A Dougherty county case involving Aggravated Sodomy was dismissed after we began investigating the case. The client was arrested for allegedly molesting his younger sister. After we entered an appearance and began investigating the case, the state dismissed the Superior Court felony case (where he faced up to life in prison) and transferred it down to Juvenile Court, where he would be dealt with as a child.
The Defendant had been a victim in an internet check writing scam but the police and DA decided to prosecute her in order to collect the lost money for the bank. The case was previously taken to trial and we won a mistrial. The DA initially refused to drop the case and continued to prosecute the case. It was placed on a new trial calendar at a later date. Meanwhile, we contacted the jurors who advised us that the vote at the previous trial was 10 to acquit and 2 for conviction. We were advised by various jurors that the 2 holdouts for a conviction were just being unreasonable and not listening to the evidence. Therefore, we were confident we could win an acquittal at the next trial. When we appeared at the calendar call, we announced that since the previous vote was 10 to 2 for acquittal, we were more than ready for a second trial. The DA’s office, which was apparently unaware of the actual vote at the prior trial, subsequently dismissed the case without a trial.
The client was pulled over for a traffic violation and his car improperly searched. Additional factors led us to believe the state did not have the evidence to prove the case at trial. We demanded to see the evidence, but instead the state dismissed the case.
The client was being investigated for forgery. He believed an arrest was imminent so he hired us. We contacted the Detective and let him know we were on the case and ready to fight to prove our client’s innocence. The client was never arrested and the case went away.
A Tift county case involving Elder Abuse was dismissed after we showed the DA someone else committed the crime. The client was arrested after it was discovered that a phone had been purchased using personal information of an elder person under the client’s care. After investigating the case it became clear that the client’s sister had gained access to that information and purchased the phone for her own use. When this information was provided to the Assistant District Attorney in charge of the case, it was dismissed.
We represented a husband and wife in a case with 15 defendants. Their original attorney, like the attorneys for the other defendants, allowed the case to linger. Due to the complexity of the case and the fact that the federal prosecutors were thinking of prosecuting the case in federal court, the state prosecutor was in no hurry to deal with it. Our clients hired us to speed things up. Unfortunately, their original attorney had let the time lapse to file their State Statutory Demand for Speedy Trial, so we did the next best thing and filed a Constitutional Demand for Speedy Trial. Meanwhile, the federal prosecutors chose to prosecute some, but not all, of the defendants. Our clients where not chosen for this round of federal prosecution. When a sufficient amount of time passed without our case being brought to trial, we filed a Motion to Dismiss on behalf of our defendants. The state prosecutor dismissed its entire case as to all defendants.
Of special note is that about a year prior to us moving to dismiss, the state prosecutor moved to dead-docket the case. All of the attorneys representing the other defendants readily and enthusiastically agreed to the dead-docket, however, we did not. We objected since once on the deaddocket, a case usually stays pending forever, and only the state prosecutor (not even the judge) can move it from the dead-docket to the active docket. The dead-docket is beneficial to attorneys because they no longer have to prepare for trial, but for clients, it means the case will hang over their heads for the rest of their life. A case can not be dead-docketed over the objection of the defendant, so our objection prevented the case from being dead-docketed. As a result of our objection, all of the other defendants benefitted, getting their cases dismissed instead of dead-docketed.
A complaint was lodged by a neighbor against our client for neglecting her animals. Since some of the animals belonged to her daughter, the daughter was also arrested. We were hired by both the mother and the daughter. We believed the police illegally searched the home to discover the evidence and filed a Motion to Suppress the Evidence. We also filed a Demand for Speedy Trial to make sure the case did not just sit around. Before any hearing was held on the Motion to Suppress, the time limit expired to bring the Defendant to trial. When the state failed to bring the Defendant to trial within the proscribed time frame, we moved to dismiss the case and the court granted our motion.
A complaint was lodged by a neighbor against our client’s mother for neglecting her animals. Since some of the animals belonged to her, she was also arrested. We were hired by both the mother and the daughter. We believed the police illegally searched the home to discover the evidence and filed a Motion to Suppress the Evidence. We also filed a Demand for Speedy Trial to make sure the case did not just sit around. Before any hearing was held on the Motion to Suppress, the time limit expired to bring the Defendant to trial. When the state failed to bring the Defendant to trial within the proscribed time frame, we moved to dismiss the case and the court granted our motion.
The Defendant and others were attending a party at Chehaw Park. Defendant got into an argument with someone from another group. As Defendant was going to Defendant’s car, Defendant heard gun shots. Everyone jumped into their cars and fled the scene, including Defendant. On the way out of the park, Defendant lost control of the car and hit a fence post. While backing off the post, Defendant backed into another car. Although everyone agreed that someone else fired the gun, the State believed Defendant had something to do with it and so was arrested for 2 counts of Aggravated Assault (2 guys got shot) and one count of Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony. Then, since the State already believed Defendant was a bad guy, they arrested Defendant for the traffic accident and charged Defendant with 2 counts of Criminal Damage to Property in the Second Degree (the post and the car). All total, Defendant was facing 55 years in prison.
During our investigation, we discovered there was no evidence the defendant had anything to do with the shooting other than an argument with one of the victims (clearly not enough to make Defendant a party to the shooting). Thus, we felt confident on going to trial. However, to top it off, we also discovered that the shooting took place just yards inside the Lee County line, which meant Dougherty County could not convict anyone of the shooting. When we produced our witness list to the State (as required), they discovered a witness would prove where the county line was. On the eve of trial, the State dismissed the 2 Aggravated Assault charges and the Possession of a Firearm charge.
That left us with the traffic accident. We obtained a video from a security camera that clearly showed that the defendant lost control of a car and hit the post. We felt the State could not prove intent. Additionally, the video showed that the driver of the car lied about how the accident happened and what the damages were. She was just trying to get prior damage to her car fixed by saying the defendant did it. On the morning of trial, the State offered a plea to Leaving the Scene of an Accident. Even though we felt confident we could win, because the State would be unable to prove sufficient damages to trigger the threshold for the crime, Defendant took the plea to avoid the risk of trial. However, the potential of 55 years in prison ended up as just 12 months probation, and Defendant went home!
A Worth county case involving Possession of Marijuana was dismissed after we transferred the case to State Court. The Defendant was stopped at a roadblock and accused of possessing marijuana. The case was brought in municipal court, but we filed a Demand to Transfer the case to State Court. The State Court decided not to pick the case up for prosecution.