Category Archives: 2015

A Worth county defendant charged with Cruelty to Children was acquitted after a 2 day trial

A Worth county defendant charged with Cruelty to Children was acquitted after a 2 day trial! The Defendant was charged with Cruelty to Children and Family Violence Battery after disciplining children. The two children, ages 8 and 5, began fighting with each other as they boarded the school bus. The driver kicked them off the bus and told the Defendant to drive them to school. To punish them for fighting on the bus (something the defendant had already warned them about previously), the defendant spanked them with a belt. The older child would not hold still and ended up with scratches on his neck, although the child could not say where the scratches came from. The school claimed that both children had welts on their backs, although no welts could be seen in the photographs. A police investigator examined the children around 5:00 that evening but saw no welts or other marks, except the scratches on the older boys neck. Both children testified that they did not remember what happened that day and that they love their father. DFACS had investigated and allowed the Defendant back into the home with the children as they saw no further safety issues. After a two day trial, it took the jury only seven minutes to render a Not Guilty verdict!

A Dougherty county case involving Aggravated Sodomy was dismissed after we began investigating the case

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.

A Crisp county case involving Forgery was dismissed after we won a mistrial

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.

A Crisp county defendant was charged with Violation of Probation

The Defendant was placed on probation in 2007 for ten years. His probation was transferred to another state, where he was working. The Defendant’s work required him to move around a lot and at some point, probation lost contact with him. He continued to send in his payments until he thought he was paid in full and thought he no longer needed to report. He was wrong. A warrant was issued for his arrest and his probation tolled. Four to five years later, he was made aware of the warrant and eventually turned himself in. There was no dispute that he had violated probation by not reporting, even if it was the result of a misunderstanding. However, in the eight years since he was placed on probation, he had not gotten into any trouble, was a productive citizen, and had not violated any other terms of his probation. So we suggested to the DA that the Defendant stipulate to the violation, be given one month in jail with credit for the time already served (six weeks), and placed back on probation to finish his last two years. The DA declined because probation told him to and we proceeded to a revocation hearing. At the hearing, we presented all of the above information as well as testimony that the probation office here really had no idea what transpired between the Defendant and his out-­of-­state probation supervisor. In addition, the office here had no proof that the Defendant had ever been contacted to inform him that he still needed to report. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge found the Defendant violated his probation and ordered him to serve one month in jail with credit for time served, be placed back on probation and that as long as he reports as directed, the probation is to terminate in two years. Sounds like we offered! So the DA wasted everyone’s time because he was a puppet for probation instead of an independent thinker and in the end, we got exactly what we wanted.

A Tift county case involving Elder Abuse was dismissed after we showed the DA someone else committed the crime

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.

A Crisp county defendant charged with Forgery gets hung jury after a 3 day trial

The Defendant was charged with forgery after depositing two checks into her bank account that were fake. At trial, we showed the jury how she applied for a job and was offered a position as a payroll clerk working out of her house. Her duties were to cut checks for the employees of various companies and mail them out. She received training and was required to have specialized equipment and software. Although at first, her employer did not pay her as agreed, he finally authorized her to cut her paycheck just like she was cutting checks for other employees. She deposited the first check and her employer then advised her he had overpaid her and instructed her to withdraw a large portion of the check and send it to a third party in another state. He then authorized her to cut a second paycheck to herself. When she deposited that check, he again instructed her to send some of the money to a third party. This time she refused. A few days later she was notified by the bank that the checks were a forgery. When she was unable to repay the money, the bank turned it over for prosecution. We showed the jury how she was a victim of a scam and not the perpetrator. The state argued that she should have known this was a scam and because she didn’t, she must be an accomplice. We countered that if everyone figured out the scams before falling prey to them, the scams would not exist. In any event, the law does not criminalize not being as smart and savvy as the next guy. Unless the state could prove she knew it was a scam, the jury must acquit. After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury ended in a hung jury. Anytime our client does not go to jail, it’s a win!

A Dougherty county case involving Dog Fighting was dismissed after we filed a Motion to Dismiss

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.