In some cases, a defense lawyer may be able to get your criminal case dismissed before trial. For example, I won the dismissal of a felony child abuse case by proving to the judge that the prosecutor inserted false information into the criminal complaint; I won the dismissal of three different felony sexual assault cases by demonstrating to the judge that the criminal complaints were too vague to satisfy my clients’ due process rights; I won the dismissal of two drug possession cases by proving to the judge that the police obtained the evidence by violating my clients' privacy rights; and I won the dismissal of a fraud case and a computer crime case by demonstrating to the judge that the criminal complaints failed the test of "probable cause."
Most criminal cases resolve by plea bargain, which can include the dismissal or dramatic reduction of charges. For example, in one serious 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 for which the client received a fine. For other clients I have negotiated the dismissal of entire cases, including substantial battery cases and domestic violence cases, in exchange for non-criminal ordinance tickets.
However, even though many 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 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 thirty-one criminal cases to juries — thirty as sole or lead counsel — ranging from simple misdemeanor cases to serious, multi-count felony cases. In more than two-thirds (twenty-one) of my trials, the state failed to convict my clients on even a single count, or I obtained highly favorable outcomes that were better than the state's pretrial plea offer. Below are the details of those twenty-one trials.
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. With that important caveat, here are the details of the twenty-one jury trials discussed above. The most recent trials are listed first.