Michael Cicchini's Experience

In some cases, a defense lawyer may be able to get your case dismissed before trial.  For example, I won the dismissal of a felony child abuse case by proving that the prosecutor inserted false information into the complaint; I won the dismissal of three different felony sexual assault cases by demonstrating that the complaints were too vague to satisfy my clients’ due process rights; I won the dismissal of two drug cases by proving that the police obtained the evidence in violation of the Fourth Amendment; and I won the dismissal of a fraud case and a computer crime case by demonstrating that the complaints failed the "probable cause" standard.


Most cases resolve by plea bargain, which can include the dismissal or reduction of charges.  For example, in one felony case I negotiated the dismissal of a “solicitation to commit murder” charge, and a felony sex charge, in exchange for the client’s plea to a single, unrelated misdemeanor resulting in a fine.  For other clients I have negotiated the dismissal of entire cases in exchange for non-criminal ordinance tickets.  In many cases, including several domestic violence cases, I have demonstrated to the prosecutor that the accuser's allegations were false and convinced the prosecutor to dismiss all charges outright. 


However, even though most cases resolve by plea bargain, the best plea bargains are obtained when the prosecutor knows the defense lawyer is ready, willing, and able to go to jury trial.  It is easy for a defense lawyer to advertise that he or she is “tough” or “aggressive,” but the proof can be found in the lawyer’s actual trial experience in criminal cases. 


I have tried 32 criminal cases to juries as sole or lead counsel.  The cases have ranged from simple misdemeanors to serious, multi-count felony trials.  In 22 of those 32 trials the state has failed to convict on even a single count, or I obtained favorable outcomes that were better than the state's pretrial plea offer.  Below are the details of those 22 trials, with the most recent listed first. 

  

  1. Client charged with two counts: (1) Burglary; and (2) theft. Result: Full acquittal.
  2. Client charged with three counts: (1) Strangulation; (2) battery; and (3) disorderly conduct. Result: Acquittal on strangulation and battery; conviction only on disorderly conduct.
  3. Client charged with two counts: (1) Substantial battery; and (2) disorderly conduct. Result: Full acquittal.
  4. Client charged with three counts: (1) Second-degree reckless endangerment; (2) false imprisonment; and (3) battery -- all with dangerous weapons. Result: Dismissal of all dangerous weapon enhancers and second-degree reckless endangerment count; acquittal on battery; conviction on false imprisonment.
  5. Client charged with two counts: (1) Battery-domestic abuse; and (2) disorderly conduct-domestic abuse. Result: Full acquittal
  6. Client charged with two counts: (1) Substantial battery; and (2) disorderly conduct. Result: Full acquittal.
  7. Client charged with ten counts of child pornography possession. Result: Full acquittal
  8. Client charged with three counts: (1) Strangulation; (2) false imprisonment; and (3) disorderly conduct. Result: Full acquittal.
  9. Client charged with two counts: (1) Substantial battery; and (2) obstructing an officer. Result: Full acquittal.
  10. Client charged with one count of theft by contractor. Result: Hung jury (reported to be 11-1 for acquittal). Case later re-litigated by different counsel.
  11. Client charged with two counts: (1) Substantial battery; and (2) disorderly conduct. Result: Full acquittal.
  12. Client charged with one count of disorderly conduct–domestic abuse. Result: Full acquittal.
  13. Client charged with three counts: (1) Child abuse; (2) bail jumping; and (3) bail jumping. Result: Full acquittal.
  14. Client charged with two counts: (1) Sexual assault of a child; and (2) causing child to view sexual activity. Result: After cross-examination of state's witnesses, prosecutor offered mid-trial dismissal of both counts in exchange for defendant's plea to one misdemeanor, thereby reducing possible imprisonment from more than seventy-two years to less than one year.   
  15. Client charged with three counts: (1) Violating a restraining order; (2) battery–domestic abuse; and (3) disorderly conduct–domestic abuse. Result: Full acquittal.
  16. Client charged with three counts of delivery of cocaine. Result: Guilty verdicts reversed on post-conviction motion due to judicial error at trial.  Case later re-litigated by different counsel.
  17. Client charged with twenty-three misdemeanor counts in a consolidated trial including twenty counts of bail jumping and one count of battery-domestic abuse. Result:  After post-conviction motions, acquittal on sixteen counts (including battery-domestic abuse); conviction only on seven counts.  
  18. Client charged with four counts: (1) Robbery by use of force; (2) false imprisonment; (3) burglary; and (4) theft. Result: Full acquittal.
  19. Client charged with eleven counts consisting of three counts of second degree reckless endangering safety; one count of obstructing an officer; one count of drug possession; and six counts of bail jumping. Result: Full acquittal.
  20. Client charged with two counts: (1) resisting an officer; and (2) disorderly conduct. Result: Acquittal on resisting an officer; conviction only on disorderly conduct. 
  21. Client charged with one count of resisting an officer. Result: Full acquittal.
  22. Client charged with one count of criminally reckless driving. Result: Full acquittal.


In addition to the above jury trials where I was sole or lead counsel, I have also been "second chair" in four trials that included intentional homicide, sex-related crimes, and drug-related crimes.


Keep in mind, however, that every case is different and every client is unique.  Just because a lawyer has obtained a dismissal, a good plea bargain, or a good trial outcome in one case does not mean that he or she will be able to obtain the same results in your case.