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People v. Dalcin — Jury Trial — Central Justice Center in Santa Ana*, Orange County

Defendant was charged with felony criminal threats (Penal Code section 422), which is a strike offense.  Defendant, who was in his 20s, was allegedly involved in a road rage incident where he supposedly followed the other driver to a bank ATM, got out of his car, approached the other driver and punched the driver’s side window and made threats of violence against the other driver.  The other driver was an elderly gentlemen who happened to be a retired police officer.  Furthermore, two independent witnesses observed the entire incident.  Neverthleless, Fred Thiagarajah exposed multiple inconsistencies in the complaining witness’ version of events and the defendant was acquitted after jury trial.  The jury deliberated for less than one hour before coming back with the acquittal.

*This case initially started in at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, but the jury trial was conducted at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

 

People v. Richardson — Jury Trial — Riverside Justice Center, Riverside County

Defendant was charged with felony domestic violence (Penal Code section 273.5), felony child endangerment (Penal Code section 273a) and felony assault with a deadly weapon (Penal Code section 245).  The defendant had two prior convictions for domestic violence and the felony assault with a deadly weapon was strike.  Defendant was accused of beating his girlfriend while driving and hitting her with his cell phone.  The girlfriend supposedly crawled into the back seat next to their child to escape the abuse and defendant allegedly continued to strike the girlfriend in the backseat, while driving the car, thereby endangering their child with his unsafe driving and with striking the girlfriend while she was close to the child.  Defendant maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.  Fred Thiagarajah won an acquittal after jury trial on all charges.

 

People v. S.B. — Plea — Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, Orange County

Defendant was charged with first-degree burglary (Penal Code section 459-460(a)) which is a strike offense and felony grand theft.  Defendant was accused of burglaring her neighbor’s home after she found out that the neighbor had moved out.  The prosecutor on the case initially wanted 4 months jail.  Through extensive negotiations with the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Fred Thiagarajah convinced the prosecutor to allow the defendant to plead guilty to misdemeanor trespass with only 80 hours of community service.

 

People v. L.L. — Dismissal — Downey Justice Center, Los Angeles County

Defendant was charged with felony assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury (Penal Code section 245) with an enhancement for personally infliciting great bodily injury (Penal Code section 12022.7(a)) and felony battery with great bodily injury (Penal Code section 243(d)).  Both of these crimes are strikes.  Defendant and his brother were co-defendants and accused of assaulting their third brother during an argument about the inheritance money that was left to them by their mother’s death.  Defendant was accused of striking the victim multiple times in the face with a flashlight or beer bottle and when the police found the victim, his left eye was swollen shut, he had a large lump on the right side of his head and his nose was bleeding.  Through vigorous cross-examination of the victim at the preliminary hearing that exposed the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, Fred Thiagarajah convinced the judge to dismiss all charges against his client.

 

People v. J.K. — Plea — North Justice Center in Fullerton, Orange County (2010)

Defendant was initially charged with felony criminal threats (Penal Code section 422), misdemeanor brandishing a firearm (Penal Code section 417) and misdemeanor battery (Penal Code section 242).  Felony criminal threats is a strike offense.  Furthermore, the District Attorney added an enhancement on the felony criminal threats for personal use of a firearm (Penal Code section 12022.5(a)).  Defendant was accused of getting into a physical fight with his sister about her boyfriend.  Defendand then allegedly retrieved a gun from his room and  brandished the gun in front of her while threatening to kill her boyfriend.  Although defendant admitted his conduct to the police, he hired Fred Thiagarajah because he didn’t want a strike on his record and he didn’t want to go to prison.

Through extensive negotiations with the court, Fred Thiagarajah convinced the court to reduce the felony criminal threat charge to a misdemeanor and to dismiss the enhancement for personal use of a firearm.  Fred Thiagarajah secured a sentence of six months jail and convinced the court to allow the defendant to serve that time in a private jail.  Fred Thiagarajah delivered exactly what the client needed — no strike and no prison time.

 

People v. Shaw — Jury Trial — Riverside Justice Center, Riverside County

Defendant was charged with two counts of first-degree burglary (Penal Code section 459-460(a)) with an enhancements that the crimes were committed for the benefit of a street gang (Penal Code section 186.22).  First-degree burglary is a strike offense.  Defendant was accused of breaking into people’s homes in the middle of the day to burglarize them.  In the two homes that the defendant allegedly burlgarlized, the victims were present and each victim separately identified the defendant in a six-pack line-up and the defendant was convicted of those burlgaries after a jury trial.  However, despite being a self-admitted gang-member and despite his co-defendant being a gang associate, Fred Thiagarajah convinced the jury that the crimes were not done for the benefit of a street gang and those enhancements were dismissed.  The dismissal of the enhancements reduced the defendant’s maximum possible sentence from 21+ years to 8 years.

 

People v. McDaniel — Jury Trial — Riverside Justice Center, Riverside County

Defendant was charged with felony domestic violence with an enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury (GBI enhancement). The enhancement made the charge a strike offense.  Defendant had two prior convictions for domestic violence against the same woman.  Defendant was accused of striking his wife in the face and breaking her nose.  After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of domestic violence but Fred Thiagarajah convinced the jury that a broken nose was not a great bodily injury, and the enhancement was dismissed.  When the GBI enhancement was dismissed, that not only prevented the conviction from becoming a strike, but it also reduced the defendant’s maximum possible sentence from 19 years to 11 years.

 

People v. C.R. — Dismissal — North Justice Center in Fullerton, Orange County

Defendant was charged with multiple counts including felony assault with a deadly weapon (Penal Code section 245) and first-degree burglary (Penal Code section 459-460(a)).   Assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree burglary are both strikes.  Defendant’s friend had been kicked out of his apartment by the roommate and defendant accompanied his friend back to the apartment to retrieve the friend’s property.  At the apartment, defendant allegedy assaulted and stabbed the roommate.  After an extensive cross-examination of the victim, Fred Thiagarajah convinced the judge to dismiss all charges at the preliminary hearing.

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