When a car was parked in front of a woman’s home she called the police. Our client was found asleep in the drivers side. Officers began talking to our client who was clearly intoxicated. He had consented to a blood test which showed he was above a .20 BAC. He was arrested and charged with DUI.
At trial the prosecution argued our client had exercised control of the vehicle and common sense proved he had driven the vehicle that evening while intoxicated. One of our client’s friends testified that she had driven our client’s car that evening. Our client then became belligerent and was too intoxicated and she got out of the vehicle and left him, which was where police found our client parked. We also established the vehicle was not warm, our client did not have his hands on the steering wheel, the seat belt was not on and there we no signs that the car had been driven recently.
The jury returned a not guilty verdict on all counts. (Client did not testify)
Our client and her finance were terminating their relationship on a sunday afternoon. Our client was in the process of packing her belongings and moving out of her fiancé’s house. It was a rough and emotional day and she decided to have a several drinks during the day as she was packing up her belongings. At some point she was putting belonging in her car when neighbors contacted the police because of a strange vehicle in front of their house and our client appeared emotional and distressed. When an officer arrived he determined no crime had occurred and left.
Both parties returned to the home and our client and her fiancé being arguing. She decided to remove herself from the situation. Her phone was low on battery and she got in her vehicle and turned on the ignition to charge her phone and wait until a friend could pick her up. Her fiancé called the police and reported she was driving. The officer noted the car had been parked in a different position when he first made contact with our client. She was arrested for DUI.
At the first trial, the jury could not come to a decision and a mistrial was declared. The prosecution elected to re-file charges and retry the case. At the second trial, Attorney Zach Louth asked the jurors during jury selection if they ever sat in the driver seat of a vehicle with the ignition on without any intent to drive. Most jurors had done so. During cross examination of the witnesses, Mr. Louth established no one saw our client actually driving the vehicle. He also established our client was intoxicated and knew she could not drive, she was being responsible by sitting in her car trying to call a friend to pick her up. He also brought out the fact the officer could not recall if our client was wearing a seatbelt.
After only twenty-five minutes the jury returned with a not guilty verdict on all counts. (Client did testify)
SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT
Our client went out for a drink with two business associates. After having several drinks at a microbrewery, our client and his associates decided to go back to their office space to have a few more drinks. Our client had participated in the sport of wrestling throughout his life and had recently been hired as a volunteer wrestling coach at a local school.
While at the office, our client and one of the associates got into a discussion about wrestling and self-defense. The associate asked our client if he would show him how to defend himself. Our client obliged. He asked the associate to act as if he was going to tackle him. The demonstration was done at a walk through pace, but, without warning, the associate became very aggressive and slammed our client into an adjacent wall. This resulted in a whole being punctured into the dry wall. At trial, the associate explained his actions by saying, “(he) was trying to beat the expert.” Our client, surprised and frightened by the unexpected tackle, immediately pinned the associate to the ground. At that point, the associate punched our client in the face. Our client reacted by pinning the associate to the ground with more force. The other associate, who was not involved in the wrestling, saw this and ran across the room. He proceeded to strike our client in the back of the head repeatedly. Our client struggled to his feet and punched this associate in the head causing him to fall. Immediately, our client fearing for his safety after being attacked by both associates, kicked at the associate who had fallen from the punch. This caused serious injury to the associate’s orbital socket.
Our client was charged with Second Degree Assault. If our client was convicted of this charge, he would have been sentenced to a mandatory minimum of five years in the department of corrections.
At trial, we argued that our client was acting in self defense and his actions were reasonable considering he was unexpectedly attacked by two men. After a three day jury trial, the jury found our client not guilty. (Client did testify)
Our client was charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Our client, a restaurant employee, had a few drinks after work one night. When our client went to leave, he decided he should call a taxi. While waiting for the taxi, our client choose to sit in his car because it was mid-winter and the temperature outside at the time was approximately 20 degrees.
Before the taxi arrived, police officers happened to approach our client while he was inside his vehicle. Although he had not driven and he explained he was only in the car waiting for his taxi to arrive, our client was arrested and charged with DUI.
At trial, we argued that our client had not exercised the control over the vehicle that is required to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence. After 6 hours of deliberations, the jury could not reach a unanimous decision and a mistrial was declared. After the mistrial, the district attorney agreed to dismiss the Driving Under the Influence charge in exchange for the client pleading guilty to a minor traffic offense.
RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT AND CARELESS DRIVING
21 year old female client was looking for a parking space in a crowded parking garage at a local ski area when she was accosted by a large, muscle bound man. The man was under the false impression that the client was attempting to take a parking space he claimed to be waiting for. The man threatened the client and took off his watch and shirt, apparently to show that he was preparing to use physical violence. The client sat terrified in her locked vehicle for approximately 3 minutes while this took place. Eventually, in an attempt to extricate herself from the situation, the client attempted to drive away. When she did this, the man walked into the front of her car and the front end of the car slightly bumped the man. The man then went berserk. He pounded on the hood of the client’s vehicle and ripped off her windshield wiper. The client was ultimately able to back out of the garage while the man chased her. Unfortunately, the client did not call the police, and therefore, the man was the first to report the incident.
Despite the incident being on video tape, the client was charged with reckless endangerment and careless driving. According to the prosecution, the client consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk of serious bodily injury when the man was bumped.
After I discussed the case with the prosecution, they decided to charge the man with disorderly conduct, but refused to drop the charges against my client. Therefore, we took the case to trial. At trial, through the use of video evidence and testimony, we were able to prove the defendant did not act reckless or careless. The jury came back, within minutes, acquitting the client of both charges.
SEX ASSAULT ON A CHILD
21 year old client was accused of having sex with his ex-girlfriend’s 14 year old sister. Our client faced a minimum 50 year sentence if convicted of this charge. During jury selection, I asked potential jurors if they remembered their first sexual encounters. I did this because the alleged victim gave several different accounts about what had occurred. She described the alleged sexual contact as happening in no fewer than three different locations and gave numerous timelines of the event. Every single juror I posed the question to answered that they remembered the exact time and place of their first sexual encounter. During cross examination of the alleged victim, I was able to show that she had concocted the alleged sexual contact and that, through her multiple interviews, she mixed up her story. DEFENDANT FOUND NOT GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSUALT ON A CHILD.
On his way home from work, our client stopped at a liquor store to buy a bottle of Vodka. He was not allowed to drink around his step-children so he took a couple of swigs from the bottle before leaving the parking lot. Minutes later he arrived home and he noticed two police cars in the drive way. The police had responded to the residence because a worried neighbor had contacted them after seeing the word “help” written in soap over one of the windows. This was in mid-November and the soap written “help” was actually a left over Halloween decoration. After some discussion, our client was able to explain this to the police. However, in doing so, one of the officers noticed the odor of alcohol on his breath and asked him to perform a portable breath test. Our client consented and the test came back showing our client had a blood alcohol content slightly over the legal limit. He was charged with D.U.I.
At trial, I used maps and the liquor store receipt to argue that, given the time and distance, the alcohol didn’t take effect until after our client got home and spent 30 minutes talking with the police. Therefore, he was not over the legal limit at the time he was driving. RESULT: DEFENDANT FOUND NOT GUILTY.
MENACING WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF
My 29-year-old client worked as a security guard at a bar that had a reputation as a location with a high amount of criminal activity, i.e. brawling and drug dealing. My client finished his shift one evening and went to another drinking establishment down the road from his work place to relax and have a few beers. There were two females drinking inside the bar my client walked into who earlier in the evening were ejected from the bar my client worked at by the client. Both females were ejected from the bar my client worked at as a security guard for presenting fictitious identification at the front door.
The two females claimed at trial that they were afraid of my client and that they felt uncomfortable drinking in the same bar as him. The females left the bar and got into their car parked out in front of the bar. Once outside of the bar, they asked a security guard if he would run back inside the bar and buy them some burritos while they waited in the car. Thereafter, they claim that my client came from inside of the bar to the front door and walked up to their car window carrying a law enforcement baton that resembles a small metal baseball bat. The two females claimed that my client opened the front door of their car and threatened to hit them with the baton, stating “You bitches just don’t fucking get it, do you?” The driver stated she quickly pulled the car forward so that they would not get hit and that my client responded by hitting the roof of their car with the baton and breaking out the rear tail light of the car.
Through cross examination, I was able to show that the two females were antagonizing my client and that they were making up the story to get even with him for ejecting them from the other bar earlier in the evening. JURY RETURNED NOT GUILTY VERDICT ON CRIMINAL MISCHIEF AND HUNG JURY VERDICT ON THE REMAINING COUNT OF FELONY MENACING WITH A DEADLY WEAPON (Later, prosecution dismissed menacing with a deadly weapon count rather than re-trying the client.) (Client did not testify
SEXUAL ASSAULT ON A CHILD BY A PERSON IN A POSITION OF TRUST
Client was accused of having sex with his 17 year old step-daughter. According to the step-daughter, she would sleep with the client in exchange for heroin and she came forward because she didn’t want him in the house anymore. If convicted, our client faced a minimum of 50 years in prison. RESULT: CASE DISMISSED BY JUDGE AT JURY TRIAL.
CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE AND FELONY CHILD ABUSE
My twenty four year old client was driving from Thornton to his family’s home in Basalt Colorado on Christmas Eve when he lost control of his Dodge Durango, crossed the median on I-70, just below the Eisenhower Tunnel, killing a man who was driving home from Keystone with his two daughters in the back seat. Client was charged with criminally negligent homicide and Felony child abuse after the State Patrol calculated that his speed, just before losing control of his vehicle, was between 93 and and 102 miles per hour.
During jury selection, I asked potential jurors, all of whom were infinitely familiar with commuting I-70, if they were familiar with the traffic levels on I-70 at various times of the day and various times of the year concerning holidays. Also, asked them if any of them owned a vehicle that they thought was capable of operating at a 100 mph up the mountain from Georgetown to the tunnel. In addition, I inquired as to their perception of the degree of difficulty it is to drive faster or slower than the flow of traffic when the highway was filled with fellow commuters.
To defend my client, I provided an expert accident reconstruction expert to testify that the State Patrol failed to take into consideration the condition of the client’s tires and the condition of the median in determining my client’s speed. I argued that my client, who was seriously injured and did not have any recollection of the accident, must have been driving with the flow of traffic and simply fell to sleep, losing control of his vehicle and crossing the median. Finally, I argued that the accident was by all accounts tragic and the client should be held accountable financially in civil court because he failed to keep control of his vehicle, however, his conduct was not criminal. Client found NOT GUILTY
My client was contacted and arrested by the police as he was sitting behind the wheel of a street sweeper with the keys in the ignition. He reportedly stated to the police that he was attempting to drive the vehicle home after some friends dropped him off and dared him to take the vehicle as his form of transportation home. The arresting officer noted that it appeared that the Defendant had started the vehicle and drove it into a light pole situated about one foot in front of the street sweeper. In support of that theory, the officer took pictures of what appeared to be fresh tire marks between the pole and the street sweeper and a small dent on the front of the street sweeper.
At trial, I established that the officer never physically felt the engine of the street sweeper to see if it was warm and, therefore, it was possible that the last operator to use the vehicle had accidentally hit the light pole and left the vehicle parked there. Additionally, I established that my client’s alcohol level was shown to be almost a lethal dose of alcohol poisoning at a .288. The Defendant testified that the last thing he remembered that evening was leaving on foot to walk home from a bar where he had attended a friend’s 21st birthday celebration. In retrospect, the Defendant believes he became disoriented and walked the wrong direction home. He testified that he wasn’t dressed for the cold weather that February night and that maybe he crawled up into the cab of street sweeper to seek shelter. In any event, he thanked the officer for possibly saving his life that evening because he was obviously very confused and lost. Defendant found NOT GUILTY of DUI.
My client was described by police as “being slumped over the wheel of her car with the engine running and lights on.” She blew a .130 on the intoxilyzer. At trial we proved that client was attending housewarming party up the street from where she was contacted by the police and that she realized as she was walking out of the home that she had consumed too much alcohol to drive. She testified at trial that she couldn’t call a cab in her small town where she was visiting and that she was too embarrassed to call anyone for assistance. My client made the decision to “sleep it off” when the next thing she remembered was being talked to by the police. She testified that she didn’t remember how the engine got turned on but she surmised that, given the time of year and weather that evening, she must have turned the engine on to start up the heater at one point after waking up. Client found NOT GUILTY of DUI.
FIRST DEGREE ASSAULT (mandatory minimum 10 year prison sentence if convicted)
Client was arrested and charged with First Degree Assault after he hit another man in the head with 750ml bottle. The man suffered a severe laceration across the face as a result of the blow. According to the police reports, the blow was almost completely unprovoked. The best plea bargain that was offered to my client was plead guilty and serve 5 years in prison. Despite the risks of going to trial, a minimum 10 years prison and a possible 32 years prison, the client chose to take his case trial.
At trial, I was able to establish that the other man provoked my client by throwing rocks at the vehicle the client was a passenger in and, when the client confronted him, punching him in the face. None of these facts were contained in the police reports and were gathered through the use of a private investigator I retained to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event. The client was found NOT GUILTY of first degree assault, and was convicted of a lesser offense, Assault in the Second Degree Under Provocation, which carried only a mandatory 18 months prison.
SEX ASSAULT ON A CHILD POSITION OF TRUST-TWO COUNTS
Friend of my client’s wife asked my client to watch her two daughters, age five and nine, for short period of time. Later, when the friend picked up her two daughters, the oldest daughter informed her mother that my client had shown her and her little sister a video tape of naked women dancing around and then afterwards, taken her clothes off, poured “baby sauce” on her private and described acts committed by the client on her that would constitute oral sex. The five-year-old daughter stated that my client did the same thing to her. Prior to trial, my client was offered a plea bargain of four years in prison. At trial, I was able to show that the search of my client’s house did not reveal any videotapes of naked women, nor did it reveal anything that could be construed as “baby sauce”. JURY RETURNED NOT GUILTY VERDICTS ON BOTH COUNTS (Client did not testify)
SEX ASSAULT ON A CHILD POSITION OF TRUST, SEX ASSAULT USE OF FORCE, PATTERN OF ABUSE
My 32-year-old client was facing a minimum 56 year prison sentence if convicted at trial of sex assault on child – use of force and pattern of abuse charge. He was accused of having sexual contact with his three-year-old daughter during court ordered visits in his divorce case. At trial, I was able to show that my client’s ex-wife had shopped her daughter around to various professionals before she found one professional who would state that they believed her child was being sexually abused. JURY RETURNED NOT GUILTY VERDICTS ON ALL COUNTS (Client did not testify)
SEX ASSAULT (rape)
My 18-year-old client was charged with raping a 16-year-old girl. My client was unable to post bond and sat in jail for four months awaiting trial. My client was found not guilty at trial after I was able to establish through cross examination of prosecution witnesses that the 16 year old girl became upset with my client after having consensual sexual intercourse with him and that she made up the story of rape in order to get even with the client. NOT GUILTY VERDICTS ON ALL COUNTS (Client did not testify)
SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT (mandatory minimum 5 year prison sentence if convicted)
A live-in girlfriend moves back to her parents’ home and reports that my client strangled her during a recent argument. Specifically, in regard to the strangulation, the girlfriend alleged that my client squeezed her neck with his hands until she experienced ” a ringing in her ears” and “a white out” with her vision.
My client reported that the argument began after he and his girlfriend were sleeping one night and their six month old baby woke up in the middle of the night crying. He reported that he got up to comfort the baby while his girlfriend got up to retrieve a bottle of milk from the kitchen. When my client couldn’t find a pacifier to comfort the baby, he made a sarcastic remark to his girlfriend about leaving all of the pacifiers over at her mother’s house. The girlfriend responded by winging the baby bottle at my client while he was holding the baby. This angered my client to the point where he pushed his girlfriend while she stormed back into the bedroom to go to bed. The girlfriend pushed my client back while he was holding the baby. My client placed the baby down and pushed his girlfriend to the floor where she laid and refused to get up. My client bent down to lift his girlfriend up. His girlfriend went limp while he was picking her up in bear hug fashion, causing her to slide throw his arms to the point that his arms were across her neck momentarily. Client then gave up and left the house to go spend the night with his parents.
I was able to show that my client’s girlfriend had motive to exaggerate the extent of the physicality of the argument because she was attempting to get sole custody of the child and prevent my client from having overnight visitation with his child. Defendant found NOT GUILTY of felony Second Degree Assault (the strangulation) and found guilty of pushing the girl friend (misdemeanor).
SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT
Client was charged with 2nd Degree Assault, a felony charge that carried a minimum 5 year prison sentence. Client was out on University Hill with his friends when a man approached him and accused him of breaking a nearby fence. The alleged victim pushed our client and a scuffle ensued. Many people became involved and what started out as a wrestling match between two people turned into a giant brawl. At some point, the alleged victim was severely injured, but there was no evidence as to who caused the serious injury. At trial I showed there was no indication of who caused the injury by cross examining the alleged victim. RESULT: DEFENDANT FOUND NOT GUILTY OF SECOND DEGREE ASSUALT, CONVICTED OF A REDUCED MISDEMEANOR CHARGE- APPEAL PENDING.
Third Degree Assault-Domestic Violence
Our client was charged with third degree assault after his ex-girlfriend told police he had hit her. The ex-girlfriend threw our client’s laptop computer through a closed window, shattering the computer and the glass. When contacted by police our client admitted to slapping her to get her to come out of what he said were psychotic delusions. His ex-girlfriend had previous convictions of domestic violence and had a no contact order preventing her from visiting our client. Despite all this, our client was charged with third degree assault.
At the onset of the case we talked to the prosecutor in hopes of getting him to dismiss the case. The prosecutor did not agree so we set the case for jury trial. In the interim we conducted our own investigation of witnesses who have seen the ex-girlfriends previous drunken tirades. A week before the trial we again explained the situation to the prosecutor and he agreed to dismiss the case. CASE DISMISSED BY DA
POSSESSION OF A SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
The client was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance- Schedule II. Our client was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation. The police officer stated in his report that, prior to the stop, he observed the vehicle swerve partially into the other traffic lane and that when he neared the suspect vehicle, he observed the occupants rolling a few of the windows in the vehicle “part way down. The officer stated he attempted to stop the vehicle by turning on his overhead lights and directing the driver, via the squad car’s loud speaker, to turn right and pull over to the side of the road. The driver complied and pulled the vehicle over. According to the officer, upon approaching the vehicle, he detected the odor of marijuana smoke being emitted from the vehicle. The officer then claimed that the driver consented to a search of the vehicle. While conducting the vehicle search, the officer removed our client and the other passengers from the vehicle one by one. The officer conducted a pat-down search of the Defendant and the other passengers. Our client stated that the officer asked him and the other vehicle occupants if any of them were in possession of a medical marijuana license. Our client, who did have a license to use marijuana for medicinal purposes, informed the officer that he was in possession of a medical marijuana card. The officer stated in his report that he then asked our client where his medical marijuana card was located. According to the officer, our client pointed to a black bag located in the vehicle’s rear passenger seat and said “that’s my bag.” The officer took the bag and performed “a pat-down search of the bag for weapons prior to handing it to the (Defendant).” After feeling an iPod located inside the bag, the officer decided it was warranted to open the bag and rummage through its contents for “officer safety reasons.”
After reviewing the case, I filed a motion to suppress all the evidence obtained by the officer because I believed the searches and seizures conducted by the officer were in violation of the client’s rights under the Fourth Amendment. In the motion I stated that the officer did not have a valid search warrant, nor did he rely on a recognized exception to the warrant requirement, so any evidence he obtained was not admissible. RESULT: CASE DISMISSED AFTER PROVING UNCONSTITUTIONAL SEARCH.
ASSAULT AND CRIMINAL TAMPERING
The wife of my 41-year-old client told police that she and my client got into an argument while staying in a motel near Glenwood Springs. Specifically, the wife claimed that my client threw her against the bed in their room hurting her left breast, then kicked her in the right lower leg causing a bruise. The Wife also claimed that client then took her car keys before leaving the motel and threw them inside her car before locking the doors to the car (tampering).
I was able to prove to the DA that the wife’s story was not believable and that she had a motive to exaggerate and not tell the truth since she was filing a divorce action against my client and claiming he was not fit to share custody of the children. CASE DISMISSED BY THE DA.
BURGLARY AND FELONY THEFT
My 21-year-old client was accused of entering a coffee shop during after hours and stealing $1,670.00. My client was arrested after the store owner allegedly identified my client on videotape breaking into the store safe. I was able to prove to the DA that my client had a good alibi for the time that the burglary was allegedly committed and that the picture of the burglar on the videotape was not a clear enough image to base and support a prosecution against my client. CASE DISMISSED BY DA
No Charges Filed
KIDNAPPING AND RAPE
For several nights in a row, all three Denver television network stations broadcast a physical description of my 18-year-old client along with an allegation that he raped and kidnapped a University of Colorado freshman student. My client claimed that the CU student had initiated sex with him after he had picked her and a friend up in his mother’s white Escalade. I was able to obtain various witnesses who stated that the college student appeared to be having a good time that evening until someone said something derogatory about her cheating on her “boyfriend”. I then arranged an interview on behalf of my client with two local newspapers to broadcast his version of the events so that the police and the DA’s office would understand that the case was going to be impossible to prove. After the articles were published in the newspapers, I supplied all of my leads to the detectives on the case and asked them to investigate the case further. RESULT: NO CHARGES FILED
INTENT TO MANUFACTURE ILLEGAL DRUGS
The DEA discovered that my client ordered and received 225 lbs of safrole oil and oil of sassafras, the main ingredients for Ecstasy. The DEA claimed that these essential oils were intended to produce over 100 million dollars worth of Ecstasy and that my client should be spending the rest of his life in Federal prison. I convinced the DEA’s office that there was no evidence of intent to manufacture illegal drugs and that my client had been working on an insect bite deterrent that he had patented. Thereafter, an agreement was negotiated wherein my client conveyed possession of the oil to the DEA with an agreement via the U.S. Attorney’s Office that NO CHARGES WOULD BE FILED