Mr. Goldman was set for trial with a client who was still in jail. The morning of trial the prosecutor decided to add another charge against Mr. Goldman’s client. Since the charges were changing, the trial had to be postponed. Since this delay in trial was the fault of the prosecutor, the Judge agreed with Mr. Goldman that his client had to be released from the jail. Since the witnesses were all there for the trial, Mr. Goldman was able to convince the prosecutor to have the police re-interview them. They told the police exactly what Mr. Goldman had been saying about the case from the beginning. Accordingly, all charges were dismissed.
Our office does a lot of domestic violence cases. On this case, Mr. Beach’s client was eligible for the Washington County Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing program. However, Mr. Beach’s client declined that option and went to trial. At trial, Mr. Beach and his client waived jury so that a judge would decide the case (sometimes we want a lawyer to make the application of law to facts). The reason was that Mr. Beach’s argument was that the prosecutor could not establish when this incident supposedly happened. Mr. Beach was correct. The case resulted in a Not Guilty because there was not proof of when these events may have occurred.
Mr. Thiesen’s client gave birth to her child while she was in prison. During her pregnancy, Mr. Thiesen’s client had made arrangements for her mother to care for the baby once the baby was born. However, after the baby was born the Department of Human services took the baby and wanted to put the baby in foster care because Mr. Thiesen’s client’s mother had been accused of possessing drugs two years ago. The Department of Human Services didn’t care that the prosecutor dismissed that allegation at the very first court hearing because there was not actually probable cause to support that accusation. At the hearing, Mr. Thiesen proved that the family plan his client had prepared was safe for this newborn and the judge agreed. The Department of Human Services case was therefore dismissed and the child returned to the family!
Ms. Johnson’s client was accused of domestic violence crimes. He had been eligible for the Washington County Deferred Sentencing program. However, he decided to go to trial instead. The key to this case was having a better understanding of the evidence rules. Through evidence objections and arguments, Ms. Johnson was able to prevent the jury from ever seeing the photographs that the prosecutor wished to enter into evidence. Additionally, Ms. Johnson was able to successfully block the prosecutor’s arguments since he wished the jury to speculate in order to fill the holes that were left of his case after the conclusion of evidence. The jury was left with no option but to find Ms. Johnson’s client Not Guilty.
Mr. Beach’s client was accused of multiple counts of Assault 4, Menacing, and Harassment. Mr. Beach’s argument was that the ‘victim’ was lying. Mr. Beach proved at trial that this ‘victim’s’ motivation was money. During her first interview with the police she twice asked how much money should would get from the domestic violence grants given to victims of domestic violence. Mr. Beach also proved that her story kept changing during each interview with the police and in court. The only thing she seemed to keep consistent was her request for money. Additionally, the photographs contradicted all of her stories. The jury returned a Not Guilty on everything!
This case was another domestic violence case that was eligible for the Domestic Violence Deferred Sentencing program where Ms. Johnson’s client declined that option and went to trial. This case was dismissed the morning of trial because the prosecutor conceded he didn’t have the evidence to convict. This happens to have been the seventh dismissal, or not guilty finding, on a DVDS declined case in a row for Ms. Johnson. We thought we should mention the streak.
Mr. Beach’s client was accused of two counts of Assault. The defense argument was that Mr. Beach’s client was only defending himself from an aggressor who was attacking Mr. Beach’s client. The key to this case was cross examination of the person calling himself a victim. Through cross examination Mr. Beach caught this person in multiple contradictory stories about what happened. Ultimately, the only explanation of the facts that made sense was Mr. Beach’s explanation. Accordingly, the jury returned a Not Guilty times two decision.
Mr. Goldman’s client was accused of attacking his wife and 15 year old child. Based upon that accusation, his client was accused of two felony assault charges. If convicted, his client was facing a maximum prison sentence of ten years. The trial occurred days before Christmas (yes, we are running late sharing these cases). After the prosecutor finished presenting his case, Mr. Goldman made a motion for judgment of acquittal based upon the evidence so far submitted. Mr. Goldman convinced the court that there was no way for the prosecutor to win the case at this stage. Accordingly, the judge dismissed both charges. Mr. Goldman then loaned his cell phone to his client so he could call his wife and let her know that he could spend Christmas with her and their seven kids (something she wanted)!
When someone commits a crime and that crime causes someone else to lose money or value to property, the person who lost money or value can ask the court to make the criminal defendant pay for the loss. This request and obligation is called restitution. Unfortunately, people know that there is little oversight over this process and often this process if abused. Mr. Beach had a case where we agreed that our client had caused $14,000 in medical bills. However, the person decided he wished to receive $41,000. Mr. Beach, naturally challenged that number reversal. Through cross examination, Mr. Beach convinced the judge that this was a falsely excessive claim. The judge accordingly reduced the amount to what was actually supported by the bills – just as Mr. Beach wanted from the beginning.
A shelter care hearing is the first hearing that occurs after the department of human services removes a child from that child’s family. At this one, Ms. Johnson represented a parent and challenged both the government’s claims for why this child should be in foster care and why the government should have any involvement in this family at all. Ms. Johnson completely won causing the child to be returned home and ‘temporary jurisdiction’ (the power of the Court and DHS) to be dismissed!