able to prevent the denfendant from being arrested in the first place.
1/27/10 – A Lowndes county defendant was charged with Deposit Account Fraud for writing bad checks. After we explained the particulars of the situation to the prosecutor, a deal was worked out whereby the Defendant just paid a small fine with restitution and the case was dropped.
8/6/08 – A Tift county defendant was charged with purchasing 3 kilos of cocaine in a reverse drug sting (which carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison), as well as Tampering with Evidence and Obstruction. When the drug deal went down, the suspects fled the scene and got away with the cocaine, which had been borrowed from the Lowndes County Sheriffs Office by the sting. It was never recovered and had a street value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Defendant wasn’t apprehended until the following day, but his fingerprint was found at the crime scene. We leveraged the prosecution’s lack of ability to conclusively prove the defendant did more than be present at the scene, combined with the defective nature of one of the charges in order to obtain a plea to just Possession with Intent to Distribute and a probation only sentence.
6/20/08 – A Ben Hill county defendant charged with Possession of Cocaine and misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana was able to plea to just misdemeanor Obstruction of an Officer with 12 months probation due to equal access issues as well as problems with the arresting officer subsequent to this arrest. The change in charges for the plea saved the defendant’s driver’s license which he needed for work.
5/23/07 – A Lowndes county defendant charged with Theft by Receiving and Running a Red Light pleas just to Running a Red Light and only gets misdemeanor probation!
2/21/07 – A Dougherty county defendant charged with Possession of Marijuana, Speeding, and Driving with Suspended License receives a good deal.
The defendant was charged with Possession of Marijuana, Speeding, and Driving with Suspended License. After investigating the case, it became apparant that an equal access defense would prevail on the drug charge and there was simply a misunderstanding which contributed to the Driving with Suspended License charge.
The prosecutor was not willing to offer an acceptable plea (dismissing the drug charge). The defense continued to request a jury trial in the absence of a viable plea offer. After a side conference with the judge and both attorneys, the prosecutor was finally convinced that there would be no winning the drug charge and that the judge would not take away the defendant’s license now that it had been reinstated. Subsequently, the prosecution made the defendant an offer which reduced the Driving with Suspended License to simply Driving without a License and dismissed the drug charge. The final sentence was a small amount of fines and 24 months of probation which would be terminated upon payment of the fines!
2/5/07 – A Lowndes county defendant charged with Aggravated Assault and Possession of Firearm During a Crime receives a good deal.
The defendant was charged with two counts of Aggravated Assault and two counts of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a crime. The charges stemmed from an incident where it was alleged that the defendant shot into a car with two passengers. After investigating the case, the facts seemed to indicate a slightly different story.
When the new facts were realized by the prosecution, they became more willing to work out a resolution to the case. Aggravated Assault has a possible 20 year sentence per count and the Possession has a possible 5 year sentence which runs consecutively. The agreement reached in the end was to plea to the lessor included charges of misdemeanor assault and receive only 24 months probation!
11/10/06 – A Decatur county defendant charged with Robbery by Snatching receives light sentence.
The defendant wished to enter a plea, but the prosecutor refused to make a plea offer. The prosecutor believed the crime to be too violent to make an offer, but mentioned that if anything, the offer would be 20 years with 10 years to serve.
After viewing the videos and discovering that the alleged crime wasn’t as violent as the prosecutor believed it to be, the defendant was advised to take a blind plea. The assumption was that the judge would be more level headed and sentence the defendant to something better than 20/10.
The strategy paid off when the judge sentenced the defendant to 15 years probation and just a few months in the detention center!
11/7/06 – A Dougherty county defendant charged with Armed Robbery receives a suspended sentence.
The defendant maintained his innocence and the prosecutor was persistent in pursuing a trial.
After conducting an extensive investigation and discovering that there seemed to be prior incidents of the victim trying to get the defendant in trouble, a witness list was created.
Seeing that the defendant was serious about a trial and knowing that there would be several witnesses, the prosecutor started negotiations. In the end, the defendant choose to accept a plea of 20 years with 3 years to serve. Additionally, the defendant got credit for the one year already served while awaiting trial as well as getting the rest of the serve time suspended so he could be released onto probation without further delay.