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Client charged with countless felonies including many drug and gun charges. After months of investigation and two motions, the nine year offer turned into a plea to a single count of receiving stolen property and no jail time.
Client charged with domestic violence, just as investors are running background checks on him as a part of due diligence to see if they will invest. As soon as the client called on Sunday, I developed a plan: called the hotel, talked to security, and secured evidence of a prior accusation by the same woman. Orange County DA decided not to file. Client squeezed me so tightly when he received the news, I almost lost a lung.
May 12, 2014
Client charged with DUI. Case dismissed when I was able to prove to the City Attorney that he was not drunk or on drugs, but was so weak from a recent surgery that is what caused the accidents.
February 4, 2014
Case DISMISSED on my second court appearance for this new case, after I met with the DA last week to go over the flaws in their case. Today she dismissed explaining to the judge that the hurdle to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that my client committed this crime was too great and in the interest of justice she was dismissing. And of course the client is out of his mind relieved.
February 3, 2014
This is a good one. I have been working on a federal case for two years. Today was sentencing. The client was originally looking at a mandatory minimum of ten years. The judge came out and in his indicated sentence (a kind of pre-oral argument sentence) stated that after reading my pre-sentencing memo (a document I spent a lot of time on) he was (a) granting my client “Safety Valve” statutes in opposition to the government’s position because he felt my arguments about why my client should be granted “Safety Valve” status was compelling and (b) that he was swayed by my argument for mitigation. End of story is that he gave my client 4.2 years and a recommendation for drug counseling, which will result in my client being incarcerated for only another six months, because he’s already been in for two years, and then being moved to a half-way house for drug treatment program.
I cannot tell you how hard I worked on this case. This result is fantastic. I was orbiting the earth for a good two hours after.
December 13, 2013
My client charged with two felony counts in the stupidest case I have ever seen (the D.A. – and today – the judge – agreed). After some work, a kick-ass preliminary hearing, and lots of good humor, the DA dismissed one charge, dropped the second charge to a misdemeanor, which will be dismissed outright, as if this case never happened, when the client completes a phlebotomy certificate in a few months. No jeopardy to her green card.
Not too shabby considering the first offer, with the first D.A. was a felony conviction, twelve months in jail, and three years probation. Happy client.
November 5, 2013
A week and a half ago, my client, who is out on bail, decides not to show up for sentencing and to surrender to jail. The bail bondsman and I tried to talk him into coming in immediately because the deal I spent MONTHS negotiating would be thrown out the window once he was caught and he would be caught because the bond company wasn’t going to be out $30,000. He wouldn’t come in. Then, I worked out a deal that if the bondsman could get the client at home, they would cuff him and call me and we’d go to court that morning and I would try to help the client. No such luck. The client was at his girlfriend’s house, so the bounty hunters went after him at work, grabbed him, and brought him to jail. Dude, if you are going to jump bail, may I suggest you not stay at your old job and address where the hunters will be able to find you with virtually no effort.
This is very very bad. The judges become very angry at the “disrespect shown the court” when a client doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Typically, they take the judges want to teach everyone in the courtroom a lesson and sentence the client to much more time.
Today, however, the stars were aligned. I went to court this morning and was able to talk the judge into preserving the one year deal I worked so hard to get for the client and not send him to prison for three years. It is as if he never jumped bail.
October 21, 2013
Had a client who was facing twelve years for a multiple felony count, then he faced seven, then after prelim three, and finally, after much negotiation with the District Attorney, the client was released last week, with time served, after only five and half months in jail. A pretty fabulous result considering he was looking at years and years of prison.
October 21, 2013
I was a guest speaker for the Long Beach Bar Association at the Virginia Country Club this past weekend I enjoyed the whole experience. The best compliment I received was when one of the lawyers approached me after to tell me that she wished I had spoken longer. I’ll take that.
September 13, 2013
Another five count felony case dismissed this morning on a Serna motion! Yee ha!
September 13, 2013
Yesterday was another happy day! It’s a longer story, stunning actually for the malfeasance by the police officer – on so many levels. In a nutshell, when the officer couldn’t find the man he was investigating and the lawyer for the man called to get more information, the cop became so angry that he wasn’t getting what he wanted, that he told the man’s attorney that if the man didn’t come and talk to him he was going to arrest the wife and have Child Protective Service take the kids, which he ultimately did. The children were taken away from their home and put in foster care – with strangers – for five months. The wife was arrested and thankfully was able to post bail. Can you imagine the horror?
This case enraged me. I represented the wife. My mentor, the husband. I wrote the motion of my career in defense of my client, in which I laid out the reasons why this case should be dismissed. To her credit, the District Attorney who was assigned to the case in the preliminary hearing court called me, after I filed the motion with the court. We all arrived in court yesterday and DA informed the judge that she found multiple reasons to dismiss this case – and yesterday the case against both client’s was dismissed with prejudice. A fresh start for everyone.
September 10, 2013
How happy is this client? His company broke the law in Los Angeles. The fine for that transgression is – ready?- $18,700 with civil assessments it would have been $22,000. Want to know how much his fine was when I was done talking to the City Attorney? $400. That’s right $400!!! His total fine was $1,700. To say this client was happy is the understatement of the week.
September 9, 2013
Score in the courtroom this morning! My client, with no prior criminal record, was originally charged with a felony. However, a felony conviction would have prevented him from working in his industry for ten years, a misdo would have meant a six year ban. My client is in a highly specialized field, so he could not easily have found other work to support his family. I met with the supervising D.A. last week and today our deal was made – client was convicted of an infraction. An infraction! It’s absurdly wonderful.
August 19, 2013
After five and a half months of whittling away at the prosecution’s case, I went into court this morning and the judge dismissed the case against my client, who had been charged with SIX felonies. The judge dismissed the case because I was able to prove to her that the police had willfully destroyed exculpatory evidence – after they spent four months of trying to avoid turning my client’s own property over to him. Not to mention that I had excellent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals cases to negate the legality of the DA’s attempt to do an end run around the fact that evidence was destroyed by stipulating to its existence. YEE HA!!!
When the client is 100% innocent a dismissal like this is particularly glorious.
June 27, 2013
Today I had a case dismissed against a client. DISMISSED. I am out of my mind happy for this client. The conviction would have had devastating impact on this young woman’s ability to get a green card. I wrote a motion arguing why the case should be dismissed, – and then this morning, before I drove to court – I had an idea and did some research on the whim I had. AND I WAS RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT. The fact that I discovered this morning, and which I argued in court this morning, was lethal to the prosecutor’s case. The prosecutor, when questioned by the judge, graciously admitted I was right. CASE DISMISSED!!!I feel so good right now.
June 18, 2013
A good win yesterday in Federal court: client, sweet guy I really liked, was looking at three years, instead, after about five months of discussions with the federal prosecutor, he got time served. Released today. Have to thank the judge and the prosecutor for being so incredibly reasonable and listening to what I had to say about my client.
June 14, 2013
Today I had a fantastic result in court. Client charged with two felonies – strikes to be exact – which would have resulted in a prison term. After six months of work, educating the DA and the judge on the circumstances surrounding the events that led to my client’s arrest, the judge, against the DA’s objections, reduced my client’s charges to misdemeanors. No prison, time served, and a safety net of social workers to help to support the client and his family. Without going into all of the details, this result is beyond appropriate for my client and is nothing short of a miracle. My client never should have been in the criminal justice system. The misdemeanors are perfect because they allow me to put that safety net in place (it’s a bit insane that he couldn’t have gotten it without a conviction of some sort). My client’s mother wept as the judge announced his intentions.
I love my job.
May 28, 2013
Strong start to the week!
Two clients, both with cases in the same courtroom, same DA, in front of the same judge. One was facing a felony count of grand theft for stealing a computer off of an airplane during the course of his work, and the other had six charges for burglary and identity theft .
The first was looking at a year in jail, a felony conviction, and a the destruction of all the work he’s put into becoming an airline mechanic as a result of the conviction. In that case, I negotiated ZERO jail time, community service, restitution, and a deal that if he keeps his nose clean for a year, the felony will be dismissed and replaced with a non-theft misdemeanor – keeping his career intact.
In the second case, which was grizzly, a repeat offender of identity theft was looking at six felony convictions and the resulting 4.2 years in jail. Instead, I negotiated a deal of no more than 90 days in jail, some community service, mandatory therapy for a year, and enrollment in a certificate program or AA/BA track.
I feel like I pulled a rabbit out of the hat on both of these. It was magic today.
May 1, 2013
Settled a case today in which the client was charged with six counts of possession with intent to sell various drugs. Today, he pled guilty to one charge, received no jail time, and walked out of court. Another good day.
April 12, 2013
Great result for a client accused of being a mule (moving drugs from one location to the other, but not selling). He was looking at twelve years, but because of the pressure we put on the DA with our motions about the police officer’s unlawful detention after pulling the client over through the use of illegal profiling, he got two years – which with realignment means one. Needless to say, he’s happy.
February 27, 2013
Great day yesterday, in one case involving a father and son in an alleged hit and run and giving false information to the police, the case was dismissed on the driver and the father got an infraction with no probation. In a separate case, the client was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, I was able to get it reduced to an infraction with no probation, and only ten hours of community service. Fun!
February 15, 2013
A wonderful victory today – achieved with the support of the understanding District Attorney in Pomona. A mother of four, brought here from Mexico when she herself was six, faced deportation because the federal government refused to reissue her green card after they found out that fourteen years ago she pled guilty to two serious drug charges.
She was twenty-three, the mother of three, and six months pregnant with her fourth and last child when the police served a search warrant on her home. She was arrested with the her husband, the target of the investigation, even though there was NO evidence that she was involved in the crimes of her husband. So, she and her belly were thrown in jail. Unable to post bail, she languished in jail, desperate to get back to her young children and terrified of giving birth in custody. After being passed from one Public Defender to another, the DA finally offered her a deal, plead guilty and we’ll release you right now and give you probation. She jumped at the deal -without a thought to the immigration consequences.
Brave beyond words, she recognized her husband for who he was and moved all four kids to Nebraska (also known, especially in those days as the land of the white). There, a single mother of four, with little education, she raised her children in a safe environment and access to plentiful educational opportunities. Today, two of her kids are attending college with honors, one just graduated from high school and the youngest, who is the brightest of them all, is in a science magnet middle school and on academic fire. Yet, for all that the client had done with her life, she faced deportation.
The federal government didn’t consider any of the wonderful things the client had accomplished since her alleged crime. They fixated on the conviction and nothing else mattered. This woman, who hadn’t lived in Mexico since fifth grade, whose children were thriving American citizens was going to get deported. END OF STORY.
Thankfully, after I approached the Pomona DA, and provided him with all of the documents to prove my claims, he kindly agreed not to object to my motion to vacate. He recognized how ridiculous the situation was. Today, after almost nine months of driving back and forth, and writing a massive motion to the court, the judge granted my request and vacated the plea. The DA went on the record saying he would not reprosecute the case and so now it is done. The client will remain in Nebraska with her family, no longer haunted by her past.
February 10, 2013
Nice victory in federal court this week – government wanted prison, I argued for probation, client got a bit of home confinement with so many allowances to leave her home that it’s basically probation.
December 5, 2012
Client was looking at 10+ years. Yesterday, made a deal for only three years, because the district attorney was going to have to do way too much work defending against my argument that the evidence should be suppressed because the traffic stop was illegal racial profiling and the officer lied, and lied big, in his police report as evidenced by the video. In the overcrowded jails, three years means one and a half. This was a fair result.
November 29, 2012
Other good news, a few weeks ago, a young client retained me to defend him after he was arrested for domestic violence. Within days of the arrest, after a conversation with the DA, they agreed not to file as a felony. So whether to press charges as a misdemeanor fell to the City Attorney. After numerous calls to the filing City Attorney about the true nature of the relationship, the mental instability and violent nature of the victim, and backing up that claim with graphic evidence – the City Attorney just called to say his office has declined to press charges. A good day!
November 29, 2012
Successful day in court. Client convicted of fraud two years ago, hired me because the bank tried to bootstrap $250,000 onto his restitution payments – which were originally only $8,000. Suddenly, probation and the judge were saying he owned $258,000 and that if he didn’t accelerate his payments he was going to jail. So, we had a restitution hearing today and we emerged victorious. You can imagine how relieved he was to walk out owing only the remaining $5,000, not $255,000. I got quite a hug in the parking lot.
September 28, 2012
I filed a motion with the court for a finding of “factual innocence” for the client about whom I wrote a few weeks ago. The one who was arrested for public drunkenness and resisting arrest (never mind that they broke his nose and tasered him four times) and whose case was dismissed after I found a video from the 7-11 revealing that everything the officer wrote was a lie. Today, we had the hearing and the judge, after reading my motion and reviewing the DVD, and questioning the prosecutor, found my client factually innocent, which means every law enforcement agency with a copy of his arrest record must now seal and destroy that record.
The arrest is now nonexistent. It will not follow him for the rest of his life – he won’t have to explain that he was arrested but the charges dismissed. There is simply no arrest. He’s whole again.
September 20, 2012
Eight months ago, my client was charged with five serious felonies and held in custody all this time on one million dollars bail. He had given a partial confession and was looking at twenty-five years to life. After months and months of legal and investigative work, today, my client pled guilty to two counts and was sentenced to only three years in prison. Needless to say, the family and client were out of their minds with joy and relief.
September 13, 2012
Married client arrested for solicitation. No charges filed because of early intervention with the City Attorney.
September 11, 2012
Went to court yesterday with a client who was charged with public intoxication and resisting arrest. Case dismissed -because I went to the nearby 7-11 and got the video of the incident from their cameras, which actually showed an out of control police officer jumping my client from behind, punching him the face, and tazed him three times contradicting the countless lies in the police report. TAKE THAT!!!
August 18, 2012
Young client was charged with three felonies and two misdemeanors for driving a stolen vehicle, possession of ecstasy, and DUI. He was looking at a couple year sentence, After many months of hard work – the felonies went away and he got 60 days in jail, which were converted to sixty days of house arrest so he can continue attending school. Lucky lucky boy.
July 31, 2012
Retained on Friday by a client charged with three felonies. It was her first arrest. Today, they offered her eight months in county jail if she would plead to two of the felony counts.
By the time my conversation with the DA was over, I convinced him to reduce one of the two remaining felonies to a misdemeanor. The client will not serve any time, do community service, and have three years of probation. Not too shabby.
July 26, 2012
Client was originally offered four years, then two. Today, I got the DA down to eight months, which means my client who’s been in custody for four months, plus good time, will get out today. A happy result.
May 30, 2012
Retained today by the nephew of a LAPD officer who liked the way I handled myself in court and referred the nephew to me. Now that’s an endorsement.
April 4, 2012
Got a client’s charges of criminal threat dismissed today. Happy Client.
The client NEVER should have been charged. It was ridiculous and even the cop investigating the alleged crime conveyed that my client was not a threat, but a frustrated father trying to navigate a health insurance company’s morass of a phone system to get a simple question answered. My first visit to the DA resulted in the stance that my client was a threat and would be prosecuted. They offered a “deal,” which we rejected insisting that we would accept only a dismissal. They would not dismiss – so I said we’d happily go to trial. After I left, I briefed the new more reasonable DA on the law and applied it to the facts of the case. After reading the brief, he agreed that this case should be dismissed – so it was.
March 27, 2012
Today, negotiated a “wet reckless” for a client with a .12/.13 and a car accident after being told at arraignment by the City Attorney that they would they give her a wet reckless with that blood alcohol level. Never say never. Facts change and the deal was made. Happy client.
March 27, 2012
Yesterday, I successfully defended my millionaire client against a restraining order taken out against him by his millionaire older brother, who is trying to bully my client out of the family business. I filleted the brother’s witness on cross – he walked right into my trap. Restraining order dissolved!
March 6, 2012
Fabulous day! Argued in an Orange County court to have my client’s arrest record sealed and destroyed -not a motions judges readily grant – and I WON!!! It was an hour of oral arguments. I knew the case law on both the granting of the seal and destroy motion backwards and forwards and the relevant medical marijuana law. It was great jousting with the DA, whom I liked very much. Client, who was regularly pulled aside during travel by TSA, sometimes for hours at a time, is THRILLED.
January 23, 2012
Went to court in Orange County today and killed it. The client had a trial looming, she had fired her old attorney and hired me. The previous attorney had told her to accept a pathetic offer by the DA to resolve the case. I called the D.A.on Friday to introduce myself, let him know I would be filing a continuance and that I thought his case against my client was very weak At first he held firm, saying he was getting pressure from “higher up” to prosecute this case. After I explained why I thought the case was weak, he began to sound resigned and said that he would now actually kick it back to the higher ups so they could deal with it.
When I got to court today, I told the DA we were preparing to go to trial at the end of the month. When the judge started questioning me as to why there was yet another continuance, I explained that I was replacing previous counsel – and holding up a piece of paper – I explained that there were tremendous discrepancies in the lab results, so I needed a retest, and also that I would need more time for a thorough investigation in preparation for trial.
At that point, the DA stood up and said, “Your honor, I think we’ll be able to resolve this case today.” And so it was. The DA dismissed all the serious charges against my client – in exchange for a plea to far lessor charge, which was actually the only charge that she was guilt of – and which carries no consequences save a tiny fine.
The client wept deeply , relieved to be done with the stress of the case. I actually have mascara smears on my shirt. A great way to start the week.
January 14, 2012
Retained, late yesterday afternoon, to represent a middle-aged woman who was harassed and arrested by small town police in Orange Country for DUI, even after she passed the field sobriety test and the field breathalyzer because he found prescription drugs in her car, in their proper containers, in a stapled bag after she had JUST purchased them at the drug store. This is going to be fun.
January 5, 2012
Just left Court on a new case, client totally guilty of non-serious charge, but after I spent some time chatting with the officer – case DISMISSED!!!
January 4, 2012
Another victory! Client arrested and jailed weeks ago for domestic violence he did not commit. I got him out of custody in record time – and gained the confidence of the detectives that the crime did not happen. I spent time in the last three weeks counseling, supporting, and negotiating with the accuser to tell the truth. Talked to the detective again yesterday. Today, the client and I were supposed to go to court, but the City Attorney called this morning to say it was unnecessary because they are closing the case FOREVER. Client happy!
This is the third case I have had with a man wrongfully accused of domestic violence. Also, incidentally, the third exoneration!
When a woman makes a serious false-accusation of domestic violence, a man’s life can be destroyed. Please think seriously of the consequences of your actions and remember all the legitimate case of domestic violence, where women are in need of serious protection, that may now be called into question because so many women cried, “Wolf.”
December 8, 2011
Today, couldn’t have gone better, the new client who retained me yesterday from jail was released with no charges pending. Not too shabby to go from looking a serious felony charge to nothing. We have one informal hearing to attend in a few weeks to straighten everything up and then we’ll be done. My client is beyond thrilled.
November 29, 2011
Happy client – got her felony reduced to misdemeanor and her record expunged on two drug charges. Her life can start again.
November 14, 2011
A large bouquet of gorgeous flowers arrived with a note that reads, “Thank you Mieke!! You are truly a bad ass. Lawyers like you are inspiring.” What a lovely way to start the work week.
November 10, 2011
For over a month I have been working on case in which my client was facing a massive fine – almost $20,000 – on a strict liability violation of the law. Strict liability, for those of you who don’t know, means that no matter what your explanation, no matter what terrific mitigating facts you have on your side to explain why the law was broken none of those reasons matter. You are just guilty. End of story.
In this case, we had terrific verifiable facts to explain while the client did indeed break the law, it was not their intent and on the contrary they had done EVERYTHING they were supposed to do and it was a simple misunderstanding between bureaucrats that resulted in the violation. We had evidence proving every aspect of the client’s story. It was all very compelling, except, that in a strict liability case NO ONE CARES.
So what’s a lawyer to do? Work the prosecutor, work the police officer, build relationships and credibility. The result – today, instead of a $19,478 dollar fine. I settled the case for $4,000. That’s right, 1/4 of the original fine. Now that’s the way to go into the long weekend!
October 14, 2011
Spent four hours at the jail with new client today. He’s accused of being involved in a massive drug buy and been in jail for months because he can’t make bail. The big heartbreak is that I am 99% sure he’s totally innocent. Wrong place wrong time. Poor man has never been in trouble before, always worked hard to provide for his family and all of turmoil fell upon him when he borrowed his friend’s truck.
We’ve scheduled a polygraph so hopefully I can get the, as of now, intractable U.S. Attorney to back down. Can you imagine if you had been charged with a serious crime you didn’t commit? What a nightmare.
September 21, 2011
Victory! Judge denied the permanent restraining order against my client. The court clerk told me privately that I fileted the woman asking for the restraining order when she was on the stand. Clerk said I showed the woman to be the liar that she is. Also, when I returned to the courtroom to file some papers, the judge looked up and said, “Good job today counsel.” Happy Happy Client.
September 13, 2011
Client happily pled to misdo for possession this morning after being charged with two felonies. Case closed.
August 26, 2011
Today, after three months of building my case, and negotiation with the D.A., the D.A. agreed to reduce the two felony counts for possession and cultivation charged against my client to a single misdemeanor for possession!
August 25, 2011
I was retained this week to defend a man falsely accused of domestic violence. Women, if you want to leave your husband, do it with integrity. There is no reason to take the father of your child down with you. Your words have consequence – and hurt your children more than anyone.