For more than 18 years we have represented people just like you; people who stood where you are standing now, worried about what the future holds.
We stood with them. Here are just a few of our their stories. (The names of our clients have been changed so as to allow them to remain anonymous. )
Attempted Murder (Arsenic Poisoning)
When SK came to us, she was broken. Her new husband had gone to the hospital with strange symptoms and the hospital had done a routine heavy metals screen of his urine. To the surprise of everyone in the room, the doctor told SK and her husband that he had been poisoned with arsenic. Suspicion soon fell on SK because, police reasoned, she would gain financially if her husband died.
For over two years SK suffered as we investigated her case, but we never wavered in our belief in her innocence. To make matters worse, TruTv filed notice they would be covering the trial a national television. Then, we broke the case.
We discovered a lab test buried deep in the medical records which showed SK's husband had conclusively NOT been poisoned with arsenic. We secured the top arsenic expert in the country from Harvard University. The expert agreed with us -- there had never been any arsenic poisoning. All of SK's charges were completely dropped. (Articles here and here).
MD had come to the United States as a 5-year old. Unable to become a citizen, he was fortunately able to get asylum under DACA (the so-called "Dream Act"). One night he was driving home from work and had an accident on I-985. Police arrived and questioned MD (claiming they could smell alcohol). MD admitted to drinking albeit many hours before and the police charged him with DUI. Under DACA, a DUI conviction is catastrophic -- it would mean MD's deportation. MD called us and we went to work on his defense. We argued that the police did not have probable cause to arrest MD; the Government argued the opposite. We filed motions to suppress with the court. After negotiations, the Government finally agreed with us and MD's charges were dismissed. MD was able to stay in the United States with his family.
TH was 34 years old, with a wife and a 1 year-old child at home in Baltimore. He had never been arrested before. TH came to Georgia on a trip with a family member. TH's wife wanted him to return early so he caught a ride with two "friends." As they were driving through a rural Georgia county late at night, the car was stopped for speeding. The officer claimed to smell marijuana and a search ensued. Massive amounts of marijuana and methamphetamine pills were found in the car. Everyone was charged -- including TH. We entered the case and, within sixty days, all felonies were dismissed and TH returned home to his family in Maryland.
Child Molestation – Child Cruelty
Selena was all alone when I met her in the jail. Her mother had died and Selena had gotten pregnant. The father ran off, leaving Selena and her child to fend for themselves. Selena met a woman online who seemed to care for Selena and who claimed she wanted to help Selena. But within a few months, Selena was charged with molesting this woman's son – and the woman then tried to literally steal Selena's child. The woman purported to have legal adoption paperwork where Selena had signed custody of her child over to this woman. The young man accusing Selena cried on the stand as he recounted his version of Selena committing acts of molestation on him. Things did not look good for Selena. Then, we broke the case when we located the notary public who was listed on the woman's "legal adoption paperwork" and he testified that he had conclusively never notarized that paperwork (the woman had forged the papers to steal Selena's child). Selena was found Not Guilty by the jury. Several months after the trial, one of the jurors from the case was in the car next to us at a stoplight. He was in tears as he he climbed out of his car and came over to thank us for our work on Selena's case. He took our business card (but said he prayed he never needs it).
Possession of Methamphetamine
Ronald allowed a friend to sleep on his couch for a week. Unbeknownst to Ronald, his friend had a drug history. And, his friend had waived his Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of probation. Police followed Ronald's friend to the house, demanding entrance. When Ronald protested, police told Ronald that he had no choice but to allow them to enter (owing to the friend's Fourth Amendment waiver). They came in and found methamphetamine in the living room. Both Ronald and the friend were charged with possession. Ronald was appointed a public defender and waited for over two years for a court date. Then he called us. We filed a motion to suppress the entry and search of Ronald's home. Based on our motion, the prosecution agreed the search had been unlawful and Ronald's case was dismissed.
Felony Drug Possession and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony
DA was barely 18 years old. He'd moved in with a girlfriend and a married couple. DA soon learned they were dealing THC Oil and Ecstasy (MDMA) from the house. DA should've moved out, but he had no other options. He stayed.
Police had been watching the house and had enough for a search warrant. They busted in and found THC Oil, Ecstasy (MDMA) pills, and several pistols. We got the case and quickly realized that the search warrant was no good. More still, upon combing through the reports we determined the crime lab had tested the wrong pills (they tested pills found in a common area, not those found in DAs room). All of DAs felonies were dismissed.
TB was stopped by a roadblock. He hadn't even committed any traffic violations, but the officer at the roadblock claimed he could smell alcohol. So TB was told to pull over. The officer conducted an HGN test (the "follow the tip of my finger" test) and claimed that TB failed. TB was charged with DUI and taken to jail. TB's job and livelihood were on the line.
We attacked the HGN test and showed the test was not performed properly. TB's DUI was dismissed.
SK and his wife had been married for more than 15 years. They were very much in love, but like most married couples, they argued from time to time. One night a neighbor called the police, and even though his wife did not want him arrested, SK was taken to jail.
The process was humiliating and dehumanizing. He had never had to go through something like that before and SK had no intentions of going back to jail ever again. His wife tried to get the charges dropped, but the State steadfastly refused.
That's when SK called us. Within one day we had all his family violence charges dismissed. He was able to go back home, and he and his wife are still going strong.
JM was a cadet and senior at UNG. He'd never been in trouble before. One night he volunteered to be the designated driver and collected some friends from a local party. They were pulled over because police said their car was weaving. JM did the tests and thought he did well. Despite this fact, JM found himself arrested and charged with a DUI.
We got the case when JM's father called us for help. We secured the video which showed that JM had done the field sobriety tests nearly perfectly. We were able to use this to convince the prosecution to dismiss JM's DUI. JM was able to go back to school.
Vehicular Homicide – DUI
JA was barely 20 years old when I met him in the jail. He had been in a serious car accident that killed one person and severely injured another. Police said JA's car had come across the center line and struck the oncoming car head-on. Police found alcohol in JA's car and tested his blood – finding he was well over the legal limit for alcohol at the time of the crash.
Through our investigation, we learned that JA suffered from a rare genetic condition that caused serious mental and physical problems with motor skills and long-term memory. After securing an expert, we filed a motion contending that JA was incompetent to stand trial. After several competency hearings and a competency trial the Court agreed with us. JA was found incompetent to stand trial and was permitted to return home.
Sex Offender 1000-foot law violation
KR had ended up on the sexual offender registry after consensual sex with a girlfriend (they both attended the same high school but KR was 17 and she was 15).
KR was subjected to a lifetime of registering as a sexual offender. He got a job but learned later that the workplace was too close to a city park. KR was represented by the public defender at a trial where he contended he did not know his workplace violated the registry law. KR was convicted by a jury and sentenced to prison.
We got the case after the conviction. Within a month we were able to discover a legal problem with KR's indictment (it was void for failing to include an essential element of the offense). KR's conviction was overturned and he was released from jail.
Sawed-Off Shotgun Possession
Police came onto the home property of HD and peered into his car – seeing a shotgun and shells the front seat. They later determined the shotgun was “sawed off” below the legal barrel length and charged HD with felony possession of a sawed off shotgun. We filed a motion to suppress the illegal entry onto the property and subsequently illegal entry into the car. The Court agreed and HD had all charges dismissed.
NV worked at a local restaurant and bar. Late one night, after the business was closed, someone broke into the business and stole money from the register. The entire incident was captured on a surveillance video. The burglar was wearing distinctive clothing which the prosecution claimed matched clothing that had been found in NV's home by police. After studying the surveillance video we discovered several aspects of the burglar's clothing that simply did not match the clothes police had found in NV's home. We went to trial. NV was found Not Guilty of all charges.
Bobby was driving his girlfriend to the convenience store late one night with a suspended license and without a tag. When the police stopped them, they asked for consent to search the car for drugs and Bobby agreed. Police discovered methamphetamine in the center console. Bobby's girlfriend pleaded guilty and entered drug court. Bobby went to trial.
Sadly, Bobby's girlfriend testified against him at the trial, she said the methamphetamine was both of theirs. We dismantled her on cross examination and Bobby was found Not Guilty.
Drug Trafficking/Drug Sale
James was arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine when he and a friend showed up to a pre-arranged meeting location, purportedly with more than one ounce of methamphetamine for sale. Through our investigation we learned that James suffered from severely diminished intellectual functioning. We convinced the prosecution that James was simply riding with his friend – not knowing or suspecting that his friend was there to deal drugs. Jamie's charges were dismissed by the prosecution.
Linda was driving home from a night out when she was pulled over by a policeman. After stopping her car, the officer searched Linda's purse. We filed a motion to suppress and the Court granted the motion. Linda went home to her family.
Thomas was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana. We felt the search was improper and we filed a motion to suppress. After a hearing the Judge agreed that Thomas was searched improperly. Thomas' case was dismissed.
Jamie was a county boy whose main source of income was selling boiled peanuts on the roadside of a state highway. A park ranger claimed to have discovered Jamie and his sister in a National Park smoking methamphetamine in their car. According to the park ranger, upon being discovered, Jamie promptly confessed. We tried the case to a jury and, despite the fact that his sister testified against Jamie at the trial, Jamie was found Not Guilty of all charges.
Sam was set up by a confidential informant. When Sam showed up at the arranged sale location with the cocaine – police moved in to arrest him. Through our investigation, we learned that this confidential informant had previously falsely set up another man in another jurisdiction. We discovered that, in this other case, the informant had driven to a horse supply store and purchased material that appeared to have the consistency of methamphetamine. The informant then set a man up with fake methamphetamine. When we tried Sam's case to a jury, we brought this information to light and the prosecution had little choice but to dismiss the trafficking charge against Sam, mid-trial.
Carlos shot a man in the neck at close range with a .45 caliber pistol. Carlos and his brother had been at a child's birthday party, and on the way home they were teased and insulted by a group of teenagers. Carlos' brother got into a fist fight with one of the teens, but the teen was getting the best of him. The teen was beating Carlos' brother to a pulp in front of Carlos. Carlos ran across the street to get his gun from under his bed. He was scared. His brother's wife and children were crying and screaming for Carlos to help his brother. Carlos went back out into the dark to help.
When Carlos arrived his brother was on the ground and being beaten savagely. Carlos shot the teen, the rest of young punks scattered. Carlos was charged with aggravated assault.
We tried the case to a jury and they quickly agreed with us that Carlos was properly defending himself and his brother. Carlos was acquitted by the jury in short order and he went home to his family.
Sex Offender Registry
When Roger was 18 years old he had a consensual sexual relationship with a 15 year old girl. When the girl's parents found out, they called police and Roger was convicted of statutory rape. This meant Roger went on the Sexual Offender Registry. He could not find a place to live (that complied with the registration limitations). And, he struggled to find work. After more than 20 years of carrying this burden, I met Roger. We filed a motion to release him from the sex offender registry and the Court agreed.
Benny had a running dispute with renters who had been living at a trailer near Benny's house. Benny kept noticing property coming up stolen on his land and he confronted the renters. The last straw was when Benny's DirecTV satellite dish disappeared from his garage – and he noticed the renters now had a DirecTV dish on their front porch. Benny went to the house with a gun, requesting the property be returned to him. When they refused, Benny fired several shots into the satellite dish. The renters called police and claimed to have been assaulted by Benny. Benny was also charged with Criminal Damage 1st Degree (an offense for when one “interferes” with property of another in a manner that threatens or endangers others). We tried the case to a jury. The jury agreed with us that Benny had assaulted no one, and he likewise had not interfered with “property of another” because the satellite dish belonged to Benny! The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty in under 2 hours.
Child Molestation – Child Cruelty
Selena was all alone when I met her in the jail. Her mother had died and Selena had gotten pregnant. The father ran off, leaving Selena and her child to fend for themselves. Selena met a woman who seemed to care for Selena and who claimed she wanted to help Selena. But within a few months, Selena was charged with molesting this woman's son – and the woman then tried to keep Selena's child. The woman purported to have paperwork where Selena had signed custody of her child over to this woman. The young man accusing Selena cried on the stand as he recounted his version of Selena committing acts of molestation on him. We found the notary listed on the woman's legal paperwork and he testified that he had conclusively never notarized that paperwork (the woman had forged it to steal Selena's child). Selena was found Not Guilty by the jury.
When I first met Dwight in the jail, he had very little left to live for. He was in prison serving a sentence of several life sentences for child molestation. Upon reviewing the trial record and transcripts I discovered a serious legal issue with how the jury had been charged (instructed by the Court). We filed briefs to the trial court and the court agreed (as did the prosecution) to reverse the conviction.
Pam killed her longtime boyfriend with a knife one night in their apartment. Our investigation uncovered that Pam had long suffered physical and mental abuse at this man's hands. Prior to trial, we were able to convince the prosecution agreed to dismiss the murder charges. Pam is now back home with her family.
Eric sent a text message stating: “If he comes up here to the apartment, I will shank him. Dead a**.” Minutes later the young man appeared at the apartment and Eric stabbed him to death with a knife. Eric promptly confessed to the crime, offering only the explanation, “I warned him.” On cross-examination we flipped a critical prosecution witness to agree with our version of events and the prosecution could see the case slipping away. They agreed to dismiss the murder charges.
Josh was charged with molesting two fourteen-year-old girls. The prosecution had in their arsenal a 26-page Facebook chat where Josh had stated that he wanted to perform several sex acts with the 14 year old. We tried the case to a jury and Josh was found Not Guilty of all charges within 2 hours.
When I met Robert he had been tried and convicted of rape. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. We started investigating and realized Robert's lawyer had made serious errors in representing Robert. After presenting our investigation to the Court at the motion for a new trial, and submitting briefs, the Court agreed to reverse the conviction and grant a new trial for Robert.
Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Michael had pled guilty to a felony charge decades ago. His wife was suffering from Alzheimer's and Michael was her sole caregiver. She had an old, family heirloom shotgun locked away in a gun cabinet. Police came to the home when a neighbor called to complain about Michael's wife wandering around the yard. Police discovered the shotgun and charged Michael with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The prosecution wanted Michael to go to jail for a year.
We took the case to a jury. We waited until the jury was sworn and the prosecution tried to enter Michael's certified copy of conviction into evidence – we objected based on Nash v. State; Gideon v. Wainwright; and Boykin v. Alabama (that the government couldn't prove that Michael had been represented by an attorney on his prior felony conviction) and the Court agreed – barring the conviction and rendering a verdict of Not Guilty for Michael. He returned home to care for his wife until she later passed.